Snd. Roll 443
Amb. Dean Brown
This is a head of SR 443 to go with the head of camera roll number 2424 for WGBH the Vietnam Project, TVP 013, the Final Days. And, at the head of this role there are several seconds of reference tone recorded at minus 8 d.b. at a thousand hertz on a Nagra three using an internal crystal operating at sixty hertz to go with a camera speed of twenty four frames per second, and this is being recorded at seven and a half inches per second. Again, this a head of SR 443 to go with camera roll number. 2424 and coming up is an interview with Ambassador Dean Brown in Washington, DC
, October 22, 1981
Turning. Slate one. Clap sticks.
Mark that please. Thank you.
Oh, you want me to a... right. This was, the period that just ahhh we're talking about was after really all the political events had taken place. And, the signs were on the wall ah very plain to everybody that ah we had a major crisis coming up. It wasn't a question of hav... needing somebody who knew more about Vietnam, it was somebody who could handle a crisis. Ahh, crisis management in the State Department. And, I'd done a lot of that for Henry Kissinger before.
So, he naturally, called up and said, come on and do it and ignorance will be great. If you don't know too much about the subject maybe you won't bother me on that, and what you'll do is you'll run... What I want you to do is to get the Americans out and get the Vietnamese friends out and to clean the situation up as much as possible.
Cut. Turning. Slate two. Mark it. Clapsticks.
It was a very fascinating moment ah because in the, in the beginning, Congress really was very nervous about this program. The Congress didn't like it. Ah. The publicity that was coming out ah the direction that the media were taking at the time was one that, who are these people. Ah. Vietnam was an unpopular word in the United States, and, and, people would say oh, these are bunch of drug smugglers, ah, people that we don't really want in the United States.
And, there was this feeling that you felt in the first few days in the Congress. However, this sort of switched because by then we were starting to get the stories ah of ah who some of the people were. Ah. There was a sympathy as they realized people were fleeing in boats. Ah. Then, the thought came through that a lot of these people that were really coming through were originally from North Vietnam, and had been, ah, many of them Catholics, and who were refugees in South Vietnam and were now fleeing one step further.
And, slowly, with some of the responsible congre... very responsible congressmen, like Congressman Rodino on the Judiciary Committee. His, his attitude was one that the United States has always welcomed refugees. And, he kept saying and that's why I'm here. And, that's what Rodino's are about. Ah, and, and that, that started to move a little bit.
What we had though was we had a terrible problem. Ah. There was no money. The Congress had just voted down all the appropriations for Vietnam and so all of a sudden we were sort of running, running this enormous program with no cash on hand. So, we had to run and write a bill, an authorization bill, ah, and an appropriations bill, and try and get it through Congress.
So, it was a little over five hundred million dollars that we went for and we did the whole thing from sitting writing the bill to the signature of the president in two weeks which was an absolute record in legislative history in the United States, particularly when you look at today's Congress and see what happens.