In a major speech on Vietnam on Wednesday (31 January), President Nixon said that whether North Vietnam, or South Vietnam, or any other country in South-East Asia received United States aid, he would look upon this as an investment in peace.
GV & SV Nixon on rostrum addressing conference (3 shots)
CU Nixon speaking
GV & SV of Reporters (3 shots)
CU Nixon speaking
"I have noted that many congressmen and senators, and many of the American people, are not keen on helping many of the countries in that area, just as they are not keen on foreign aid generally. But as far as I'm concerned, whether it's with the North or the South or the other countries in the area, I look upon this as a potential investment in peace, to the extent that the North Vietnamese, for example, participate with we and with other interested countries in the reconstruction of North Vietnam may well have a tendency to come in wards to the works of peace, rather than come out wards to the works of war. This at least is our move."
"Now amnesty means forgiveness... we cannot provide forgiveness for them. Those who served paid their price, those who deserted must pay their price, and the price is not a junket in the Peace Corps, or something like that as someone has suggested. The price is a criminal penalty for disobeying the laws of the United States. If they want to return to the U.S., then they must pay the penalty."
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A transcript of his speech follows.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In a major speech on Vietnam on Wednesday (31 January), President Nixon said that whether North Vietnam, or South Vietnam, or any other country in South-East Asia received United States aid, he would look upon this as an investment in peace. On the subject of draft-dodgers, the President said that they must pay the price of disobeying the laws of the Unite States.
SYNOPSIS: At a news conference in washington, President Nixon has spoken about the new American policy of aiding North Vietnam.
The President also reiterated his attitude toward the estimated ninety-eight thousand draft-dodgers, many of whom are living outside the Unite States.