Hundreds of South Vietnamese officials, including President Thieu, converged on Vung Tau, 35 miles (56 km) east of Saigon, on Friday (23 October) to discuss the country's pacification plans.
Hundreds of South Vietnamese officials, including President Thieu, converged on Vung Tau, 35 miles (56 km) east of Saigon, on Friday (23 October) to discuss the country's pacification plans. It was the biggest meeting of its kind ever held in South Vietnam.
Several hundred of the country's leader ranging from district and provincial chiefs, mayors and police chiefs to heads of the Armed Services and the Government attended the meeting.
Local newspapers speculated that President thieu would tell the meeting that a unilateral ceasefire would be declared before the end of the month. The idea was officially discounted -- and the newspapers carrying the speculation were confiscated.
A South Vietnamese President Press spokesman said the meeting would review pacification in 1970, drew up plans for next year's programme and discuss how the Government's gains can be consolidated.
The Saigon Government claims to control more than 98 per cent of South Vietnam's population of 18,000,000, compared with less than 60 per cent immediately after the Viet Cong's TET offensive in February 1968.