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Goldwater Wants Answers on Vietnam

Mar. 13, 1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater suggested today that Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge should report to a joint session of Congress on “just what is going on” in the guerrilla war in South Vietnam.

The Arizona Republican indicated he had little faith in the just-completed fact-finding mission of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. “McNamara has returned from Vietnam again,” said Goldwater, “and like he did before, gives the same report.”

A better idea, Goldwater suggested, would be to have Lodge appear before Congress. “Have him give us a full report on the actual conditions,” Goldwater said.

Goldwater, who was defeated in last Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary by Lodge, said he was “speaking against the advice of some of my advisers.” He said he was advancing the suggestion because “I feel so strongly” about Vietnam.

Goldwater brought the topic up in a speech before 3,000 students at Fresno State College in California, where he will campaign for the next eight days.

He suggested that the United States should “recognize that we have to interdict” supply lines from North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Red China to the Communist Viet Cong guerrillas.

Earlier in the day, Goldwater said that U.S. air and naval strikes against North Vietnam might be advisable. He contended that if the United States went “on as we are now,” South Vietnam and all of Southeast Asia would be lost.

“We should shut off immediately supplies to the Red River Valley [the north portion of South Vietnam],” he said. “We should bombard the area with naval guns, but we should not use nuclear weapons.”

Upon his arrival today, Goldwater predicted that he would “snow under” Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York in the California presidential primary on June 2.

The Senator flew into nearby Visalia from Phoenix, Ariz., today at the controls of his personal plane, a red-and-white twin-engine Bonanza. He addressed about 1,500 cheering persons, with a few young hecklers scattered among them, at Visalia Airport, then held a news conference, made the Fresno State College speech, and went on to an appearance before the 58 Republican county chairmen of California.

Asked why a reporter why he lost in New Hampshire, Goldwater said with a smile: “I didn’t get enough votes.”


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