TV Press Conference of Vice President Richard M. Nixon, Honolulu, HI
Vice President NIXON. Thank you very much, Mr. Ewing. It is a pleasure to be here and to have the opportunity through this broadcast to know what some of the questions are that the editors and the people of Hawaii have on their minds and to also have the opportunity to speak to the people of our new State that I will not have a chance to meet in a rather busy 2-day schedule.
The PRESS. I would like to ask the first question and then I will turn the rest of it over to you folks.
I hope to come back from time to time but we have a rather busy, and, I think, very informative and pleasant hour ahead of us.
Vice President, I was in Japan recently during the riots which preceded President Eisenhower's anticipated visit and I talked with a great many of our people there, including the military, both in Japan and in Korea, and I think a fair summary of the majority opinion among these people would be that if we should lose our military position in Japan then we would lose the Pacific bases and if we should lose the Pacific, we would lose Europe, and that would place us in an untenable world position.
Would you care to comment on this as to how far your thinking goes in accord with this or in any other way that you would care to?
Vice President NIXON. I agree completely with the appraisal of those to whom you referred.
It is obvious that Japan at this time is the key to the Pacific complex and if the Pacific goes then our position in Europe and in the whole world is endangered and may become untenable.
I think the proof that this is true is that the Communists are making an all-out effort to interfere with our position in Japan, to run us down. They wanted to block the President's visit because they know as far as the great majority of the people of Japan are concerned that they were finally toward the United States and friendly toward the President and for that reason they stirred up the Communist minority as well as some who were not Communists toward the riots which resulted in stopping the Presidents visit.
I would only say in conclusion that, since this is their object, that we in turn must not be knocked off balance. We must not get discouraged. We must not allow what a minority did in blocking the President's visit to change our policy of one of working constantly for closer ties with Japan, with the people of Japan, with trade, and in every other way that we can.
Japan needs us. We need Japan. We are both working for the same cause, the cause of freedom, and if we work together the Communists will not succeed in their efforts (1) to take over Japan, and (2) to take over the world.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, do you believe that these demonstrations in Japan were even primarily fostered by the Communists?
Vice President NIXON. I would say this: The reports that I have received as far as these demonstrations were concerned were to the effect that the ones whom I would describe as the spear carriers, the ones who were stimulating them, were the Communists.
It is true that participating in the riots were some people who were concerned about some Japanese internal politics. There were some who were opposed to the Kishi government. There were others who were neutralists insofar as their attitudes were concerned but going to the 2 to 3 days immediately preceding the cancellation of the visit, we find that the non-Communist elements, for the most part, withdrew from the demonstrations. They could see that it was giving a bad name to the Japanese people generally. They did not want to be associated with the Communists in it, and the last 2 or 3 days, those violent demonstrations certainly were, in my opinion, Communist inspired.
I would say again that we would be wrong in assuming that all of the opposition to the visit was as a result of Communist activity, but certainly the key to the blocking of the visit in the 2 or 3 critical days before the decision of the Kishi government was made, the key to it at that time were the extremist Communist elements and not the neutralist elements, and the anti-Kishi elements in the Communist Party
The PRESS. Since the Far East and Japan are of considerable importance to the United States, if you are elected President, would you consider Hawaii as a potential source of ambassadors and State Department technicians because of our close relationship to the Far East?
Vice President NIXON. I most certainly would.
May I say I have some very strong feelings about the appointment not only of ambassadors but the recruitment of personnel for our Foreign Service generally.
I have been to most of the countries of Asia, excluding, of course, Communist China, and I have been to many of the countries of Africa as well.
Looking at all of these countries, it is to the interests of the United States to have representation abroad from the United States which covers our whole population and to the extent that we can, if from the State of Hawaii where, fortunately, we do have representatives from the standpoint of their racial backgrounds, so many of the Asian people, these people to the extent possible should be recruited into the Foreign Service, and then sent to these countries as well as other countries.
In that connection, may I make that last point particularly strong. I do not think that it is in the best American tradition, for example, to send one who might be of Japanese background, who happened to be in the State Department, just to Japan. He, of course, can do good work there, but he also might do good work in other Asian countries, and he also should be considered for posts in Europe and in Latin America.
On the other hand, the whole point of my answer is, and I think this responds to your question, is that we need representation in our State Department not just of those who traditionally join us from the major colleges, primarily in the eastern part of the United States - and this is nothing against them, because they are extremely able - but we need representation from the whole country, and we need representation from all of the racial groups who enrich our country.
