Sound roll. Turning. 507. Mark it. Clapsticks.
Well it's important to understand that, when the Geneva accords were made, an agreement was made with France to divide Vietnam at the 17th parallel. And, anyone north of the parallel was permitted to move south and vice versa, anyone south of the parallel, could move north, if they chose. About 900,000 Catholics, under their village Catholic priests moved from north to south. There was only a handful of people that moved from south to north to get away from the Diem government.
These refugees, as I say, came down under their parish priests. They were settled ah by parishes in areas that were prepared for them by the South Vietnamese government. But, they remained as Catholic enclaves in a Buddhist country, and very much as the southerners following our Civil War objected to the carpetbaggers that came from the north and took over a good many of the political posts in the south, so, also, the South Vietnamese, Buddhists, strongly objected to this Catholic groupings of the Diem adherents who came south.
They were never really assimilated into the, into the people of the south. They never had any part in the government later on. They became foreigners so far as the southerners were concerned. And, and this affected the general support of the countryside for the Diem government. It was referred to as a Catholic government, for example, and this was reinforced by the visits of Cardinal Spellman, who came over to visit Vietnam during my time there.
And, when he arrived ah banners were put up in the streets ah hailing this archbishop, or this cardinal, hailing the Catholic Church with the colors of the, of the cardinal, and this didn't set, sit very well with the, with the Buddhists either, of course. In addition, after Spellman had been there, there were two different high ranking Catholic prelates who came while, at the invitation probably of Diem, although I don't know that this was the case, and each time we had the same hubbub about a Catholic government, which the Buddhists in in ah Vietnam never agreed.
I finally decided to ask ah, I don't recall whether I contacted Cardinal Spellman, whom I knew personally, or whether I, I persuaded Diem not to invite any more Catholic prelates there, because politically, it was ah, it was not an asset. It was a counter asset to the Diem government. His government became known to the opponents as a Catholic government, which didn't sit very well with the Buddhists.