1960-1969 | VIetnam

Harold Wilson declares his full support for U.S. war crimes

Harold Wilson (left) with President Johnson (right) c. 1966.
LBJ Library via Wikimedia.

24 March 1965

On 24 March 1965, Prime Minister Harold Wilson made it clear that his government supported the US assault on Vietnam, including the extensive use of chemical warfare and napalm in the south and the bombing of North Vietnam in contravention of international law. He reminded MPs:

‘I have said a number of times in the House and My Right Honourable Friend (The Foreign Secretary) repeated it yesterday, that we fully support the action of the United States in resisting aggression in Vietnam.’1

Wilson continued to support American bombing, even after the following month when he was secretly advised by Washington that ‘economic and industrial’ and not just military assets, would be targeted.2


  1. Tariq Ali, Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties, Verso, London and New York, 2018, p. 101.
  2. Mark Curtis, Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses, Vintage, London, 2004, p. 224.

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