United States Defence Secretary Melvin Laird told a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday?
GV EXTERIOR U.S. State Department
GV INTERIOR Laird at press conference
CU Laird replies to question.
EXT. STATE DEPARTMENT: INT. PRESS CONFERENCE: SECRETARY LAIRD.
REPORTER: "You said the mines would be activated at seven o'clock tomorrow morning. On your information, when will the first Soviet freighter, the course that they are on now, run the risk of going into those mine fields?
LAIRD: "Well, I'm not scheduling the Soviet freighters. There was one scheduled to go in, I believe, today or yesterday. It did not go in. I am not in charge of positioning Soviet freighters and scheduling their movements into these particular ports. There was one scheduled that did not choose to go in. But I believe that question is a question that might at some future date cause me a credibility problem and since I've been here I've tried to cause no credibility problems and that's the reason I'm not giving you a specific answer.
REPORTER: "What was that freighter carrying? And, do you have any description by name or number?
LAIRD: "We do have the information, but I am not going to make it available.
REPORTER: "What did that freighter do, sir?
LAIRD: "That freighter is at sea beyond the territorial waters of North Vietnam...We will take those steps that are necessary to prevent the delivery of supplies that can be used to assist the North Vietnamese to carry out their military aggression in Southeast Asia. I don't know how I can be any more forthright, or make it any clearer than I already have."
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Background: United States Defence Secretary Melvin Laird told a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (10 May) that the mining of North Vietnamese ports has already had some effect.
In response to a question concerning Russian ships that may be approaching North Vietnam, Mr. Laird said one 6 ship that was due to enter port Tuesday or Wednesday did not do so. Instead, it turned around and was steaming outside North Vietnamese territorial waters.
He went on to say that the United States would take those steps necessary to prevent supplies from reaching North Vietnamese ports.
There follows a transcript of reporters questions and Defence Secretary Laird's response: