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MANY AGENCIES INVOLVED
Mr. WINN. I understand that. These are new ones. There are two that I noticed in the paper over the weekend that are new agencies, that are not the ones that you always mentioned to this committee, that have just popped up. There may be more.
Mr. GARDINER. I frankly did not see the names of those in the paper. I do know that there is intense public interest in the country with respect to the adoption problem and generally to assist the voluntary agencies.
What we have been trying to do is to convey to the American public that the most effective way that they can help is through contributions to the voluntary agencies which are, in fact, operating in Viet
Mr. WINN. But do you have any system to coordinate the new ones that might pop up?
Mr. GARDINER. We certainly have, sir. We have commandeered the facilities of the AID Disaster Operation Center. There is an enormous bank of telephones and we are attempting to be in touch with people who are interested in this problem and can help.
Mr. WINN. I would like to ask two other questions.
Mr. GARDINER. We are obviously in constant communication with agencies, that we are aware of, that are interested in this process.
STATUS OF PARIS ACCORDS
Mr. WINN. Mr. Secretary, you mentioned and I believe my quotes will be pretty close-somehow we would hope for the Paris Accords and then you sort of drifted off or turned around, and I think you were saying that they might be honored or that we might be able to get back where they become an important part.
Obviously they have been lost. Is the U.S. Government doing anything? Is there any promotion? Are we promoting going in that direction again?
Mr. HABIB. We would certainly hope that it would be
Mr. WINN. I am not talking about hoping. We are all hoping.
Mr. HABIB. We circularized the note to the members of the Paris Conference, in which we called upon them, in effect, to use their good influence and let us know. I don't have the text of the note in front of me, but we asked them to let us know what they thought could be done.
Mr. WINN. Will you put the text in the record?
Mr. HABIB. We made that note public.
The only reason we usually hold those back, from making them public, is that we like to have them delivered to the recipient before we make them public.
Mr. WINN. I understand that.
GETTING NORTH VIETNAM TO ABIDE
Mr. HABIB. We will make that one available for the record, but what it basically does, is it called upon them to try to persuade the North Vietnamese to abide by the terms of the agreement. We are
facing such a gross and flagrant violation that one has to restore the basic elements of the agreement if you are going to get any kind of a negotiated settlement in Vietnam.
I cannot think, sir, of a much better framework. The framework of the Paris agreement is something I had a little experience with. It is perfectly valid. There is nothing wrong with it. The only thing with it, is the implementation in terms of both their major elements, both the military elements and the political elements.
Now, quite obviously, it is almost inconceivable that you can manage to put into effect the political elements of the agreement if you don't put into effect the military agreement-they being hand in hand, they always have. The assumption had always been that with the military element operative, then you could have the time and ability to produce the kind of long-term solution that is required after all of these years of conflict.
[The text of the note referred to follows:]
DIPLOMATIC NOTE ON VIETNAM
The Department of State of the United States of America presents its compliments to [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Ministry of External Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, People's Republic of China, Great Britain, France, Hungary, Poland, Indonesia, Iran, and Secretary General of the UN Kurt Waldheim] and has the honor to refer to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam signed at Paris January 27, 1973; to the Act of the International Conference on Vietnam signed at Paris March 2, 1973; and to the Department's Diplomatic Note of January 11, 1975, on the situation in Vietnam.
More than two years ago, the signatories of the Paris Agreement accepted a solemn obligation to end the fighting in Vietnam and to shift the conflict there from the battlefield to the negotiating table. All nations and peoples who love peace had the right to expect from that Agreement that the South Vietnamese people would be able to peacefully determine their own future and their own political institutions after the Paris Agreement was signed. The parties to the International Conference on Vietnam undertook a responsibility to support and uphold the settlement which the Agreement embodied.
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam has undertaken a massive, all-out offensive against South Vietnam in total contempt of the Paris Agreement. Their forces, which were built up over the past two years in violation of the Agreement, are more numerous and better equipped with modern weaponry than ever before during the course of the war. A human flight of historic proportions has taken place before the advancing North Vietnamese armies, and untold misery has been inflicted on the land which has already seen more than its share of misery.
We believe the suffering of the South Vietnamese people must be ended. It must be ended now. We therefore call upon the [addressee] to join the Government of the United States of America in calling upon Hanoi to cease its military operations immediately and to honor the terms of the Paris Agreement. The United States is requesting all the parties to the Act of the International Conference to meet their obligations to use their influence to halt the fighting and enforce the Paris Agreement.
The United States Government looks forward to prompt and constructive re sponses to this note from all parties.
COMMUNICATION WITH THIEU
Mr. WINN. One more question, Mr. Chairman.
This may not be down your alley and your line of authority, but I just wondered, are we in touch with President Thieu now to find out if he has any other surprise military pull backs that we are not aware of?
