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Thursday, 24 March 1966

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Prime Minister) - I have not been able to secure a copy of the letter to which the honorable gentleman has referred, so I am not able to comment as to its authenticity or existence. This further evidence, if it were forthcoming, would merely confirm what I would have thought would be already patent to any objective observer of the situation in South Vietnam. There is ample evidence, to which my colleague the Minister for External Affairs and other spokesmen for the Government have referred from time to time, clearly indicating that the Vietcong forces have been consistently supplied with arms and equipment from Communist sources, including Soviet Russia and, of course, Communist China. The so-called Sam missile sites, obviously supplied and equipped by the Soviet Union, provide another example of this direct assistance. There can be no doubt that the Communist forces in South Vietnam have been and are being regularly and amply supplied with assistance of various kinds, including munitions, arms and other means of conducting war, by Communist Governments in Russia and China.

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