By William L. O'Neill
An research of the 1960's that brings to mild new points of that turbulent decade.
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This view was later proven false. Far from concealing explosions, underground tests often made them easier to spot. These fears did not prevent President Eisenhower from negotiating for a test ban. They did keep him from getting one. The military demanded safeguards that Russia would not agree to. S. security regulations be scrupulously observed. So the talks dragged on fruitlessly. The informal test ban was worth having anyway. It reduced tensions and saved lives. This last was a disputed point, however.
Government officials asked their friends in business to appeal to the steel industry's better nature. Secretary McNamara announced that Defense would try to buy steel only from companies that did not raise prices. This strategy worked, but only just. The administration could bluster and threaten and send FBI agents snooping round, as it did. It had no authority to do much more. Luckily, Inland Steel, an unusually well-managed and efficient company, was persuaded to hold steady. Other small companies lined up behind Inland, and with the industry's united front broken the big companies had to give way.
The most distinguished and experienced man in the service, he took advantage of that fact by arranging to speak with Prince Souvanna Phouma. Souvanna assured Harriman that Laos could be neutralized by a coalition government that included the Pathet Lao. Harriman persuaded President Kennedy to take that chance. A cease-fire was arranged and negotiations begun in Geneva.
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