HC Deb 05 May 1970 vol 801 cc208-70
Mr. Speaker

Before the debate opens may I announce to the House that I have had 32 requests from right hon. and hon. Members to take part in this three-hour debate.

3.59 p.m.

Mr. Michael Foot (Ebbw Vale)

I beg to move, That this House do now adjourn.

It is surely right that this House of Commons should discuss the latest developments in Cambodia and Vietnam, so I express my gratitude to you, Mr. Speaker, for the acceptance of my Motion yesterday, and to the support of members of the Government for the fact that we should have this debate.

The events there can have the gravest consequences for all of us. In my opinion, it is sheer despair for people to say that nothing that we can do or say can have much influence on such distant occurrences, and that, therefore, we should keep our mouths shut, and possibly keep our eyes closed as well. I believe that we should debate these matters, for I certainly do not accept the view that the voice of this country cannot have an effect upon these events throughout the world.

First, I refer to the legalities of the matter, not very extensively, but a bit more extensively perhaps than President Nixon did when he ordered the invasion of Cambodia.

Hon. Members: Which invasion?

Mr. Foot

I shall try to deal with such questions.

On the legalities of the matter—[Interruption.] I am sorry that the mention of the legalities of this matter should cause such instant offence on the other side of the House. On the legalities of the matter, no attempt has been made to justify the action which President Nixon ordered as being in accordance with international law. On this occasion even the country to be saved was not consulted. Nor is it a defence to say that others had violated the neutrality of Cambodia before. The fact that one country holds the view that others have violated the neutrality of the country does not entitle a third country to say that it will take the law into its own hands. Indeed, that would be a recipe for international anarchy.

Her Majesty's Government hold the view—and I believe that all parties have hitherto held it—that in the Middle East violations by one side do not justify retaliations on the other side according to their own decisions. Therefore, that is not a defence of the action which has been taken by President Nixon, and I hope that it will not be made in this House.

Mr. R. T. Paget(Northampton)rose

Mr. Foot

I shall give way to my hon. and learned Friend for a second. In fairness to others who wish to take part in the debate, it is only right that I should speak as briefly as possible.

Mr. Paget

I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for giving way. It is important to take the matter further when a question of law is raised and asserted in this way. International law is that a nation owes an obligation of neutrality. If it fails to perform that obligation of neutrality because it is unable to control its border areas, as is the case of Syria, and was the case of Cambodia, then, under international law, the victim of aggression from those areas which are out of the control of the neutral Government is entitled to take the action which the Americans have taken.

Mr. Foot

That is an interpretation of international law which would be a guarantee of international anarchy. My hon. and learned Friend is not a great authority on international law, either in the Far East or in Africa. Nor am I claiming to be so.

On this aspect of the matter, I stand by the statement made by the New York Times— [Horn. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I am sorry, but hon. Gentlemen opposite should listen to a matter of this importance without being so testy about it. The President of the United States took the action that he did in Cambodia without any consultations with other countries, without any authority under the Charter of the United Nations, and, indeed, as far as we can see, without any consultations with the Senate of the United States itself, such is the arrogance of the super-Powers now in dealing with the lesser breeds, and on that ground alone it would be proper to raise this question.

If hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like to discuss the legal aspects of the matter, and whether international law has been bided by, let me turn to the practicalities. The danger of the action which the United States has taken in Cambodia is that it will extend and lengthen the war. It is said that it is merely to be a dash in and out, a short cleaning-up operation, that it will all be over in a very short time, and, therefore, it does not constitute an invasion at all.

Hon. Members

A matter of weeks, not months.

Mr. Foot

I know. Some may say that that is to happen, but I hardly believe that anybody observing this development in the Far East would accept that view. If sense is to be made out of the operation, it is much more probable that the American forces will have to plunge deeper and stay longer.

Hon. Members have shown that they do not accept my views on these matters. Perhaps they might weigh to some degree the view of Senator Mansfield— [An HON. MEMBER: "Who?"] The hon. Gentleman can, if he wishes, dismiss a prominent figure in the United States Congress, but I do not think that it is wise for the House to do so. He said: There is nothing in past experience in Indo-China to suggest that casualties can be reduced by enlarging the area of military operations. There is nothing in past experience to suggest that the way out of the Vietnamese conflict follows the road of a Second Indo-China war. Indeed, the road may well meander throughout all of South-East Asia, and end nobody knows where. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, or others, may dismiss that judgment. But I suggest that it would be wiser for them to consider it at least, because it appears that, in this action in Cambodia, President Nixon, to put it no higher, has learned insufficiently from the actions of his two predecessors in that same theatre of war, the actions of President Johnson and of President Kennedy. The first false step which both of them made into the bog of Indo-China was made most gingerly, but they sank in so deeply very soon that they and the whole world have had the greatest difficulty in seeking to extricate themselves, so I think that that judgment should be considered.

Even more serious, in my opinion, are the diplomatic consequences for the discussions between great nations all over the world. It may be argued by some that the Soviet Union has an interest in perpetuating the war in Vietnam. Some may hold that view, but I certainly do not share it. I believe that there have been times, which were shown by some of their actions, when they took a different view of these matters from that taken by the Chinese Government. Perhaps that is not too daring a proposition for hon. Gentlemen opposite to consider. Perhaps they might be prepared to weigh that, because it appears to anybody who has tried to consider these matters seriously that there have been arguments, at least, in the Government in Hanoi, about whether they should negotiate, about whether they should send emissaries to peace conferences, and about which strategy they should employ.

I think that it would be very unwise for this House to underrate the significance of these arguments. I believe it to be the case, not only on the basis of Mr. Kosygin's statement yesterday, but on the common sense of the matter, that the action which the United States Government have taken has made it infinitely more difficult for the Soviet Government to use such influence as they have to try to persuade the Government of Hanoi to stay at the peace table and negotiate a settlement.

In other words, the action of the United States in Cambodia has played into the claws of the hawks all over the world —in Peking, in Moscow, in Hanoi, and no doubt on the benches opposite as well, among the various breeds of buzzards, harriers and kites we see on that side of the House. Their action, in my opinion, has gravely injured the possibility of securing a reasonable settlement there. I believe the possibility of getting a settlement, or of negotiation to reach a settlement, has been something that has been supported on all sides of the House; and I would have thought most people would understand and appreciate the diplomatic consequences of what has occurred, consequences which make the possibility of a peaceful settlement very much more difficult.

Now, what is this country to do about it? What action can we take to influence the present situation? The claim on which I sought leave of the House yesterday to debate this matter was on the grounds that I thought action should be taken by Her Majesty's Government to influence it. First, the Government may say that they intend to seek to reactivate the machinery of the Geneva Conference, of the Control Commission, as no doubt they have been seeking to do over recent weeks; and there have been indications that there were discussions in New York and elsewhere on the possibility of that machinery being re-established.

I hope that the Government will continue to press those matters as strongly as they can. But for the reasons I have already indicated, I believe that the action taken in Cambodia. the reopening of some of the bombing of the North, makes it much more unlikely that that process can be successful. Certainly, the developments that have occurred make necessary much stronger action to express the views, I hope, of this country and of this House, on the action which the United States Government has taken.

I do not propose to retrace the whole of the argument which some of us on these benches have had with the Government about the Vietnamese war in recent years except in so far as I believe a reference to it is necessary in order to underline the case I wish to put here this afternoon. In my judgment, the error of Her Majesty's Government was their mistaken view of the nature of the Vietnamese civil war; and furthermore, their misunderstanding of the sharp, convulsive reflections which that civil war would have in the mirror of American society itself which, in some respects, however much hon. Gentleman may complain of my raising this debate, is the most important feature in our world today.

The whole situation in 1968 was transformed by events which have certainly not been foreseen by hon. Members opposite, nor, alas, by spokesmen for Her Majesty's Government, but were prophesied by many from this side of the House; the change in American opinion when Senator Eugene McCarthy made his statement and politics in America were transformed because there became, in the United States, a powerful peace party which is now brought again to the centre of the political stage, not only of the United States but of the world. It is to the renewal and reinvigoration of those forces that we must look if we are to succeed in preventing the evil consequences of what occurred last week.

I listened on television yesterday to a prominent American Senator who said that great nations cannot be defeated in war and survive—a curious proposition, incidentally, for an American Senator to put to the people of this country, because great nations, sometimes the greatest nations, engaged in unjust and hopeless wars do have to admit defeat, and their greatness has been shown when they have been prepared to admit it. Sometimes they have been able to escape from such situations precisely because there have been people who have been prepared to oppose an unjust war, even when conducted by the leaders of their own country.

We in this country, particularly when we are arguing with the people of the United States, have a right to recall the part played by Chatham, Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox, who opposed a war waged by a great nation which did suffer defeat but survived its defeat because it was prepared to admit that the opposition to the war had justice on its side. This is the lesson to be learned.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths(Bury St. Edmunds)rose

Mr. Foot

This is the lesson to be learned from these events. Although opinion in the United States may have reached this conclusion for a variety of reasons, just as opinion throughout the world has reached this conclusion for a variety of reasons, the conclusion is all the stronger and more certain. The conclusion is that the military machine of the United States, all-powerful almost though it may be, cannot win a civil war in Indo-China. It can kill. It can destroy. It can defoliate. It can bomb. It can exterminate. It can spread horror and devastation. But it cannot win a victory.

Perhaps at this moment some of the poor people in Cambodia are recognising the wisdom of their leader, Prince Sihanouk, who strove so valiantly for so long to prevent his people from being scorched and devoured in the inferno which is occurring in their country.

People can hurl the word "appeaser" at Senator Eugene McCarthy, Senator Fulbright, Mr. Lippmann and all the others if they like, but nobody will believe them. This is the truth of the matter—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. This is a serious debate. Running comment is not desirable.

Mr. Foot

The truth of the matter—and hon. Members opposite may hate the conclusion, but none the less it is true—is that the military machine of the United States can create a wilderness and desolation, but it can never win a victory; and the best friends of the Americans are those who join the growing host of brave Americans who themselves are telling the truth about this war. That is the truth that this House has to face, just as the Americans have to face it.

This is the truth which I say this country and a Labour Government should voice. I trust that they will do it clearly and unmistakably in this debate today and that our Labour Movement and Government will stand with those who wish to bring this hideous war to as swift an end as possible and restore peace to that part of the world.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Michael Stewart. [Interruption.]

Several Hon. Membersrose

Mr. Speaker

Order. I called the Foreign Secretary. This is a grave debate. I hope that hon. Members will conduct themselves adequately today.

4.19 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Michael Stewart)

My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) has every right, as has everybody, to feel very gravely concerned about events in Indo-China.

I appreciate that many hon. Members wish to take part in this debate and I will, therefore, be as brief as possible. I intervene at this stage because I felt that the House would wish, at an early stage in the debate, to have a statement of the Government's view. My right hon. Friends and I, as we made plain yesterday when the request for the debate was made, believe it entirely right that the House should have an opportunity for an early debate on this very grave question.

We all recognise that recent events in Cambodia are tied up with the terrible conflict that has raged in Vietnam for so many years. Throughout that conflict it has been the view of Her Majesty's Government, repeatedly expressed, that neither side could achieve, or should seek to achieve, an outright military victory or a 100 per cent. military solution. We have made this clear repeatedly and have, therefore, said that what both sides, and the friends of both sides, should work for is an agreed and negotiated solution.

We believe that the instrument most ready to hand for this purpose would be a reviving of the Geneva conference. However, we have said that if, at any, time, any other form of instrument proved more acceptable, we would not be dogmatic about the exact Geneva formula. But we have said time and again that a search for a 100 per cent. military victory or solution by either side would fail and that we must work for a Geneva conference or whatever other instrument of negotiated solution might seem possible.

We have also said that, in our view, the bare essentials of such a negotiated solution were that Vietnam, both North and South, should be completely neutral, free of foreign bases or foreign troops and that the people of South Vietnam should have a chance to decide their own future. [Interruption.] The people of North Vietnam have a Communist Government. If I could see a way of establishing, as the Geneva agreements require, free elections there, I would welcome it.

What I have said are the bare essentials of a solution seem to me as being as near as one can get, in the light of present facts, to what was originally laid down in the Geneva agreements, and I hope that that commands general support.

The tragedy is that while this war has raged in Vietnam, it has for a long time spread to Laos and Cambodia. Considerable parts of the territories of those countries have been used by North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces for the purpose of helping them to improve their military position in Vietnam.

