Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Donald McConville
Q: It was something that went on. It was used at that time in some other places. I remember about a year or two later, I was consul general in Saigon and halfway down the diplomatic list, a pretty low-ranking officer. We had broken relations with Cambodia but kept consular relations for a while. I thought there's a conceivability that I might end up with 50,000 American troops and all this [inaudible] American representative. Of course, it never would have happened, but it was of that period where consular relations were a possibility.
McCONVILLE: Well, that's what we had for four months.
Q: What did you do?
McCONVILLE: Well, mostly consular work, but we did some other reporting and so forth. In fact, I was put back at that time to run the special consular services, and so for that stretch of four months I did special consular services. Anyone who's done plenty of that, you have all sorts of weird stories with special consular services. But in any event, that was a very unusual situation, to say the least.
Q: How about Americans there? There must have been a lot of disquiet among Americans in Panama.
McCONVILLE: Well, certainly in the Canal. Of course, the people in the Canal Zone then didn't dare [venture out].
Q: They were a breed apart almost, weren't they?