The United States Secretary of Defence, Mr. Melvin Laird, has testified before the Senate Foreign?
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GV INT Laird facing Senators (4 shots)
SCU Laird speaking
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 3: LAIRD: "There have been no changes as far as the use of American ground forces in Laos. There are no penetrations by United States ground combat forces in Laos that have occurred, with the exception of the penetration that has existed over a period of time, which I referred to a year ago last March when I had a press conference in Da Nang in which I alluded to the fact that American forces at the time of the Ashu Valley campaign had crossed the Laotion border for a period of a few hours as a matter of protective reaction. They were engaged with the enemy and there had been an incursion into Laos along a highway area in connection with the activities of a U.S. Vietnamese mission in the Ashu Valley, and our forces in South Vietnam have had that particular authority. I noted with some interest a report from the Foreign Minister of South Vietnam. I have asked for the State Department to get me the text of the statement which he is.....the alleged statement which he made in connection with the Asian conference to some members of the Press. I have now had a text of that statement presented to me. I have the statements that have been carried by some of the news services and by several news columns, but I want it to be made very clear before this committee that there has been no change in our operating rules of our rules of engagement as far as the Laotian border is concerned."
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Background: The United States Secretary of Defence, Mr. Melvin Laird, has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington about United States troops operating in Laos. He said there had been no change in the rules of American troops crossing into Laos.