These events—this involvement of these two other countries—underlined the necessity to seek an agreed and negotiated solution. The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Sir H. Legge-Bourke) suggested that the Government might issue a White Paper listing all the efforts that we have made. I am not quite sure that we shall want to do that, and I do not want to weary the House now with what is a familiar chronicle. However, I believe that everybody knows that time and again we have sought, partly by appeals to our fellow co-Chairman, Mr. Gromyko, to the Soviet Union, publicly and privately, to see if there was any way by which an agreed solution could be reached.

We were not successful. I say without offence that this was sometimes an occasion for a certain amount of merriment among hon. Gentlemen opposite. It is always fair for an Opposition to criticise the Government when they try to do something and are not successful. However, we were determined to make every effort to get an agreed solution, knowing how difficult that would be and how limited were the chances of success.

About two years ago a new chapter seemed to open. Mr. Johnson, the then President of the United States, made a major decision about the use of military power against the territory of North Vietnam. As a result of his decision, talks in Paris were able to open. More recently, President Nixon set out the policy of the progressive withdrawal of United States troops, and he has repeated what the United States has said before, namely, that as part of a final agreed settlement there would be a complete withdrawal of United States troops from Vietnam.

These developments, which stretched over two American Administrations and over the past two years, were welcomed by Her Majesty's Government. Indeed, they were in line with our own thinking, with the views that we had expressed to the Government of the United States and with the views that I think commanded support in all parts of the House.

But to all of these there was one important and, I think, unavoidable qualification, namely, that if the United States was to proceed with this policy, we must expect some degree of constructive response from Hanoi. At one point during the last two years to which I have been referring some of my hon. Friends, some of whom had often been critical of the view of Her Majesty's Government on this matter, addressed an appeal to the authorities in Hanoi asking them to be, to put it in the broadest terms, forthcoming and constructive in the talks in Paris. I was very glad that that approach was made. I greatly regret that there was no response to it and the months have dragged by without success.

It is against this background that we must look at recent events in Cambodia. Whatever differences of opinion there may be, a very large number of hon. Members in all parts of the House must have felt great sympathy with the continued efforts of Prince Sihanouk to keep his small, peace-loving, kindly country at peace in this maelstrom of South-East Asia. This is certainly what I felt.

However, to do so he had to pay a terribly heavy price, which was a recognition that considerable parts of his territory would be used by Communist forces. This is not a partisan view. Prince Sihanouk himself made it very clear when, on 13th March, on leaving Paris to visit Moscow and Peking, he said: I intend to ask Moscow and Peking to advise their friends in Hanoi and in the Vietcong to put a brake on their interference in Cambodian domestic affairs. Later, he said: I should like to affirm to my fellow countrymen that I will never tolerate either the infiltration of the Vietcong and Viet Minh or their interference in our affairs, because ours is sovereign country. Yesterday, I informed the friendly Soviet leaders of this matter. This was the dreadful dilemma with which Prince Sihanouk was faced. Before anyone in the House criticises him, let us be fortunate that this country is not in the position that his was. I believe that, according to his best judgment, he tried to keep his country at peace. He was obliged to pay a price for this in allowing it to be more and more used as a base for Communist forces. This is a fact which we must now take into account, because the areas which United States forces have recently entered in Cambodia could not be regarded in any real sense as neutral. For a long time no Cambodian authority has operated in them. They have been used by the Communist forces for administration, command, control, supply and retraining.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale raised the question of the legalities of the matter. Neither he nor I are lawyers. I think that we must look at this as a matter of common sense. if a country is supposed, and desires, to be neutral, and is unable, with the best will in the world, to prevent part of its territories being used by one side in a dispute to promote its own war, can one really say that the other side in that dispute is absolutely bound by neutrality that has ceased to have real effect? I ask hon. Members, whatever they may feel, to think over this. I do not put it forward as a lawyer's proposition. It seems to me to be the common sense of the matter.

Mr. Eric S. Heifer (Liverpool, Walton)

Strange doctrine.

Mr. Stewart

At any rate, in the light of this, a simple condemnation of the action of the United States, and of the United States alone, could not be justified either in common sense or as a useful contribution to peace-making in this area.

We have to notice that more than a month ago, shortly after the fall of Prince Sihanouk and before the United States had taken any action, Communist forces in Cambodia advanced still further, occupying what was supposed to be neutral territory. This House did not at the time think it right to make any expression condemnatory of their action. I think that we were right. It would not have helped if we had. Having so refrained, I do not think that it would be sensible, logical, or, what matters most, constructive towards peace for us now to make a single pronouncement on the actions of the United States.

There remains one question of very great concern. The United States claims that in what it has recently done it is following the policy which President Nixon set forth. I do not propose to advance in the House detailed military explanations or justifications of policy. I do not think that it is for this House, which does not bear the responsibility of the conflict on either side, to do that. I merely mention that the United States claims that it is still pursuing the policy outlined by President Nixon. It is a fair question to ask—a question to which I think that the Government of the United States will address themselves—will this new action help or hinder that policy.

There are some in this House who would like me to make a resounding pronouncement condemning what the United States has done—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] For the reasons that I have already given, I do not believe that this is justified in logic, common sense, or wisdom. I stand resolutely by what I said to the House when answering a Private Notice Question from the right hon. Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home). I do not think that we have either the right or the duty to pronounce on the American action—

Mr. Heifer

Why not?

Mr. Stewart

—for the reason that their decision was taken in the light of advice and information which, in the nature of the case, cannot be available to us.

I have already set out the reasons why I think it would be unreasonable for this House, not having condemned earlier violations of Cambodian neutrality, to come up with pronouncements against this one. Neither do I think it right for this House to make a pronouncement—

Mr. Hefferrose

Mr. E. Fernyhough (Jarrow)rose

Mr. Stewart

I must ask my hon. Friends to wait a moment.

Neither do I think it is right for this House to make a judgment either way on a military decision which belongs to the Power which is engaged in hostilities in that area.

I will give way, very briefly, to my hon. Friends who rose, but, following the example of my hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale, I should not wish to give way after that.

Mr. Heffer

My right hon. Friend is surely aware that this House debated the aggression in Czechoslovakia and, quite rightly, condemned that aggression. Is the argument that my right hon. Friend is putting forward not an excuse? If we can condemn the situation in Czechoslovakia, surely we can equally condemn American action in Cambodia—[Interruption.]

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harry Gourlay)

Order. The hon. Gentleman is making an intervention, not a speech.

Mr. Heffer

I am being as brief as I can. Is my right hon. Friend also aware that the Socialist International, only yesterday, made its position quite clear in opposition to the American policy?

Mr. Stewart

On the last point, we must all decide by individual judgment and conscience.

On the first point, if there had been areas in Czechoslovakia which, for a long time, had been occupied by N.A.T.O. forces and used for N.A.T.O. purposes, might we not all have taken a rather different view on the Soviet action in Czechoslovakia?

Mr. Fernyhough

Does my right hon. Friend agree that in circumstances such as these there is no reason why we should not offer advice to the Americans in the spirit that they offered it to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite in 1956, when they were engaged in equally stupid and indefensible actions in Suez? Could we not say to the Americans that we are offering this advice as friends in the way that they offered advice to the Conservative Government in 1956 regarding their actions in Suez?

Mr. Stewart

My hon. Friend will realise that there is an important difference between the Suez situation and this one. At that time, the Government of this country chose to take armed action against another country, for which there was no international justification at all. We could not claim, as is the fact here, that certain parts of the territory were being used and had been used for years by another Power for military purposes hostile to us.

The House and my hon. Friends must understand this. This was a plain fact of the situation—that there had been for a long time grave infractions of Cambodian neutrality. This is a solid fact in the situation which does not apply to either of the analogies put forward by my hon. Friends—

Mr. Douglas Jay (Battersea, North)

Will my right hon. Friend give way—

Mr. Stewart

No, I will follow the example of my hon. Friend and conclude speedily.

I will go this far with my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Fernyhough): it is right for us to draw the attention of the American Government to anxieties in this country, indeed in the whole world, that the action which they have taken might have the result of hindering rather than helping the policy of withdrawal on which President Nixon had pronounced.

Mr. John Lee (Reading)

You can say that again.

Mr. Stewart

I say it deliberately. I do not believe that it is right for us to pronounce this judgment. The United States Government are no doubt aware of the concern all over the world that their action might hinder rather than help the policy proclaimed by President Nixon. It seems to me that the task of this country is to assert and to continue the work for a policy of an agreed and negotiated solution, which has been ours from the start.

It was to that end that, last Friday, I invited the Soviet Ambassador to see me and gave him a message to convey to my colleague, Mr. Gromyko, urging again the reconvening of the Geneva conference. I believe that, violent though the conflict has been, and little as the prospect has seemed of establishing the rule of law, we should never forget that we hold this duty as co-Chairman. I have not yet received a reply, but I have seen, as the whole House has seen, reports of Mr. Kosygin's Press conference and the deep discouragement from there of any possibility of getting a conference on this matter.

I also saw the chargée d'affaires from the United States Embassy and made clear to him, as in the last few sentences I have made clear to the House. the anxieties which people in this country and elsewhere must feel about the actions which his Government felt it necessary to take. Earlier the Cambodian Government urged that the International Control Commission should be reactivated. If this could be done with life and reality, it would help. It was Her Majesty's Government who did their best to promote that request and to transmit it to other Governments. We had to do that by ourselves, because our fellow co-Chairman would not act with us.

We have also felt, throughout all this dispute, that it should be possible to bring this within the jurisdiction of the United Nations. So far, the hostility of North Vietnam and others has prevented this—

Mr. Stanley Orme (Salford, West)

What about the bombing?

Mr. Stewart

I believe that it would be right to try again to see when an approach could be made through the United Nations. But I say this. finally—

Mr. Andrew Faulds(Smethwick)rose

Mr. Stewart

No, I will not give way—


Would my right hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Deputy Speaker


Mr. Faulds

Would my right hon. Friend give way on this point?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The Secretary of State is not giving way, so the hon. Gentleman must resume his seat.

Mr. Faulds

On this point—

Mr. Stewart


Mr. Faulds

My right hon. Friend is extremely discourteous.

Mr. Stewart

I am trying to safeguard the interests of those hon. Members who want to speak in the debate—

Mr. Faulds

Disgraceful shadow of a Foreign Secretary—

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. The hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) must contain himself.

Mr. Faulds

A Foreign Secretary of a Labour Government!

Mr. Stephen Hastings (Mid-Bedfordshire)

On a point of order. I distinctly heard the hon. Member for Smethwick (Mr. Faulds) refer to the Foreign Secretary as a "disgraceful shadow of a Foreign Secretary". Is this acceptable in the House?

Mr. Stewart

Further to that point of order. The remark made by my hon. Friend is no more offensive to me than many remarks which the hon. Member for Mid-Bedfordshire (Mr. Hastings) himself has made, and I do not bother about them.

I hope that I have established to the House why I believe that an attempt by Her Majesty's Government to make solemn pronouncements of condemnation or of support for the American Government on this issue would be wrong—wrong in logic and basically wrong in that they would not help find a solution. Our duty is rather in line with what we have always done, to work, through whatever channels may be available, for that agreed and negotiated solution to which, in the end, the parties will have to come. Let us hope that there will not be so many more months and years passed and lives lost before the necessity for an agreed and negotiated solution is realised.

4.47 p.m.

Mr. Sandys (Streatham)

I warmly welcome the fair and realistic speech made by the Foreign Secretary. I am very glad that the Government have not allowed themselves to be bullied into a condemnation of American policy. It is quite right that Parliament should immediately consider the important new developments in South-East Asia. I am, therefore, glad that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) asked for this debate, although I disagree profoundly with the intemperate views which he has expressed.

Every peace-loving person, must, of course, he concerned about the enlargement of the area of conflict and the possibility of wider repercussions upon East-West relations. But, having expressed our concern about the gravity of the situation, it does not follow that we should be right in accusing the Americans of irresponsibility. It is obvious that President Nixon did not lightly reach his decision to send American troops into Cambodia.

Mr. Russell Kerr (Feltham)

It was not his decision; it was the Pentagon's decision.

Mr. Sandys

He was well aware of the violent protests in the United States and throughout the world which this would provoke and he knew that he was endangering his prospects of re-election. History will judge whether he was right or wrong. But it is clear that he took this momentous decision because he felt that it was his duty to do so, and for no other reason.

