92. Editorial Note

On April 17, 1963, President Diem issued in Saigon what became known as the “Chieu Hoi proclamation.” (Chieu Hoi translates into English as “Open Arms.”) The proclamation reads, in part, as follows:

“Based on the ideal of Personalism and the spirit of Brotherhood and Justice, the policy of Chieu Hoi sets forth the measures and methods to be applied to these elements who have been tricked, terrorized, exploited by the communist bandits, and who, becoming enlightened, (seek of their own volition to) come back to present themselves (to the authorities) to serve the National Government.”

The proclamation established a “Chieu Hoi Sub-Committee,” directly responsible to the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Hamlets, with the duty of carrying out the policy “by reaching from the hamlets, to the districts, to the provinces, to the towns, to the Capital.”

President Diem concluded the proclamation by calling on all persons who had been “flattered and deceived and exploited by the communists to come back soon to the just cause, in order to join with the people in struggling to build a new society, a new civilization, in which each citizen is free to develop himself in all fields.”

President Diem broadcast a message from the Presidential Palace in conjunction with the issuance of this proclamation. For texts of both the proclamation and the broadcast, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963, pages 848-849.

USIA mounted an extensive information program in Vietnam to support the Diem government’s efforts to achieve “maximum nationwide and external exploitation of Chieu Hoi proclamation.” (Washington National Records Center, RG 306, USIA/IAF Files: FRC 68 A 1415, Vietnam-Outgoing, 1963)