§ 12. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, following the deterioration in the Laos situation, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to propose the reconvening of the Geneva Conference.
§ Mr. Henderson
Since Communist China appears to be having a great deal to do with the unsatisfactory situation that exists in Laos at the moment, would it not be advantageous if the Geneva Conference were reassembled and Communist China invited to take her place at the conference table again and face up to the responsibilities she accepted when the Agreements were made at Geneva?
§ Mr. Heath
There is a later Question on the Order Paper about the general situation. In our judgment, machinery exists by which the Geneva Agreements can be implemented. Our task now must be to make this machinery work and not to resort to another conference in order to try to make a fresh settlement.
§ 14. Mr. Cronin
asked the Lord Privy Seal what further progress has been made in implementing the Geneva Agreements on Laos.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the Lord Privy Seal bear in mind the fact that the Government's present policy of putting pressure on the Soviet Union in this matter is now serving very little purpose since the Soviet Union has only a limited influence now in this part of the world? Will he also con- 14 sider the suggestion of putting on a more permanen; basis the International Control Commission in the Plain of Jars and giving more definite help to Prince Souvanna Phouma's Government?
§ Mr. Heath
The Soviet Foreign Minister is co-Chairman of the Geneva Settlement, and it is right that my noble Friend should remain in close communication with him about this problem. Regarding the work of the International Control Commisison, we have always desired to see it carry out its duties under the Geneva Settlement, and that is why when the co-Chairmen did not agree we ourselves circulated the reports of the Commission which the Commission sent to us. As to supporting the Prime Minister of Laos, that must depend on the point of view of the Laotian Government and the Prime Minister of Laos himself.
§ Mr. Cronin
While it is obvious that everything must take place in close co operation with the Soviet co-Chairman, are not the British Government putting undue reliance on this method of dealing with the situation?