HC Deb 26 April 1966 vol 727 cc535-6
Q5. Mr. Heffer

asked the Prime Minister, following the recent bombing of Hanoi by the United States Air Force, if he will make representations opposing this action to the United States Government, in pursuance of his policy of achieving peace in Vietnam; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

So far as I am aware Hanoi has not been bombed, Sir.

Mr. Heffer

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the bombing of the outskirts of Hanoi took place and that this stepping up of the war in Vietnam is highly dangerous? As the Australian Labour Party and an increasing number of American liberals are showing their complete opposition to the war in Vietnam, is it not time that the British Government completely dissociated themselves from American policy in this connection?

The Prime Minister

I take it that my hon. Friend is referring to the incident last week when United States planes bombed two missile sites, about 17 miles from Hanoi, which were firing at the time on other United States planes bombing a more distant and military target. Nothing that happened last week involves any change in established United States policy towards Vietnam. I have answered the wider question a number of times. There is no change in Her Majesty's Government position.

Sir Ian Orr-Ewing

Is the Prime Minister aware that he would have the great support of many hon. Members on this side of the House if he told his own Left wing that we have found that appeasement does not pay?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that these very difficult issues can be simplified in the way in which the hon. Gentleman suggests. I have tried to explain many times, not only to my hon. Friends but to some hon. Members opposite, exactly where the difficulty lies in trying to get a solution of the Vietnam question. It lies in Hanoi, a point not fully appreciated in more than one part of the House.