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Friday, 26 November 1965

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

1.   Is it a fact that after 1956 the Government of South Vietnam refused to extend any facilities to the International Control Commission, as required under Article 25 of the Geneva Accords, thus preventing the Commission from investigating complaints concerning South Vietnamese reprisals and discrimination against persons on account of their activities during hostilities preceding the Geneva Agreement?

2.   Was the International Control Commission allowed to operate freely in North Vietnam until the United States bombings began in February 1965?

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

1.   Although not a party to the Geneva Agreement the Government of South Vietnam, on 6th April 1956, declared that it would "continue to extend effective co-operation to the Commission, will ensure the security of its members and will to the fullest extent possible facilitate the accomplishment of its mission for peace." (See Department of External Affairs Select Documents on International Affairs, No. 1 of 1964, Vietnam Since the 1954 Geneva Agreements, at pages 25-26.) On the specific question of the complaints mentioned, the Government of the Republic of Vietnam took the view that its own complaints about North Vietnamese subversion in the South should first be investigated.

2.   No. I shall quote, since Canada is a member of the International Commission, what the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, Mr.

Paul Martin, said on 5th April 196S, in commenting on Canada's work as a member of the Commission - "The work of the Commission has been hindered by North Vietnam. For years the Northern teams have not been allowed to conduct meaningful controls."

He went on: " In all cases, because the North Vietnamese authorities had been intent on the teams being as ineffective as possible, the team headquarters had been located in such a way as to ensure that Commission personnel would be as remote as possible from any installations which would be legitimate objects of Commission observations,"

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