WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted today to repeal the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which authorize unlimited U.S. military intervention in Southeast Asia.
The repealer was mainly symbolic and was Instigated by Republicans since the Nixon administration already had renounced the resolution and is not using it for the legal authority to remain in Vietnam.
The Tonkin resolution gave the President permission to "take all necessary steps, including the use of armed forces" to protect American Consumer Bill 'Front Charged forces in South Vietnam and to aid Vietnam and other U.S. Allies in Indochina.
President Lyndon. B. Johnson interpreted the resolution as sweeping congressiomal backing for his subsequent decisions that swelled U.S. troops strength in South Vietnam to more than half a million men.
The Nixon administration contended that it did not need the resolution, since it is pulling troops out instead of sending them in. Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., said the Constitution's provision making the President commander-in-chief of American armed forces is all the authority the Chief Executive needs for retaining troops in Vietnam and taking action such as the strike into Cambodia.
Earlier Sen. J. William Fulbright, D-Ark., said the Senate of the controversial proposal to has unwittingly handed the Nixon administration a blank check to start shooting wars anywhere on the globe in the name of saving lives.
His admonition came just before the Senate vote on repealing the Tonkin resolution.
Senate Republican leader Hugh Scott hinted administration forces in the Senate might attempt to maneuver for a quick vote on a basic end-the- war amendment in an attempt to defeat it.
Sen. George S. McGovern, S.D., a potential Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, and Republican Mark O. Hatfield, Ore., are co-sponsor of the controversial proposal to legislate an end to the Vietnam War.
The amendment would require the total pullout of U.S. forces from Indochina by Dec. 31, 1971.
Fulbright, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Senate Tuesday he was deeply concerned about a compromise amendment passed Monday to give the President, authority to take action that may be "necessary to protect the lives of United States armed forces wherever deployed."
As in the Tonkin resolution, which gave the President unlimited authority to repel Communist aggression in South- the Senate would live to regret Monday's action.
The language, sponsored by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., was written into legislation to cut off funds for future, sustained U.S. military operations in Cambodia.
Fulbright said he had not yet decided whether the Byrd amendment was objectionable enough to cause him to vote against the entire antiwar measure.
But sources close to sponsors of the measure, Sens. Frank Church, D-Idaho, and John Sherman Cooper, R-Ky., said if the Byrd amendment in strong language, they might be forced to withdraw it.