§ 28. Mr. Philip Noel-Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what assurances he has received, in his capacity as co-Chairman, from Air Vice-Marshal Ky that the Government of South Vietnam is ready to accept and implement the provisions of the Geneva Agreement of 1954, by which Her Majesty's Government is bound, and which are still proposed as the basis for a peace settlement.
§ 49 and 50. Mr. Michael Foot
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) what representations he has made, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Government's policy of seeking a peaceful solution in Vietnam, to the Government of South Vietnam that a settlement should be sought to the Vietnam conflict on the basis of the Geneva Agreements of 1954;
§ (2) whether, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Government's policy of seeking a peaceful solution in Vietnam, he will make representations to the Government of South Vietnam urging them to be ready to negotiate with the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.
§ 60. Mr. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the fact that the National Liberation Front represents a substantial portion of the people in South Vienam, he will, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Government's policy of seeking a peaceful solution in Vietnam, make representations to the Government of South Vietnam urging them to negotiate with the the National Liberation Front in order to promote a peace settlement.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
We are in constant contact with the Government of Vietnam through our Ambassador in Saigon. The Vietnamese Government can be in no doubt about the views of Her Majesty's Government, both on representation at a 874 conference and on the basis for a peaceful settlement of the problems in Vietnam. But the first step is still to persuade the North Vietnamese authorities to come to the conference table.
§ Mr. Noel-Baker
Since Air Vice Marshal Ky is recognised by Her Majesty's Government as the representative of the people of South Vietnam, and since he publicly declares that he will not accept the Geneva Agreements, is that likely to encourage Hanoi to come to a conference?
§ Mr. Stewart
I think that it is still open for Hanoi, if they wish, to say that they will come to a conference. Our own views on this matter are well known, and we have left the South Vietnamese Government in no doubt of them.
§ Mr. Stewart
The attitude of the United States Government on the need for negotiations is, I think, as well known as our own attitude. I believe that my hon. Friend is aware that there are reports that Ambassador Harriman has said that the Americans would negotiate with the Viet Cong as a body having independent status, although not as a Government.
§ Mr. Rankin
Is it not the case that the Government of South Vietnam is a dictatorship created and maintained by the United States, and does not my right hon. Friend realise that so long as it exists conversations towards peace will be difficult? Would my right hon. Friend urge the United States to consider seeking to create a more democratic form of Government as a first step to peace in South Vietnam?
§ Mr. Stewart
Negotiation will be difficult anyhow. The Government in North Vietnam is also a dictatorship. But we should not allow this to stand in the way of negotiation, which could take place if Hanoi wished.
Is it not a fact that the last thing that the United States 875 Government want is a dictatorship in South Vietnam? It is not their fault at all.