§ 2.35 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask whether, seeing that the Communist invaders of Laos are armed with weapons of Russian design made in China, Her Majesty's Government will consider with the French Government the possibility of representations at Moscow and Pekin against the synchronisation of fresh aggression with professions of peace.]
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF READING)
My Lords, the fact that arms originate in a certain country does not necessarily implicate the Government of that country in the use which is made of them. Nevertheless, in the present case it is difficult to avoid the presumption of some degree of complicity. Her Majesty's Government are, of course, deeply concerned that at a time when there have been a few encouraging signs of improvement in the international situation, this fresh aggression should have taken place; but they do not consider that representations in Moscow and Pekin would be advisable at the present moment. Incidentally, the French Government are not represented in Pekin.
§ LORD VANSITTART
I thank the noble Marquess for his answer and I fully appreciate the reasons he gives. At the same time, I hope he will also appreciate that it is difficult for some of us to find exaggerated hopes in the return of thirty-two soldiers when this naked aggression is going on under our very noses.