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Wednesday, 25 November 1959

Mr Haylen n asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to an editorial in the Laotian Premier's paper " L'Independent " which was published as a Reuter's dispatch by the "Washington Post" of the nth October which stated that the Laotian Government would effect a compromise with the rebels and release eight jailed left-wing leaders, and guarantee the future existence of their Neo Lao Haksat Party, in return for an end of rebel activity and of North Vietnamese aid for it?

2.   Can he state whether any military influence was used by the United States of America to urge the Laotian Government to outlaw leftists, and whether this precipitated the trouble in Laos?

3.   If any military influence were used, was this in violation of the Geneva accords?

4.   Will he arrange for the compromise peace offer by the Laotian Government to be communicated to, and fully examined by, the Australian Delegation to the United Nations?

Mr CASEY - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   No such peace offer has been made.

2.   The suggestion is without foundation.

3.   See answer to 2.

4.   See answer to 1.

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