It has been said that he ought first to have consulted the Senate. That is a matter for constitutional experts in the United States to argue about. It seems to me that to ask a Government to announce in advance their intention to launch a military operation, the success of which depends upon surprise, is like asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to consult Parliament about devaluation.

Throughout this tragic conflict there has been a tendency, as on so many issues, to apply double standards. There is a general outcry when American troops are sent into neutral Cambodia. Yet everyone seems to ignore the fact that the North Vietnamese for a long time past have established military bases and lines of communication in Cambodia, without the slightest regard for her neutral status.

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale said that a breach of neutrality by one country does not justify similar action by another. But it may make it inevitable. The Americans up till now have not reacted very vigorously over the presence of North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]—but with the planned reduction of their troops in South Vietnam they evidently felt that they could not any longer sit still and allow themselves to be encircled by forces operating from the safety of neutral territory.

The hon. Member for Ebbw Vale urged the need for a political settlement, but that is precisely what President Nixon and his predecessor have been striving to achieve. President Nixon has gone so far as to promise to withdraw American troops as soon as a settlement can be reached, which will allow the people of South Vietnam freely to determine their own destiny.

It was the Americans who took the initiative in opening negotiations. They have made it clear that they would like to find a political solution at the conference table and that they are prepared to make concessions to secure it. Unfortunately, as the Foreign Secretary said this afternoon, the response from the North Vietnamese has so far been entirely negative. It seems that they are determined to keep up the fight until the Americans go home, after which they hope to be able to subjugate South Vietnam by force.

It is said, and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale made a great deal of it this afternoon, that the American action runs the risk of provoking an escalation of the war and might lead to a deeper involvement of Russia and China. This is perfectly true: and I have no doubt that this possible danger was never absent from President Nixon's mind. One can always avoid trouble by always giving way. One can always avoid provoking others if one is prepared never to be provoked by anything they do against one. But where would the free world be if it yielded to every sabre-rattling demand from Moscow or Peking?

To dispatch American troops into Cambodia at this juncture was undoubtedly a crucial decision. But a decision not to do so would have been equally crucial. It is evident that President Nixon and his military advisers came to the conclusion—and I believe they were right —that, if they did not act in time, the continued defence of South Vietnam would become impossible.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins (Putney)

Will the right hon. Gentleman now give way?

Mr. Sandys

No. It is not in the interests of the House that in a short debate like this hon. Members should give way.

It is not only the future of South Vietnam which is at stake. If it is seen that America is unable or unwilling to fulfil her undertaking to protect the independence of South Vietnam, all the other countries in South-East Asia will doubt the value of her similar promises to them. Communist rebellions, organised and armed from outside, would be launched throughout the area; and law-abiding citizens, who have no sympathy with terrorists, would feel it wise to co-operate with people who may soon become their rulers.

Mrs. Anne Kerr (Rochester and Chatham)

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the Americans are terrorists?

Mr. Sandys

Once it is thought that America is no more than a paper tiger, the lawful Governments in one country after another will be confronted with the same dangers as the Government of South Vietnam. It will not stop at Indo-China. Siam, Malaysia and Singapore, with whom we have treaty obligations, will be threatened in the same way. Nor would the repercussions of an American collapse or capitulation in Vietnam be confined to South-East Asia. It would inevitably affect the credibility of America's military assurances to Australia, to New Zealand and to Europe.

For a quarter of a century Europe has been free from war. That has been primarily due to the strength and solidarity of N.A.T.O. If once it was thought that America could not, in all circumstances, be relied on to stand by her allies and see it through, the deterrent power of N.A.T.O. would be gravely weakened and the whole security of Western Europe would be endangered. President Nixon told us that this was a consideration he took into account in reaching his decision. We should be grateful to him for this.

In the present critical situation in the Far East, Britain's role is clear. It is not for us to sit in judgment on the Americans or to criticise them for a decision which was probably inevitable. As the Foreign Secretary said, we should concentrate on the one positive contribution which we can make. As co-Chairman, the right hon. Gentleman should continue to put all possible pressure on the Soviet Government to agree to reconvene the Geneva conference, without further hesitation. If the Russians are sincere in their fear of an escalation of the war, they have no possible excuse for refusing to co-operate in a new effort to reach peace by negotiation.

Meanwhile, we should show some understanding for the grave problems which face our American allies in their efforts to restore peace and preserve freedom in South-East Asia.

4.58 p.m.

Mr. Russell Johnston (Inverness)

I shall be brief, because I realise that a great many hon. Members wish to speak in the debate. I shall confine myself to speaking for under 10 minutes, subject to interruptions.

This is an emergency debate on Cambodia and the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) is to be congratulated on making it possible. It is, nevertheless, basically a debate about the escalation of the war in Vietnam rather than on what is happening in Cambodia. It is an extremely serious debate against a background in Cambodia of more blood, death and misery, a debate about the rights and wrongs of what America is doing in Vietnam and what the future of it is to be. It is also inevitably, as the Foreign Secretary said, a debate about what Britain should say about this, because, as I think he recognised, we can do remarkably little.

Truth, as we in this House have a unique capacity for recognising, is always the first casualty in war. If we consider what is said by the Americans and what is said by the N.L.F. in Vietnam, we realise how real that is and how emotions generated by war discourage objective analysis and clear and fair thinking.

In the view of Liberals, the Americans' commitment in Vietnam, well intentioned as it was—and I credit them as being well intentioned initially—arose from a basic flaw in their analysis of the nature of Communism in Asia and, indeed, of what can be achieved about it anyway. It never occurred to John Foster Dulles and others who followed him that Communism in the East contains much more of nationalism than Communism perhaps anywhere else. Nationalism is such a strong element in Communism in the East and influences its popularity so much that we cannot discount it.

I do not think, as some Conservatives appear to think, judging by their interruptions in the Foreign Secretary's speech, that we are faced with a choice between peace by appeasement and peace imposed. I think that the Americans must recognise that, long after they are gone—and go they must from Vietnam, either sooner or later—the Vietcong will still be there. Vietnam is, after all, the home of the Vietcong and South Vietnam is the home of most of them. They cannot, in the nature of things, be extirpated, as the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale himself said, unless the Americanes are prepared utterly to lay waste the country that they are pledged to defend.

It is for this reason, looking around the world, that we realise that the equivalents of the N.L.F., whether in Aden, India, Cyprus, or anywhere else, are in the end bound to succeed, and are bound to triumph over vastly superior power. This is not to say that it always means a better and fairer form of government for the individual. I am against Com- munism. Its consequences, its behaviour and its motives are totally alien to the things that, as a Liberal, I believe in. I also recognise that when Britain withdrew her imperial presence, this did not necessarily lead to fairer government for the individual person in the places we were before. But we ourselves have had to face the fact that some time we have had to go. The Americans have to recognise that, whether they go today, tomorrow, or next year, or later, they have to go ultimately.

Military force can restrain for a period but it can never achieve an ultimately satisfactory solution. The Americans have fallen into a fatal error, understandably from my point of view. In opposing Communism, they have often put themselves in the position of propping up Right-wing autocracies which are certainly no better, and sometimes much worse, than Left-wing autocracies. Neither is acceptable to me. The problem for the democrat is how one distinguishes between autocracies of the Right and the Left and how one deals with them. I am a bridge rather than a boycott man, but that is another question.

What is incontrovertible is that, by her defence of the status quo in Vietnam and elsewhere, America puts herself, in the eyes of the people of the underprivileged world, in the position of defending a situation which condemns them again, it seems permanently, to a subservient role and prevents them making their own decisions. I am a great admirer of the United States and many of her people and many of the things she does, but she is trying to play Canute to the ineluctable tides of change in history. The dynamic of change will always in the end overcome the inertia of privilege.

The very important reality not yet mentioned in the debate is that China's space shot has resulted in a new strategic position in the Far East, in that she can reprise nuclear attack and, therefore, is potentially in a militarily conventional position in the Far East similar to that which America occupies in the Caribbean.

Radicals of many kinds are in the habit of boasting of their righteousness rather more for the good of their consciences than for constructiveness. The Foreign Secretary is conscious of that. I certainly think that, in Britain, our job is not to ally ourselves uncritically with the forces of people whose behaviour is perhaps worse sometimes than the American behaviour. Our position rather is frankly to say to our American friends and brothers that we recognise their feelings of responsibility as the world policemen because we once tried to do it ourselves. We recognise what they want to achieve, but in the world as it is no one country, however good it may be, however right it may think itself, has the right or capacity—certainly not the capacity—to seek to do this sort of exercise.

We in this House have to say to our American friends, "We know that you are a more democratic country than any of the Communist countries and want to do the best you can for the world. But you are placing yourselves increasingly in a situation where you are defending that which is essentially undemocratic. You are defending and oppressing and forcing people into extreme positions, which in many cases they do not want to occupy, by what you are doing. Therefore, you are wrong."

We know that the N.L.F. were in Cambodia before the Americans, and were not there for a holiday, but that is not the point. The basic issue we face is not that at all, but wheher America stays in Vietnam or not. We in the Liberal Party believe that she is wrong to stay there, and that she must, as quickly as she can, seek to extricate herself.

Mr. Peter Bessell (Bodmin)rose

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker(Derby, South)rose

The Deputy Speaker

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Mr. Bessel

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend the Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) gave way to me.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I understood the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) to have resumed his seat. Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Mr. Noel-Bakerrose

Mr. Bessellrose

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I called Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Mr. Russell Johnston

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I gave way to my hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell).

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member for Inverness should have indicated to the Chair that he had given way. The Chair assumed that he had resumed his seat and called Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Mr. Bessell

May I interrupt my hon. Friend?

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. I have called Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Sir Harmar Nicholls (Peterborough)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) was on his feet when the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Bessell) got up to interrupt. There was no doubt in the minds of those who saw the incident that he was giving way to a question from the hon. Member for Bodmin.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

I am in as good a position as anyone in the Chamber to see what happens. I have called Mr. Philip Noel-Baker.

Mr. Bessell

Further to that point of order. My hon. Friend the Member for Inverness has made it clear that he was giving way to me and there is no doubt in the minds of anyone in the Chamber that this was the case. In these circumstances, surely I may be allowed to make my intervention and my hon. Friend allowed to complete his speech.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Gentleman is making it very difficult for the Chair, especially in what is already a rather truncated debate. I had decided that the hon. Member for Inverness had resumed his seat and I called Mr. Philip Noel-Baker. I cannot go back on that decision.

Mr. Bessell

My hon. Friend and Member for Inverness made it clear a moment ago that he had not resumed his seat, but had given way to me.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The hon. Member for Inverness stated that after the Chair had decided that he had resumed his seat. I can see the Chamber much better than other hon. Members. I am sorry, but I have made my decision.

Mr. Desmond Donnelly (Pembroke)

Further to that point of order. With due respect, Mr. Deputy Speaker, there is, I think, a misunderstanding which could easily be resolved in 30 seconds if you would allow the hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) to finish his speech.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. It would be quite wrong for any change to take place at this stage. No doubt the hon. Gentleman may get an opportunity later to put his point.

5.10 p.m.

Mr. Philip Noel-Baker (Derby, South)

I have no objection to waiting for an hon. Member to answer a question, but I am obliged to follow your Ruling, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I do so. I agree with the Foreign Secretary that it is impossible to make a sane evaluation of the situation in Cambodia today except against the background of the last 16 years of the history of Vietnam. Sixteen years ago, thanks to the work of Lord Avon and Mr. Khrushchev, who did admirable service with Chou En-lai, the French Colonial war was ended. The Geneva agreements were accepted by all the parties, including the United States.

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were to be disarmed and neutralised, elections were to be held, all foreign forces were to leave Indo-China, and an amnesty was assured to all who had fought against the French. It seemed that at long last an epoch of peace and prosperity was opening for those unhappy peoples to whom Western and Japanese imperialism had brought so much suffering for so many years. This was a great victory for those who wanted peace and international understanding. But we must remember that if Ho Chi Minh accepted the Geneva agreements it was because of the pressures and the assurances from Mr. Khrushchev and Chou En-lai.

