HC Deb 03 March 1964 vol 690 cc1128-9
Q5. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Prime Minister what assurances he gave relating to Viet-Nam during his recent talks with President Johnson.

The Prime Minister

I reaffirmed my support for United States policy which, as stated by President Kennedy as long ago as December, 1961, is intended to help the Republic of Viet-Nam to protect its people and to preserve its independence.

Mr. Mayhew

We can sympathise with the Americans over their difficulties in Viet-Nam, but did the Prime Minister explain to the President that Her Majesty's Government would oppose any plan to extend the war to the north?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, there was no such suggestion.

Mr. Warbey

In giving full support to American policy in South Viet-Nam, did the Prime Minister receive any return assurances from President Johnson that the American Government intended to bring their war in Viet-Nam to an end and to seek a policy based on the Geneva Agreements of 1954?

The Prime Minister

The whole purpose of this help to the South Viet-Nam Government is to bring these operations to an end, but there is a continuous infiltration of Communists from the north.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is it not plain that the only way to stop infiltration from the north is by having a conference? It is plainly impossible by military means to prevent infiltration in the Viet-Namese jungles.

The Prime Minister

The situation is similar to that in Malaya, when we found ourselves involved in a very difficult operation. But it should not be impossible to protect a country which wishes to live in independence and peace.

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