SOUTH VIET NAM: Firecrackers

Anxious to prove a good host, Saigon had gone all out to make an impression on the delegates to the annual meeting of the 21-nation Colombo Plan, the British-fostered scheme designed to help the backward nations of Southeast Asia. New paint gleamed everywhere. Old buildings and the sidewalks before them were scrubbed as clean as any in Amsterdam. Mayor Nguyen Phu Hai had sternly forbidden his citizens to spit in public or walk even partially naked in the streets. Energetic President Ngo Dinh Diem's capital had come a long way from the fear and misery of the days when...

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