Page 9 article text (OCR)
May Meet ' Today With Protesters NIXON*. Continued from Page One he killing Americans next few months." in the of Press Conference WASHINGTON, D.cTfAP) ^ Here is the* text »/• President Mxon's telewtsed news confer~ encet The, President: Would you be seated? > Q. Mr. President, have you en surprised by the intensity 'of the protest against your deci- ,. ,, v~ s , ion to i send troops into Corn- "le^Cpmmunists later re-j'ftodia, and -wi|fc these protests turn !.o Cambodian sanctuaries, I affect your policy in any my? ., , | tensity of the pro.test. I realize At A news conference dom-!that those who are protesting mated almost entirely by ques- ; .......... tions about Vietnam and Cambodia, Mr. Nixon also: — Declared that the U.S. effort to negotiate a war settlement will continue in Paris "and in a number of other forums that, we're presently working on." — Pledged anew that ISO,000 more American troops will be withdrawn from Vietnam within the next year. — Disclosed that the United Slates now is exploring with the Soviet Unioru Great Britain and other ^nations arrangements to insure the future neutrality of Cambodia and Laos. He said that effort is meeting "not too much success at the moment." — Said the U.S. move into Cambodia put the Communists on notice -that the United States will move quickly, not step-by-step, to deal with any escalation of the Vietnam war. He said North Vietnam already has been warned against any.as- sault across the demilitarized believe that this decision will expand the war, increase American casualties, J and increase our ' American involvement. Those who-protest want peace. They want to reduce American casualties arid they want our boys brought home. I made the decision, however, for the very reasons that they are protesting. As far as affecting my decision is concerned, their protests I am concerned about. I am concerned ^because I know how deeply tttey 'feel, but I know fllat what ?•! .have done will accomplish the goals that they want. It will shorten this war. It will reduce American casualties/It will allow us to go forward with our withdrawal program. The 150,000 Americans that I-announced for withdrawal the next year will come home on schedule. It will, in my opinion, serve the cause of) in my speech of Apr. 20 as you | — move a massive force of word buifts m$ Intel? retell to apply to those who dissent. All the members of this pres* corps know that T have for ^esrs'defended the right of dissent. I Have always opposed the use of violence. On university campuses the rule of reason is supposed to prevail over the rule of force. And When* students on university campuses burn buildings, 'lenJhey engage in violence, when they break up furniture, when they terrorize their fellow students and terrorize the faculty, then -I think bums is per- - - ---- __ „-,,...« - _•=.!- .•-, — -=,-,-„ ;..-;— TT— ._-- — *- - ,--- WIREPHOTO (AP) A Grim President President Nixon is grim-face^ as he listens to a question asked during a White House news conference Friday night. tainly regret thiUSi£jis(S of a just peace in Vietnam. Q. MrT President. The President: Mr. Cormier. Q: Do you believe that you can open up meaningful com- will recall because then I said that Vietnamization was going so well that we could bring home 150,000 by the spring of next year, regardless of the progress in the Paris peace will the , North Vietnamese move," he-said. He said he was not surprised at the intensity of protest against his Cambodian decision and was concerned about the demonstrations — "but I know that what I have done will accomplish the goals that they zone. "... 1 do not believe—mimications with this college ta lks and the other criteria that '•Se generation, and how? \\ mentioned. The President: I would like! But I also warned at thalj 250,000 or 300,000 across the DMZ against our Marine Corps people who are there — I would certainly not allow those men to be, massacred without using more force and more effective force against North Vietnam. leaders of North Vietnam on want ... It will shorten this war. it will reduce American casualties ..." Mr. Nixon said he regretted] .... , the interpretation put on the ! use of his word "bums" to describe some campus troublemakers. He made that remark at the Pentagon a week ago. to try as best I can to do that., It is not easy. Sometimes they, as you know, talk sO loudly that it is difficult~to be heard, as we have learned during the campaigns, and also during the appearances of many of the Cabi-, net officers made on university campuses. However, on an individual basis, 1 believe that it is pos- do what I have been » time that increased enemy ac- j this point several times, and tion in Laos, in Cambodia, as well as in Vietnam, was something that .we had noted, and that_if I had indicated, and if I found, that that increased enemy action would jeopardize the remaining forces who would be in Vietnam"" after we had withdrawn 150,000, I would take strong action to deal with it. I found that the action that the enemy had taken in Cambodia of the college and the univer- r wou ld mean the 240,000 Ameri!