HC Deb 17 June 1959 vol 607 cc421-2
20. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what action he proposes to take, as co-Chairman of the Geneva Conference, on the matters referred to him by the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Vietnam in their Ninth Report.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. D. Ormsby-Gore)

Arrangements have been made with the Soviet Government for distribution of the Report to the other members of the Geneva Conference and it has been published as Command Paper No 726. In our view, the obligations and responsibilities of the Co-Chairmen are neither more nor less than those of the other Powers adhering to the Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference. Even if, therefore, the international Commission draws the attention of the Co-Chairmen to any particular issue, we do not consider that we are under any obligation to take action on our own unless it would be useful to do so. Apart from distributing it and publishing it, we do not propose to take any action on the 9th Interim Report.

Mr. Warbey

Are the Government satisfied that we should occupy the position of a postman in this matter? Are they not aware that the International Commission, in its report, as in previous reports, has in terms asked for their assistance in urging upon the local authorities, especially the South Vietnam authorities, the execution of the Agreement? As we have an Ambassador in Saigon, will the Minister of State say what steps we are taking to induce the South Vietnam authorities to co-operate with the Commission and to comply with the Agreement?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

The hon. Member asks whether we are content merely to be a postman. I have said what action I think is necessary for Her Majesty's Government to take, and we are taking that action. Apparently, that is also the view taken by the other co-Chairman, the Soviet Government, because the Report was issued in March this year and the Soviet Government have called for no further action.

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