I HAVE today signed S. 665, authorizing supplemental appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year 1967.
The funds authorized by this bill are necessary for the procurement of missiles, aircraft, and tracked combat vehicles, for research, development and evaluation, and for military construction.
The Congress, by an overwhelming vote, amended the bill to declare its firm intentions
--to provide all necessary support for our fighting men in Vietnam;
--to support the efforts that have been made to prevent the expansion of the war, and to bring the conflict to an end through a negotiated settlement which will preserve the honor of the United States, protect the vital interests of this country, and allow the people of South Vietnam to determine the affairs of that nation in their own way; and
--to support the convening of the nations that participated in the Geneva conference, or any other meeting of nations similarly involved and interested, as soon as possible, for the purpose of pursuing the general principles of the Geneva accords of 1954 and 1962, and for formulating plans for bringing the conflict to an honorable solution.
With each part of this declaration, I am in full accord. Though the battle has been long and hard, and though our adversary has shown no desire to reduce the level of his aggression and bring the controversy to the negotiating table, we shall persist both on the battlefield and in our pursuit of an honorable settlement.
Our course lies between the extremes of provoking a wider war, and yielding to a settlement by terror. It is neither a simple nor an easy course. Yet it offers the hope of lasting peace in Southeast Asia. That the vast majority of the Congress approves it is a source of continuing strength to me, and to those associated with me in the conduct of our policy.