^, l ° talk to to have a my use of the word bums was interpreted to apply to those who dissent," he said. But he said when students burn campus buildings, ' the word "bum" is "too kind a word." I am very glad that Chancellor Heard, the chancellor of Vand^rbilt, has agreed to take two. months off from his very in us in the administration, to see if we cannQt develop better lines of communication's both to school "Safety Valve" The President said he person-1 administrators, " but also to ally asked that Washington scno01 students, rules be waived so that demonstrators could rally Saturday on! What Are the Ellipse, a grassy park ad-|_. _ . ~ joining the White House —; / Outh\~Saywg? "where I can hear"them " | Q . Mr President< what do vou He, sa.d the demonstra ions | thinfc thegg shldenfs are ^ and turmoil of the past week do | < , " " ""• mean the United States is! The President: They are try- 1 there a from now Wlthout ma "y combat troo.ps to help defend them would leave them in an untenable position. That is why I had to act, Q: Mr. President, some Americans believe this country is heading for revolution, and others believe that dissent and because we have warned them I dp not believe they will move across it. Miss Dickerson?.' Views of the V ice-President Q: After you met with eight university presidents yesterday, they indicated that you had agreed to tone down the criticism in your administration of those who disagree with you. And tonight Vice-President Ag- Raps Too' kind a word" to applyl to that kind of person. Those are the kind I was referring to. Mr. Rather? I will get you next Mr. Bailey. Have Bought Time Q. Mr. President, you mentioned that you expected the Americans to be out of Cambodia by some time in June. President Thieu was quoted as saying in an interview that he felt the North Vietnamese could reestablish their sanctuaries in Cambodia within six months and possibly, he was quoted as saying, within two or three months. If that is the case, what have we accomplished in Cambodia? Was it worth the risk, and what do we do when they re-establish those sanctuaries? \ The President: I am planning to give a report to the nation when our own actions are completed, toward the latter part of June, at that time, I will answer that question in full. At the present time, I will say that it is my belief, based on what we have accomplished to date, that we have bought at least six months, and probably eight months of time for the training of the ARVN, the Army of South Vietnam. Saved Lines We have also saved, I think, hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans, as Frank Reynolds reported tonight on NBC. Rockets by the thousands and small arms ammunition by the millions have) already been captured and those rockets and small arms will not be killing Americans in these next few months. And what we have also well. We brought 115,090 home. We are going to bring another 150,000, and this action will assure, the continued success of that program. time Is tent H o we ver> looking at the whole of Southeast Asia, looking at the fact that we have lost lives there, I would say that only history will record whether it was worthwhile. I do know this: Now that America is there, if we do what many of our very sincere critics think we should do, if we withdraw from Vietnam and al- Jpw the enemy to come into "Vietnam and massacre the civilians there by the millions, as they would, if we do that, let me say that America is finished-> insofar as the peace> keeper in the Asian world is concerned. Q. Mr. President, in light of the Kent State University incident, could you tell us what, in your judgment, is the proper action and conduct for a police force or a National Guard force when ordered to clear the campus areas and faced with a crowd throwing rocks? The President: We think we have done a rather good job here in Washington in that respect. As you know, we handled the two demonstrations, Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 of last year without any significant casualties, and that took a lot of doing because there were some pretty rough people involved — a few were rough; most of them were very peaceful. Needs Facts I would hope that the ex- agreement comes, it will have great significance. t say that having in mind the fact that we ari far apart from the Soviet Union if) Our policy toward Southeast Asia, in our policy toward the Mideast; but I say that where the problem' of arms is concerned,—here is where our interests are together. The Sbviek Union has just as great an interest as we have in seeing that there is some limitation on nuclear arms. \ (J. Mr. President, have you made any judgment yet on the sale of jets to Israel? And JioW-do you view the situation in the Middle East at the moment? The President: Well, the situation has become ominous due to the fact that reports have been received with regard to Soviet pilots being interjected into the UAR Air Force, not in combat but in some other role. We are watching these reports very closely. Shifts Balance you, particularly in ttteni elf fodlated? And if you tv6 not, could you explain to us why it was not until yesterday that you, whose voice meani more