SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1967 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
By FRED S. HOFFMAN.
VENTIANE, Laos (RP) - The
United States and other Western
Nations have started to lead this
"land of lethargy" into the 20th
But there are a number of prob-
King Savang Vatthana has
reigned for over seven years-but
hasn't been crowned yet because
his astrologers can't find an auspi-
The prime minister, Souvanna
Phouma, calls himself a neutralist
but he grabs joyfuly for all the
aid he can get.
Laos' most flourishing trade is
in opium, a profitable sideline for
some top Lao generals, and much
of its income comes through gold
Despite such improbabilities as
these, the job is being done with
patience, wry humor, and 'some-
times a little firmness.
If it hadn't been for the Com-
munist drive to take over South-
east Asia by insurgency, the land-
locked and nearly roadless little
kingdom of Laos might have slum-
But Laos is one of the main tar-
gets of the drive, and the United
States, Britain, Australia and
other countries stepped in several
years ago to help it keep its in-
Progress is beginning to show for
First, the war between govern-
ment forces and the pro-Commu-
nist Pathet Lao rebels, backed by
North Vietnam, has throttled way
down. North Vietnam apparently
lacks the resources to support the
Pathet Lao at the high level of a
few years ago, and still wage war
against the Americans in South
Second, Souvanna Phouma-a
wily, debonair, French-educated
prince-has managed to achieve at
least temporary political stability
after years of coups and counter-
For example, rightist Gen.
Phoumi Nosavan, an old antagon-
ist, has been stripped of his rank
by a military court which con-
victed him of plotting to over-
throw the government about two
years ago. He is in exile in Thai-
land. American experts think
Phoumi is finished.
"Laos' future is massively affect-
ed by the Vietnam war," says U.S.
Ambassador William Sullivan.
'Laos has been as much a Com-
munist target as South Vietnam.
But Laos is the second stage of the
Sullivan suggests that if North
Vietnam is forced to pull back
from South Vietnam the Pathet
Lao wil return to political methods
There seems general agreement
that a settlement in South Viet-
nam favoring the Communist
cause would bring quick and heavy
military pressure from the Com-
munists in Laos and Thailand.
Diplomatic relationships are
somewhat mixed up here. The
Americans and the Soviets are
chummy. The Americans and the
French are on less than cordial
"Laos is one of the few areas
of understanding between the
United States and Russia," said
one senior U.S. diplomat.
"We think the Russians do want
a neutral Laos."
As in many other places, Central
Intelligence Agency activities are
shrouded in obscurity. But its
operatives do not appear to be
as free wheeling as they were in
1960 when they were alleged to
have been Phoumi's mentor in a
coup that touched off a long per-
iod of turbulence.
It is reported that Ambassador
Sullivan has insisted that the
CIA use the U.S. diplomatic chan-
nel of communications with Wash-
ington, rather than any indepen-
There is talk that the CIA sup-
ports native paramilitary opera-
tions against the Communists in
Pathet Lao-held 'areas.
Air America, a civilian airline
under contract to the U.S. AID
mission, is said to perform tasks
for the CIA, such as dropping
arms and ammunition to Meo!
tribesmen and other "friendlies."
On the record, Air America han-
dles such tasks as "rice drops"
and refugee relief support. The
line has 1,000 people on its payroll
in Laos, representing seven na-
Officials of Air America say
there are no active-duty U.S. mili-
tary pilots on the staff.
Air America executives state
flatly that their planes carry no
A second civilian airline does
carry troops for the Laos Army.
This is Continental Air Services
Inc., a subsidiary of Continental
Airlines in the United States.
Continental Air Services is un-
der contract to AID and, like Air
America, carries rice to remote
communities. It provides transport
for AID and does other similar
Air Transport is of the utmost
importance in a communications-
poor country like Laos. There are
some 250 rough ,airstrips.
U.S. military help is a shadowy
thing in general. The dollar total
is kept secret. Help is channelled
through the civilian AID mission,
because of an international agree-
ment which bars such aid to os-
tensibly neutral Laos. That same
agreement authorizes a French
military advisory mission here.
U.S. officials, from the ambas-
sador down, insist there are no
U.S. Special Forces, troops or
American military advisors in the
field. Many areas are out of the
reach of newsmen. There have
been reports of U.S. clandestine
operations, particularly along the
Ho Chi Minh supply trail between
the two Vietnams.