The fair hopes of 1954 did not last very long. The ink was hardly dry on the agreements before the United States C.I.A. began its disruptive and nefarious work. It chose Diem to be the dictator of South Vietnam; it gave him full support, military, financial, economic, while he destroyed the Geneva settlement. Already, in 1955, he said that there would be no elections. He knocked the very bottom out of the whole agreement. By that repudiation of solemn international agreements the whole work of Lord Avon in Geneva, was undermined. Diem withdrew the amnesty offered to the Viet Minh. He put them into prison, he shot them, he tortured them until at last, in despair, they organised the resistance which became the Vietnam civil war. For nine years the C.I.A. gave Diem its full support. After he was murdered, it turned out the civilian Prime Ministers who took his place and put in Marshal Thieu and Marshal Ky to run the corrupt military dictatorship which passes for a Government today.

Laos did well after 1954 for a period of years. The popular Prime Minister, Prince Souvana Phouma, kept his country united, neutral and at peace. In 1960, the C.I.A. drove him out and replaced him with the corrupt and incompetent General Phoumi Nosovam, whose only merit was his extreme Right-wing, not to say, Fascist, view of policy. Two years later, President Kennedy was obliged to put Prince Souvana Phouma back into power, but the damage was done. The situation has worsened progressively ever since.

The present Cambodian crisis began when the C.I.A. deposed the neutralist Prince Sihanouk six weeks ago. Prince Sihanouk may have defects, he may have made mistakes, but for many years he showed statesmanship of the highest order. Until six weeks ago, in spite of appalling pressures, he kept his country, as the Sunday Times said the other day, united and at peace. He tolerated the existence of Vietcong bases on the borders of his frontier with South Vietnam—bases on Cambodian soil, yes. Those bases may have been important, although the United States Army seems to find it very difficult to locate them now. Perhaps they were important. But on Prince Sihanouk's other frontier, in Thailand, the United States had 40.000 troops and great air bases, and they were bombing North and South Vietnam from those bases. On every raid they violated the neutral air space of Laos and Cambodia as they went.

Whatever may be thought of Prince Sihanouk's policy and views, however things appeared to him, the C.I.A. had no right at all to turn him out, to organise a coup and to put in a Right-wing militarist dictator, just as it had no right, under cover of President Nixon's plan to withdraw 150,000 troops within a year, on condition that the Vietcong and Hanoi should not make provocative concentrations—it had no right to prepare and execute the Charter-breaking invasion of Cambodia which has aroused world-wide condemnation, and which we are, I hope, condemning this afternoon.

I said "Charter-breaking invasion", and that is very important, for the central fact, the essential fact about this crisis is that Cambodia, like the United States, is an independent sovereign member of the United Nations. If President Nixon had a complaint against Cambodia, his only proper course was to take it to the United Nations. And the only proper course for our Government now—and here I go some distance with the Foreign Secretary, further than some of my hon. Friends—the only proper course for our Government now is to take this U.S. invasion of Cambodia to the United Nations, to join with other Governments in summoning a special Session of the General Assembly, as Chairman Kosygin summoned a special Session of the General Assembly after the six-day war in Sinai in 1967.

Hon. Members opposite may say that it is Utopian to think that the General Assembly could bring about any practical results. Nothing is so Utopian, nothing is so founded on illusion, as to think that we can drift from one crisis to another, allowing the United Nations to be set aside, discredited, rebuffed, and still avoid the final cataclysm of a third world war. That is Utopian; that is founded on illusion.

We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations. That does not conceal the fact that the United Nations today is in dire straits; that its Charter, the foundation of its authority and prestige, is fast becoming a scrap of paper. I remember that in May.. 1938, only 15 months before the war began, Sir Winston Churchill toured Britain for the League of Nations Union, demanding that our Government should lead the League in stopping Hitler. In 1944, he wrote to Robert Cecil: This war could easily have been prevented, if the League had been upheld by its members with loyalty and courage. What the world needs today is not only the ending of the invasion of Cambodia; Cambodia is a small matter; it needs the ending of the Vietnam war, the ending of the anarchy which confronts us. It needs the application, at long last, of Lord Avon's Geneva agreements of 1954. It needs the abandonment of the militarist thinking and the militarist polices which still dominate and still curse the world.

Hon. Members may say that it would be a miracle if the General Assembly of the United Nations produced this result. Perhaps we need a miracle to save the world. But let us remember that world opinion is still an instrument of enormous power, and that no human institution can organise world opinion on a world-wide scale except the General Assembly.

Let us remember that 14 years ago President Eisenhower, Mr. Dulles, Mr. Lester Pearson and scores of other Foreign Ministers used the Assembly to get France and Britain out of Egypt. Let our Prime Minister and our Foreign Secretary use this instrument today to get a new start in world affairs.

Would it be anti-American to do to President Nixon what President Eisenhower did to us in 1956?

I remember the words used by Robert Kennedy, when he announced his candidature for the presidency of the United States in 1968: I have talked and listened to the young people of our nation and felt their anger about the war they are sent to fight and the world they are about to inherit. In private talks and in public, I have tried in vain to alter our course in Vietnam before it further saps our spirit and our manpower, further raises the risks of wider war, and further destroys the country and people it was meant to save. I cannot stand aside from the contest that will decide our nation's future. Confronted with world anarchy, world hunger, war and the deadly arms race. Britain cannot stand aside today.

5.23 p.m.

Mr. J. Enoch Powell (Wolverhampton, South-West)

I hope that the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker) will forgive me, and I am sure that the House will forgive me, if I do not follow him either through his history of the last 16 years in South-East Asia or into the aspirations, which he realises to some of us seem visionary, of the concluding parts of his speech. For we have a very practical, precise and instant question before the House this afternoon.

It is not, however, as the form of the debate might perhaps suggest, whether this House should speak or hold its peace on the recent developments in Indo-China. It is not whether Her Majesty's Government should associate themselves with or disassociate themselves from the policies and the actions of the United States Administration. If there was ever a time when we still had that choice, that time has long gone past. What has been said in this House and by Her Majesty's Government for years has made it impossible for us to be silent now without being associated.

I turned up this morning an old speech I made over four years ago, when I said: As the Americans have ground deeper and deeper into the tragic morass of Vietnam. Britain's voice has been that of the obedient commentator. Each successive American act received prompt British endorsement. When they started bombing North Vietnam the Government said they agreed—when they stopped bombing North Vietnam the Government applauded them—when they started bombing North Vietnam again the Foreign Office could not wait to issue a statement saying that they understood and supported the decision. The Soviet Union could hardly have expected more favourable comment from its satrapies in Eastern Europe. After what has been done by Her Majesty's Government in this matter over the past four years, there is no longer available to us the silence which does not mean consent. Silence now means consent and, whether we like it or not, we have to accept that the option of neutrality in word is no longer open to us.

Very often the actions of nations do not depend for their wisdom or their morality upon absolutes. We have to judge whether they be wise or right according to the circumstances and often, above all, according to their practicability. If it were possible for the United States by military action to secure to the people of South Vietnam independence, security, self-determination, self-government, almost every hon. Member of the House would be willing to bless, at any rate to accept —American military action in South-East Asia.

The central fact, the fact that we dare not blink, that we do an injustice to ourselves by pretending not to see, is that American military power cannot secure any specific political result in South-East Asia. It is beyond the capability even of the immense force of the United States to secure the kind of settlement, the kind of situation, which they and perhaps we would like to see in South-East Asia. This is a war in which the United States can win, if it wishes, every battle; but it is a war which the United States is bound to lose.

This depends not upon the changes and chances of military events nor upon whether that port is bombed and this supply centre is invaded and extinguished. It depends upon the underlying facts of the situation. From the very inception of United States intervention in South-East Asia, it was predictable that the United States could not win, that it could not succeed by military means in achieving its objects; and I mention, as the best proof that this was predictable, the fact that it was predicted.

My right hon. Friends who sit upon the Front Opposition bench will bear me out when I say that from the time when I first was entrusted to speak on affairs of defence on behalf of my party I advised them that there could be no ultimate military success for the United States in Vietnam and that, sooner or later, the outcome would be that the United States would have to disengage in circumstances of embarrassment not easy to distinguish from military defeat. This was a prediction made not only in private, but in public, too.

I will trouble the House with one further quotation, a self quotation. I do so only because of its curious relevance to what was said by the Secretary of State earlier this afternoon. I wrote this in August, 1966, nearly four years ago: If I had to guess how peace may one day come in Indo-China, I would imagine the process to commence not when a Geneva Conference assembled again under its co-chairmen after so many years, but when the United States began to withdraw the forces and, like the Snark, `softly', if not suddenly ', to 'vanish away '. Everything that has happened during the last four years, every operation, has gone to reinforce the fact of the inability of the United States to secure her object, or indeed our object, in South-East Asia by military force and the inevitability, sooner or later, of her quitting the field and withdrawing her forces.

If by a stroke here or there the situation could be altered, then we might say with the Secretary of State, "The President has good military advisers; he has advice and information which we cannot share in this House"; but our judgment does not depend on military advice, on a particular stroke, a particular battle, or a particular form of tactics. I have no doubt that the United States forces can eliminate the Vietcong base which has so long flourished—of course it has—in Cambodia. I do not doubt their power to do that any more than I doubt their power to succeed in any other individual military operation.

But when it is over, the underlying facts of the situation reassert themselves like the tide washing out footmarks in the sand. The ultimate fact reasserts itself: the Americans do not live there; everyone knows that their presence there, long or short, is destined to be temporary; everyone knows the realities which will prevail over them. This is the background against which we in this House must judge what we shall say to Her Majesty's Government and with what voice we wish the Government to speak.

There is nothing in friendship, there is nothing in alliance—and there is friendship and there is alliance, though not in Indo-China, between ourselves and the United States—which requires that we should encourage a friend or an ally in a course manifestly self-defeating, a course destined to end in ignominy and failure. It cannot be to the benefit of the United States, it cannot be to the benefit of this country—whatever view we take of the defence of the United Kingdom—it cannot be to the advantage of anyone in South-East Asia, that this continuing experiment to prove a result which was already knowable, predictable and predicted four or five years ago should go on any longer. The extension of the conflict, if one likes to describe it so, which has just taken place presents us with the necessity of deciding for ourselves what we shall say to our friend and to our ally.

I believe it is the view of many people in this country, and of many hon. Mem- bers on both sides of the House— though, if that were not so, still I believe that wisdom and common sense require it—that we should say to our friends and allies: "At last, at length, enough!"

5.35 p.m.

Mr. Alan Lee Williams (Hornchurch)

I should like to say one or two words to the right hon. Member for Wolverhamton, South-West (Mr. Powell), who has made a characteristically brave speech, as one can see from the look of his hon. Friends sitting alongside him. But he based his speech on a false hypothesis. It has always been my understanding that the Americans, apart from a few American military advisers, have never considered that this war could be won. The real issue is the status and sovereignty of South Vietnam. This is the important major element in this debate.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) made, as always, an eloquent speech, but it was somewhat partial. I am long used to the intolerance of some of my hon. Friends when another point of view is put forward. This was certainly noticeable when my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke.

I wish to make one or two observations based partly on some personal experience and also on my own judgment. I was the only Member of this House to observe the elections in South Vietnam two years ago, which I regret. The elections were nothing like the Westminster pattern, but in South-East Asia they were in a sense unique. Although the elections showed that the contest was between individuals whose policies were not all that wide apart, it was nevertheless a step in the right direction—a genuine attempt to evolve some democratic institutions, in stark contrast to the situation in North Vietnam. It has never been my view that the ramshackle regime created by Ho Chi Minh is preferable to the ramshackle regime created by circumstances after the Geneva conference of 1954. We are not talking about a perfect situation. Neither Government is particularly attractive. They are both military regimes. But there is a chance in South Vietnam to do better. The real issue of this debate is not Cambodia. It is South Vietnam and its ability to survive.

The hon. Member for Inverness (Mr. Russell Johnston) on behalf of the Liberal Party—and I am sorry he is not here—argued the curious case that although Left-wing Governments may be more unpleasant than Right-wing Governments, somehow or other they ought to be able to survive. The issue is whether the people themselves should decide freely whether a Left-wing Government survives and not for Governments to be imposed upon them from the outside.

What we have seen over the last 20 years is a fight to impose government from the outside—

Mr. Stan Newens (Epping)

By the Americans.