than anybody '•• else's in the administration, whether it be Mr. Agnew or Mr. Hickel, waited until yesterday to tell the educators that the administration, was lowering, was modifying its discourse with the dissenters? The President: Well, first let us understand what 1 told the' educators. The educators came • in to discuss their problems, and since they are All presidents,--! felt a community of— interest with them. I indicated to them that f didn't want to make their job any harder for them and T would appreciate it if they wouldn't make my job any harder for me in their own activities. They raised questions about the vice-president,' and about, i other people in' the adminis- „ ,. L i tration, about the rhetoric, and If those reports prove to be j i know, of course, questions Jhe National Guards which, of j The President: We are pre- programs as making a speech which contains these words: "That every debate has a cadre of Jeremiahs, usually a coalition of choleric intellectuals and tired, embittered elders." Why? The President: Miss Dicker- not headed for revolution. 'When you have that kind of i ing to say that they want safety valve, you're not goinglPeace. They are trying to say that they want to stop the killing. They are trying to say that they want to end the draft. They are trying to say that we ought to get dut of Vietnam. I agree with everything that they are trying to accomplish. I believe, however, that the decisions that I have made, and to have revolution that comes from repression," he said. Mr. Nixon said he had told members of his staff to talk with dissenters today and listen to their case. "I'll be glad to see them if some of them are available," he said. "I am concerned because I know how deeply they feel"" he • particularly this last terribly said. "What I have done will do'difficult decision of going into - - .the Cambodian whicl\ sanctuaries violent dissensions are leading\ son< j nave studied the history us to an era of repression. 1 O f this country over the past J """ " "" 190 years. And, of course, the classic and the most interesting wonder if you can give us your view of the state of society and where it is heading. The President: That require an extended answer. Briefly, this country game is to try to drive a wedge would between President and Vice- President. Believe me, I had is not eight years of that, and I am headed for revolution. The very j experienced on that point. fact that w do have the safety; Now as far as t he vice-presi- * • valves of the right to dissent,; the very fact that the President of the United States asked the district commissioners to waive their rule for 30 days' notice for demonstrations, and also asked that the demonstration occur not just around the Washington Monument but on the Ellipse where I could hear it — and you can hear it pretty well fronr here, I can assure you — that fact is an indication that when you have that kind ofl safety valve.you are riot gong dent is concerned, he will answer for anything that he has said. As far as my attempting to tone him down or my attempting to censor the secretary of the interior because he happens to take a different point of view, I shall not do that. I would hope that all of the members' of this administration would have in mind the fact a rule that I have always had, and it is a very simple lone: When the action is hot, what they want." Asked if he could open mean-jwhicl\ were completely occu-i f| . om repress j on ingful talks with college stu-iP ied by the enemy — I believe dents, Mr.'Nixon said he would! lhat that decision will serve like to try. "It is not easy; J that purpose, because you can sometimes, they, as you know, talk so loudly that it is'difficult to be heard." He said that, on an individual basis, it is possible to bring representatives of colleges to his offices to talk with them, to have a dialogue. * Asked about an apparent con-, flict" with his Vietnamization men be sure that everything that I stand for.is what they want.-•'-. > I would add this: I think I understand what they want. I would hope- they would understand somewhat what I want. When I came to the presidency, I did not send these men to program; Mr. Njxon said, he exit in a' speech last plained month. "I warned at that time that increased enemy action in Laos and Cambodia threatened the program," he said. He said he acted because enemy actions in Cambodiajaccomplishments than we ex- threatened U.S. troops in VieT- nam. HickeL Criticism 'about his ings with university officials and his pledge that adminis- Vietnam^ There were there. And since 525,i I h« 000 have been here, I have beeh working 18 or 20 hours a day, mostly on Vietnam, trying Jo bring these men home. We brought home 115,000..Our casualties 'were the lowest in which;e 06m '; 8s ! keep the rhetoric cool. Q: Mr. President, on April 30 The second point with regard iy°» announced that you, as to repression, that is nonsense,'* commander in chief, were send- in my opinion. I do not see that the critics of my policies, pur policies, are' repressed. I note from reading the press and from listening to television that the criticism is very vigorous and