Vietnam

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Konni Zilliacus Mr Konni Zilliacus , Manchester, Gorton 12:00 am, 20th July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the assembly of a force of United States B57 twin-jet bombers in the Philippines and the training of their crews for low-level bombing raids on North Vietnam rail junctions, bridgeheads, and roads, he will now bring United States policy in Vietnam to the attention of the Security Council as likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

No, Sir. I do not accept these assumptions, particularly as hon. Members will have seen that, on 23rd June, President Johnson reiterated that "the United States intends no rashness and seeks no wider war."

Photo of Mr Konni Zilliacus Mr Konni Zilliacus , Manchester, Gorton

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that quite recently, since this Question was tabled, the Under-Secretary of State, Mr. McGeorge Bundy, in charge of Far Eastern affairs at the State Department, has made a public declaration saying that the United States did not exclude the idea of extending the war to North Vietnam? Will he, in the circumstances, make it quite clear that Her Majesty's Government will dissociate themselves from any such policy?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I cannot alter my original reply. We have no such official intimation and there has been no such official statement. Therefore, I cannot add to v/hat I have said.

Photo of Mr David Webster Mr David Webster , Weston-Super-Mare

Will my right hon. Friend take note of the hon. Gentleman's desire to embarrass our American ally, on whom the Leader of the Opposition would like to rely for our nuclear defence?