The United States has a big
staff of military attaches based at
the U.S. embassy-some 15 Army
and Air Force officers and 25
other men. The attaches get
around the country frequently.
"It would be very hard for them
not to give advice," said one
There are ways of getting
around the restrictions. Some Lao
army units reportedly are sent to
Thailand for training.
The French military mission of
some 200 officers and men is
grudgingly credited by U.S. mili-
tary sources with doing a pretty
good job with the Lao army. The
French run the Lao military aca-
demy. Most of Laos' 18 generals
and many of its colonels are grad-
uates of French or American mil-
"Corruption is a majdr preoccu-
pation of a large number of Lao
officers," says an American of-
"At least 10 per cent of the
money supposedly earmarked to
pay soldiers is taken by people
other than those for whom it is
intended. Also, a percentage of
the food allowance money is raked
The American official reports
that Lao higherups are involved in
protection rackets, as well as in
opium and gold smuggling.
Souvanna and a number of his
key ministers are regarded as
being incorruptible. American of-
ficials appear to adopt a lenient
attitude toward the corruption
among Lao military leaders.
But U.S. AID mission author-
ities are taking a hard line against
any shenanigans with American-
paid-for economic goods.
Goods are imported by Lao
merchants under license and the
American Treasury pays for the
commodities. The theory is that
such operations buoy the country's
The approved list now is limited
to rice, petroleum products, utility
vehicles, and industrial and
agricultural machinery. And these
are monitored by some of AID's
Commodity imports account for
about 9 per cent of the '$55-mil-
lion a year economic aid program.
The remainder goes for agricul-
utral development, road building,
publis health, education, refugee
aid, civil police and like purposes.
By The Associated Press
NEW DELHI, India-Prime Min-
ister Indira Gandhi's Congress
party virtually clinched a majority'
-but an uncomfortably narrow
one-in India's Parliament last
night as late elections returns
But the party suffered the most
serious blow to its prestige with.
the loss of the Congress majority
in populous Uttar Pradesh State!-.
considered a party stronghold.
With' 470 of the 520 races de-
cided in the lower house of Par-
liament, the Congress had won
258-only four short of a majority
needed to form the new govern-
ment. The minimum figure takes
into account three seats which are
appointed later by President Sar-
Of the remaining 50 seats, Con-
gress seems assured of making the
majority and probably cushioning
it by as many as 10.
Another important state late in
finishing its tally is Orissa, where
there has been much agitation
against permitting slaughters of
Of the first nine of its 20 Par-
liament seats Orissa gave only one
to Congress. Other Parliament
standings included the right-wing
Swtantra party 42-within strik-
ing distance of the 52 required
for recognition as official opposi-
tion party; Hindu communal Jan
Singh party 33; Dravida Munnetra
Socialist party 24; pro-Moscow
Congressional Leaders, Johnson
Split over Anti-Missile Question
Communists 20; pro-Peking Com-
munists 19; independents 33, and
the remained scattered among a
handful of minor parties.
The Congress party failure to
pull a majority of the State As-
sembly seats in Uttar Pradesh
meant the Congress had lost eight
of the 16 states where assembly
elections were held. Nagaland, the
17th state, is only two years old
and does not have an assembly
TheyCongress Central Parlia-
mentary Board, which meets in
New Delhi tomorrow, is expected
to discuss the matter of keeping
the government running until a
new one is formed.
The board also may fix the date
for choosing a new prime min-
Some bf India's most experi-
enced leaders, including seven
cabinet ministers, several state
chief ministers-roughly equiv-
alent to governor in the United
States-and members of the ruling
party hierarchy have been defeat-
ed at the polls, which could make
effective operation of the govern-
Catholics Say World
Leaders Working For
False Peace in South
SAIGON (P) - Militant Vietna-
mese Roman Catholics burned
effigies yesterday of Sen. J. W.
Fulbright (D-Ark) and nine other
world figures they accused of
working for a false peace in Viet-
About 2,500 members of the
Greater Unity Force Bloc guarded
by u nif o r m e d, club-carrying
youths, paraded through down-
town Saigon in an officially sanc-
tioned peaceful demonstration,
against~what banners described as
"the false peace clique who are
instruments of the bloodthirsty
Sharing angry attention with
the chairman of the U.S. Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, who
is a critic of the Johnson adminis-
tration's Vietnam policy, were
such figures as President Ho Chi
Minh of North Vietnam, Commun-
ist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung
of Red China and President Char-
les de Gaulle of France.
