South Viet Nam: Dubious Proposition

At an American embassy dinner in Saigon recently, Presidential Aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman dished out a few unappetizing warnings to South Viet Nam's Economics Minister Pham Kim Ngoc. Unless something was done about Saigon's faltering economy, Nixon's men said, an unhappy U.S. Congress might sharply curtail American aid. Congress has reason to be concerned. Unchecked inflation has reduced purchasing power in South Viet Nam by 93% in the past 21 months. The trade deficit, thanks to American import subsidies, has risen to $685 million. The piaster, officially valued at 118 to the dollar, draws a black-market price...

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