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Matsunaga takes first flight with the doves

LAST UPDATED: 2:22 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Every Sunday, "Back in the Day" looks at an article that ran on this date in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The items are verbatim, so don't blame us today for yesteryear's bad grammar.


Washington (UPI) » Rep. Spark M. Matsunaga yesterday joined with a group of House "doves" in opposing suggestions attributed to Premier Nguyen Cao Ky of South Viet Nam that the United States have it out with Red China now.

But Matsunaga said his action should in no way be interpreted as a repudiation of the Ky government or a weakening of his support for the Johnson Administration's Viet Nam policies.

Matsunaga and Rep. Patsy T. Mink joined 45 House colleagues in signing a statement which said the "spiral of escalation now being advocated by General Ky must be opposed and new initiatives attempted for negotiated settlement."

Mrs. Mink, who has signed other "dove-bloc" petitions, including one protesting the bombing of North Viet Nam, said she felt Johnson should repudiate Ky's contention that the United States should send its armies into North Viet Nam.

"A public statement on the part of the President or the Secretary of State would be in order," she said.

But Matsunaga said he did not believe such a repudiation was necessary and contended the statement he signed did not urge the President to do so.

The statement, however, did say Ky's remarks "indicate he and other South Vietnamese generals have ambitions that extend far beyond and contradict the limited aims stated by President Johnson in seeking self-determination for the Vietnamese people."

Matsunaga said Ky's remarks "do not represent the thinking of Americans," and actually may "increase the determination of the North Vietnamese to continue the war."

But he said he felt Ky, whom he met personally on a trip to Viet Nam last year, "tends to make statements to the press without any thought of pursuing what he says."

"Whether we like it or not, Ky has provided the leadership which has brought about some semblance of stability in South Viet Nam, a stability which is absolutely necessary toward bringing about peace," Matsunaga said. "Until such time as a free election is held, we must have someone to deal with. And Ky is the only one today who has control of a political unit with which we can deal."

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