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US, Saigon / Secret Agreements #37054

ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 09, 1975
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(Studio) Senator Henry Jackson charges secret agreements exist between United States and Saigon. White House press spokesperson Ron Nessen concedes former President Nixon had confidential exchanges with President Thieu.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(White House) Nessen's remarks admit private and public assurances given to South Vietnam that United States would react vigorously to any massive North Vietnam violation of Paris agreement. Later, President meets with bipartisan cong leaders; Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at his side. [Representative John ANDERSON - says he and other cong. leaders assured no private agreements between United States and South Vietnam existed.] Later, press learns President Ford merely read press statements to leaders; no discussion of "vigorous reaction" followed.
REPORTER: Steve Bell

(Capitol Hill) Jackson escalates secret agreement charge into formal Senator investigation. [JACKSON - believes private assurances given to South Vietnam; hopefully, facts with regard to assurances to come out in Sen investigation.] Jackson says investigation to expose possible secret maneuvering that may have damaged American's credibility. Secretary of State Kissinger's credibility may also be damaged.
REPORTER: Sam Donaldson

(DC) 3 days before Paris peace agreement signed, Kissinger, then national security adviser to President Nixon, briefed newsmen with regard to secret protocols in agreement. [On January 24, 1973, KISSINGER - says the only protocols existing are ones made public; no secret understandings exist.] In Jan `73, no restrictions placed on deployment of United States naval forces off coast of Vietnam or on American war planes in Thailand. [KISSINGER - clearly states previous remarks in Jan `73.] Few weeks later, Nixon publicly warned that violations of Paris agreement wouldn't be tolerated; this type of assurance given to President Thieu privately. At time of assurances, Congress hadn't voted to curtail United States military involvement in Vietnam.
REPORTER: Ted Koppel

(Studio) United States commitment to South Vietnam is 1 of topics to be covered by President Ford in for. policy address to joint session of Congress tomorrow at 9 p.m. EDT; ABC to carry speech live.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

Bell, Steve;
Donaldson, Sam;
Koppel, Ted;
Reasoner, Harry

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