U.S. Secretary of Defence Mr. Melvin Laird, arrived in Saigon on Wednesday (November 3) and?
GV Laird off aircraft (NATURAL SOUND)
SV Laird speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 3: LAIRD: "I do want to make it clear once again the Military Assistance Programme as far as South Vietnam, Thailand and Laos are funded from the Defence Appropriation Act. That should be understood by all of you -- I think it is. The Cambodian programme is funded through the MAT - Military Assistance Programme -- and that is very important that those funds be restored and I am confident that the Congress after reflecting and after listening to further testimony will move forward and fund these programmes at an adequate level. This is not the time for the United States in any way to show weakness as we move into negotiations in Europe, in Asia....throughout the world..... as we meet with the Soviet Union and as we meet with the People's Republic of China. This is the time to show strength not weakness and I am sure that the Congress of the United Sates will show that important strength at this most crucial time."
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Background: U.S. Secretary of Defence Mr. Melvin Laird, arrived in Saigon on Wednesday (November 3) and told reporters at the airport he was "confident" the U.S. would restore economic aid to South Vietnam. Referring to the recent shock cut in economic aid by Congress in Washington, Mr. Laird said he and President Nixon understood that South Vietnam's economy was dependent on the American aid. Military aid was not affected in the Congress cuts. Mr. Laird was in South Vietnam for talks on handing over the war effort to the Saigon Government.