If we have that kind of representation, it will strengthen us abroad.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, getting back to Japanese hostilities, some of the people in our country made capital of that in a political way.
What effect, if any, do you think that will have on the campaign one way or the other?
Vice President NIXON. I would say in the first instance, the fact that some people did make capital of it in a political way hurt the Republican cause, it hurt the administration, because it led people to believe that we were to blame for what the Communists and other extreme elements were doing.
Let me say in commenting on your question that I do not question the right of our political opponents, or anybody for that matter, to say that the administration may have been wrong in its appraisal of the situation, that we could or should have been something else insofar as our policy toward Japan is concerned, but I do say that it does not make sense to blame ourselves for what Communists did to me in Caracas, for example, and for what they did in blocking the President's visit to Japan.
I think what we have to do here is look at our policies to see where they may have contributed to the results.
As far as our policies toward Japan are concerned, I think that the record has been a good one. I think it has been remarkable, really remarkable, that in the short space of time since the war ended when Japan acquired its own self-governing status, that Japan has developed the free institution which it had never had before, it had developed political democracy, freedom of speech and press, and had grown economically and recovered economically to the extent of that.
It is one of the most exciting stories since the war.
Now we must not allow this one incident to make us lose face in the policies that we have pursued up to this time. I do not mean that they are all right and I do not mean that they are not subject to criticism, but I say that when those who criticize what happened as far as these riots are concerned, when they do, I think they ought to indicate where they think the policy ought to be changed.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, many of us here in the islands have very strong with Asia and we are especially concerned with the growth of communism in Red China.
If you are elected President, will you make any substantial change in our China policy? Will you extend recognition to Red China?
Vice President NIXON. I most certainly would not.
I believe it would not be in the interest of the United States; it would not be in the interest of freedom, and it would not be in the interest of peace for us to extend recognition to Red China or to change our position of opposition to the admission of Red China to the United Nations.
There are a number of reasons for this. I can summarize simply by saying that Red China does not qualify to be admitted to the United Nations which, in its charter, is made up of peace-loving nations. Red China defies the United Nations in Korea at the present time. It is engaged in activities with regard to India and other U.N. members which certainly are provocative and certainly not in the interest of peace. Insofar as its attitude toward the United States and other nations is concerned, Red China is not following the policy which is designed to promote friendly relations in the traditions of the U.N.
If, at this time, we should change our policy toward Red China and recognize them or allow their admission to the U.N. by dropping our opposition to it, I think it would set in motion a chain reaction which would mean that all of Asia would fall into the Communist orbit, or under Communist influence.
Now does this mean that the policy will never be changed? The answer is, "Of course not." The policy can change and the Red Chinese Government can change and become a civilized member of the world community, but until it does that, we cannot make the mistake of recognizing Red China.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, to change the theme a little bit, Cuba has an important economic impact as far as Hawaii is concerned.
The present administration has stated that it will not tolerate the Communist satellite in Cuba.
The present policy is based pretty much on economics if any controls are made now.
Do you anticipate that it may become necessary to use more stringent measures if the situation becomes more acute?
Vice President NIXON. It is difficult at this time to predict what may happen in Cuba, particularly when the economic measures that we have taken - our action for example in the sugar quota - have not had time to have an appreciable effect.
I would say that I would hope and at this time I would think that action other than economic and political would not be called for to bring about a change in the attitude of the Cuban Government.
In this connection, I think we have to realize that the United States must avoid at all costs any appearance of attempting to dictate to the Cuban people the kind of government that they want, but we do think they have a right to choose, and this they have not had and do not have under the Castro government.
We do think, too, that the Cuban people, as far as the revolution is concerned, had good reason to have a revolution and what we believe is that they should be able to realize the decent objectives of that revolution but to realize those objectives in freedom.
This is our course of action and this is our policy.
I think that more and more of the other countries in Latin America recognize what is happening in Cuba and that the pressure of public opinion throughout the Americas will continue to grow and that that pressure cannot continue to be resisted by the Government of Cuba.
Certainly, in summary, I would say the United States cannot tolerate a Communist takeover in Cuba, and I would only say that I do not want to look forward beyond what we are presently doing.
I think we have taken very strong measures and we hope and we believe that may be effective.
The PRESS. What, in your opinion, will be the real issue in the 1960 national election?
Vice President NIXON. Of course, we are pretty far away from November 8, and I realize that after my first day of full campaigning here in Hawaii, and I know that I have a lot of interesting days but a lot of hard days ahead.
