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Thursday, 24 March 1966

Mr HAROLD HOLT - The honorable gentleman's question invites a considerable debate, but I do not propose to engage in that. The point that I brought out earlier was that the Vietcong undoubtedly is being materially assisted by supplies of a warlike kind from various Communist sources, including Soviet Russia, Communist China and, of course, the Hanoi regime itself. At present there are at least nine regular regiments of North Vietnamese troops inside South Vietnam equipped and supplied in considerable part from the sources that I have mentioned. As to the Geneva Accord and matters of that sort, I believe that an answer could more appropriately be given by way of a written reply. The honorable gentleman knows that the objective of this Government, in common with our allies, is a negotiated settlement of the issues in South Vietnam and an honorable observance of such a settlement.

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