HC Deb 15 April 1954 vol 526 cc144-5W
Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what evidence he has of the extent to which the Communist forces in Indo-China are receiving military assistance from outside sources.

Mr. Nutting

According to our information, the Vietminh Communist forces are entirely dependent on aid from China for the conduct of regular military operations against the French Union forces in Indo-China. The recent effort of the Communist forces at Dien Bien Phu has been on a much greater scale than anything attempted hitherto. According to a recent statement by the French Prime Minister, the military mission sent by Peking to Viet-Nam has been reinforced; artillery and anti-aircraft material equipped with radar and manned by Chinese are now in the field; and lorries of Soviet make which brought up supplies to the attackers at Dien Bien Phu are also driven by Chinese. Monsieur Laniel added that the battle for Dien Bien Phu would already be at an end if there had not been assistance from Peking.