I have always found that it is very difficult to predict even 4 weeks before an election what issue will primarily affect the voters on election day.
As of this time, I would say that the issue that is uppermost in the people's minds, as I travel about the country, the issue they are thinking about the most is international. They are trying to judge the two parties and the two candidates on whether they believe one party or one man or the other can best keep the peace and further the cause of freedom as the leader of the United States and the free world.
This is the issue which seems to predominate the thinking of most people.
On the other hand, I would say the issue on which you will find the greatest disagreement between the candidates and between the two parties will hot be in the international arena but in the domestic arena, in the domestic area. By that I mean that here in the field of economic thinking, in the field of what the role of Government should be in promoting progress and economic activities in this country, that the difference between the candidates and the parties on this issue will be the one in which we are the furthest apart.
On the one side, if we look at the platform offered by the Democratic Party at Los Angeles, it was a platform, I believe, which departed very far from the principles of Jefferson and Jackson and Wilson, the traditional Democratic principles. It was one that went all the way toward saying in effect that Federal Government is the answer to all problems and it went all the way in promising everything to everybody without promising, of course, to pay the bill, because the people have to do that.
On the other hand, the Republican platform and the Republican position was one that recognizes that Government plays a very important part in producing social progress toward the United States and economic progress, but we recognize that the primary motivating power for progress in this country is not what the Federal Government does but what individuals do.
We believe that every Federal Government action must begin with the individual, must begin with private enterprise, and that what we must do is to stimulate and encourage the activities of 180 million free Americans to the utmost in order to get the progress that we want, and that the Federal Government should then step in, whatever the field may be, only where the individual and the local governments and the State governments will not do the job.
This, I think, is the fundamental difference between the two candidates and will be the subject of some pretty considerable debate during the course of the campaign.
The PRESS. It seems to me that we Americans want to have our cake and eat it, too, that we want mote Government benefits, we want lower taxes, and yet we want to work less and get higher wages.
How can we possibly compete with that in view against nations which are straining every effort to the utmost to increase their total production ?
Vice President NIXON. It is true that to an extent we have developed - I say we, perhaps to the people this is not an accurate statement because many people do not feel this way - but certainly there are a number of people in our country who seem to have developed the idea or fallen into the error of assuming that you can work less and perhaps even pay less in taxes and that the Government can do more and more for you and that we can continue to compete with the rest of the world. This is not possible.
I know that when I visited the Soviet Union, I was impressed by the fact that when I saw their factories and mines that in there, every one of them, there were signs that in one way or another urged the people on, as they put it, to work for the victory of communism. They are working. They are working long and they are working competitively.
They have an incentive system over there which departs completely from the original Marxist theory of every one receiving according to his needs and producing according to his abilities.
There the differential between what they pay the top producers and those who are not as effective at production is greater than it is in the United States.
Now, does this mean that they are going to beat us? Does it mean they are more productive than we are?
The answer is no, we are still way ahead of them, and we can continue to stay ahead, but we are going to have to remember that we are in a race and when you are in a race the only way to stay ahead is to move ahead.
In the field of production, this means that the U.S. manufacturers and workers must recognize that they are not only competing with other manufacturers and workers in this country but they are competing with those in the Soviet Union and in Japan and in Europe.
Unless we turn to what I think would be a completely irresponsible action and one which, in the end would be self-defeating, of raising huge tariff barriers around this country and trying to live apart from the rest of the world, I say again I do not believe this is possible. Unless we turn that way, the only answer is for us to compete, and this means more productivity from our factories, more efficiency on the part of management and more productivity on the part of labor as well. This is the only answer, as far as I can see.
As far as the Government side is concerned, I would just like to say this. You know we often have the situation in this country where people running for public office go out and make speeches and they say, "I promise that I will do this or that or the other thing for you when I get in." What people have to think of whenever they hear such promises is simply this: They have to remember that they pay the bill. They have to remember that whenever a public official makes a promise as to what the Government is going to do for the people that he is not going to pay the bill, it is not his money - just a part of it is; he pays taxes, too - but it is not his money that is going to pay the bill but yours, and therefore I think we have to get this across to our people because if they want the Government to do more, they are going to have to pay more, and that is why I think it is essential that our people realize that if they want to have more of what they earn, and that means sending less to Washington for taxes, then they have to realize that the services the Government provides do come directly from what they pay.