Also on the spot were effigies of
U.N. Secretary-General U Thant,'
British pacifist Bertrand Russell
Joseph Cardinal Cardijn of Bel-
gium, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of
Cambodia, French writer Jean-
Paul Sartre, and the leader of the
Viet Cong's National Liberation
Front, Nguyen Huu Tho.
The demonstration was original-
ly triggered by Cardinal Cardijn 's
proposal for an anti-war rally in
Brussels March 4. It turned into
a multi-purpose protest against
many of those who oppose the
way the war is going.
While the peace meeting in
Brussels March 4 was the main
target of the demonstration, a bloc
statement said the rally was also
aimed "against a number of for-
eign nations who have taken ad-
vantage of Pope Paul's legitimate
peace moves to achieve a 'peaceful
solution' which will only profit the
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (PA)-The
nation's top labor leaders yester-
day spurned a Johnson admin-
istrat.on plea not to try catching
up with the cost of living all at
once in this year's bargaining for
millions of workers.
Long Proposes .Revision
Of Campaign Funds Bill
WASHINGTON OP)- Sen. Rus-
sell B. Long (D-La) said yesterday
he is preparing a package of revi-
sions to the presidential campaign
financing plan he pushed through
Congress last year.
Long said his amendments will
not alter the basic principle of
the plan - the payment of the
bulk of future White House cam-
paign expenses out of government
As the plan clea-.ed Congress in
the closing hours of the 1966 ses-
sion, it set up a permanent pro-
gram of government financing of
presidential campaigns out of vol-.
untary taxpayers contributions.
It takes effect next year and
could make available to the Dem-
ocrats and Republicans $30 million
eacb for their 1968 campaigns.
The plan creates a presidential
campaign fund into which each
taxpayer could ccntribute $1 an-
nually-$2 for a couple-by check-
ing a box on his income tax return.
Long noted that last year's bill
established only general guidelines
as to how the money should be
His proposed amendments, he
explained, will cover at least two
subjects-sharp limitations on the
amount of private contributions
which can be made to the political
parties in presidential campaigns
and an easing of the provisions
in the new plan affecting third
The new law provides that third
parties would be entitled to pay-
ments if its candidate received
more than 5 million votes in the
This would mean no third party
could benefit before 1972. Even
then, it would be limited to $1
from the fund for each vote in
excess of the 5 million that i, poll-
ed in the preceding election.
The Louisiana senator said he
might also move to eliminate the
irncome tax checkoff feature and
go back to a simple appropriation
of funds directly from the treas-
ury for the campaign expenses.
Much of last year's wage hikes
were wiped out by the sharpest
rise in living costs in a decade and
labor unions are justified in seek-
ing greater gains in 1967, the AFL-
CIO Executive Council said.,
It added that organized labor
will not heed the strong hint drop-
ped by President Johnson's eco-
nomic advisers against demanding
cost-of -living wage escalators in
addition to regular pay hikes.
Wage escalators in labor con-
tracts give workers automatic pay
increases whenever the govern-
ment's consumer price index goes
up. Escalators are becoming a
major issue in negotiations with
The council said the AFL-CIO
will continue supporting its 129
affiliated unions in "seeking eco-
nomic justice" for their total of
some 13.5 million members.
But the White House econom-
ists said labor demands for the
old 3.2 per cent figure plus 3.3
per cent to catch up with the 1966
rise in living costs would be in-
"American workers are justified
in seeking wage increases to off-
set past price increases that have
washed out part of the-buying
power of their earnings. And they
are justified in seeking to improve
their standard of life," the coun-
This year will see the biggest
round of major labor contract
negotiations in several years, in-
cluding the auto, trucking, rubber,
textile and food-processing indus-
The council pointed out that
some 14 million factory workers
actually wound up with less buy-
ing power despite wage increases
last year. Price hikes and increas-
ed Social Securitya taxes more
than wiped out wage gains.
Labor Spurns Johnson Plea,
To Seek Adjusted Wage Level
WASHINGTON (;')-Pressure is
building in Congress for the
United States to deploy an anti-
ballistic missile (ABM) system to
counter one the Russians report-
edly are installing.
Most congressional leaders favor
President Johnson's search for a
U.S.-Russian agreement not to go
further with such defense systems,
which would become fantastically
expensive. But several key leaders
doubt that a safe agreement could
If the talks fail, congressional
pressure for setting up an Ameri-
can antimissile defense probably
will become overwhelming.
