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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2587

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT HON WILLIAM MCMAHON CH MP, IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA - PRESIDENT NIXON'S DECISIONS ON VIETNAM - 9 MAY 1972

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: 09/05/1972

Release Type: Statement in Parliament

Transcript ID: 2587

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER, THE RT. HON.
WILLIAM McMAHON, CH. MP, IN THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, CANBERRA
PRESIDENT NIXON'S DECISIONS ON VIETNAM
9 MAY, 1972
I refer to the important decisions which President Nixon
has been obliged to take in the present very serious situation in
Vietnam. These decisions were taker because of the blatant invasion
of South Vietnam by the North Vietnamese, supported by outside
Governments. Not only has there been this invasion of South Vietnam
across the Demilitarized Zone, but the North Vietnamese forces have
been carrying on offensive military operations in Laos and the Khmer
Republic for a period of years.
The Australian Government strongly condemns North Vietnam and
its associates. It is they who must take the complete moral
responsibility for these actions.
The United States has made with full Australian supportevery
effort to bring about a negotiated settlement of the present
conflict. These efforts have met with an absolute refusal by North
Vietnam to negotiate seriously. The United States has also tried to
de-escalate the fighting by progressively withdrawing its forces from
Vietnam. The response from Hanoi has been the launching of a
long and carefully planned invasion.
The Australian Government understands and supports the
decisions which the President has fel-t compelled to take.
in our view, the United States had done everything in its
power t'' o ensure a negotiated settlement and to maintain the independen,
of South Vietnam and not to abandon the people of that country. The
present decisions by the United States reflect its determination to
stand by its international obligations and alliances. The United
States must also avoid endangering the lives of its own forces in
Vietnam.

Transcript 2587