WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 1964 (UPI) - Two key Senate committees approved President Johnson's declaration of firmness to preserve the peace in Southeast Asia. The resolution would give Johnson a virtual blank check to take any steps he deems necessary to meet C The approval by the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees came quickly after Johnson submitted the resolution to Congress yesterday. Quick action is seen in both the Senate and the House.
Only dissenting vote against the resolution in the two Senate committees was cast by Sen. Wayne Morse (D-Ore.).
Sen. Morse, a sharp critic of the Administration's Viet-Nam policy, said yesterday that the United States shares responsibility with the Communists for the attacks which brought on the crisis.
"For 10 years, the role of the U.S. in South Viet-Nam has been that of a provocateur, every bit as much as North Viet-Nam has been a provocateur," he said. He has urged that the Viet problem be taken to the United Nations and that the U.S. make use of the SEATO pact.
The action came minutes after Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara testified.
Rusk told the senators that Red torpedo boat attacks on two U.S. destroyers "were not an isolated event." He said they are "related directly to the aggressive posture of North Viet-Nam."
McNamara described in detail the North Viet-Namese torpedo boat attacks on U.S. naval forces off the coast of North Viet-Nam and the retaliatory counteraction ordered by Johnson.
McNamara said that the swift U.S. deployment of additional air and sea forces to the Viet-Nam area "are in my judgment sufficient for the time being."
McNamara said last night he did not believe the Red North Viet-Namese would launch another of their sneak attacks on U.S. vessels but "if they do, we certainly will respond as we did in the last 72 hours."
As for the possible intervention of Red China or the Soviet Union, McNamara said, "we are prepared for any action they may take."
The Pentagon chief said the air strikes against Communist torpedo boat bases, gun emplacements and an oil depot along 100 miles of the North Viet-Namese coast early yesterday were "highly successful."
McNamara said the strike was a success not only from the military viewpoint, but because it made "unmistakably clear" to North Viet-Nam the United States' determination to repel unprovoked attacks on American ships.
He said that reconnaissance photographs, taken after the raids, showed that 25 of North Viet-Nam's 40 to 50 torpedo boats and almost 10% of its oil supply were damaged or destroyed by U.S. fighter-bombers.
Some Communist anti-aircraft installations near the North Viet-Nam targets also were damaged or destroyed during the raids, he said.
Two U.S. planes were downed but one of the two missing pilots was believed to have landed in North Viet-Namese territory and was captured, he said. A third U.S. plane was damaged during the strikes, but returned safely.