§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what evidence he has that only the Vietcong are bombing civilians, including children.
§ Mr. George Thomson
I presume my hon. Friend is referring to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Zilliacus) on 18th July. Civilians have, of course, been the victims of military activities on both sides in the Vietnam conflict, which Her Majesty's Government continue to do everything in their power to bring to a peaceful settlement. I was referring to the fact that whereas the American forces concentrate their bombing on military targets and seek to limit as far as possible the loss of civilian life, it is only the Vietcong who have used bombs deliberately against the civilian population in the cities of South Vietnam. There is abundant documentary evidence and eye-witness accounts of examples of the deliberate use of bombs against civilians. These include a mine placed in a Saigon street on 10th May, killing seven, wounding twenty; a mine in a bus station which killed ten and wounded thirty on 27th April; three classrooms in an elementary school destroyed by a mine on 17th March.