Mr. Williams

With the involvement of two great Powers the main issues to which I am trying to draw attention are sometimes lost sight of. There is considerable evidence that the infiltration of the Vietcong down the Ho Chi Minh line has been the way in which pressure has been kept up against the South. When I was in Vietnam during the elections, I met lots of intellectuals like some of my hon. Friends. They were very interested in doing some of the things we have been able to do in the past 50 years. A lot of them were extremely well read and were conversant with some of the books written by social democratic thinkers. They were not Fascists or reactionaries, but they are bitterly opposed to Communism. That is their right. It is our right. So it seems to me that this is the real crux of the argument.

The Vietcong do not speak for the whole of Vietnam, so it is important that the issue should be made crystal clear, although the action taken by the United States Government in Cambodia raises one's forebodings. As the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West said, once this kind of involvement starts, it is extremely difficult to know where it will stop. But I am convinced that the Americans do not intend to widen the war. Their objective is only to protect the sovereignty of South Vietnam.

The Americans are not out to conquer North Vietnam. That has never been their aim. In the circumstances, we must try to be as objective as possible. I know the passions that can be aroused on this subject. I saw some of the horror in Vietnam. I went into the demilitarised zone, as other hon. Members have done. I went down into Mekong Delta and saw some of the horror of the war. But to be in favour of the sovereignty of South Vietnam does not mean that I or anyone else who supports that proposition is in favour of horror and war.

The ability to achieve peace in this situation rests in many hands. Certainly the initiative for peace does not lie only with the Americans. One sees the lack of progress which has been made in the so-called peace talks in the last 18 months, during which not one word was uttered by some of my hon. Friends about the steady infiltration into the South, which was a de-stabilising factor. It is clear that responsibility for this war must rest more evenly than some of my hon. Friends think.

Mr. John Lee

Will my hon. Friend give way?

Mr. Williams

No, I will not give way. The only hope is for a negotiated settlement. There can be no military victory.

Mr. Orme

Tell that to the Americans.

Mr. Williams

The Americans are fully aware of it. The only way that this ghastly, terrible war can be brought to an end is by achieving a negotiated settlement at the conference table in Paris.

5.34 p.m.

Mr. Julian Amery (Brighton, Pavilion)

We faced a very similar situation some eight years ago to the one that we face today. In 1962 the Communists looked like taking over Laos, and the Government of the day, in which my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) and I both served, dispatched a sizeable contingent of the Royal Air Force to Thailand to help exercise pressure in favour of a peaceful settlement, which I am glad to say was achieved.

I was at the Air Ministry at the time, and I went out to Thailand to see our Air Force detachments on the spot, after which I went on to Saigon to speak with the South Vietnamese and the American authorities. It is because of that experience and subsequent visits to the area that I venture to intervene in what necessarily must be a short debate.

I came back from my first visit with two clear ideas about the situation in South-East Asia, and subsequent impressions have reinforced my conclusions. The first concerned the consequences of a possible Communist victory in Vietnam. I found in Laos, in Cambodia, in Thailand, in Malaysia, in Singapore, in Australia and in New Zealand a clear consensus that if the Communists prevailed in Vietnam, still more if they prevailed in the rest of former Indo-China, they would prevail in the whole area.

I know that the domino theory is not very popular in this country today. But I have observed again and again that it is difficult to find any serious statesman anywhere in South-East Asia who does not share it. What is more, if one reads Communist literature on the subject, it is clear that both in China and in the Soviet Union they are domino men, too. They think that if there is a break-through in Vietnam and Cambodia, it will spread through the whole area.

The other conclusion to which I came concerned the great difficulty under which the Americans labour. The North Vietnamese and their backers have a clear and precise objective. It is to win the war and take over Saigon. That was not the American view at any stage, as the hon. Member for Hornchurch (Mr. Alan Lee Williams) made clear in what I thought was a remarkable speech. The Americans have never tried to win the war. It might have been easier for them if they had. I dare say that they could have gone to Hanoi during the Cultural Revolution without any major international complications. But that has not been their aim. They have worked for a settlement, and it is difficult to define a settlement clearly because it has to be arrived at round a conference table by give and take between both sides.

The Americans have fought with one hand tied behind their backs, and they have bent over backwards to try to get a settlement. I think that the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot) might at least have paid tribute to the efforts made by President Johnson and President Nixon in favour of a settlement by stopping the bombing, with- drawing troops and undertaking to withdraw more troops. I do not think anyone can doubt that the Americans were sincere in their search for a settlement which would have kept South Vietnam out of Communist hands. They did not seek more than the maintenance of neutrality in Cambodia and Laos and a South Vietnam which was not dominated by the Communists.

Unfortunately, they were misunderstood by the Communist world, and perhaps we are all a little to blame for this. We make such great efforts to appease our enemies that they read our good will for weakness, and they become the victims of their own propaganda. Those who advocate appeasement, like Senator Fulbright and Senator Mansfield, are built up in the Communist Press and taken much more seriously than the forces that they represent in their own country. All the talk of war weariness and student demonstrations assumes a proportion on the other side of the Iron Curtain which we who live among it know is not true.

Mr. Michael Foot

Will the right hon. Gentleman take note of the fact that President Nixon was elected on the promise to end the war? Does the right hon. Gentleman think he is doing it?

Mr. Amery

I said just now that I thought that President Nixon was bending over backwards to try to get a settlement. What the hon. Gentleman will also know is that the failure of the Communist Powers to respond to the American effort will stiffen American opinion in a way that they have not foreseen. We had a similar experience in this country. The Germans thought that we were a pushover when we surrendered at Munich and Prague. They did not expect us to fight for Danzig. The Communists may have a rude awakening.

There has been no Communist response of a positive kind. There has been a stepping up of the fighting in Vietnam and an increase of the fighting in Laos, and we have seen in the last few weeks the very sizeable build-up of Communist effort in Cambodia. This was not a consequence of the coup dďéetat in the Cambodian capital. It happened before that, as the Foreign Secretary rightly said. Indeed, Prince Sihanouk protested against it, and the reason he was kicked out was not because of the C.I.A., but because his protestations directed to the Communists failed to bring about any diminution of Communist infiltration into his country.

What would be the implications of a Communist occupation of Cambodia? A glance at the map shows that Cambodia totally outflanks Vietnam, and that the tip of South Vietnam is 20 minutes' flying time from Singapore. What was President Nixon to do in the circumstances? If he left the Communists to establish themselves in Cambodia, Cambodian neutrality would be a thing of the past. If they were to dominate the whole country, including Port Sihanoukville, how could his plan to get Vietnamisation succeed? How could he withdraw the American Army without handing over South Vietnam to the Communists? He had no option but to try to restore Cambodian neutrality, which meant trying to break the Communists' growing hold on the country.

I may be told that the present Government in Phnom Penh are not so neutral. Neutralism and neutrality are not the same thing, as Switzerland, Sweden and Austria have proved. What is essential is that the Communist grip on the country should be broken if its neutrality is to be restored and if the Americans can hope to proceed with their plans for Vietnamisation and withdrawal.

I turn to our part in all this. We are directly concerned in this issue on two grounds. We have great interests in South-East Asia. Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are fellow members of the Commonwealth, and, as I said, it is only 20 minutes' flying time from Vietnam to Singapore. We also have a formal connection as co-Chairman of the Geneva conference, and I should like, if it does not cause them too much embarrassment, to pay tribute to the Government for the determined attitude which they have pursued from the beginning of their time in office in support of what I should like to call Sir Anthony Eden's settlement and the attempt to make it stick.

Under pressure from the Left wing of their party the Government sponsored the mission of the right hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies). They learned, as the right hon. Gentleman did, from bitter experience the intransigence of Hanoi, and everything that has happened since has confirmed that intransigence. What have the Government of Hanoi done? They have extended the war. It is not the Americans who have extended it. It was not the Americans who stepped up infiltration into Cambodian areas. It is not the Americans who are marching on the Cambodian capital.

What should we do?

An Hon. Member: Stick to aviation.

Mr. Amery

The hon. Gentleman's remark is frivolous. If his party had stuck to my aviation policy there would be no complaint.

It seems clear that we should give our wholehearted moral support to the President of the United States in the action that he has undertaken. I have no doubt that it is politically justified. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West has raised doubts about whether it is militarily justified. None of us can tell, but I do not accept his rather Marxist concept of the inevitability of defeat. I called it "Marxist"; perhaps I was wrong. It seems that there was an acho of his immigration views in what he said. He said that the Americans could not stay there because they did not belong there. I am not sure that this is a view of history which commends itself to me or to serious historians on either side of the House.

My second proposal is this. I know that the Government want to withdraw from South-East Asia, but they should say that until this crisis is resolved they will not try to stick to any timetable of withdrawal. It would be irresponsible, at a time when the clouds are gathering again over South-East Asia, and when the prospect looks very dark, for Britain to pull the rug out from under Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

But there is a positive side, too, and that is what we can seek to achieve as co-Chairman of the Geneva conference. As the Foreign Secretary said, Mr. Kosygin was pretty discouraging yesterday, and the fact that Mr. Brezhnev is in Prague today—these are the gentlemen with whom we have to negotiate as coChairmen—shows that we shall get cooperation from the Soviet Union on this issue only when they are convinced that their side cannot win. What we have to look for is a settlement in which neither side extends its sphere of influence.

I felt so much sympathy and respect for what the Foreign Secretary said that I hesitate to cross swords with him on any point, but there is one matter about which I am not altogether happy. He said "Let there be free elections in South Vietnam to see who can win", and when I asked "What about North Vietnam?" the right hon. Gentleman replied that that was already under Communist control. He seemed to accept that a robber can take a person's pocket-book and then discuss with him whether to take his wrist-watch.

I think that this debate is very important because the forecast of it in the Press has cast a certain shadow over our political life. Broadly speaking, since the end of the Second World War there has been a general consensus in successive Parliaments that we were on the side of the free world, but now there is emerging increasingly a group of hon. Members who either want the Communists to win in South-East Asia, or at any rate, do not mind if they do. I do not think that many hon. Members on either side of the House dispute that. Some hon. Members would rather see the Communists win or, if the American withdrawal results in this, they would not greatly mind.

Mr. John Lee

Accepting for the sake of argument that the right hon. Gentleman's thesis is correct—though, in fact, I reject it—how does he think that the cause of anti-Communism is served by a military operation which has the effect of driving the Russians and the Chinese into each other's arms when, from his point of view, the more they are on bad terms with each other the better?

Mr. Amery

The hon. Gentleman is a little esoteric. I do not see much sign of South-East Asia driving the two into each other's arms.

It is clear that the speeches and views advanced by a number of hon. Gentlemen opposite have the effect of wishing for a Communist victory, and in many cases are motivated by that wish. They are entitled to their views. This is a free country. I am not suggesting that they are Communist agents. They do it for free. But we are entitled by the same token to draw our own conclusion, and they must not complain if, as a result, we label some of them crypto-Communists or fellow-travellers.

There are, of course, broad differences between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, but it is my view that the differences which separate the bulk of our two parties are as nothing compared with the great divide which separates the free world from the Communist world. That is why I was glad to hear the Foreign Secretary speak in terms which dissociated the Government and the majority of the party opposite from the Left wing below the Gangway and showed that the teachings of Ernest Bevin have not been forgotten by the Labour movement.

6.0 p.m.

Mr. Richard Marsh (Greenwich)

The last words of the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) were in keeping with much of his speech. He harked back to the great days of a very great man, Ernest Bevin. The basic theme of his speech was based on many of the assumptions of the 1940s and 1930s and even further back. His argument that the fact that a nation should not be on another nation's territory is not of itself an argument why it should leave is, for him, a perfectly logical proposition. It is a good old-fashioned imperialist proposition with which he agrees. That is his point of view.

What is disturbing to many of us is that the right hon. Gentleman can hold the views that he does and find himself in sympathy for and support of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. That is one of the things which have concerned many of us on this side. The right hon. Gentleman's speech was based upon the simple containment of Communism—one form of Communism, as though there were not others. It is the simple proposition that, somehow or other, one can maintain in South-East Asia in the 1960s and 1970s Right-wing Governments because they have the support of outside forces. There is no evidence that that is so. It has been tried for a long time now and, indeed, part of the price we have paid in that part of the world for pursuing that policy is that we have probably lost the opportunity of getting Governments which might well have been less extreme because they would have been left of centre, particularly in Vietnam.

Now we are faced with Governments representing the most extreme forces. Governments must accept the simple fact that there are choices of Governments of the Left in South-East Asia, but there is no choice now in South-East Asia between Governments of the Left and Governments of the Right because the latter cannot continue to exist indefinitely.