The PRESS. Referring back to the platform and direct differences on the domestic scene between candidates, I would like to refer to a quote yesterday in California when the version I have says that you indicated that Kennedy will have the support of major labor leaders because he paid the price he had to pay in his platform at the Democratic Convention.
I have sort of a double-barreled question.
In the first place, this is not entirely plain to me.
In the first place, did you mean that Kennedy in some way dictated the Democratic platform on the subjects at least and, secondarily, do you think that a part of the price that Kennedy may have paid for some of his support was in his concentration through the McClellan committee on certain unions while ignoring others?
Vice President NIXON. I would say, first, as far as the platform is concerned, I could say the same thing about the Democratic platform that I have said about the Republican platform.
A candidate for the Presidency has to have a platform which represents his view. That is why I insisted, when I came to Chicago, that our platform be one that I could run on; that was consistent with my previous views and that represented the views that I thought had to be presented to the American people in the best interests of the people at this time.
As far as Senator Kennedy was concerned, he was in exactly that same position in his convention. He is the candidate for the Presidency. He is the man who must interpret the party and the platform to the people, and he could have stopped anything in that platform that he did not agree with, I am sure, because he is a very, I would say, decisive man when it comes to getting his point of view adopted when he is going to be the candidate.
Therefore, when we look at the platform, we have to assume that this is one that Senator Kennedy wanted, that he believes in, and he said so in his acceptance speech and that he intends to carry it out.
Now what was the price that he paid as far as Mr. Reuther and others, Mr. McDonald and others, who have said they are going to endorse him are concerned?
The price that he paid was to give them what they wanted, and this means that he insofar as the Taft-Hartley Act, the provisions of the Democratic platform which would emasculate the major provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, very good ones as a matter of fact, I happen to believe - that would also take the Landrum-Griffin bill, which Senator Kennedy did previously support and vote for and would certainly emasculate provisions of that bill - that in every instance what he did was to give Mr. Reuther, Mr. McDonald, and the labor leaders who have endorsed him, the exact kind of platform, and he promised to give them the kind of legislation - that they want.
Now why is this bad in my opinion? It is bad for this reason: Not because what Mr. Reuther and Mr. McDonald want is always bad; it is not, but because a President of the United States simply cannot owe his election and he cannot be the captive of any one segment of the economy.
It would not be good for this country if the President was under the control of and owed his election to business or to labor or to any one segment because the President has to represent the people.
As far as the labor leaders are concerned, while some of the things they stand for I would support, there are other things that I could not.
For example, I do not believe that it is in the interest of union members to repeal those provisions of the law which protect union members from the excessive practices of some labor leaders, and this is exactly what I believe the carrying out of the Democratic platform would do.
I think it is the responsibility of the President of the United States to stand for legislation that will protect union members from the excesses of their leaders and it will also protect the public from the excesses of either management or labor.
In other words, a President has to be able to represent the people and not be in effect under the control of either labor or management.
When you consider Senator Kennedy's position in this respect, it happens that the labor leaders like Mr. Reuther and Mr. McDonald do not give their support unless they get 100-percent support of their position by a candidate.
I have refused to do that and I will continue to refuse to do it regardless of the political consequences, because if we have labor disputes, as we may have them in the next 4 years, the President has to be in a position where he can move in and use the great power and prestige of the office without being concerned from a political standpoint that he owes his election to one side or the other. He has to be able to speak up to the public at large.
These are my views on the labor situation.
I am sure as far as Senator Kennedy is concerned he would disagree and he will have the opportunity to express that disagreement both here and also in the country at large.
As far as the question about the McClellan committee is concerned, charges have been made that Senator Kennedy or at least his brother, who was the executive director of that committee, were hard on the Teamsters and were not as tough, for example, on Mr. Reuther and other union leaders. I have not had an opportunity to appraise those charges. I can only say that certainly any investigation in this field should be directed toward the practices of all unions and for that matter management as well, because management has been guilty, too, of some work with the unions that certainly were not in the interests of the country and collusion, I should say, but certainly these investigations should be carried out without political advantage in mind.
Understand, I have not had the opportunity to survey the situation to make the charge, but I do say that as far as Senator Kennedy's present position is concerned, the record is pretty clear.
The reason that he has the support of certain union leaders is because they got from him what they wanted in their platform.
