Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Authorizing a New Embassy in Saigon.

May 25, 1965

EIGHT WEEKS ago a terrorist explosion outside our embassy in Saigon killed two Americans and 19 Vietnamese, wounded 156 persons and did serious damage to the embassy building as well as to nearby structures.

This outrage showed the ruthless nature of the Communist Viet Cong. It underlined the need for improved security for our people who are working under such difficult conditions in South Viet-Nam.

On April 1, I requested authorization from the Congress for a $1 million appropriation for a new embassy chancery at a location which would provide greater security for the Americans working there. It would also remind all concerned that we shall remain in Viet-Nam as long as we need to be. The House with dispatch and energy approved the authorization with a vote of 378 to 0 on April 5. The Senate moved to concur by a voice vote.

I signed this bill with increased heart for the future.

This is another example of the united support of the Congress and the country in what we are trying to do in that beleaguered part of the world. When our fleet was callously attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, the Congress rose to the challenge. On August 10, House Joint Resolution 1145 was presented declaring this Nation's firm and unyielding resolve to stand against aggression and subversion. That resolution passed the Congress 504 to 2.

Once again in May, the Congress spoke in a clear voice of unity when it approved the $700 million supplemental appropriations bill for Viet-Nam. On May 5 the House passed it 408 to 7. On May 6 the Senate with equal quickness approved by a vote of 88 to 3.

Now, with the Congress again expressing itself, we will begin a new embassy building in Saigon. It will be a visible symbol of our resolve to stand by the side of the Vietnamese people as they defend themselves against terror and aggression. We will not desert them or fail them.

Note: The bill providing funds for the construction of a new chancery at Saigon was approved by the President on May 21, 1965 (Public Law 8922, 79 Stat. 112).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Authorizing a New Embassy in Saigon. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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