Mr. HABIB. We are in constant touch with the President and with the Government of Vietnam, but there is no denying that we were, and we have so stated publicly I think-the President has stated in his own statement-that we were not informed of that order. Mr. WINN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
NEED TO VOTE ON CLOSING SESSION
Mr. HAMILTON. The Chair is advised that some members of the subcommittee will have to be leaving soon and in order to confront the question raised by Mr. Harrington about questions on the evacuation of Americans and other nationals. The Chair will entertain, at this time, a motion so that the question is posed before the subcommittee of going into executive session and for that purpose. I recognize Mr. du Pont.
Mr. DU PONT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, in order that we may hear the details of the evacuation program, I move that at the conclusion of the public session the committee go into executive session for the purpose of hearing Secretary Habib and Mr. Gardiner on this question.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Harrington.
POSSIBLE OTHER TESTIMONY
Mr. HARRINGTON. I have an inquiry based on the motion. Is Mr. Habib, as you presently plan it, to be our only witness on this point or is he the beginning of other witnesses from different executive branch prospectives and approaches to this question?
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Harrington, I regret that I am not able to answer that question in full because I don't have complete direction from the committee chairman as to how he wants to proceed.
It is possible that the chairman of the committee will want to proceed with the hearings after today so I am not able to answer that question.
According to the rules of the committee we need a rollcall vote on this question.
The clerk will call the roll.
I am sorry, the motion has not been seconded.
Is there a second?
Mr. WINN. Second.
Mr. Chairman, I just would like for clarification to ask, are we going to do that at the end of the questioning by all the members of the committee?
Mr. HAMILTON. Yes. It is my understanding that we would not go into executive session until the end of the questioning by the members and that the executive session would be for purposes of discussing the evacuation problem only.
Mr. WINN. And these are the members of the investigation subcommittee, not the rest of the members that are sitting in?
Mr. HAMILTON. Only members of the subcommittee.
Mr. WINN. Not that they are not welcome?
Mr. HAMILTON. Only members of the subcommittee can vote.
Mr. HARRINGTON. Is it your intention to preclude members of the full committee from sitting in?
Mr. HAMILTON. No. They certainly may sit in, and in addition to that they may ask questions during the executive session.
My response was with regard to the vote on the motion to close. Any further discussion?
Mr. VAN DUSEN. The ayes have it, 5 to 1.
Mr. HAMILTON. The motion is carried.
Now, we will proceed with the questioning and I think that the next questioner is Mr. Fountain.
NATURE OF AID REQUEST
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am going to reserve several key questions for the executive session because I think we should be very careful that we do not say anything or do anything which might endanger the lives of the Americans in Vietnam by serving notice either to North Vietnam or anyone else. I think we do have to be awfully careful about evacuation plans and some of the other plans about which you have already spoken in some of the executive sessions that I have attended.
I do want to ask you two key questions which I think you have already in effect said. I just want to make it clear.
I understand the program that you are proposing, that you are requesting these additional funds for, is a limited program providing for assistance over a period of about 6 months.
Mr. GARDINER. On the humanitarian side, sir, yes. We have made an estimate of the requirements for approximately the next 6-month period.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. All you are requesting from us today are the funds for humanitarian purposes?
Mr. GARDINER. Yes, sir.
WHAT AID USES ARE CONTEMPLATED?
Mr. FOUNTAIN. You are talking about the building of a road and the building of camps and taking people to safety. You say 150,000 have already been brought to safety in South Vietnam. Is that all we contemplated within a 6-month period?
Mr. GARDINER. Sir, in my statement we do have broken out as an attachment, attachment B, the needs that we think will require financing over roughly this period of time.
In terms of emergency transportation, a very substantial amount of that money, sir, has been spent. That is a smaller amount. That is the cost we have incurred in the sealift and airlift from the northern region of South Vietnam down into the southern regions.
Then in the second item, what we are talking about is essentially the first phase of the refugee effort, which is the establishment of temporary camps in which the refugees that do come out of North Vietnamese-held territories will be placed pending their resettlement.
Now, that is obviously an urgent requirement to get that moving. I do not in any way want to say that we are absolutely confident all of this can be done. This is our appraisal of what ought to be done in the next period of time and we are in fact facing a period of some urgency right in the next 11/2 months because we would like as much as possible to get the refugee relief camp operation well along before the rainy season starts, because once the rainy season starts people living out in the open air or in totally inadequate shelter are going to be in a very serious condition from the point of view of their health.
So this will undoubtedly be a very substantial task and I don't want to in any way indicate that it won't. Most of these funds, I ought to say, will be required for the obligation for contracts and other work that will be undertaken following the execution of those contracts.
So what is needed are funds immediately to contract for services and various things that have to be provided.
HUMANITARIAN AID AND MILITARY AID
Mr. FOUNTAIN. I don't think there is any question about the willingness of Congress to provide humanitarian assistance as you say in your opening statement.
I think that is the spirit of America, particularly in a situation like this in which we have been so tremendously involved.
You say if the military situation stabilizes these things can be done. Does that mean that in order to carry out this particular program for which you are seeking additional authorization today that the South Vietnamese will have to be prepared to militarily defend these areas?
Mr. HABIB. Yes, sir.
Mr. FOUNTAIN. Does it also mean that there would have to be military assistance funds in some form in the defense authorization appropriation?
Mr. HABIB. Yes, sir.