§ Q1. Mr. Winnick
asked the Prime Minister what consultations he has had recently with President Johnson about the Vietnam war.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)
As I told the House on 14th February, my contacts with President Johnson are close and must remain confidential.—[Vol 741, c. 345.]
§ Mr. Winnick
While I appreciate the efforts made by the Prime Minister in the last few weeks, could he tell us whether there was any positive response at all from President Johnson while the Russian Prime Minister was here with regard to not beginning the bombing again? May I ask whether my right hon. Friend saw the B.B.C. programme "24 Hours" last night which showed that the bombing in Vietnam involves civilians?
§ The Prime Minister
My hon. Friend's first supplementary question falls within those questions which I said last week I did not think it would be right to answer. With regard to the second, I regret that I did not watch television last night at all.
§ Mr. Frederic Harris
Will the Prime Minister rebuke and slap down his hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, South (Mr. Winnick) on these statements, which are anti-Government policy, in the same way as the Foreign Secretary did yesterday? The Prime Minister: This question relates to Vietnam and I think I dealt with the matter last week. I said then that I know that my hon. Friends, who take a different view of the kind of statement the Government should make, are just as keen as anyone else to get peace in Vietnam.
§ Mr. Dickens
Is my right hon. Friend aware that some of the most respected British correspondents in Washington reported last weekend that there was a very considerable addition to the American arms build-up during the recent truce in Vietnam, and has he drawn President Johnson's attention to these reports?
§ The Prime Minister
I am not responsible for what even the most respected British correspondents are reporting to this country, and my exchanges with President Johnson during this period, as at other times, dealt with all relevant factors.