The speech of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) was more important than the speech of the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, for two reasons. It proved conclusively that the debate cannot be seen in terms of pro-Americanism and anti-Americanism, and neither can it be seen in terms of fellow-travellers and loyalists. The right hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West has been called many things, and I have added my share to the glossary, but the accusation of being an extreme Left-winger is not prominent among them. That accusation has not been levelled at me, either. But I found myself agreeing with his basic proposition on the whole sad story of Vietnam, which I agree with him is a war which could never have been won and shows no sign of being won.

I do not want to go into the merits of the Vietnam war, since that is not the argument in the debate. The right hon. Gentleman said that we have a very precise question to answer in this House, and I agree. That question is: what is our view of the American action in Cambodia? We have to have a view. I also agree with him that, at a time when even traditional neutrals have a view, the British Government cannot say that they do not have a view, that they believe that it is all very sad but that we must not come down on the left hand too far but must recognise the difficulties and not come down too far on the right hand.

Britain cannot hold that stance. Either we are opposed to this action or, by implication—and this is a perfectly defensible proposition to take up—we support it. It is impossible for a country to opt out of having any view at all. There are two arguments here. One is the merits of the American invasion of Cambodia and the other is whether the British Government can, should or have expressed a view today. This point worries me most of all.

For years Her Majesty's Government have faced the problem, including when I had the honour to be a member, of what was their view in relation to the whole Vietnam question. Inevitably—and I give no secrets away—with a large number of people involved there are different points of view. I support solidly now and in retrospect the Government's policy on Vietnam then because the Government said, in effect, "When one has made all the calculations, it may be possible that we can make a contribution to peace, that we can exert an influence, that we can invoke the special relationship, that we can provide a bridge."

Those were meritorious ambitions, and the Government tried every possible way to achieve some participation in a settlement. Hon. Members opposite should think back and remember how many times the Government's sometimes unconventional efforts were greeted with derision and mirth by them, but I think the Government were right to try every conceivable way they could to achieve a settlement. But those efforts had only one thing in common: they did not work. We discovered that the special relationship did not exist in real terms. We discovered that, try and try as we could and should, we could not deliver. The Government were right to try, but at the end of the period we had not got anywhere. Now, when there is a new move, we have to accept that hiding our views or trimming them gets us nowhere and, therefore, there is no reason for not speaking openly and clearly what our views really are.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary expressed the difficulties, and it is an incredibly difficult position for a British Foreign Secretary to express views hostile to a long-time ally. But there can come a time when loyalty can become subservience, when the failure to express a point of view is of itself not an assistance to an ally but a negligence of one's duty to that ally. Countries all over the world are joined in argument on this development—not just Communist countries but good, middle-of-the-road Social Democratic leaders and even Right-wing countries. They are expressing a view.

People in the United States, including Congressmen, the organs of communication and American people representing all sorts of factions in universities are arguing and expressing different points of view. It ill becomes any Labour Government in this situation to say that we alone are not to have a clearly-announced view on this issue, whatever that view may be.

It is legitimate to express a view in support or against but to say that we can express no view at all is to finish this debate, if it finishes in that way, without any clear decision one way or the other. It is defensible to support the Americans openly or to say that they are wrong. It is not defensible on a major issue to blur the edges one way or the other.

A strange doctrine has been enunciated by hon. Members opposite—

Mr. Paget

It is not strange.

Mr. Marsh

It is strange from my point of view but I understand from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) that apparently it is a legally respectable doctrine that a nation has a duty to ensure that nothing happens within its borders which may be regarded as hostile by another nation which may be at issue with a third nation. If we take that into practice we ignore the realities of life. There are countries all round the world with installations of one sort or another on behalf of another major Power.

If we accept that the Russians have the right to act unilaterally against any independent country which happens to be carrying support for the West, we open up a dangerous proposition—indeed, we do so in relation to ourselves, as well. Whatever the legal phrases may be—I accept that they are legal, because I am no lawyer, thank goodness—I do not think that in terms of international practice the doctrine can really be maintained.

Mr. Paget

If we were at war with Russia, then Russia would be fully entitled to deal with any country which permitted us to maintain warlike installations on its territory. That is international law.

Mr. Marsh

I have said that I do not quarrel with my hon. and learned Friend's definition of what the law is. All I say is that, in the modern world, if it is accepted that justification for intervention in a third territory is the fact that that territory contains things which are being used, there are gradations between hot war and cold war which, while one may argue about them in law, are thin definitions.

There is a rumour that possibly my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister may wind up this debate today. I do not know whether that is so and whether there will be a further intervention. But I do hope that when this debate is finished we have, as I hope we shall have, a declaration that the Government regard the present American action in Cambodia as something with which they disagree or a declaration that they support that action, and that we can move away from this question of rather "phoney" neutrality—

Eldon Griffiths

Where does the right hon. Gentleman stand?

Mr. Marsh

There is no doubt about this. I am opposed to it. I am not saying that that is right. I am saying one should come down on one side or the other.

Finally, it has been said that it is wrong, virtually, for us to express a view in this particular argument because these are the big Powers themselves. It becomes increasingly more obvious that the present world is divided between the enormous power of the Soviet Union and that of the United States of America. That is a reality of life. But part of the price we pay for that division is that we have to be more vigilant. Small countries have to express their views more noisily because if we do not, just as silence among the citizens within a nation can allow tyranny to take place, so compromise by smaller nations in a world dominated by one or two Powers can produce tyranny within the world.

6.15 p.m.

Mr. John Biggs-Davison (Chigwell)

The right hon. Member for Greenwich (Mr. Marsh) said he was opposed to the American intervention in Cambodia. I am not, and now that my right hon. Friend the Member for Kinross and West Perthshire (Sir Alec Douglas-Home) has gone to Washington where he will be seeing members of the American Administration, he will be able to tell them that Conservatives in this House and in this country sympathise with President Nixon in the very difficult decision that he made and admire the courage with which he made it.

We on this side welcome the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Foreign Secretary, whatever his hon. Friends may think of it. We are disposed to support him, but I hope he has the full support of his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. If it is true that the Prime Minister is coming here to wind up the debate this evening, can it be, perhaps, that he is to inform us of a lightning trip across the Atlantic in order to assuage the emotions of his hon. Friends below the Gangway? I do not know.

We are not called upon to underwrite this American military intervention. In reply to a Question of mine on Friday last, the Foreign Secretary told the House that he was not consulted. It is understandable that Her Majesty's Government were not consulted. We have heard a great deal about moral influence to be brought to bear on the Americans, but if one has no material power one has very little moral influence. If we are resolved to withdraw all our military forces from the Far East our influence in the Far East will be proportionately less, and if we lecture super-Powers without the military means of effective diplomacy we cut a somewhat pitiful and ridiculous figure.

Had there been a British military contingent in Vietnam we might have been in a position to talk to the Americans and he listened to with respect. I am one of those who has stated in public the private opinion that earlier it would have been well for some British soldiers to be serving alongside our Australian and New Zealand subjects. That is of the past, hut we should sometimes consider not only the Americans, but our Australian and New Zealand partners.

The "domino" theory in the Far East has been derided. In my view the Communist Powers believe in it. Certainly, the South-east Asia Powers and our Australian and New Zealand fellow subjects believe in it. For them, the Far East is the near North, and Cambodia is but 75 minutes flying distance to Darwin. The Australians and New Zealanders are not in Cambodia, but Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are theatres in a single war waged by Communist-controlled Tonkin with the object of bringing all Indo-China under the leadership and control of Hanoi; and South Vietnam is the main target, including as it does important human and material resources and the Mekong Delta.

When I was in Vietnam it was impressed on me that if South Vietnam fell, if the United States and South Vietnam's other allies withdrew without an adequate state of defence to replace them, it would be extremely difficult to prevent the whole of the South Asian mainland passing under the rule or domination of Peking. The late Ho Chi Minh laid down that each State in this particular area should liberate—his word —itself by a people's revolutionary war, and that Hanoi should give what help was necessary.

It has been said in this debate that the Vietnam war cannot be won and that the Americans never thought it could be. But was the Korean war won? No, but the southern part of Korea was prevented from passing under Communist control; and there is no reason, except in the minds of defeatists, why South Vietnam should not be secured from Communist occupation.

Hon. Members are eager to protest against the American intervention in Cambodia. Did they protest when North Vietnam occupied military sanctuaries, to use the jargon, all along the Cambodian frontier with South Vietnam, some of them several leagues inside Cambodian territory? Did they protest when North Vietnam began not only through subversion but through its own regular forces to invade South Vietnam, a sovereign State recognised by the Government of the United Kingdom and 81 other sovereign States?

Did they protest when the neutrality of Laos was violated? Did they protest when the demilitarised zone was invaded? Cambodia was invaded by the Communists just because Cambodia wanted to be neutral.

This has been an important debate, not because it will deflect the march of history but because it has revealed the state of affairs within the Labour Party. Some hon. Members below the Gangway, like some of the protesters who go to Grosvenor Square, and places like that, tell us that they are concerned with peace in Vietnam. But it is becoming more and more clear to the House and the country that what they are really concerned for is victory for the Vietcong.

6.19 p.m.

Mr. John Mendelson (Penistone)

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Chigwell (Mr. Biggs-Davison) is a prominent member of the Suez group. Some of his particular colleagues have spoken this afternoon. I am not surprised to find them cheering on what some United States Senators have called "Mr. Nixon's war". What matters much more is the attitude of Her Majesty's Government.

In his contribution, the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Amery) talked of the non-representative character of the people who are protesting in the United States. The first point of which my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary ought to have taken note when he came to address us is that the Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Senate, unanimously, have sent to the President a message in which they told him that he is conducting an unconstitutional, unauthorised, illegal war.

If the right hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, does not regard the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate as representative of American opinion I do not know what kind of body we have to quote to get his approval.

An Hon. Member

All fellow travellers.

Mr. Mendelson

Yes, they are all fellow travellers, led by Senator Fulbright, taking in most of the middle, and right wing of the two parties—all fellow travellers!

We see, in this situation, adventurism in high places. It is gravely disappointing that the Foreign Secretary found himself unable to denounce the adventurous character of this expansion of the war. This being so, my right hon. Friend must not be surprised when he finds many of his hon. Friends profoundly disappointed by his speech and unconvinced by the case which he pleaded.

In the debate, my right hon. Friend and others have sought to put all the blame for the fruitlessness of the negotiations in Paris on to the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front. It is well known that one of the main reasons why there was no progress at the Paris talks was because President Johnson first, followed by President Nixon, were determined to keep in power the wholly unrepresentative military clique in Saigon.

The former presidential candidate, Mr. Dzu, in the South Vietnamese elections campaigned on a platform of seeking to find a way towards negotiations between South and North Vietnam. That was his official platform, and he got 28 per cent. of the total vote. However, two days after the elections he was put in prison, and he is there now. That happened because he advocated an opening that might have led to a peaceful solution. We have not heard of any efforts being made by the U.S. Administration to get him released.

There has not been, in this situation, a search for sanctuaries but a situation in which the United States President has agreed, with the C.I.A. and his military advisers, to destroy the neutral regime of Prince Sihanouk with the idea of putting in power another military clique, and the President is now sending in another large army to bail them out.

It is for this reason that the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee is adopting an unprecedented and tough line in its attitude towards its own President. It knows that this is no four or six-weeks' operation, but that this is an expansion of the war accompanied by a resumption of large-scale bombing.

I was astonished that my right hon. Friend could not make even a brief reference to, and protest against, this resumption of bombing. The United States Congress is greatly alarmed by the latest dangerous development, a development which is completely contrary to the arrangements that had been made by Mr. Harriman, who is on record as having said that only a major attack across the demilitarised zone could justify a resumption of bombing. However, bombing has been resumed and it is a further sign that the American President is prepared to expand the war.

I am told that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister will reply to the debate. I welcome that news. He must know, however, that there are many of his hon. Friends and many members of the Labour movement—indeed, there are many in this category who do not belong to any one party—who regard it as absolutely imperative that, at the conclusion of the debate, the Government should strongly disapprove of the expansion of the war into Cambodia.

