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kind until November. That has been my experience.
The Attorney General has instructions from the President to investigate every allegation that is made of impropriety and to take prompt action on any, where action is justified.
The Attorney General has a rather full statement on the various political charges that have been made. You will observe they usually come from the party that has been rather strongly rejected by the people and I guess they have to try to find an issue of some kind.
THE COST OF REBUILDING CITIES
[4.] Q. Mr. President, there seems to be an argument running over how much this country should spend to rebuild the cities. What do you think the country can afford?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, we can afford whatever must be done. This administration has done more than any administration in the history of the country. I believe that the present expenditures in the cities would indicate that the Federal Government in the last 3 years has increased its expenditures about 33 percent, a third more than the previous administration.
And I believe the administration before that, Mr. Eisenhower's administration-we have practically doubled the expenditures in the cities that we were making then.
We have increased the expenditures since the Johnson administration from about onethird. So, we are going to concern ourselves deeply with the problem of the cities as evidenced by our recommendations of the demonstration cities bill, the new housing bill that we passed last year, the poverty bill, the rent supplement bill, the Teacher Corps bill.
 Q. Mr. President, do you detect any change in the strategy of the enemy in Vietnam?
THE PRESIDENT. Oh, yes. There are dayto-day changes that we observe. But I see no overall development that is worthy of particular significance at this time.
URBAN BACKLASH AND THE COMING ELECTIONS
[6.] Q. Mr. President, in 1964 we asked you about backlash in the elections, and you correctly foresaw it wouldn't have any effect. Do you think it might be different this year in view of the problems in places like Chicago?
THE PRESIDENT. I think there are going to be a lot of the problems that exist in Chicago reflected in the elections, without any question. I think that the administration— Federal and State and city level-has to be constantly on the alert to do everything they can to face up to the modern-day problems and try to find solutions to them.
I see no evidence anywhere that there is any group that has a better answer to the problem than the one the administration has recommended from the Federal standpoint.
We have two parties in this country. I think that the administration program is pretty well known and, generally speaking, it is being supported by most of the members of our party and a substantial number of the members of the other party.
Now, there is really not anything else that I observe in competition to it. I don't know of any proposals that you would have to choose from where you would have an alternative to our recommendations.
I have pointed out how we would try to
THE PRESIDENT'S TRAVEL PLANS
[7.] Q. Mr. President, Governor Bellmon of Oklahoma, to get back to politics for a minute, is described this morning in various dispatches as having wired you, advising you not to come into his State, onhis objection is against so-called nonpolitical trips in the political season. Is this sort of objection going to have any effect on your travel plans, or generally what do you think of this?
THE PRESIDENT. No, it is not going to have any effect.
Q. Mr. President, are you going to west Texas to see the floods?
THE PRESIDEnt. No.
Q. Sir, what are your travel plans for this weekend?
THE PRESIDENT. I plan to leave Friday morning and go to Idaho, from Idaho to Denver, from Denver to Oklahoma, and go
'Governor Henry Bellmon.
home late Friday evening. And I expect to be at home at the ranch Saturday and Sunday observing the results of 58 years of very pleasant existence.
USIA BIOGRAPHICAL FILM
[8.] Q. Mr. President, recently aboard the Sequoia you showed a USIA film to a group of officials, which was a biographical film. When I called U.S. Information Agency, the spokesman there refused to give the routine information like the cost of production and the content of the film. My question is, sir: Has there been any instruction from the White House to keep this information under wraps, and if not, could you give us the cost and the content of the film?
THE PRESIDENT. No, there have been no instructions. And I do not have the information, although I am sure it is publicly available to the appropriate committees. I have seen a story on it that has been published. If you will get out the clipsheets, I will ask Mr. Moyers to try to help you if you need that information.
Q. Can we ask USIA to give us the information?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I will give it to you if we have it available. I think it has been publicized. The USIA has made a number of films of that nature. I first knew of this film when I read it on the front page of the paper, so if you just read your papers I think you will have the information.
CIVIL RIGHTS DEMONSTRATIONS
[9.] Q. Mr. President, in view of the continuing violence in Chicago and the fears. of more violence in Cicero this weekend, do
Bill D. Moyers, Special Assistant to the President.
you think that perhaps the civil rights demonstrations are becoming self-defeating and should be curtailed?
THE PRESIDENT. I wouldn't have any comment on that in addition to what I said in Rhode Island the other day, and in New York the day before. I went into it rather fully, explained my viewpoint. And I would refer you to those statements.
POLL ON PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES FOR 1968
[10.] Q. Mr. President, the Democrats. would rather have Robert Kennedy as their 1968 presidential candidate than you, according to a recent poll of which I imagine you are aware, sir. But could you tell us, how do you explain this?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I don't have an explanation for it.
Q. Are you surprised, sir?
OUTLOOK FOR DEMOCRATS IN ELECTIONS
[11.] Q. Mr. President, a number of Democratic freshmen in Congress who came in in your election in 1964 have a lot of serious competition this year and there is a numbers game going on, of course, about how many seats the Democrats might lose and so forth.
