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Secretary Laird talks with Gen. Earle Wheeler at Brussels, where the NATO Defense Planning Group was meeting.
Secretary Laird talks with Gen. Earle Wheeler at Brussels, where the NATO Defense Planning Group was meeting. (Ted Rohde/Stars and Stripes)
Secretary Laird talks with Gen. Earle Wheeler at Brussels, where the NATO Defense Planning Group was meeting.
Secretary Laird talks with Gen. Earle Wheeler at Brussels, where the NATO Defense Planning Group was meeting. (Ted Rohde/Stars and Stripes)
Secretary Laird meets with reporters.
Secretary Laird meets with reporters. (Ted Rohde/Stars and Stripes)
U.S. Ambassador to Belgium John Eisenhower; his mother, former first lady Mamie Eisenhower; and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird pose for a photo in Brussels in May, 1969.
U.S. Ambassador to Belgium John Eisenhower; his mother, former first lady Mamie Eisenhower; and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird pose for a photo in Brussels in May, 1969. (Ted Rohde/Stars and Stripes)
Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Earle G. Wheeler with former first lady Mamie Eisenhower.
Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Earle G. Wheeler with former first lady Mamie Eisenhower. (Ted Rohde/Stars and Stripes)

BRUSSELS — The inhuman treatment of American prisoners by the North Vietnamese has drawn "the deep concern" here of Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. The widow of the former president is in Brussels visiting her son, Ambassador to Belgium John Eisenhower, while Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird is here to attend a meeting of the NATO Defense Planning Group Wednesday.

So deep was Mrs. Eisenhower's interest in the welfare of the prisoners and their families, said Dan Henkin, Defense Department spokesman for Laird, that the Pentagon official will take time out from the NATO conference to go into full details with her and her son on the POW situation.

Henkin explained that secretary and Mrs. Laird were hosts Monday night at a small reception in the Hilton Hotel here for Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mrs. Wheeler, and Ambassador Eisenhower and his mother.

During dinner following the reception, Mrs. Eisenhower expressed her deep concern for the fate of American servicemen in Communist hands.

Mrs. Eisenhower and the ambassador were both alarmed by the revelation by Laird last week concerning the treatment of some 700 Americans believed to be held in North Vietnam. Laird pointed out that the North Vietnamese have violated the Geneva Conventions in refusing to give names of captured Americans or allowing them to communicate with their families.

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