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Tuesday, 30 April 1968

Dr Everingham (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice: ls he able to say what aims with regard to just and humane attitudes towards their military prisoners are officially claimed by (a) North Vietnam, (b) the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, (c) the Republic of Vietnam, (d) the United States of America and (e) Australia during indoctrination of their respective armed forces?

Mr Fairhall - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

It is not known what indoctrination relating to prisoners of war is given to North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front Forces. North Vietnam acceded, with reservations, to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War on 28th June 1957, but the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam does not hold itself bound oy the Convention. Neither North Vietnam nor the National Liberation Front allows neutral governments or humanitarian agencies to visit prisoners or inspect their places of detention.

The Republic of Vietnam, the United States and Australia all adhere to the Geneva Convention. On 25th October 1966 at Manila and again on 21st April 1967 at Washington, they reiterated their determination to apply the Convention. All three countries instruct and train their troops to treat prisoners humanely and to apply the terms of the Convention. Prisoner of war camps in South Vietnam are inspected by the International Red Cross from time to time.

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