The reason that I believe, incidentally, he will not have the support of a great number of union members is because I believe that union members recognize that they do need a President who will not take his orders from their leaders or any other leaders for that matter but will represent them and the whole country.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, here in the islands, The ILWU, under the presidency of Mr. Harry Bridges, is of some political significance. A spokesman for the ILWU said the other day that the 20,000 members of the ILWU will withhold their vote from Senator Kennedy. He did not indicate where this vote might go.
I wonder if you have any feelings on this sort of block voting?
Vice President NIXON. First of all, may I say that I do not believe and I think Mr. Reuther would agree as well as Dave McDonald, whom I know and worked with in the steel settlement, I do not believe there is block voting as far as unions are concerned.
I believe, of course, that union members do look to what their leaders tell them and many of them may follow what their leaders tell them, but Americans are pretty independent people, and I find the farther west you get the more independent they are in their voting habits.
Hawaii is somewhat like California where the party label means very little and they vote for the man rather than the party. That is my analysis of your elections out here.
I think that is going to be true of union members whether it is the longshoremen, the CIO, the A.F. of L., or any of the other unions.
[Note. Tape changed here.]
The objective is one that cannot be realized until we get our farm economy in a lot healthier shape than we presently find it.
Let me look at it this way. Let's look at the great major commodities like wheat and cotton, corn, the ones that are supported by so-called price support parity system. These commodities are in surplus.
Why are they in surplus? Because the policies that were adopted during the war in order to encourage the farmers to produce more still are in effect and so our farmers who put in more acreage and who have grown more crops because their Government encouraged them to do so in wartime now find that they have surpluses overhanging the market which builds up the surpluses, the policy builds up the surpluses and at the same time drives down their farm income.
Now it just would not be right under these circumstances for the Government to say, "Well, we are going to drop all these programs and let the farmer pay the brunt of farm prices," which, of course, would go right down to rockbottom if the surpluses were dumped on the market without any floor as far as parity protection from the Government was concerned.
That is why the program that I have been supporting, and I am going to spell this out in a major speech early in the campaign, is one that will attempt to attack this surplus problem on a massive basis, attacking it on a massive basis in several ways
One, to increase the markets abroad, not only the dollar market but also the humane market through better distribution of our surpluses through the United Nations to needy countries; through using more of these surpluses for disaster relief, storing them for that purpose, and through other means.
I think it is essential that we attack that problem in that way so that we can get the surpluses off the back of the farmers so that the farmer, if he is going to have Government controls and Government subsidies taken away then he will at least have a fair chance to make a decent living and a decent income.
On the other side of the coin, too, we believe that it is essential to support a program to take land out of production, through a so-called soil bank program - we already have one in effect - but I think this has to be increased to a great extent, at least double, so that we get the supply in balance with demand.
I admit that all this requires money.
I agree that all of this certainly is something that the poor consumer and the taxpayer may say, "Why do we have to pay the price for helping the farmer out of this trouble?"
The reason is pretty simple. We put the farmer in this trouble. We put him in it by asking him to do this during the war, and after the war, for example when we had many contractors who had contracts to build ships and guns and everything else and then the war ended, we indemnified them, we indemnified them by canceling their contracts and paying them their losses called for by that cancellation. This very same principle, I think, ought to apply to our farmers, and I think the American people, once they understand it, will be willing to follow a policy which will attack this terribly tough farm problem on a massive basis and get it under manageable control.
Once we do that, then the necessity for further Government controls and Government subsidies will be substantially reduced if not removed.
The PRESS. Hawaii's economy depends very heavily on the military, It is our biggest industry out here.
With the missile program developing and the cold war taking the turn it has taken toward fighting with missiles and so on, do you see any great cutback in Hawaii's position as a training base for military forces and ground forces such as we have at Schofield or the big naval base at Pearl harbor?
Vice President NIXON. No, I do not. I believe that it is essential, of course, as I am sure you do, as I am sure the military leaders here in Hawaii would agree, that the United States constantly reexamine its military posture and take advantage of every technical breakthrough we can.
We cannot deter the war of tomorrow by building up the weapons of the world yesterday. That is why the Polaris submarine and our new missiles and the like are so tremendously necessary in our arsenal of weapons to deter the Communists from launching an attack.
On the other hand, we have to realize that we not only have the problem of trying to deter war on that scale; we also have the problem of what we call generally small wars. This means that we have to have conventional forces, ground forces, naval forces, and air forces which can move in in the Pacific or in other areas which may be under potential attack, move in to defend U.S. interests and free world interests.
This simply means that the United States cannot be in the position where the only war we can fight and the only deterrent that we can use is the massive deterrent.
