142. Editorial Note

The United States and its allies sought to demonstrate their determination to continue the war effort in Vietnam at three international conferences in late April 1967. The Council of Ministers of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) met at Washington April 18–20. In his opening address to the Foreign Ministers, Secretary of State Rusk declared that a show of the resolve of the SEATO member nations to keep South Vietnam non-Communist would bring about victory. “Eventually Hanoi must come to realize that it will not be permitted to conquer South Viet-Nam by force.” For the full text of his statement, see Department of State Bulletin, May 15, 1967, pages 742–744. According to the text of the final communique of the meeting, April 20, the SEATO member states “reaffirmed their determination to maintain, and where possible to increase, their efforts in support of Vietnam in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.” See ibid., pages 745–747. Documentation on the SEATO meeting is printed in Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, volume XXVII.

Directly following the SEATO Ministerial meeting, a summit of the seven allied troop-contributing nations met April 20–21 in Washington to discuss Vietnam. Background material on the conference is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, EA/ACA Files: Lot 69 D 277, Vietnam File-GVN. A summary of the conference was sent to the Embassies of each participating nation in telegram 180681, April 22. (Ibid., Vietnam File-US) According to the summary, the primary topic of discussion was the mechanism for achieving a peaceful settlement in Vietnam. Rusk told the delegates that “all efforts to bring Hanoi to the conference table had received only short and contemptuous rejections; we cannot stop our half of the war and permit Hanoi to [Page 338] continue its half.” His conclusion was that despite the fact that the “outlook for peace now is not encouraging,” the military pressure on North Vietnam and the support for South Vietnam had to continue. The representatives also lauded the progress that the South Vietnamese Government was making in terms of political development and the civil struggle against the Communist insurgents. (Ibid.) Records of this conference are ibid., Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 VIET. A communique released at the conclusion of the conference noted that the participants had “reaffirmed their resolve to continue their military and all other efforts, as firmly and as long as may be necessary, in close consultation among themselves until the aggression is ended.” For text of the communique, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1967, pages 918–920.

A final meeting, that of the ANZUS (Australia-New Zealand-U.S. Security Pact) Council, was held April 21–22. The participants “reaffirmed their hope that North Viet-Nam, realizing the determination of the people of South Viet-Nam and their allies, would reverse its intransigent stand and manifest a willingness to bring the conflict to an end on fair and reasonable terms.” For full text of this communique released on April 22, see ibid., pages 731–732.