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McNamara and Taylor Confer with Diem

Sept. 29, 1963 - Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and General Maxwell D. Taylor conferred with South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem for three hours today at Gia Long Palace in Saigon on the eve of their departure after a weeklong inspection tour of South Vietnam for President Kennedy. A spokesman declined to give any details of the discussions. The length of the conference was not unusual. The South Vietnamese President, who has been described as an inexhaustible speaker, frequently talks to important visitors for five to seven hours. Mr. McNamara and General Taylor are expected to leave for Washington tomorrow afternoon. They will report to President Kennedy on the progress of the war against the Communist guerrillas and the degree, if any, to which it has been affected by the recent political-religious crisis in the country. Before leaving, the Secretary will spend three hours touring the Third Corps area in the central sector, where Communist activity has been especially heavy. He has spent the last three days in on-the-spot inspection trips of the three other corps areas, covering all major war fronts in South Vietnam.


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