We have to be in a position to be able to use the force that is necessary, the minimum force that is necessary to do the job that has to be done, and this means preparation for small war as well as for the big war.
This also means money. That is why we cannot think at the present time in terms of tax reduction as distinguished from tax reform. We cannot think of tax reduction as long as our military posture has to remain at its present level or move up as new technological breakthroughs require increased expenditures.
The security of this country must come before everything else, and certainly this is something I believe that both parties would stand for and certainly I stand for it.
The PRESS. A few moments ago, you said we are in a race and we must compete and stay ahead particularly, I presume, with Russia.
We are interested here in the East-West center that has been planned for Hawaii, and in our dispatches today we got a story saying that the Friendship University in Moscow, which was thought of after the East-West center was introduced in Congress is receiving 200 students on this September 1st and will eventually accept 4,000, and they are ready to start training them from Africa and from Asia and South America and to condition them to their way of life.
Meanwhile, the bill authorizing the East-West center is now in Congress and the first $10 million increment for one-third of it has just been approved by the subcommittee and it is still there and there is great question whether it could be approved in the small session that we have left before Congress closes down.
I would like to ask you what you intend to do or how aggressive you will be for an East-West center in the way of money and using your position if you are elected President.
Vice President NIXON. You are on one of my pet subjects, and I hope I don't talk too long on this because I know you have some other questions.
When I traveled to Hawaii in 1953, on my first trip around the world, I visited 19 countries in Asia and on that occasion I came back with a conviction, a conviction that has been underlined by my visits to Africa, to South America and to other parts of the world, that in this whole world struggle, the most effective instrument that we have, if we could pick one out in the ideological field that is more effective than others, it is in the field of exchange, exchange of persons, exchange of ideas at all levels.
The Communists have recognized this, and they are bringing people from all of the Asian countries, to the extent they are able to, literally by the thousands to Moscow.
I visited the University of Moscow while I was there. It is a very, shall I say, impressive place but they are bringing people there from all over the world to indoctrinate them in communism at a time that they will also give them some education.
They go back not all of them converted Communists but certainly infected with the disease to a certain extent.
Now, we simply have to be more imaginative, and we have to do more in this field than we have.
I think that our programs for exchange today are inadequate. I think that we should do whatever can be absorbed in bringing people from other countries to the great universities and other places of learning in the United States.
As far as Hawaii is concerned, it can play a magnificent role in this respect.
The East-West center should have the funds necessary to complete it on schedule.
With respect to the $10 million to which you refer, I was out today talking to the director and the president of the university, and I would say that I would think that the Congress would appropriate the $10 million.
If this Congress does not act on this, I would assure you that if I have anything to say about how such funds are appropriated, I would say that it would be of the highest priority to complete this center and to continue to support it from the standpoint of the Federal Government, because there is nothing more in our interest than bringing people from abroad to the best possible atmosphere and in Hawaii they see American democracy, they see equality of opportunity, the ideal and the recognition and the dignity of man and they see it at its best, and I would like to see not only the 2,000 that are expected to come to the East-West center but many more coming to Hawaii as well as to our other States.
The PRESS. Is there an essential difference between the Republican approach and the Democratic approach to the world problems?
Vice President NIXON. In the field of world problems as distinguished from domestic problems, I do not think there are too many essential differences as yet.
Those differences may arise during the course of the campaign.
For example, Mr. Kennedy, of course, will be consulting with his advisers, and I will be studying the issues as well.
For example, on what our attitude should be on the great issues on the attitude toward Asia, toward the problem of recognition of Red China and its admission to the U.N. While the platforms at present on that subject, for example, are somewhat alike, there might develop different approaches, a different new answer during the course of the campaign. But both of the candidates in both of the parties stand for strengthening our alliances with NATO and the other countries abroad; both stand for waging the nonmilitary aspects of the world struggle.
The question really in the field of world affairs is more one of who has the experience, the decisiveness, the ability to do it best.
I think it is more likely to be that question than basic disagreement as to what our objectives are, because I think we can say - and I want to make it very clear right here - that both of our candidates and all four of the candidates are people who stand firmly against the attempt of communism to rule the world and firmly for the cause of the United States and the cause of freedom.
Our differences are perhaps in the means that we would use and in the abilities that we would have, and the people are going to have to determine that.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, Drew Pearson said yesterday that we are going to run against Khrushchev in this coming campaign.
Do you feel he is going to be an important factor aside from facetiously?
