The United States Secretary of State, William Rogers made an appeal for reconciliation with North Vietnam when he spoke on aid proposals to the region at a press conference in Washington on Thursday (February 15).
GV Rogers speaks to Press Conference (silent shot)
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"Our policy has been in the area that we did not desire any gains for ourselves, that we were prepared, once the war ended, that once the people in the area had the right to determine their own future, that we were prepared to help, reconstruct. President Johnson said that, President Nixon has said it and we mean it. And we would hope that if reconstruction efforts are undertaken that they can be undertaken in the spirit of international co-operation, not a national struggle. Whether that's possible or not we'll have to see... wait and see. We hope so and if that is possible, and that's our hope, then Congress would react favourably, that Congress would not want us to do more than our share and Congress certainly doesn't want us to do it in a spirit except as mentioned, a spirit of international co-operation to help reconstruct the area that's been devastated by this war. But if it's property constructed and if it appears to hold out promise for peace in that area, we believe it's a good investment and I think congress would. Its attitude will change when it hears the programmes that we will develop and hears that it does hold out promise for peace as a result of international co-operation."
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Background: The United States Secretary of State, William Rogers made an appeal for reconciliation with North Vietnam when he spoke on aid proposals to the region at a press conference in Washington on Thursday (February 15). He acknowledge that it would be difficult to persuade Congress to vote for aid for Indochina when domestic problems remained unsolved. But Congressmen, he believed, would in the end act responsibly.
Before the peace settlement, President Nixon spoke of the possibility of providing 2,500 million dollars (1,000 million sterling) to North Vietnam as part of an aid plan for Indochina.
Further indication of the President's intention to seek funds from Congress were revealed in the joint US-North Vietnamese communique released after Dr. Henry Kissinger's talks in Hanoi. The extent of Congressional support for, or opposition to, aid for Indochina is expected to become clearer next Wednesday when Mr. Rogers is scheduled to testify on the peace settlement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
SYNOPSIS: The United States Secretary of State Mr. William Rogers told a Washington press conference on Thursday that he hoped Congress would approve aid to help reconstruct North Vietnam and areas of Indochina devastated by war.