HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc25-6
35. Mr. A. Royle

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs when Mr. P. Gordon Walker is leaving for the Far East; if he will visit Hanoi and Peking; and if he has received his visas for travelling in North Vietnam and the People's Republic of China.

Mr. M. Stewart

Mr. Gordon Walker left for the Far East on 14th April. The Chinese and North Vietnamese Governments rejected any suggestion that he should visit Peking and Hanoi.

Mr. Royle

Can the Minister tell the House what possible use this trip can be if this snub has been received from Red China and from Hanoi? Can he also tell the House what steps have been taken regarding the setting up of a conference on Cambodia?

Mr. Stewart

With regard to the use of the word "snub", may I say that I would rather risk snubs of this nature than risk losing the opportunity of trying to reach a settlement. I regret, as I imagine we all do, the attitude of the Governments of Peking and Hanoi about this, but it is important for us to be well informed and have up-to-date information and personal contact with many Governments concerned in this part of the world, and to that end Mr. Gordan Walker's visit will be useful.

With regard to Cambodia, I shall be making a statement at the end of Questions.

Mr. Dodds-Parker

Would not it have been better if the Minister himself had undertaken this trip?

Mr. Stewart

No, I do not think so. I thought that this was a special mission which required somebody who had not the tie of other duties here.