Letter from Saigon: the Neutralists Speak Out

Letter from Saigon: the Neutralists Speak Out

Last June, while President Thieu was meeting President Nixon at Midway, a small group of intellectuals, students, politicians, and labor leaders gathered for dinner near the Truong Minh Giang market in a crowded quarter of Saigon. Not all of those attending knew that this would be anything more than a social gathering. Some had brought their wives. But when the purpose of the meeting became clear, wives went home and a declaration was read. It contained four main points:

(1) A complete cease-fire must be brought into effect immediately.

(2) A reconciliatory government must be established, composed of nationalists acceptable to all sides. This government would have the responsibility to establish normal patterns of living, to secure order and basic civil liberties for the entire nation, and to prepare for and hold elections to determine the political future of Vietnam.

(3) This government would maintain friendly relations with all peace-loving countries in the world and would not join in any military alliance.

(4) All non-South Vietnamese forces must withdraw from South Vietnam according to agreed-upon timetables.