HC Deb 22 February 1965 vol 707 cc4-5W
50. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what reports he has received, as co-chairman of the Geneva Conference, on the readiness of the Republic of Vietnam and the South Vietnam Liberation Front to conclude a full agreement for the neutralisation of Vietnam as envisaged in the 1954 Geneva Agreement.

Mr. M. Stewart


51. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will seek to recall the Geneva Conference, with a view to achieving the peaceful reunification and neutralisation of Vietnam.

Mr. M. Stewart

As I said on 8th February, I do not think there is sufficient agreement on the basis for a settlement to make the recall of the Geneva Conference on Vietnam useful at the present time. This may be why the joint statement of 10th February by Mr. Kosygin and Mr. Pham Van Dong calls for conferences on Cambodia and Laos, but not on Vietnam. The reference to Indo-China in Mr. Kosygin's earlier speech occurs only in a passage about Laos and the joint communiqué is both later and more official.

56. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will make a statement on the situation in South Vietnam in so far as British interests are affected.

Mr. M. Stewart

Our first interest in South Vietnam is the safety of the British community there. Since I told the House on 8th February that the latest incidents had not significantly increased the risk to British subjects, we have kept a close watch on the situation. I have now decided, as a routine precaution, that Her Majesty's Consul General in Saigon should advise British subjects not living in Saigon itself to consider carefully whether they should remain and in any case whether they should make temporary arrangements for their wives and children to leave. This advice has already been issued.

British business interests in South Vietnam are comparatively small. They have not, to my knowledge, been directly affected by the recent series of events.

59. Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what initiative he will now take to help resolve the present critical situation in Vietnam.

61. Mr. Blaker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on British policy in the light of the situation in Vietnam.

Mr. M. Stewart

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I are in close and constant consultation with the United States Government, both directly and through the United States Ambassador in London, in our efforts to promote a basis for a peaceful and durable settlement in Vietnam.