HC Deb 02 March 1964 vol 690 cc157-8W
60. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he received regarding the extent to which the present political authorities are in effective control of the major part of Viet-Nam before deciding to recognise those authorities as the Government of the Republic of Viet-Nam.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Her Majesty's Ambassador at Saigon reported that the new Government of Viet-Nam enjoyed with a reasonable prospect of permanency, the obedience of the mass of the population, and effective control over as great a part of the national territory as its predecessor.

61. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that it is the officially stated policy of the Government of Viet-Nam in Saigon to exterminate all neutralists as traitors; and, in view of the fact that this is contrary to article 14(c) of the Geneva Agreements of 1954, what action he is taking as co-chairman of the Geneva Conference.

Mr. P. Thomas

The hon. Member may be referring to a statement by the Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Council of Viet-Nam broadcast on 30th January.

In fact, the present Government, like their immediate predecessor, have taken various conciliatory measures including the release of a number of political prisoners. It would be reasonable to expect that they will not in fact adopt such a draconian policy as a literal interpretation of the remark of the Prime Minister of Viet-Nam might suggest.

If the Viet-Namese Government were to take action on the statement, it would be for the International Control Commission in Viet-Nam to decide whether, in its view, Article 14(c) had been violated.