HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 cc301-2
Q1. Mr. Winnick

asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has had with the United States President for a pause in the bombing of North Vietnam during the holiday in Vietnam in connection with the anniversary of Buddha's birth; and whether he has pressed for the pause to become permanent.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

As I told my hon. Friend on 27th April, I have nothing to add to the answer I gave on the 20th April, to a Question by the hon. Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Mr. Eldon Griffiths).—[Vol. 745, c. 340; Vol. 745, c. 804.]

Mr. Winnick

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the ever increasing anxiety felt in Britain over the day-to-day escalation of the war in Vietnam? Are we to urge any restraint at all on the United States, or remain silent while the whole of North Vietnam is devastated by American bombers? Is it not time the Government really acted on the matter?

The Prime Minister

As my hon. Friend knows, we are in continual touch with the United States Government, and all other Governments that are concerned. With regard to the anniversary of Buddha's birth, the Government of Vietnam have said that they are ready for discussions with North Vietnam representatives about a possible extension of the truce.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker

Will the Prime Minister consider that the bombing of Haiphong and the speech of General Westmoreland to Congress are factors which greatly increase the danger of Chinese involvement in the war, and will he summon the General Assembly to consider a stopping of the war, as President Eisenhower summoned the General Assembly and stopped the Suez War?

The Prime Minister

I am not responsible, of course, for speeches by American generals either to Congress or anyone else. On the question of the bombing of Haiphong, the position was made clear by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. On the question of Chinese involvement, this is one of the major considerations I have had in my mind all along.