Friday, April 15, 2011

From The Editor: MACV and Military Payment Certificates, 1965-1966

Until 1 September 1965, U.S. dollars were the medium of exchange in South Vietnam.  With the rapid troop buildup and attendant inflationary trend in South Vietnam, plus the increase of gold flow from U.S. sources, MACV introduced Military Payment Certificates (MPCs) as the only authorized medium of exchange in all U.S.-sponsored activities.  

On 1 September 1965, all military personnel were paid only in MPC, and all American currency possessed by soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines was collected by MACV Agent Officers who in turn exchanged the money for MPCs.  The introduction of MPC was intended to reduce currency manipulation and simplify financial controls. 

MACV eliminated problems in piaster-dollar conversions and established piaster conversion points that operated on a twenty-four hour basis all South Vietnamese ports. 

All U.S. civilian contractors dealt only with MPCs and piasters.  Whenever a civilian firm did receive funds or profit from U.S. government agencies, the agency made out a check to the firm or its bank and mailed  the funds directly to the U.S. 

Source:  MACV Directive 37-7, 23 August 1965, Subject:  Procedures for introducing Military Payment Certificates into the Republic of Vietnam.

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