And whatever the negotiation
results, several leaders predict
Congress will authorize more
money than the $377 million
Johnson has asked as standby
funds in case a decision is' made
to begin installing an ABM system.
Republican leader Gerald R.
Ford, one of a series of leaders
interviewed, said "I don't think
the President's negotiations are
going to have .any effect on Con-
The Michigan Republican pre-
dicted Congress will want to go
ahead with deployment in any
He added:, "I think we're going
to see some conflict between the
executive and legislative branches
on this-and a divided executive I
Ford did not elaborate on the
division. But it is known that the
Joint Chiefs of Staff favor going
ahead with an ABM system as fast
as possible while Secretary of De-
fense Robert S. McNamara has
expressed doubt about the effec-
tiveness of arny antiballistic missile
McNamara contends both sides
could always build new offensive
missiles faster than new defenses
to counter them.
Senate Democratic leader Mike
Mansfield of Montana said he be-
lieves most members of the Senate
favor the ; administration's at-
tempts to reach an agreement
But he said if no agreement is
reached, he could not imagine the
United States failing to build a
defensive system of its own.
Officials say it would cost about
$40 billion over a 10-year period
to deploy an ABM system. The
United States has spent about $4
billion so far in research and de-
velopment of the system, called
Claims Johnson Must Settle
Viet War To Be Re-elected
WASHINGTON (P)-Sen. George
D. Aiken (R-Vmt) said Saturday
one of the reasons he has hope
that fighting will dwindle in Viet-
nam is that President Johnson
needs such a development to be
Aiken, a veteran Senate Foreign
Relations committeeman who has
opposed expansion of the war, said
he believes the President is turn-i
Ing heaven and earth to get peace
talks going into this year.
But the Vermont senator said in
an interview he has failed to de-
tect any signs that the North
Vietnamese will agree to confer,
even informally, with Johnson ad-
ministration officials, including
Secretary of Defense Robert S.
McNamara and Secretary of State
Aiken said he believes Johnson,
McNamara and Rusk have become
such symbols of an. effort to
achieve military victory they will
find it difficult to settle for less.
But he said he is convinced that
both sides would like to end the'
conflict in one way or another.
Aiken expressed belief that to
defeat Johnson next year any
Republican nominee must offer
specific pledges for ending the
The Senate resumes Monday
sporadic debate over Vietnam pol-
icies in connection with a 4.5-
billion military authorization bill.+
World News Roundup
Returning On National Tour!
"AN EVENING TO CHERISH
Mounting joy beyond anything you might expect. Radiant!"
"THE TOUCH OF GREATNESS!
A warm portrayal of Robert Frost,an evening when the poet spins out his own
story,the sweet and the following bitter,the tragedy and triumph, in words
creating laughter, but even more often tears."
N. Y. TIMES
"MAGNIFICENTI MEMORABLE MAGIC."
"FROST'S TRUE VOICE SPEAKS IN ALL ITS LYRIC CLARITY."
for a boc
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Three-power
talks on U.S. and British troops
in West Germany will be resumed
tomorrow in London, it was an-
The definite word that the
ence would begin tomorrow came
a few hours after Sen. Mike Mans-
field (Mont) promised a searching
Senate inquiry into what he sees
as the refusal of the North At-
lantic Treaty Organization na-
tions to meet their military com-
mitments to the Western alliance.
It will be the third in a series of
three-power talks begun last year
in an effort to arrive at some
agreement on the size of the forces
needed to meet any Soviet threat
and to work out a formula for
sharing the expense.
MOSCOW - Hungary's Com-
munist party leader came to Mos-
cow yesterday for the latest in a
series of consultations on current
party problems of the Soviet bloc.
General Secretary Leonid I.
Brezhnev has had talks in the
last, six weeks with Communist
leaders of Poland, Yugoslavia and
Aeronautics and Space Adminis-
tration said yesterday an electrical
malfunction is now regarded as
the "most likely source" of the
fire which killed three astronauts
in the Apollo 1 space capsule dur-
ing a ground test in January.
The University of Michigan
Professional Theatre Program
c51j Evnsng Frost
PROFESSIONAL THEATRE PROGRAM
By DONALD HALL
Directed by MARCELLA CISNEY
Strimni WILL GEER
U L~' U~