Hoang Duc Nha:
No, uh, let's see, after the accords were signed, Mr. Spiro Agnew came to town I guess three days after that. I remember January 30 or 31st. he was slapping the back, "Hey, you guys you really know now you have just forged a partnership." So, we say, You're invited to visit Mr. Nixon and Mrs. Nixon in San Clemente so we set the date and everything.
By the time we landed in San Clemente, and seeing how the White House at that time operated, we uh felt that you know, the choice of San Clemente in as much explained it as it were convenient for the President. But, we say, "Fine, you know, our object to come to you is talk about things." We are not paying a lot of attention to the glamour of being in the oval office. That's none of our concern. We want to see the man, and we say, "Now we have signed the peace, what are we going to do?" Okay?
And, you know, before that they didn't even want to sign a joint communiqué. After the San Clemente meeting. And I was the first one to say if we don't sign the joint communiqué, I'm going to leave right now. We had our plane ready, we say going to leave. No, no, no we are going to sign. I say, Hey, that's no way to begin a meeting but I wanted to recall that note just to tell them that uh you know we at right after the signing we still had some trouble.
And uh, after two days of talks, uh we got down to some protocol of aid, and what we were supposed to do and what the US Government promised. And we felt great. So we went onto Washington, made good appearances everywhere. Even went to the Congress and the National Press Club.
So we went to Vietnam and uh back to Vietnam and we felt very elated that now at least the American will keep their side of bargain and will help us to help ourself. And we promised them what we were going to do. We were going to streamline our government, we were going to broad— broad base our government. We were going to do many things. Okay?
Ah well, you know, two days, uh, two months after we came back was really when the Watergates thing started to explode on the scene and uh, we were kind of uh, worried. We, we I, for one, knew how such kind of a development impacted on anything the Congress was doing, you know.
So, I say, Hey, let's be more careful and that was a time when I decided to open an office adjacent to my embassy in Washington's under the so-called Information Office, just to monitor the situation much more uh, carefully, because you know the traditional uh, White House or so-called Office of the President and the State Department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distrust.
We fear that, you know, those bureaucrats they uh, just uh, feed us their reports every day. So we wanted an independent observer. That's why I put my own man — they have their own office, we uh, they have a telex line linking them to me and uh their object was to go around and listen to what the Congressmen say, what the press says, uh what the groves of academe say...So just to give me a better idea of how the public opinion is evolving.
And that was the thing that was really very helpful to us, because, at that time, we knew what was happening and uh I was I guess what made uh me get into trouble. Because I told them too many things that they didn't want to hear.