Without playing a game, can you give us your assessment of the party's prospects in the congressional elections?
THE PRESIDENT. Since 1890, according to an article that I read the other day, from the Christian Science Monitor-it may be here now-there has been an average gain of 41 seats in off-year elections since 1890.
Now, I do not have the tabulation on each seat that will be up this year, and those that are marginal. But I do not have the feeling. that there will be any substantial turnover in either the House or the Senate.
I have read the predictions made in the so-called numbers game that you refer to. Most of them come from the same old voices and the same old predictors that were predicting a substantial gain in 1964.
I have never seen them point to any specific district that they are going to take. I have been interested in having them point up where they are going to get 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 seats. They carefully stay away from that. The only test that we have really had that you could measure it by was in California in Congressman Baldwin's seat, the Republican that had held. the seat for many years. He died and they had a special election.
That seat was taken by a Democrat. I think it would be unfair to assume because of that one instance the trend was toward the Democrats having captured a Republican seat.5
But I do think you will find that there will be some seats like that that the Republicans lose and we will probably lose some. I don't expect to see any unusual change from what you would expect normally in an election this year.
And I would be interested in anyone who would give me names and dates and specifics. I think that is an indication that they really don't believe what they are saying. I think in an election year 2 or 3 months before election you see a lot of people who try to create psychological situations and bandwagon approaches, and try to repeat a thing so many times that finally, folks begin to believe it. But the reports we get from the States that we visit, from
the candidates that we talk to-we had a meeting of them recently-do not indicate that certainly there will be any change above the expected change in an off-year election.
Q. Would that mean 41 seats, sir? You cite the Christian Science Monitor. Would you accept that as a norm for this year?
THE PRESIDENT. No. No, I don't know of any. I would say the only election I know about is the California election. And if they can point up any others where they are going to take seats, I would be glad to. If I could, I would like to get you to point up that one.
THE OUTLOOK IN IOWA
Q. Mr. President, specifically on this same line, the Republicans have spoken very optimistically about those five freshman Democrats that you got from Iowa.
Do you have a reading on the Iowa situation?
The President. There are five Democrats from Iowa, and I believe that all of them think that they will be reelected. I do not have any information to contradict that.
I had a very good reception in Iowa, and I have very good reports from Iowa. And there is not anything that I can see in the picture that would indicate that we are not going to have good results there.
dead end street, and would be unacceptable to Asian nations.
Would you comment on that suggestion? THE PRESIDENT. No, I am willing to go to a conference anywhere, where I think it would be helpful. I am not going to black out any place, although I think that you understand our picture in the world and in Asia well enough to understand that we would be very pleased to see an all-Asian conference, although we do not want to make it appear that we are trying to direct it or force it.
We think that there is nothing to be gained by our urging it from the housetops. We have made it clear that we would look with favor upon it. And we think it would be desirable. But we are not trying to "hard sell" it because it could have an opposite effect.
"PERMANENT" U.S. BASES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
[13.] Q. Mr. President, on Vietnam, the point is sometimes made both by the Communists and some people in this country that the United States is building a lot of permanent-type bases in both Vietnam, and now Thailand.
Despite the fact that you have said that we don't want permanent bases out there, they don't seem to believe this and cite it as an obstacle in negotiation. Is there anything you could say to further clarify that point?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I can understand their doubt. I have made it as clear as I know how to make it, that we do not intend to maintain any bases in South Vietnam or Thailand, that we have no desire to keep our men there.
We are ready to stop the moment they are willing to stop. I have even asked that we give thought to planning how we could con
vert these bases to useful civilian purposes, and we are giving study to that now.
You can't make a man believe something that he does not want to believe. But I believe, and I know, that this Government and this country has no desire to have permanent bases in South Vietnam. And once they stop trying to gobble up their neighbor, and we can have an agreement there, we will make it just as clear as we have in the Dominican Republic that we will come home.
ASIAN VISIT BY GENERAL EISENHOWER
[14.] Q. Mr. President, there was a wire report yesterday saying that at White House invitation, General Eisenhower had been invited to tour Southeast Asia. The people in Gettysburg refer us to the White House. Do you have any comment on that, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I am not aware of— we have not extended the invitation. That is the answer. Someone said that when the General was in the hospital that he visited with a representative of Thailand who happened also to be in the hospital. That became an official report. And that was the source of your news. I cannot confirm that But I have not extended to General Eisenhower any specific invitation to visit Thailand or any other place.
I am always anxious to see General Eisenhower, and to talk to him, and to receive his suggestions. But the first I knew of the story was when I saw it published.
U.S. RELATIONS WITH CAMBODIA
[15.] Q. In that connection, what is this Government doing to improve relations with Cambodia?
THE PRESIDENT. We have made it clear that in due time representatives of our Sen