Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 7. 1965.
Where From Here?
Where From Here?
"Our first objective should be for a truly independent and nonaligned Asia. Secondly, we should negotiate with the Communists as Communists, and other parties in terms of who they represent. We should urge peaceful co-existence and economic co-operation with China: All negotiatory channels must be kept open." (Professor Scalapino).
It was at this point that the formal debate ended. What was its value? The discussions were full, frank and informative: fuller, franker and much more informative than were many of the "administrative hand-outs" that the American Press had been receiving. It can be concluded, then, that the debate served to inform the listening public. How well, how critically, and how objectively it served such a function I leave the reader to judge on the basis of the extracts I have Quoted, I would note that the full text of all major addresses has subsequently been published in the New York Times of May 16.
The discussions, in my view did not provide answers, so much as they did provide us with the questions we should be asking ourselves. If the USA and her allies support the doctrine of self-determination in South-East Asia, then questions such as "What is the level of indigenous support for the Viet Cong in South Vietnam?" of "Who controls the Viet Cong?" or "Does the present regime in South Vietnam have a popular base of public support"—all these (and other) questions are of obvious importance. Furthermore, if the USA and her allies want negotiations they should clearly specify the premises on which such negotiations are predicated.