24. Editorial Note

On January 15, 1966, Prime Minister Ky delivered a state-of-the-nation address to the Second Congress of the Armed Forces. The text of the speech was transmitted in telegram 2544 from Saigon, January 15. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 15–1 VIET S) Ky announced three major objectives of his government during 1966: 1) “to win the war” and “to pacify and to reconstruct the rural area”; 2) “to stabilize the economic situation”; and 3) “to build democracy.” He declared that a “Democracy Building Council” would be appointed shortly to draft a constitution, which would be reviewed by local groups and then submitted to a national referendum in October 1966. Ky pledged that the constitution would serve as the basis for a democratic regime and promised democratic national elections in 1967.