§ 14. Mrs. L. Jeger
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what breaches of the Geneva Agreement of 1955 in North and South Vietnam have been brought to the notice of Her Majesty's Government by the Control Commission; and what action has been taken.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
The International Supervisory Commission in Vietnam has reported in its first six Interim Reports certain breaches of the Geneva Agreements coming to its notice up to 31st July, 1956. All these Reports have been published as White Papers. The Interim Report for the period after that date has not yet been received.
As regards the second part of the Question, Her Majesty's Government and the Soviet Government have not taken any action on specific complaints in the Interim Reports so far received.
§ Mrs. Jeger
Does not it undermine the whole status and function of the International Control Commission if no action continues to be taken on the reported breaches of the Geneva Agreement? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman look at this matter again and, perhaps when the Seventh Report is available, find time for a debate in the House on this matter which is of such concern to Asia?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The question of time for debate in the House is not one for me. Of course, I will study carefully the Report; but I ask the hon. Lady to consider this point. There has been a substantial reduction of tension over the last three years in that part of the world, and I think that we have to be very careful not to create more trouble than that which we seek to alleviate.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
I have no reason to believe that the recall of the Geneva Conference at the present time would either be acceptable to all the parties concerned or be likely to achieve useful 365 results. I believe that it would increase rather than diminish tension.
§ Mr. Baird
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam was supposed, according to the Geneva Agreement, to be a temporary demarcation line which would be removed after the elections of 1956? No elections have been held. Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the reason no elections have been held is that President Dien's Government refuse to have these elections and are now sabotaging the unity of the country and encouraging the danger of war in the area? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman now consider withdrawing our diplomatic representative there if they do not agree to the terms of the Geneva Agreements?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The hon. Member has put forward with crude bluntness the case of the Vietminh in this matter. That is the Vietminh's case. The position of South Vietnam is that it is not possible at present to have free elections in North Vietnam. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"] Because North Vietnam is a Communist State. I would beg hon. Gentlemen to realise that the point in this matter is that tension has steadily diminished over the last two years. It is true that the Geneva Agreements, by which we stand, have not yet been fully carried out, but hon. Gentlemen who seek to raise these matters should think whether they are not creating new tensions where things have been steadily quietening down.