Vice President NIXON. I am glad you are describing Mr. Pearson as facetious.
Seriously, as far as running against Mr. Khrushchev, I believe it is essential for the American people and the free world to have an understanding of the tactics and strategy of world communism.
I do not think we have an adequate understanding of it today.
I think we understand it in the military sense. We see them with their rockets and their nuclear bombs and their space vehicles and the like and we recognize that they present a challenge here.
To a certain extent, we recognize that they are developing economically, but what Americans find difficult in recognizing is the insidious kind of aggression on which communism is embarking all over the world which is nonmilitary in character, aggression through propaganda which works the mind and through an economic offensive, softening up a nation for later aggression and then subversion throughout the world.
Here what we have to recognize is that the free world needs to greatly expand its programs for information, for exchange of persons, for conveying our ideas through political and other means to the battlegrounds in Asia and Africa and South America where this struggle is being decided.
Now, in order to do this adequately, we have to understand who our opponent is, what he thinks, how fanatical he is, and if this means that we have to talk about Mr. Khrushchev because he is the master of the world communism, its director, then I say the American people should hear about Mr. Khrushchev.
I intend to discuss him in that sense.
I do not, of course, intend to discuss him in any other sense, because he is not the one we are running against.
This is a contest between Mr. Kennedy and myself, and I am sure Mr. Kennedy is against Mr. Khrushchev as well.
I do believe and I emphasize again that it is the duty of the President of the United States to alert the American people to the danger of communism on the military side because we recognize that as we should but on the nonmilitary side where we don't recognize it and then to develop the programs which will beat the Communists in this area.
In that connection, if I may add just one other thing which relates to an earlier point, the training of people in our Foreign Service and the like - I know many people have read "The Ugly American" and I know that got a lot of criticism by some people in Washington. My views on that book are a little different than some.
I have seen every one of the individuals described in "The Ugly American" at one time or another in my travels abroad.
If you take "The Ugly American," however, and if you say that generally applies to our State Department and other people abroad, you are absolutely wrong because the great majority of them are able, devoted public servants.
On the other band, while I disagreed with the critics of "The Ugly American" in that respect, there is another respect where I disagree with those who think "The Ugly American" was right in its criticism of our policy.
Those who think it was right, some of them, say the answer to our problems of representation abroad, of getting better people in the USIA and our economic missions and in our foreign policy missions - the answer is to simply have them all career people, have them trained in the languages and in the customs of the people to which they are accredited and then everything will be solved, but this is not the answer.
There are many good career people abroad and the majority of them are splendid. But, on the other hand, it is not the knowledge of language, the knowledge of custom that is enough. What we need on the part of people who represent America abroad privately, publicly, and every other way is not just knowledge of language, knowledge of custom and tradition, and the like, but a devotion to American ideals, an understanding of what the Communist challenge is, and a
determination and a zeal to outwork, outfight, and outlast them in this non-military battle. Nothing less will do, and what we have to do is to inspire in the people who represent us abroad and the people who go abroad in a private capacity a will to win.
What I mean by "a will to win," in a battle of this type, you just cannot play not to lose. You have to play to win. And if we can do that, we will win because our cause is better.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, we have, of course, in Hawaii the most integrated of all the States.
Do you think it would be a good thing for the country if all the States were integrated the way we are here and, if you do, have you any proposals for furthering that?
Vice President NIXON. Do you mean integration in the sense of our school systems and the like, integrating the various racial and religious groups?
The PRESS. Yes.
Vice President NIXON. This is an objective certainly to which we should aspire in the United States.
Here in Hawaii, the last of the 50 States, you have been perhaps foremost in recognizing the reality of the American dream, in making it come true insofar as integrating our various groups into our society.
We have to recognize, however, that doing this throughout the Nation is not an easy task.
I am glad that, for example, as far as our party is concerned, we have a program which does not deal with this problem in generalities but in specifics, and specifically we will make progress in removing discrimination and in combating prejudice throughout the world and throughout the United States.