It is earnestly hoped by all these people that Her Majesty's Government will align themselves with the expressed view of the Governments of France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, India, Sweden—the new Swedish Prime Minister has openly pronounced his condemnation of the expansion of the war into Cambodia—because it would be a failure in duty if a Labour Government did not today condemn the present state of affairs in that part of the world. [Laughter.] Do I hear hon. Gentlemen opposite—or certainly one who can be called a member of the Suez Group—laughing? After the Suez invasion the Leader of the Opposition told him to which political ilk he belonged. I do not have to repeat it.

I urge the Prime Minister to take clear note of the feeling and conviction of certainly hon. Members on this side of the House. I urge him to note carefully the views that have been expressed by many Prime Ministers of democratic countries. I urge him to join them today and to say that we condemn the invasion of Cambodia, that we are opposed to any resumption of the bombing and that we will ask for an approach to be made to see a coalition Government in Saigon. We must demand a halt to the invasion of Cambodia and call for new talks to occur in Paris on the basis of a cease-fire and a decision by the American Government not to continue the military operations in Cambodia.

6.26 p.m.

Mr. Reginald Maudling (Barnet)

This debate has been brief but weighty. That is how it should have been. It is right that the Prime Minister should reply and my hon. Friends hope very much that he will add his full weight to the clear speech that was made by the Foreign Secretary. In doing so, he will have from my hon. Friends full support for the policy which was put forward by the Foreign Secretary.

I cannot, of course, speak for others on this aspect. My reaction to the news of the American move into Cambodia was one of deep sadness—to see, once again, pictures of clanking vehicles moving forward, of casualties, and of civilians moving back. It is with sadness that, after all these years, I see pictures of children who were born in Vietnam growing up knowing nothing but war. This is a story of sadness, and we must all feel sad about it.

That feeling came out in the speech of the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Michael Foot). Although I did not agree with his conclusions, I admired his sincerity. The Foreign Secretary spoke with equal sincerity, and nobody will deny that he feels as strongly as anybody about these matters.

I believe it right, however, that the House should be guided not solely by the heart, but by the head as well; that we should decide clearly and as dispassionately as possible what the problems are that are raised by this American action and for whom in this country they are raised. Some people in Britain are totally opposed to America—to American policy and to the American way of life—for various reasons, and they are entitled to their view. For them, there is no problem. There are others who are not basically anti-American, but who have always been opposed to American policy and to an American presence in South-East Asia. For them, too, there is no great problem. This is merely, for them, confirmation of what they have been arguing for many months past.

However, for those of us who look on the United States as a great and friendly country and who have given broad general support to United States policy in South-East Asia—and among "us" I include Her Majesty's Government—there are problems to be considered and resolved.

There are, of course, bound to be doubts about the justification of the American action. There is, of course, bound to be sadness at the sight of a great people beginning to tear themselves apart. America is a country which has within it a great tide of idealism, and this underlay the original move into Vietnam. It is pathetic to see so much of that turning into gall and bitterness, as it now is.

Our job in this country and in Parliament is to try to understand that when a friend is in trouble, as the Americans are, his need of friendship and, above all, of understanding is at its greatest. It was not a war of conquest or of subjugation that led the Americans to enter Vietnam. They did so in the belief that it was America's duty to help other countries to avoid subjugation and to enable them to choose their own government. Maybe this was an arrogant belief, but it was certainly not an ignoble one.

It is all very well for Mr. Kosygin to talk about America's right to judge good or bad for others. That comes oddly from a man who presides over a Government who are sitting on freedom of choice in, for example, Czechoslovakia.

The declared policy of America has been to create a situation in South Vietnam in which people can choose for themselves. This was the point of the original American operation in Vietnam. Over the years of bloodshed, frustration and propaganda this original idealism has given way to bewilderment, cynicism and a devout wish to be free of the South-East Asia commitment.

How can anybody doubt that President Nixon, as a responsible President, fervently wants to see American forces withdrawn? His problem is how to do it. How can he withdraw his forces without casting away the fruits of all the efforts that America has made; that is, without abandoning South Vietnam to just the subjugation which, in the first place, America went in to avoid? This, surely, is the problem, and so, against that background, I come to the two charges—I think there are only two—levelled against the United States.

The first is that they have escalated the war into a new area. This charge seems to me to be sheer hypocrisy. It is turning truth on its head to say that America has taken the war into a new area. The United States has sent her troops into Cambodia to find and to fight and to destroy an enemy who was already there and already operating from there against American forces.

It is quite clear—and the Foreign Secretary gave confirmation of it this afternoon—and indisputable that this part of Cambodian territory has been used by the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese for the purpose of attacks on American forces and killing of American soldiers. How can any possible construction of international law or of international justice or of international common sense say to the Americans that they have no right whatever to react to the action taken by North Vietnam?

Why should they alone be denied the right to hit back against an enemy already hitting them? Why should the Americans be expected to see American casualties mount at the hands of an enemy who could always enjoy an easy sanctuary a few miles away across a frontier which protects them from attack?

Mr. David Winnick (Croydon, South)

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain how it is that there is so much opposition inside the United States, amongst American Senators, Democrats and Republicans, to the latest expansion of the war in Cambodia?

Mr. Maudling

I am not dealing with that at all. I am dealing with the action of the United States, and the point I am making is that the United States were not the only people who carried action into Cambodia. They went there for the purpose of protecting themselves against people already operating from there. This seems to me to be something which is wholly justified in law, in common sense, and in morality.

The second charge is that their action makes an honourable solution more remote. This, clearly, must be a matter of judgment. No one can say with certainty what the results of the action will be, but, as the Foreign Secretary rightly said, the United States themselves are probably better placed to make the judgment than we are. I do not for one moment agree, as some hon. Members seem to have suggested, that it would be better made in Hanoi or Moscow, or Peking for that matter. They do not determine their policies on the basis of propaganda. They determine their policies on the basis of reality, and they know the reality of the situation in those parts of Cambodia where the Vietcong and North Vietnamese forces have been operating.

Mr. John Mendelson

Invasion is not propaganda.

Mr. Maudling

Invasion is not propaganda, that is true, but the initial invasion was by North Vietnam. That is the real point.

It is fair to say clearly that a negotiated settlement in the long run is the only possible solution, and the Government are clearly right to persevere in their attempts to bring about negotiation, but there has been, as the Foreign Secretary said, singularly little response to these attempts. There is no doubt at all either about the Americans' desire for negotiation. There has been very little response, either, to their attempts to get it.

There is no doubt about the Americans' desire to withdraw their forces, to withdraw their troops from Cambodia and Vietnam in the right circumstances and on the right terms. Of course, there cannot be any doubt at all. Why should they want to stay there and fight and spend their blood and treasure in a foreign land if they could come home? But they are determined not to come back till they are satisfied that the South Vietnamese can take over and protect themselves against the type of subjugation which the Americans originally went in to prevent.

This is surely the reality of the situation. Surely it is right to say that withdrawal in military terms is always a very difficult operation when one moves into a country, and mounts a temporary counter-offensive, to facilitate withdrawal on broad strategic terms with the intention to carry it out. Whatever the tactical considerations, there is no reason to doubt that in President Nixon's judgment this action is calculated to shorten and not to prolong the agony which has lain for years on South-East Asia, and an agony which is now growing in the United States itself. Surely we in this House should profoundly wish that he is right in his judgment, because if he is wrong, if the solution cannot be found, then the consequences, spreading probably far beyond the boundaries of Indo-China, will be serious for the whole of the Western world. For these reasons we on this side of the House support the thesis advanced by the Foreign Secretary this afternoon.

There is one further point I want to make, and only one major one, and that is the tragedy, it seems to me, that this House is so relatively impotent in the face of the awesome spectacle the world is facing. In spite of what the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale said, there is, frankly, little reason to believe that our words will have much influence in Washington, or in Moscow, or in Hanoi, or in Peking. Perhaps I should say something which I have said before to the House. I believe that there is a very real and serious danger of a growing division between the United States and the Western world. I think that the danger of a return to mutual isolation is now very apparent indeed.

Of course, there have been faults on both sides. American policies at times no doubt have been insensitive, misguided. But Europe has made mistakes, too. The exclusiveness of the European community, the withdrawal—I do not want to go into the merits of that now—from east of Suez, foreshadowing, as the Prime Minister put it, leaving the Americans eyeball to eyeball with their enemies, will lead the Americans to feel that in facing their problems there they have no political support from no European country, to assist east of Suez.

That must affect American thinking, so it would not be surprising if American public opinion were to say, "If the Europeans want to return to their own continent, to shut the door on the world, to look after their own affairs, let them get on with it: we will look after our affairs." They will have their own difficulties. But this could come about. This is a very real danger. It underlines the danger of a division in the Western world, and we should do all we possibly can to avoid that danger materialising.

To sum up, our advice, if we may use the word, to the Government is to persist in the path outlined by the Foreign Secretary. It is right to express to the United States the grave and real public anxiety and sorrow at the tragedy which is taking place, but, above all, the Government must try to understand the American motive, American sufferings, American needs and American problems. Negotiation alone can lead to a right solution and a lasting solution, and America understands that, I am quite certain. We can play only a very small part in bringing about negotiation, but we must play this small part as far as we can, all the time, and in every single way.

Finally, I would commend some words spoken in this House by Sir Winston Churchill in May, 1955: Above all, never flinch, never weary, never despair.

6.29 p.m.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

This debate has shown the deep sense not only of concern but of tragedy in the latest events in South-East Asia, and it was that sense which led the Government yesterday to decide that, whatever Ruling you gave, Mr. Speaker, within your discretion, about an emergency debate, time must be found so that these anxieties could be expressed. The anxieties, the apprehensions, are felt not only in Britain but throughout the world. For this is a debate on a world scale which is taking place, and of which our debate today forms only a part.

I think that everyone recognises the awesome decision facing the President of the United States last week, and since that decision nowhere has discussion of these events proceeded with greater anguish than in the United States itself. We have to proceed from the fact that we are not and have not at any time been involved in the fighting. Because of that we have to recognise that we must be aware of the agonies of those who have.

It is for us in Britain, as so many hon. Members have done in many parts of the House, to examine the issues for the world and peace. We start from the point that we have a special responsibility through our position as one of the co-Chairmen under the Geneva agreements.

It is right briefly to remind the House of the line we have taken throughout the history of this bitter conflict. We have said many times in the House, and I have said in Washington and in Moscow, that there cannot be a military solution to this war; that the only lasting and honourable solution will be one reached by negotiation, one which allows the people of Vietnam to decide their own future and to live their own lives free from foreign intervention. It is still the view of Her Majesty's Government that terms will not be imposed by a military decision. It is because we have always believed this that we have from the outset sought by every means to bring the parties to the conference table.

I believe that in the events which led to the convening of the Paris conference and in the decision of President Johnson to stop the bombing of North Vietnam Her Majesty's Government played a very real part, although the decision had to be taken by the parties to the fighting. We have expressed our views publicly—still more privately—on all the issues at every twist and turn in this tragic war. It was done in my right hon. Friend's warning to the President of the United States and publicly five years ago about the use of gas, when he quoted the Declaration of Independence and its call for a decent respect for the proper opinions of mankind.

We stated our view, again controversially, in the welcome we gave to President Johnson's decision first to limit the bombing and then to stop it altogether. We stated our view on another occasion when we felt it our duty to reject the policy of bombing Hanoi and Haiphong. More recently, last November, we expressed our concern and our sense of where that responsibility lay, that more progress was not being made in the Paris talks.

The anxieties arising from the past few days relate to two main issues. The first is the formal extension of the fighting to Cambodia. I say "formal" because, as the former Head of State of Cambodia himself protested—and we were reminded of this today—the territorial integrity of Cambodia had already been breached systematically and over a period of time. No one will underrate the extent to which the danger had escalated before the President was called upon to make his decision last week.

The anxieties which I think are felt throughout the House, throughout this country and the world arise from this question of judgment to which we have to apply ourselves: whether what was clearly stated last week to be an intervention limited in scale and in time will prove to be so, or whether, in fact, in contrast to the President's declared intention, a new dimension will have been added not only to the area of the fighting, but to the scale of the fighting. That is the real basis of the anxieties which all of us feel today.

On the question of the first of these two issues, namely, the formal involvement of Cambodia in the fighting, hon. Members will have noticed, it has been quoted in the House—a statement by the Federal German Government on Sunday in these terms: The Federal Government notes with concern that troop reductions initiated by the American Government in Vietnam have not yet resulted in a lessening of hostilities, but that operations by both sides have extended into Cambodia. Therefore, peace in the whole of Eastern Asia is threatened more than before ". That was quoted yesterday in the House. That is what we all feel, and it is what is felt in many parts of the world, not least by many of America's closest friends.

