HC Deb 26 April 1965 vol 711 cc27-8
39. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the progress made by Her Majesty's Government with a view to arranging a conference on South Vietnam.

Mr. M. Stewart

We still await replies from members of the Geneva Conference and the International Control Commission whom we have consulted about the situation in Vietnam, and we await Mr. Gordon Walker's report when he returns from his tour of the Far East. It is not encouraging that Peking and Hanoi have refused to receive him, have rejected President Johnson's offer of unconditional discussions and the approach made by seventeen non-aligned countries for such discussions, and have also rebuffed the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General. Nevertheless, we shall persevere with our efforts to discover whether there might be a basis of agreement for a peaceful settlement.

Mr. Henderson

Did I understand my right hon. Friend to say that he was proposing to make a statement on a possible conference on Cambodia?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

If a conference on Vietnam becomes possible, will not it in large measure be due to the resolution shown by our American allies, their willingness to fight back, and the support given to them by Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Stewart

If we can get discussions going which will reach a right settlement in this matter, I shall be extremely grateful to whoever can be considered responsible for it.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Can the Minister say what is the exact status of Mr. Gordon Walker? Is he going as a civil servant or as a member of the Government?

Mr. Stewart

He is going as my personal representative in my capacity as co-Chairman.