Basically, one thing I should say in that respect which we must never forget is that the reason that you have integration in Hawaii is not primarily because Government did it, but because it came first in the hearts of your people. It is not the responsibility of the next President of the United States, of any leader of our country, whatever position he holds, to attempt to build in the hearts of the American people the idea that this is not this whole matter of nondiscrimination, of fighting prejudice; this is not just a legal problem but a moral problem. It is not just a southern problem, it is a national problem. It is not a Government problem, it is a personal problem, and only when we get that kind of conception and understanding among our people are we going to be able eventually to make progress through the law toward the integration that we want as an American ideal.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, what is your plan and policy regarding foreign aid if you should become President
Vice President NIXON. Speaking of foreign aid, we have two different parts of it, we have the military part of foreign aid, the mutual security - this is absolutely essential to maintain as part of our deterrent striking power - and then we have the economic part of foreign aid - technical assistance, loans and grants to countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, so that they can develop in freedom the progress that they are determined to have and will not have to turn to communism to get it.
I feel that that is just as essential, if not more essential than the military.
Unless we do continue to help these countries develop in freedom, they will turn to communism, and the cost will be infinitely greater in the years ahead.
Foreign aid, I know, is not popular and it would be much easier for me to say how you could get rid of it, but the American interest, the interest of freedom, requires that our programs of technical assistance, of economic assistance, to countries abroad so that they will not have to turn to communism for progress, so that they can have progress with true freedom, that these programs are just as essential as supporting defense bonds for Pearl Harbor, supporting funds for the missiles and the airplanes, and our other defense activities.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, you spoke of the problem of Communist infiltration in other countries.
This raises in my mind the question of the effectiveness of the Monroe Doctrine.
Does this become enforceable only if Soviet troops land in a Latin American country or is there a point short of that, a point involving infiltration in which the Monroe Doctrine would be invoked?
Vice President NIXON. You put your finger on one of the knottiest problems we have in the Government at the present time, how to handle, for example, the problem of Cuba. Certainly the Monroe Doctrine in its original concept was military and political in character, but we find today that it was thinking in terms of military aggression, I am sure, and because communism was not in the world scene then but today the greater danger is in this nonmilitary area, subversion, to which you refer, and I can only say that I believe the Monroe Doctrine does apply in that area as well but developing the means to apply it is another thing.
In Cuba, of course, we are trying to develop political and economic means to stop communism from infiltrating in that area.
The PRESS. If I am not mistaken, Mr. Vice President, you have taken more than one position in the past on the suspension of nuclear tests, but at any rate I am confused about what it is and would you tell me what your position is?
Vice President NIXON. My position on nuclear tests, and I believe this has been a consistent position, is that those tests should be suspended at this time while we are negotiating with some chance for succeeding in negotiation.
The moment it becomes clear, however, that the Russians are not intending to go forward with a test suspension with inspection, then the United States must resume tests.
I believe, however, that until they have proved to the whole world and to us as well that there is no such possibility of such a test suspension, until they have done that, we should not resume tests and take the onus upon ourselves - and it would be an onus for blocking the possibility of making some progress toward not only test suspension but eventually disarmament with inspection.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, time is getting short here.
Some of our reporters today in getting a reaction to your visit from Democrats came up with the suggestion from them that you only came to Hawaii because you were copying Mr. Kennedy and they were a little put out by that.
What reason did you have for coming to Hawaii first?
Vice President NIXON. I would say my answer to that question is that Mr. Kennedy is a very good campaigner and if copying him is bad, I would rather - but seriously, I think I had the idea of coming to Hawaii before he did, and I think this is going to be the closest election in recent political history in this country.
I believe that Hawaii's three electoral votes might decide it, and that is why I am not only visiting Hawaii but I am going to every one of the 50 States between now and election day, and I am glad I got here first.
The PRESS. Mr. Vice President, are you considered a liberal Republican or a conservative Republican?
Vice President NIXON. I have found that the words "liberal" and "conservative" have been so distorted by recent usage that it would be difficult to answer that question categorically.
In the field of foreign policy, I think most people would refer to me as a liberal because I have felt that we had to take a very affirmative stand for exchange in the field of economic assistance and the like, as I have described it.
In the field of spending the people's money, I think I am labeled as a conservative because, as I answered the question a moment ago, while I believe the Federal Government must spend what is necessary to bring about the progress that we want and to protect the country in its security, I don't believe that we should spend 1 cent or $1 that is not necessary because I recognize that when I make promises to people that I am not paying it with my money, I am paying it with theirs, and that is why I am a conservative in making the promises and also a conservative in the spending of the money which those promises would entail.
ANNOUNCER. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
It has been our honor and privilege to interview Mr. Richard Nixon, the nominee of the Republican Party for the Presidency of the United States.
Thank you and good night.
Richard Nixon, TV Press Conference of Vice President Richard M. Nixon, Honolulu, HI Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273689