sometimes quite personal. ing in U.S. units and South. Vietnamese units into Cambodia. Do the South Vietnamese abide by the same pull-out deadline as you have laid down /or the American forces? It has every right to be. have no complaints about it. Yes, Sir? Boycott of Peace Talks Q: One of the consequences of the Cambodian action was the the first quarter of this year in | fact that the other side boy- five years. We are going to j co tted this week's peace talks in bring home another 150,000. And, as a result of the greater pected in even the first week of the Cambodian campaign, I believe that we will have accomplished our goal of reducing American casualties and, also of hastening the day that we Paris. There is some question as to whether oiir side unll attend next week. Have you made a decision on that? The President: Our side will The President: No, they do I:not. I .would expect that the I South Vietnamese would come lout approximately at the same (time that we do because when ' we come out our logistical Support and air support will also come out with them. I would like also to say that with response to that deadline I can give the members of the press some news with regard to the developments that have occurred. The action actually is going faster than we had anticipated. The middle of next week the first units, American units, will course, are not under federal control but under state control. What I say is not to be. interpreted as a criticism in advance of my getting the facts of the National Guard at Kent State. I want to know what the facts are. I have asked for ,the facts. When I get them, I will have something to say about it. But I do know when you do have a situation of a crowd throwing rocks and the National Guard is called in, that there is always the chance that it will escalate into the kind of a tragedy that happened at Kent the means that if the enemy does come sanctuaries back next into those time, the South Vietnamese will be strong enough and well trained enough to handle it alone. I should point out too, that they are handling a majority of the assisnments now in terms of manpower. Mr. Bailey? Q. Sir, unthout asking you to censor the secretary of the interior, could you comment on the substantive points that he made in his letter? The President: I think the secretary of the interior is a man who has. very strong views. He is outspoken. He is courageous. That is one of the reasons I selected him for the Cabinet, and one of the reasons that I defended him very vigorously before this press corps when he was under attack. As far as his views are concerned, I interested will, of in his course, be advice. I might say, too, that I hope he gives some advice to the postmaster general. That was the fastest mail delivery I have had since I have been in the White House. Mr. Scali? Moving •'""' Step by Step Q. Mr. President, how do you answer the criticism that the justification that -you give for going into the Cambodian sanctuaries is appallingly similar to the reasons that President Lyndon Johnson gave as -he-moved step by stepjtp the ladder of escalation? He wanted peace, too, sir. The President: Mr. Scali, President Johnson did want peace, and, if I may use the vernacular, he has taken a bad rap from those who say that he wanted war. However, the difference is that he did move step by step. perience that we have had in that respect could be shared * by true, and if that continues to escalate, this will dramatically shift the balance of power and it would make it necessary for the United States to re-evaluate its decision with regard to the sale of jets to Israel.. We have made it .very clear — and this is in the interest of peace in that area — that the balance of power must not be changed and we will keep that commitment. •3 Q. Mr. President, is the United States prepared to pursue with equal fervor in Paris negotiations to find a political settlement of this war, including the possibility of discussing with the other side a coalition government? pared to seek not only in Paris iut in any other forum a political settlement of this war. We are not prepared, however, to seek any settlement in which we or anyone else imposes upon the people .of South Vietnam a government that they do not choose. If the poeople of South Vietnam choose a coalition government, if they choose to change the leaders they presently have, that is a decision we will accept. President Thieu has indicated lie will accept it. But we do not intend to impose at the confer- State. If there is one thing I am personally committed to, it is this: I saw the pictures of those four youngsters in the Evening Star the day after that tragedy, and I vowed then that we were going to find methods that would be more effective to deal with these problems of violence, methods that would deal with those who would use, force and violence and endanger others, but, at the same time, would not take the lives of innocent people. Cambodia's Future , Q. After the American troops are removed from Cambodia, there may still be a question as to the^juture of Cambodia's ability to exist as a neutralist country. What is your policy toioard