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Tuesday, 2 June 1970

Mr McMAHON - When looking at the Cambodian situation 1 think we have to remember 2 different events or sets of events. The first one is the Djakarta conference and the second is the United SlatesSouth Vietnamese operations in the Fish Hook area, Prey Veng and other provinces in south-east Cambodia. As to the Djakarta conference, when I departed for Djakarta I did not think that we would get all countries to agree to the proposals which were made and finally' agreed upon. In fact. I went with great misgivings because I felt that there would be a division of opinion. But eventually all countries recognised the need to support Cambodia in its desire for independence and neutrality. I wish that various honourable members of this House had been present to hear not only the goodwill expressed by many countries towards Cambodia but also the desire of those countries to do what they could, within their capacities, to ensure the objectives I have just mentioned. As to the outcome of the conference, although we did not achieve all the purposes which we originally set out to achieve, I am sure that we did ever so much better. It has been agreed that a 3-man mission, consisting of one member each from the Malaysians, inc Japanese and the Indonesians, should go to various capitals throughout the world in an attempt to mobilise world opinion in support of the proposal for the neutrality of Cambodia. As yet I have not all the names of the countries to be visited by this mission but when the persons who will represent the conference and the countries' involved are made known 1 think the degree of importance which those countries place on the objectives we have set will be demonstrated.

I am particularly glad to know that Japan with all its influence in world affairs is playing an important part in mobilising world opinion. As an illustration of what is happening, the Prime Minister of Thailand today announced that his Government will provide troops for the defence of Cambodia and we already have intimations from other governments that they now wish that they had attended the conference instead of declining invitations. As to the other implications in the question asked I am sure that the recent operations in South Cambodia have been extraordinarily successful. Not only have Communist activities been disrupted: the equivalent of I division of North Vietnamese has been put out of action; their signal centres and communications have .been disrupted; their training ' centres have been disorganised; many, caches of large quantities of their equipment and foodstuffs have been captured; and I believe their operations have been set back for a period of at least 8 months. All told 1 believe that this has been a successful operation. As to the third part of the honourable members question, concerning recognition at least 3 countries. Thailand. South Korea and South Vietnam are now in the process of re-establishing relations with the

Cambodian Government. As to the last part of the question, I shall have a statement that I would like to deliver to the Mouse. I have not yet completed it but if 1 do so during the course of this week I hope to be able to present it to the House.

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