Thomas Boylston Adams, Democratic candidate for Senate, suggested Tuesday evening that the first step towards peace in Vietnam would be the removal of U. S. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge.
Adams said that Lodge is "definitely committed to war" and that the U.S. should replace him as "an act of good faith" to prove its desire for peace.
"He's practically the gray on fence of Vietnam today." Adams said of Lodge. "He has always worked with Ky" and has constantly supported the need for a military regime, he added.
Adams, who has built his campaign around the Vietnam issue, made his suggestion about Lodge to more than 350 people in Emerson Hall, and then elaborated later in a brief interview. Although he declined to name specific alternatives to Lodge, he commented that the late Adlai Stevenson was the type man he had in mind:
"If Adlai had been ambassador instead of Cabot Lodge. I'm sure things would have turned out much differently."
Adams, who is running against former governor Endicott Peabody '42 and Boston mayor John F. Collins, reiterated his plan for peace in Vietnam.
First he said, the United States should withdraw its support from the Ky regime and insist that free elections be held in those parts of the country under firm government control. Any new civilian government, he declared, would immediately attempt to negotiate with the Viet Cong.
"Any civilian government in any way representative of the people would be anxious to achieve peace. The trouble with the present government is that it doesn't want peace. It's willing to fight to the last American."
Adams urged that the United States support negotiations with the Viet Cong instead of insisting on talks only with the North Vietnamese government. "You've got to negotiate with the people who are fighting." Adams said, contending that any talks between a new civilian regime and the Viet Cong would result in a truce.
Once a truce had been arranged, he said, both U.S. and North Vietnamese troops could be withdrawn. "Ultimately, under the auspices of the U.N., it may be possible to work out a reunification of Vietnam in the next four, five or even ten years."
Adams, who is a direct descendant of two presidents, said he was running for the Senate to oppose what he contended was President Johnson's excess exercise of power in foreign affairs.
His speech was clearly aimed at recruiting volunteers for his campaign. Volunteer cards were passed out at the door. But the entire program, including the talks by Mark DeWolfe Howe '28, professor of law, Gerald Holton, professor of physics, and Carl Oglesby, president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), took so long -- more than two hours -- that most of the audience seemed tired at its end. Almost everybody left after Adams' speech was finished; only a handful remained to question the candidate personally