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Henry Cabot Lodge To Replace Nolting as Ambassador to South Vietnam

June 27, 1963 - Henry Cabot Lodge (pictured with President Kennedy in December 1961), the Republican candidate for Vice President in 1960, is joining the Kennedy Administration as Ambassador to South Vietnam. Mr. Lodge will replace Frederick E. Nolting Jr., who became Ambassador in March 1961. President Kennedy announced the appointment in Ireland today after the news had leaked out in Washington. The move will place another Republican in a politically delicate position and will make possible another review of Washington’s relations with the Saigon government of President Ngo Dinh Diem. By design or otherwise, the appointment will also remove yet another prominent Republican of the party’s so-called internationalist wing from participation in the campaign against Mr. Kennedy next year. Now 61, Mr. Lodge is fluent in French, the language in which he will conduct most of his business with President Diem. He is also a brigadier general in the Army Reserve with military experience that should serve him well in observation of the war against Communist-led guerrillas in South Vietnam. About 12,000 U.S. troops are now serving in that war. The tide of battle is said to have turned in South Vietnam’s favor in recent months, but the effort remains one of the riskiest ventures of the Kennedy Administration. Because of President Diem’s forceful rule, questionable popularity, and recent repression of Buddhists, Washington’s support of him has been widely questioned.


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