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Tuesday, 23 November 1965

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - As a supplementary question to that asked by the honorable member for Franklin, I ask the Minister for External Affairs: In view of statements from a variety of sources that tentative offers for negotiation over the war in Vietname have been made in the past 12 months by the Government of North Vietnam and that these were rejected by the United States of America, will he ascertain the facts and make a full statement to the House before the recess?

Mr HASLUCK - The Australian Government has been following very closely every proposal from any direction relating to South Vietnam. Our responsibility to the Australian people and to the security of Australia is to be satisfied that any proposals for discussions are completely genuine and are such as will be likely to lead to a lasting and permanent settlement. A mere unconditional surrender would serve nobody's interests.

Mr Calwell - Will the Minister make a statement on the subject?

Mr HASLUCK - I will consider, in consultation with the Prime Minister and my colleagues, the question whether it is possible to make a statement.

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