Negotiations between Thieu and the Provisional Revolutionary Government

SR 2091
663 Take 1
Interview with Phuong Nam in Saigon.
Please tell us about the first day when you arrived at Camp David.
Phuong Nam:
The American C-130 took our delegation of members of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam from Hanoi to Tan Son Nhut on January 28, 1973. When we first arrived, the Thieu regime asked us to fill out visa entry forms, making it seem that we were foreigners coming into a nation called the Republic of Vietnam. We protested this to the Americans and the Saigon regime.
But they persisted in having us fill out all the visa forms as foreigners entering the Republic of Vietnam. We fought with them on this for a whole day and whole night. Finally, the Americans and the Thieu regime had to admit their illogical demand and took us and the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to our headquarters, which was the Camp David. When we arrived at this place, we thought that the Americans and the Thieu regime would cut off water and electricity.
Therefore, all the cadres and soldiers dug a well more than twenty meters deep. When we finished digging that well, the Thieu regime said that we were digging a tunnel twenty meters deep in order to attack the city of Saigon. They considered us only as commandoes preparing an attack of Saigon. When we had press conferences, foreign reporters asked us about this tunnel which we were going to use for the attack on Saigon city. And so we brought them to the well to see that we had it dug only to get water when the Thieu regime cut off our running water.
And the Thieu regime in fact cut off our water supply as we had predicted. They said that their pumps were out of order and so they had to cut off the water. And so we used the well water to cook, to take baths and so on. When the Thieu's delegates came, they were very surprised that we had water to use. So we brought Lt. General Phan Hoa Hiep to the well to take a look at it. The very next afternoon we got running water again. All these proved that we had been right in our prediction that the Thieu regime would cut off our water supply.
During the last days, on the 27th and 28th, the Americans came to the camp and asked for negotiation. Could you tell us something about this?
Phuong Nam:
I can still remember very vividly that on the 26th of April, 1975, the Republic of South Vietnam issued a very important communiqué in which it stated that it would not accept any Saigon administration and that the country should be liberated. The Americans sent a colonel named Turnbull to come to see us and to tell us that the Americans wanted to negotiate with the Liberation Front. And our only reply was that there was nothing to talk about anymore. On the 28th the same colonel came again, and again we told him that there was nothing to talk about anymore.
After that meeting, Colonel Turnbull came back and announced publicly to everybody that the Americans and the Liberation Front Forces had agreed on a safe corridor for their helicopters to transport the American troops and advisers safely from Saigon to the Seventh Fleet. This was something that Colonel Turnbull fabricated completely.