HC Deb 25 February 1971 vol 812 cc845-6
Q6. Mr. Skinner

asked the Prime Minister whether he now intends to seek to make an official visit to Vietnam, in view of the recent developments in the area.

The Prime Minister

I have no plans to do so, Sir.

Mr. Skinner

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that on 28th January in Canberra the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Geoffrey Baker, spoke about the desirability of British troops fighting alongside the Australians in Vietnam? Does he agree with his general? Also, does he agree with the sentiments expressed in answer to Questions a fortnight ago by the Minister of State for Defence?

The Prime Minister

I agree with what the Minister of State for Defence said in the House. I was here at the time and heard him say it. He explained in detail the circumstances in which General Baker made his statement, which was that, from the point of view of his emotions, he felt that, as this was the first occasion on which Australian, New Zealand and British troops had not been fighting together, it was a sad one. He made absolutely no declaration of military or political policy.

Mr. Blaker

Have the Government yet received any information from the Soviet Union of any willingness at all to reconvene the Geneva Conference, whether with the same membership or with an expanded one?

The Prime Minister

I regret not. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary told the House on 9th February that he had expressed his willingness to the Soviet Government and also publicly to reconvene the Conference. Of course, we still hope that Mr. Gromyko, as the other Co-Chairman, will agree.

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