• Short Summary

    Canada's Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Sharp, said on Thursday (25 January) in Washington?

  • Description

    SV Mr. Sharp, (Canadian External Affairs Minister)

    CU Mr. Sharp being interviewed (SOUND)

    The following extract from Mr. Sharp's news conference is on the film.

    REPORTER: "Could you tell us what kind of doubts you had and whether they were resolved today?"

    SHARP: "The doubts we have arise out of membership in the International Control Commission in Vietnam. I have categorised the recent activities of that commission recently as being a farce. And we said we didn't want to repeat that. So the conditions we laid down some weeks ago now are resigned to prevent a repetition of the futile operations of the International Control Commission in Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia."

    REPORTER: "Do you think a force of 1160 men in this advanced country can be effective?"

    SHARP: "Well, I said yesterday in the House of Commons that if the parties to the truce are not prepared to observe it, there's nothing that Canada or any other member of the Commission can do to prevent a breakdown of the agreement. What we can do is perhaps give some confidence to those who are trying to observe the truce -- that it is in fact being observed. And that's all that a supervisory commission can do. Perhaps occasionally we might help in minor mediation, but our function is to observe and report, and to give some confidence to the parties to the agreement that the truce is in fact not being broken. But if in fact it is being broken, then there's nothing we can do about it. We're not going to fight anybody. We're not in there as troops to keep the peace, we're in there to support.

    Initials ES. 1650

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Canada's Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Mitchell Sharp, said on Thursday (25 January) in Washington that he wasn't keen on Canada serving for more than 60 days on the force set up to supervise the ceasefire in Vietnam.

    Under the terms of the 'International Control Commission', Canada is required to send an advance party of men to South Vietnam immediately. They are due to stay there with other peace-keeping forces from Indonesia, Poland and Hungary until troop withdrawals are over - within 60 days. The supervisory force will total 1,160 men, of which Canada will provide 288.

    Mr. Sharp told newsmen in Washington after a meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Rogers, that Canada would certainly take part in the force. But he also made it clear that he had reservations about the commission working because of experience with the pervious one.

    SYNOPSIS: Canada's External Affairs Minister, Mr. Sharp, told a news conference in Washington on Thursday that he still had some doubts about the newly-formed International Peace-keeping force in Vietnam.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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