Cambodia's future? The President: The United States is, of course, interested in the future of Cambodia, and the future of Laos, both of which, as you know, are neutral countries. However, the United States, as f indicated in what is called the Guam or Nixon Doctrine, cannot take the responsibility and should, not take the- responsibility in the future to send American men in to defend the neutrality of countries that are unable to defend them themselves. In this area, what we have to do is to go down the diplomatic trail, and that is why we are exploring with the Soviet Union j Stakes — with not too much success to date; but we are going to continue to explore it — with Great Britain, with the Asian countries that are meeting in Ja* ence table on the people of South Vietnam a government they do not choose. Q. Mr. President, on a domestic subject, on the economy, sir. t/nemployment is up, the stock market is down, things look generally discouraging. Do you have any views on that, and do you have any plans? . The President: Yes. Unemployment reached the point of 4.8. I noticed, this last month. In order to keep it in perspective, it should be noted that in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965 the average unemployment was 5.7^ Five point seven is too nigh. Four point eight I think, is also too high. But the unemployment we presently have is the result of the cooling of the economy and our fight against the inflation. See Bigger GNP We believe, however, that, as we look' to the balance of the year, that we will begin^to gee a moving up in our gross national product in the last of the second quarter and throughout the third and fourth quarters. I believe that by the end of the year we will have passed the trillion dollar mark in terms of GNP. I believe that the year 1970 will be a good year economically, a jrear in which unemployment, we hope, can be kept below the average that we had in the early 60's, which was much too high. Knew the attend next week. We expect! come-out. The end of next week Thjls action is a decisive move, tO ffQ o the time that we are cleaning And fltltlia oan/xn . vWC 3Cvuli and fhig aotinn wiu The But we out sanctuaries in Cambodia, j majority O f all American units of ting students, Mr. Nixon said Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew ^ would answer for anything be|""' says, but that he would not censure Agnew for his views, nor Progress in Secretary pf the Interior Walter i t/;.;. • J. Hickel for his criticism of \YietntinUZtltwn <* Americans of administration handling of pro- program i there and a number, of other !aU ^^ kclu ^ dvj they are for and that I am:forums that we are presentlyf wi j, De out ^ Camb %i ia by ^ | working on. end of June. ! Mr. Horner? The writing press gets a Q: Mr, President, Secretary .break. of Defeuse Laird said last week \ • I will take youTiext, Mr. Pot- that if the North Vietnamese ; ter - enemy on o puts the warning that if it testers. Mr. Nixon said Hickel has "very strong views. He's outspoken and courageous. That's one of the reasons I picked him for the Cabinet." Q: On April 20th, you sold Vieinamization was going so well that you com pull mm American troops out of VietOQm. Then you turned around on^ 10 days later and said that Viet\ nam«atio» wa$ so badly threat- troops should move across the DMZ is force, he would recommend resumption of the bombing. What would be your reac- He said he would consider j ened you were send**, troopsj^ ir-lfol'c arluioo anH Inlfinati I Ulto CntnhnClin W nil (ft unit pT.-Hr-^i. tion to such a recommendation; in those circumstances? The President: I am not go- Q. Mr. President, on your use of the word bvains to categorize some of those who are engaged in dissent, and 1 escalates while we are trying to de-escalate, we will move decisively and not step by step. Mr. Healy. Q. Mr. President, this tear was well under way be/ore you came in, as you just said. Considering 'the total in lives and in everything else that is happening now do you think it wtii have proved to be worthwhile? The President: It is rather a moot question, Mr. Healy, as to karta, and through every possible channel, methods through which the neutrality of countries like Cambodia and Laos, who cannot possibly defend themselves, to see that that neutrality is guaranteed without having the intervention of foreign forces. Q. Mr. President, in your inaugural address, you said that one of your goals was to bring us together in America. ¥0u said that you wanted to move us in international terms from an era of confrontation to an era of negotiation. You said you wanted to bring peace to Vietnam. During the past two weeks, it seems that we are further than ever from those goals. How do you account for this apparent failure? The President: Don't Q. Mr. Presiaent, did Secretary of State Rogers oppose your decision to go into Cambodia or did Dr. Kissinger oppose it? The President: Every one of my advisors, the secretary of State, the secretary of defense, Dr. Kissinger, Director Helms, raised questions about the decision, and, believe roe, I'raised the most questions, because I new the stakes that were involved; I