343. Editorial Note

In August 1968 Ambassador Bunker requested covert financial support of President Thieu’s efforts to assist the development of a newly-established political organization that aspired to become a broadly-based group with mass appeal, the National Alliance for Social Revolution, colloquially referred to by the Vietnamese as the Lien Minh. In September the 303 Committee authorized the first allotment of what would become $725,000 of funding, pending further review of the entire program. Only half of the authorized total was passed in increments to Thieu during the period September 1968–March 1969. With this funding, the Thieu government established the Lien Minh in its principal base in Saigon and particularly the Cholon area, formed committees in several provinces, and began cadre training. Initially an organization comprised of six political parties, the Lien Minh drew its membership from Ky’s National Salvation Front, Thieu’s Free Democratic Forces, and the Congress of Vietnamese Trade Unions, South Vietnam’s largest labor federation.