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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2517


Photo of McMahon, William

McMahon, William

Period of Service: 10/03/1971 to 05/12/1972

More information about McMahon, William on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 26/01/1972

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2517

fl ./ 2
FOR PRESS: PM No. 10/ 19072
Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr. William McMahon
The Prime Minister, Mr. William McIAahon, commented
this evening on President Nixon's statement made earlier today,
Australian time, on efforts to-7.7ards peace in Indo-China.
Mr. McMahon said all Australians would be pleased that
President Nixon had made Public his imaginative and far-reaching
propo~ sals for ending the fighting irn Indo-China on honourable
terms. Fair-minded people would be impressed by President Nixon's
account of the US negotiating efforts and the persistence with
which those efforts had been carried on.
It was a matter for raegret that the United States
initiatives had so far met with a negative response from Hanoi.
MLr. McMahon commended the statesmanlike attitude of
President Thieu and Vice-President Huong in declaring their
readiness -to step down while new Presidential elections were held.
Mr. McMahon drewa particular attention to the following
points in Mr. Nixon's statemqent!-
" Both sides will respect the 1954 Geneva
Agreements on Indo-China and those of 1962
on Laos.
There will be no foreign intervention in the
Indo-Chinese countries and the Indo-Chinese
peoples will be left to settle their own
affairs by themselves.
The problems existing among the Indo-Chinese
countries will be settled by the Indo-Chinese
parties on the basis of mutual respect for
independence, sovereignty, territorial
integrity and non-interference in each other's

" Among the problers that will be settled
is the implementation of the principle
that all armed forces of the countries of
Indo-China must remain within their
national frontiers."
It was to be noted that it was now for the North
Vietnamese to accept or reject proposals under which elections
would be held under international sunervision and open to all
political forces and parties in Vietnam, including the NLF.
Needless to say, the Australian Government would
welcome the achievement of a negotiated settlement under which
hostilities in Indo-China would be ended. This would, amongst
othe2r things, permit the withdrawal of the small Australian Army
Assistance Group which is now engaged on training duties.
Mr. McMahon said he looked forward to the detailed
presentation of the joint United States/ Republic of Vietnam
proposals. He sincerely hoped that they would be most carefully
considered by Hanoi. It would be a profound disappointment to us
all if the North Vietnamese reaction were no more than a repetition
of its sterile demand that the United States bring the war to an
end by, as President Nixon put it, " joining its enemy to overthrow
its ally".
CANBERRA, 26 January, 1972.

Transcript 2517