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Vietnam

Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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41.

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the disturbed situation in Vietnam, he will join with the Soviet Co-Chairman in inviting the International Commission for Vietnam to submit a special up-to-date report on the extent to which the provisions of the Geneva Agreement regarding the introduction of arms and military personnel from outside have been, and are being, observed.

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the admitted intention of the American Government to reinforce their military personnel in South Vietnam and to send additional military supplies is a clear violation of the agreement? What steps do the Government propose to take to enable the International Commission for Vietnam to carry out its obligations?

The only announcement by the United States Government of which I am aware is that they intend to increase their assistance given to the South Vietnam Government to increase that Government's military personnel. It is proposed to help them with finance to do that. That is quite permissible under the Geneva Agreement.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is very little point in sending an International Commission into Vietnam unless we get more co-operation from the Soviet Co-Chairman in enabling the International Commission to carry out its existing duties in Laos?