Speaker: Stuart Symington
Date: November 28, 1977
Under President Truman, Symington served as secretary of the Air Force (1946-50). There he generally supported increased defense spending. In 1953 he was elected to the Senate (D-Montana) where he backed the Defense Department’s “muzzling” probe in 1962. Symington was an initial proponent of the war in Vietnam but withdrew his support in 1967. His change in position was due in part to concern over Air Force pilots limited usage which he saw and reckless and ineffective. Additionally Symington was moved to withdraw his support as he viewed the war as an unhealthy drain on America?s economic and military power.