September 21 1966
STATEMENT OF SENA'roR MIKE MANSFIELD (D., MONTANA)
(Senator Mansfield who is out of town telephoned this statement to his office
and directed its immediate release.)
In his speech at Phnom Penh, President Charles de Gaulle has set
forth the conditions on which he believes the slim hope of a peaceful settle-ment
in Viet Nam might be realized. He has called for what is tantamount to
a reassertion of the essentials of the Geneva Agreement of 1954. This would
include self-determination for the people of Indochina, a guaranteed neutraliza~
tion, participation by all actual belligerents in any negotiations, and, in addi-tion,
at least "the five world powers." Finally, he has noted that the
initiation of negotiations would depend on a U.S. commitment to withdraw its
forces on the basis of a sui table "time-limit." As I understand it, from
initial news reports, today, Prince Sihanouk and President de Gaulle subse-quently
underscored this point in a joint declaration by calling for the
withdrawal of all fora gn forces.
The conditions of a negotiated settlement which President de Gaulle
has set forth do not seem to me to present any insurmountable obstacles, in
terms of United States intentions in VietNam. The United States favors self-determination
for the Vietnamese people; the President has said so. The United
States is not adverse to neutralization of all of Indochina. The United States
has made clear that it has no desire to keep its military forces in Viet Nam
The problem is not agreement on the principles of a settlement for
Viet Nam; what is necessary is to come to grips with the actualities which may
be involved in the principles. That depends on face-to,-face discussion. To that
end, I reiterate: a meeting between President de Gaulle and President Johnson,
which both men have indicated in the past that they desire to hold, should be
arranged at a mutually convenient time and place.
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 43, Folder 45, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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