knew the division that know you meant ft to apply whether it will prove" worth-j£ ZoSoTI"wouW > destructive, l«i«Kil« A. -™ mm -,«,j— :_ „!.:_/ <T 4V 6 > '"*«"-f w "i * fvuw been used in a to those but it has would be caused in this cop- try. I knew also the problems internationally:. I knew the military risks. And then after hearing all of their advice, I made the decision. Decisions, of course, are not made by vote in the National Security Council or in the Cabinet. They are made by the President with the advice of these, and I made this decision. I take the responsibility for it. I believe it was the right decision. I believe it will work out. mve been raised about my rhe- oric. Let me say that in terms, lowever, of the vice-president, n terms.of what I told the educators, I did not indicate to them that I was going to muzzle the vice-president, that I was going to censor him. I believe that the President, ;he secretary of the interior, ihe secretary of HEW, everybody in this administration, should have the right, after considering all the factos, to- speak out , and express his views. This is an open administration. It will continue to be. I also think that people should have the right to speak out as they do in the House and in the Senate, in the media, and in the universities. The only difference is that, of all these people, and I refer particularly io_spme of my lively critics in the House and Senate, they have the luxury of criticism. lAm Responsible I was once a senator and a House member; I thought back to this when I called Harry Truman today and wished him well on his eighty-sixth birthday — to some of the rather rugged criticisms I directed in his direction. . They have the luxury of criticism because they can criticize and if it doesn't work out, then they can gloat over it, or if it does work out, the criticism will be forgotten. I don't have that luxury. As commander in chief, I, alone, am repsonsible for the lives of 425,000 or 430,000 Americans in Vietnam. That is what I have been thinking about. And' the decision that I made on Cambodia will save those lives. It will bring the peace that we all want, in my opinion. I could be wrong, but if I am wrong, I am responsible and nobody else. Q. Mr. President, early in the news conference, in saying that the troop withdrawals would continue, you said that a year from now there would be 240,000 American soldiers in Vietnam. The President: Don't hold me to the exact figure. _ Q. That is 185,000. Are you aTJhau.Tctng a toro^r withdrawal tonight? B : v^ ' The' President: Noi, I wasn't, What I was indicating was a range. But don't get the impression that we might not get that low also, because you understand we forward on track at this time, and I am not among those who has given up on that track. I still think there is a possibility of progress there. Q. Mr. President, 'Will you see the demonstrators tomorrow in the White House? The President: If arrangements are made by my staff so that they can come in to see me, I will be -glad to talk to a great number of people. I will be here all day long. As a matter of fact, I will be here tonight and tomorrow as well. But sometimes it is quite difficult to arrange which groups should cprae in. I. know members of my staff will go out to see them. I have asked all the younger members of my staff to talk to^the demonstrators and try to get tfieir views, as we did on November 15 and October 15. I will j>e glad to see them if some of ifcem are available. are going to go the negotiating Hickel's advice, and jokingly j iMo Cambodia. Would you ei- North Vietnamese may do. I suggested that Hickel give P^*" Ms apparent cprrfradic-; w jjj ^ly say that if the North some advice to Postmaster * tion for us? Vietnamese did what some General Winton Blount as well. ' to wbabe^oodgr .context, do you be- ' that it is in keeping with your suggestion that the rhetoric should- be kept CQO/? If it doesn't, then I am to blame. They are not. Mr. Morgan. Q. Volumes have been written about the loneliness of the presidency. You. yourself, have said that you were not r|-Jt f^_ ' J ' I 1 • 1 ' " - - - -, ,. — - - -- TTT i jvw ww-»vr m..«" ->n.- H1 VM-fVt»V « ••*» ***^ ', JJF*'«**Jf *-O }?'' O'J^jCO WM*O Q-V| The President: I explained it, have suggested they might do: The President: i would cer- .And we have succeeded pretty anagreement. When that; isolation a* President. Hove As commander in chief, jthat you recognize the fact" that I have found for 525,000 Amen-;some very important talks are bility to do everything 1 could \ tion with the Soviet Union. We ' to protect their lives and to get; are still far apafUJttt t w& them home as quickly as 1 can. j predict now that there wilt be The Press: Ttu»k you, Mr. President. The President: Could I ask the members of the press to wait one moment. For 26 years a member of this press corps did just what Frank Cormier did then. He was known as the man who said "Thank you, Mr. President." Three weeks ago he met a tragic death and, as we close the conference, I would like to suggest that we all stand for a moment in memory of Merriman Smith. . Moment of siiene.e The President: Thank you.