§ Q3. Mr. Winnick
asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with the leaders of other countries about a New Year cease-fire in Vietnam.
§ Sir, we are in frequent contact with other Governments about the war in Vietnam, but the details of these exchanges must, of course, remain confidential.
§ Mr. Winnick
Is the Foreign Secretary aware that very great disappointment is felt because the Americans are to stop their bombing in Vietnam for only a very short period of time? Are the British Government urging the Americans to have an indefinite pause so that negotiations, genuine negotiations, can be started? We are really sick of this war in Vietnam.
§ Mr. Brown
I have told my hon. Friend many times that I am sick of the war in Vietnam, and I am as sick of the war from the one side as I am from the other. If my hon. Friend is really interested in stopping the war he would do better—I repeat this again—to distribute his condemnation a little more fairly— [Interruption.—and be a little nearer the mark.
§ Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles
In this context, will the Foreign Secretary reiter- 1476 ate the fact that the Government realise and admit the moral right of what the Americans are trying to do in Vietnam, on behalf of the free world?
§ Mr. Blenkinsop
Would my right hon. Friend nevertheless understand the range and width of feeling that there is on this? Does he realise that there is this opportunity of securing a wider extension of the bombing pause?
§ Mr. Goodhart
Have the Government any evidence at all that the Government of North Vietnam wish to enter peace negotiations or to de-escalate the war at present?
§ Mr. Brown
The House knows that this is the situation. The President of the United States made quite clear, in his San Antonio speech, how ready, willing and anxious the United States is to get to the negotiating table and what it is willing to do, including stopping the bombing, the moment Hanoi indicates that it is ready to go to the table. The trouble is that Hanoi is not ready to go to the table or even to indicate that it would. This is how it is we cannot make progress; this is why I ask those who share my deep feeling, instead of abusing those who want to negotiate, and instead of abusing the one co-Chairman of the Geneva Convention who wants to resume the negotiations, to address their reproaches to the other quarters.
§ Mr. Dalyell
In his talks with other Governments will my right hon. Friend raise once again the question of the violation of the Cambodia frontiers? This matter is urgent.
§ Mr. Brown
I would like to make progress there, and I would like to use the Geneva Convention arrangements for that too. These things tend to be interrelated. I do not want to exacerbate things by 1477 referring to what goes on, from Cambodia into Vietnam. I do not think one can— one has to approach this in a constructive spirit—disregard the fact that all these areas are at the moment, alas, interconnected in this beastly war.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Until Hanoi is willing to come to the conference table, will the right hon. Gentleman not urge on our allies any courses which would expose their troops, including the gallant Australian troops, to increased risks?