The other issue which is a cause of deep anxiety is the recent bombing of North Vietnam. Over the weekend statements were made in Washington indicating that a possible change of policy was contemplated in that bombing might have to be resumed. I know with what concern we all read of accounts of the bombing incident which took place. The House will, however, have seen the statement made yesterday by the White House emphasising that there has been no resumption of the strategy of bombing North Vietnam and that the weekend raids did not mark a change in policy.

The world supported the courage of President Johnson when he stopped the bombing because I think we all felt that this was a necessary condition of agreement at the conference table, just as the world supported the far-sighted line taken by President Nixon in his speech last November when he announced his programme of substantial reductions in American combat troops in Vietnam leading to their total withdrawal. All of us endorsed both those decisions.

I think that no one with even the slightest knowledge of the depth of feeling on both sides in the United States would minimise the significance of that November decision; nor would he minimise the fact that it went such a long way to uniting the United States people. Nor will anyone who does not himself bear the responsibility for the safety, indeed for the lives, of American troops in action minimise for one moment the gravity, the agony, of the dilemma with which the President was faced last week.

The concern which it is the duty of all of us to express today must centre around this question: whether these most recent decisions, whatever the intentions and whatever the hopes which surround them, will inevitably bring in their train a reversal of the policy so clearly stated by the President last November; for that policy I support, and I believe that the whole House supports it. I believe that we have the right to be reassured not only by his announcement of 20th April of further troop reductions, but by what he said to the American people last Thursday, namely, that the decision to enter Cambodia had been taken to protect our men who are in Vietnam and to guarantee the continued success of the withdrawal and Vietnamisation programmes". He went on to say: We have made and will continue to make every possible effort to end this war through negotiation at the conference table rather than through more fighting on the battle field. I think that the House would be right to take those words as a denial that there is any change in policy.

But it would be right, too, remembering the long history of this war and the long record of frustrated hopes about short cuts and quick solutions, to express concern whether a decision taken with the declared end of achieving peace more quickly may not sometimes set in train, both on the ground in the area concerned and more widely through world reaction, other events which are difficult to control.

I believe that our role in this debate is, first, to assert what we believe to be our duty: our duty as co-Chairman in seeking, against whatever the odds may be, the settlement of these issues round the conference table. My right hon. Friend's initiative in proposing to his fellow co-Chairman the convening of a conference broad enough and representative enough to be able to deal with all these issues, all these dangers, which the world is facing in Indo-China. And, if this failed, the willingness which the Government have declared to support action through the United Nations, despite all the frustrations of past attempts to raise the issue in the United Nations.

Hon. Members will have seen on the tape this evening—and I think that this is important—a report which says that U Thant said today that an international conference ' to cope with the old war in South Vietnam and the new war in Cambodia ' was an indispensable step of the utmost urgency ". This was U Thantťs first public statement on the situation following the … intervention in Cambodia ", and in making it U Thant said that all who supported peace and justice should support a move to the conference table ". That is the initiative that we took last Friday, and we look to all those whom we have approached and all those concerned, as U Thant said, with peace and justice to move with us to the conference table.

But, beyond that, I believe that the Government and this House have a duty to express their concern and to draw whatever lessons must be drawn from that concern—concern for the peoples of these areas of tragic and prolonged fighting in South-East Asia—and, without feeding the flames of the debate which is raging within America itself—and we have seen sad news of how far that debate has gone— we should express our concern about what is happening there. I think that the whole House will agree that the whole world—certainly Europe, West and East— needs a strong, healthy, and united America, and no actions or words of ours should make it harder to achieve that strength, that unity.

I have sought to express, in summing up this debate so far, the sense of concern and apprehension felt, I believe, by all right hon. and hon. Members of the House. That apprehension rests, I believe at any rate, not so much on whether any change of policy has taken place as on whether events have been set in train in the past few days which will make a change of policy inevitable; whether it will make inevitable a new, more intense, more embittered phase of fighting rather than, what we were told was hoped for, a limited extension of the area of fighting, limited in area and in time; and whether it could also lead—I have expressed our deep anxieties and concern about this—to the resumption of bombing as an instrument of military, or even political, policy.

No final decision can be made by the House on these matters, but they will continue to be a matter of apprehension and of anxiety. What we have to emphasise today is what needs immediately to be done. Whatever views have been ex- pressed, I hope that we can at least agree about this.

First, that the House gives its full backing to the actions of the Government, in this new perspective of danger, aimed at convening a conference capable of ensuring that all these questions can be resolved round the conference table.

Second, that, as a matter of urgency, all the efforts of Her Majesty's Government, together with all those whom we can influence or persuade, should be directed to securing the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the soil of Cambodia.

Third, for the very same reason, and because it has been the policy of Her Majesty's Government, of the American Government, of the Soviet Government, and, I believe, of practically every Government throughout the world, the withdrawal of foreign troops and foreign intervention from Vietnam itself, as soon as we have secured the elements of a lasting and honourable settlement which assures to the people of Vietnam their own inalienable right to decide for themselves their own future—[Interruption.] I hope that there will be no dissent from that.

Fourth, that the Indo-Chinese territories, areas from which peace has been a stranger now for the whole of a quarter of a century since war ended in Europe, should have the right of peaceful development free from foreign interference. For this purpose they should have the right to declare their neutrality free of foreign interference, and to have that neutrality respected by international agreement.

Fifth, and in a wider sense, the whole House recognises the undeniable very much wider fact, which overlies all conflict in Asia, that the conflict of South-East Asia, and every manifestation of that conflict, cannot be decided on a world scale without the representation on a world scale, at the United Nations, of the Chinese Government and the Chinese people.

These five points, at the end of this debate, represent the basis on which Her Majesty's Government intend to work for a solution to this tragic problem. I ask the House to endorse them.

Question put, That this adjourn:—

The House divided: Ayes 68, Noes 278.

Division No. 117.] AYES [6.55 p.m.
Abse, Leo Faulds, Andrew Mikardo, Ian
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Fernyhough, E. Milne, Edward (Blyth)
Anderson, Donald Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Molloy, William
Ashton, Joe (Bassetlaw) Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Norwood Christopher
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Orme, Stanley
Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham) Galpern, Sir Myer Padley, Walter
Barnes, Michael Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Pardoe, John
Barnett, Joel Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Park, Trevor
Bidwell, Sydney Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Heffer, Eric S. Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hooson, Emlyn Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)
Brooks, Edwin Huckfield, Leslie Rankin, John
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Jeger,Mrs.Lena(H'b'n&St.P'cras,S.) Ryan,John
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Sheldon, Robert
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Silverman, Julius
Davies, E. Hudson (Conway) Judd, Frank Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Kelley, Richard Wainwright, Richard (Colne Vaffey)
Devlin, Miss Bernadette Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Driberg, Tom Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central) Winnick, David
Dunn, James A. Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Edelman, Maurice Lee, John (Reading)
Ellis, John Macdonald, A. H. TELLERS FOR THE YEAS:
English, Michael Mackintosh, John P. Mr. Albert Booth and
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Mendelson, John Mr. Stan Newens.
Albu, Austen Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford) Hattersley, Roy
Alldritt, Walter Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Lee) Hazell, Bert
Allen, Scholefield Davies, Ifor (Gower) Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Henig, Stanley
Armstrong, Ernest Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Hill, J. E. B.
Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n) Diamond, Rt. Hn. John Hordern, Peter
Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice Digby, Simon Wingfield Hornby, Richard
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Dodds-Parker, Douglas Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Bell, Ronald Doig, Peter Howell, Denis (Small Heath)
Bence, Cyril Donnelly, Desmond Howie, W.
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Doughty, Charles Hoy, Rt. Hn. James
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)
Bessell, Peter Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Binns, John Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e) Hutchison, Michael Clark
Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hynd, John
Bishop, E. S. Elliott,R.W.(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,N.) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur
Blackburn, F. Emery, Peter Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)
Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.) Janner, Sir Barnett
Body, Richard Evans, loan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas
Bossom, Sir Clive Eyre, Reginald Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)
Boston, Terence Farr, John Jennings, J. C. (Burton)
Bradley, Tom Finch, Harold flintier Nigel Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)
Broughton Sir Alfred Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)
Brown, Rt. Hn. George (Belper) Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Jones, Dan (Burnley)
Brown,Bob(N'c'tle-upon-Tyne,W.) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Jones.Rt.Hn.Sir Elwyn(W.Ham,S.)
Brown, R. W. (Shoreditch & F'bury) Foley, Maurice Foot, Rt. Hn. Sir Dingle (Ipswich) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)
Buchan, Norman Ford Ben jopling, Michael
Burden, F. A. Fortescue, Tim Kenyon, Clifford
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Fowler, Gerry King, Tom
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Freeson, Reginald Lambton, Antony
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Ginsburg, David Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Carmichael, Neil Glover, Sir Douglas Lane, David
Cary, Sir Robert Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Lawson, George
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Golding, John Leadbitter, Ted
Channon, H. P. G. Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C. Ledger, Ron
Chichester-Clark, R. Gower, Raymond Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)
Clegg, Walter Grant, Anthony Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock)
Coe, Denis Grant-Ferris, Sir Robert Lestor, Miss Joan
Conlan, Bernard Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Lever, Rt. Hn. Harold (Cheetham)
Cooke, Robert Grey, Charles (Durham) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Grieve, Percy Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Cordle, John Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone)
Costain, A. P. Gurden, Harold Longden, Gilbert
Cronin, John Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Loughlin, Charles
Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Lyon, Alexander W. (York)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Hamling, William Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson
Currie, G. B. H. Hannan, William MacArthur, Ian
Dalyell, Tarn Harper, Joseph McBride, Nell
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) McCann, John
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Haseldine, Norman MacColl, James
McGuire, Michael Oswald, Thomas Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
McKay, Mrs. Margaret Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn) Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Mackenzie,Alasdair(Ross &Crom'ty) Page, Derek (King's Lynn) Storehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Mackie, John Page, John (Harrow, W.) Summers, Sir Spencer
Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Paget, R. T. Symonds, J. B.
Maclennan, Robert Palmer, Arthur Tapsell, Peter
McMaster, Stanley Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Taverme, Dick
McNair-Wilson, Michael Parker, John (Dagenham) Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (NewForest) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George
McNamara, J. Kevin Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred Thomson, Rt. Hn. George
MacPherson, Malcolm Pentland, Norman Thornton, Ernest
Maddan, Martin Perry, Ernest C. (Battersea, S.) Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Marion, Peter (Preston, S.) Price, Thomas (Westhoughton) Urwin, T. W.
Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Price, William (Rugby) Varley, Eric G.
Mapp, Charles Pym, Francis Waddington, David
Marks, Kenneth Randall, Harry Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Marquan I, David Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter Walden, Brian (All Saints)
Mason, Ht. Hn. Roy Rees, Merlyn Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Maude, Angus Rees-Davies, W. R. Wallace, George
Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David Ward, Dame Irene
Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Rhodes, Geoffrey Watkins, David (Consett)
Mayhew, Christopher Richard, Ivor Watkins, Tudor (Brecon Radnor)
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Ridley, Hn. Nicholas Weatherill, Bernard
Millan, Bruce Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Weitzman, David
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy Wellbeloved, James
Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test) Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth(St.P'c'as) Whitaker, Ben
Monro, Hector Robson Brown, Sir William White, Mrs. Eirene
Montgomery, Fergus Rodgers, William (Stockton) Whitlock, William
Moorman, Eric Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) Wilkins, W. A.
More, Jasper Ross, Rt. Hn. William Williams, Alan (Swansea, W)
Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Williams, A tan Lee (Hornchurch)
Morris Alfred {Wythenshawe) Rowlands E. Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)
Morris, Charles (Openshaw) Royle, Anthony Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)
Moyle, Ronald Sandys, Rt. Hn D Willis, Rt. Hn, George
Mulley, Rt. Hn. Fredrick Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E. Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Murray, Albert Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Murton, Oscar Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne) Woof, Robert
Nabarro, Sir Gerald Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford) Worsley, Marcus
Nicholls, Sir Harmar Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich) Wylie, N. R.
Oakes, Gordon Silvester, Frederick
Oguen, Eric Slater, Joseph TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
O'Halloran, Michael Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington) Mr. J. D. Concannon and
O'Malley, Brian Snow, Julian Mr. R. F. H. Dobson.
Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian