s 14506 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-SENATE September 17, J971
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, may
I say that regardless of the .outcome of
the matter, I am glad that the Senate is
having an opportunity to face up to this
. The issue really is not the draft, but it
1s the Senate amendment which sought
to bring about within a 9-month period
an end of the war in Vietnam. That
termination was tied with the simultaneous
release during that period of all
prisoners of war and those identifiable
among the so-called MIA's or those missing
May I say that the administration, as
n~ar as I can determine, has set up a
tnpod as a means of achieving peace in
Vietnam. That tripod consists of a "reasonable
chance" for the Government of
South Vietnam to get on its feet and to
The second point to the tripod calls
for the release of the POW's, of whom
there are anyWhere from 400 to 1 600 on
~he basis of the figures I can recall. That
mcludes those who are missing in action
and who have not been identified.
The third part was, of course the
withdrawal of all United States trobps~
emphasize the word "all," because that
1s the way the amendment was drawn
up-at the same time that the POW's
were being released.
I note with interest that the one-man
democracy which is emerging in South
Vietnam in the person of President
Thieu- and I speak of him personally
only because of the American involvement
there-has stated in the press this
morning that he needs U.S. troops in
South Vietnam through 1973, and the
number is 50,000.
It also says in this news story that:
Thleu•s position on the need !or a.n AmerIcan
residual force rema.in.s basically unchanged
since July or last yea.r, when he told
another group or Jou=allsts much the same
Again quoting from the article:
The President appea.red unperturbed by
the posslbillty that Congress m.Jght direct
the wlthdrawe.l of U.S. Forces before he Is
ree.dy to see them go. But he stressed the
need !or continued American air support " for
many more yea.rs."
"He said he is optimistic about his
chances for a solid majority" next month.
If we ran our elections on that basis, I
suppose we would be just as optimistic,
In short, the United States is expected
to keep forces in Vietnam until 1973.
But I would point out that this body on
June 22, 1971, by a vote of 61 to 38
adopted an amendment which sought t~
bring about a complete withdrawal within
9 months, with the only proviso being
that during that period all POW's would
be released. I have heard a great deal
about POW's in the past several years.
Now, we have a chance to do something in
th~ir behalf, if we will. The question is,
Will we? Perhaps the question should be,
Do we want to?
On June 22, nearly 3 months ago, 61
Members of this body said-
Let us end the Involvement. Let us stop
the killing. Let that be our policy. Let us
share ~his responslb111ty with: the President.
Let us think of the POW's.
On June 22, nearly 3 months ago, 61
Ser1:ators---an overwhelming majorityunequivocably
went on record in connection
with the draft bill-the pending
measure-to declare that within 9
months all U.S. forces be removea. On
June 22, nearly 3 months ago, the Senate
said that all Americans held prisoner in
Southeast Asia should be returned home.
Nearly 3 months--nearly 90 dayshave
passed since that Senate action.
What has happened? In that time there
have been well over 1,200 more American
injuries. Almost 350 more Americans
have been killed. Over 200,000 tons of
bombs have been dumped from American
aircraft. Between $2 and $3 billion more
has been spent.
During this period, just how many
more Americans have been made to survive
a living death as prisoners of this
tragic war, I cannot say. But they are
there. They are a part of the grim and
tragic statistics. So are the amputees. So
are those who have been !ragged to
death. So are the drug addicted; and
those who have been demoralized, those
who are the living dead. And-as I saidthere
are the billions that must be added
to the billions and billions and billions
it has cost in all, and bUlions and billions
it has cost us all up to this time and will
cost well into the next century.
I repeat, Mr. President, more than 61
Members of this body chose on June 22
to put an end to this tragic episode in
American history; to close this chapter
once and for all.
In the interim-in the time since
June 22- much has happened. First of
all and most regrettably, what the Senate
did on June 22 has been undone.
What 61 Senators said so clearly and
unequivocally has been unsaid.
That is not all. Much more has hap-
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 47, Folder 62, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
September 17, 1971 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE s 14507
pened. Much, in my judgment, that
would warrant beyond question an additional
conference on this measure. It
need not take long. There is but a single
issue. And make no mistake, there is not
a single matter of national security that
exceeds this issue; no interest of the Nation
is more important. It is inconceivable
to say there is not sufficient time
to meet again to resolve this issue-the
most critical issue of our time.
A great deal has happened in the interim.
Nearly 3 months ago when the
Senate voted, South Vietnam was preparing
to exercise a fundamental right of
a free, democratic society-it was setting
the stage for the "free and open" elections
that were to be held this fall. Fall
is almost upon us and with the change
in season has come an even more alarming
change in the nature and character
of those so-called "free and open" elections.
It is no wonder that more voices
have joined in to ask, "For what have we
been fighting? For what purpose have
the nearly 360,000 U.S. deaths and casualties
over the past 10 years been sustained?
On what have we been spending
billions in Southeast Asia?" Surely not
for an uncontested, one-man referendum
that is paraded under the label of democracy.
And what about conditions here at
home in that time-in the last 2 or 3
months? What about the billions which
have been spent in Vietnam which
should have gone instead to shore up
our ailing economy-an economy
wracked as seldom before in our history;
what of the billions needed in our decaying
cities and rural areas to assist the
aged and infirm, to clean the air and water.
Billions were needed but were not
available. They were spent instead to
continue this tragic war.
It has been a long two and a half
months. Much has happened. Much has
happened in casualties, in cost, and
much has happened in the thinking of
the American people. There is not much
I can add to what has already been said.
But once again I am going to read to the
Senate the actual casualty list as of yesterday:
301,589 wounded Americans, 45,-
501 dead Americans in combat, 9,757
Americans wounded or dead in noncombat
activities, for a total casualty compilation
of 356,847. Those figures speak
louder than any words. ·
There are the casualties, the deaths,
the money spent. And there is the travesty
on freedom. What were to have been
open, contested elections have turned
into a charade that, in my judgment, has
done a grave disservice to the words
honesty, freedom, and democracy.
It has been a long 2% months and I
would hope that the conferees would
take note not only of the passage of
time-nearly 90 days--but also of the
events that have occurred. I would hope
the conferees on this measure would
look again at the product of their earlier
efforts in light of these changed circumstances--
not only the events in South
Vietnam and the added deaths and casualties
that have occurred but at the
changed status of the Nation's health
and welfare here at home. Is it too much
to insist that at least we set the final
date for the last American boy to be shot
down defending a cause that has lost all
meaning and validity. And what could
be more appropriate than to consider
that question in connection with a draft
bill which compels young men to serve
such a cause? Oh, there will be a draft.
And deep down, every Member of this
institution knows it. That is not the issue.
It has been raised only to cloud and
confuse the real issue.
The issue is Vietnam. ·The issue is going
back to conference in order to get
out of Vietnam. It need not take long.
No longer is the question obscured by
matters of pay increases, pay effective
days. They have been stripped away.
There can be no confusion over the vote.
It is the question of Indochina. It is the
question of ending the war. That the
conferees can resolve this matter with
dispatch I have no doubt. Suggestions of
manpower potential or whatever simply
are not germane at this time.
What is germane is that the Senate,
each of us acting independently and in
accordance with our own judgment decided
to choose this measure, H.R. 6531,
as the appropriate measure on which
to seek an end to Vietnam. It is now
asked only that the conferees endeavor
to carry out the Senate's will on Vietnam.
That is what confronts the Senate
now. That is all that confronts the
I would only add that should the tabling
motion prevail, it is my intention
to move to instruct the conferees as
To insist upon the amendment calling for
a withdrawal within 9 months o! all U.S.
forces from Indochina subject to the release
of all prisoners or war taking into consideration
the !act that nearly 3 o! the 9 months
called for have already elapsed.
I believe it is what the Senate wishes.
I believe it is what the American people
want. I believe it is what the Nation
Mr. President, in relation to the matter
before us, I received a number of
telephone calls at my home last evening
from members of the press and the news
media in general. On the basis of these
telephone calls I have been told that a
number of Senators and their staff members
were contacted on yesterday with
the report that on Wednesday or some
day last week at a Democratic caucus
or meet~g of Democratic Senators I, as
the maJority leader, and as a Senator
from Montana, made a statement with
reference to a date for Vietnam withdrawal
to the following effect, and this is
a direct quote:
This 1s a party matter affecting the 1972
electiona. Any Democrat who votes to approve
the conference report wtll be denied
money and political support !rom the Democratic
May I say that I am not only somewhat
amazed by the report but also at
the source to which the report is attributed.
I did not know the gentleman's
name until I read it on the ticker this
morning and in the newspapers. I met
the gentleman in question just a short
time ago and was impressed by his intelligence
and integrity which is to be
expected, of course, in staff personnel at
the White House. In the circumstances,
I am at a loss to find his name linked
with this matter and can only conclude
that there must be some mistake in the
attribution for the story as it appears in
I hesitate to refer to such a matter, but
no doubt many Senators and others read
references to it. In the circumstances, it
should be said that no such statement
was made by me or to my knowledge, for
that matter, by any one else-at any time
or any place.
I would say further that, having been
now in public life for 25 years or more,
perhaps I should not be surprised at all
by a report of this kind. For what purpose
it was advanced in this situation I
can only speculate. Nonetheless. I have
every confictence that there is not a
Member of this body on either side of
the aisle who would take such a report
seriously, much less believe it. Every
Member of this body knows my attitude
with regard to the integrity of the Senate
and the independence of every Senator's
vote as determined solely by the
dictates of his Judgment and conscience,
free of any and all outside influence and
pressures. I have stood on that all of my
life. I stand on it today. I shall continue
to do so.
Insofar as I am concerned, there is no
"price" on this vote today, and there has
never been on any other. No one owes me
a thing and the Senate knows it.
Mr. President:! suggest the absence
of a quorum.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk
will call the roll.
The legislative clerk proceeded to call
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I ask
unanimous consent that the order for the
quorum call be rescinded.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without
objection, it is so ordered.
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I
move to table the conference report, and /
I ask for the yeas and nays. · .. ;::::'
The yeas and nays were ordered~-
Mike Mansfield Papers, Series 21, Box 47, Folder 62, Mansfield Library, University of Montana
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