He is expected to instruct the Department of Foreign Affairs to start the talks “shortly.”
These are likely to take place within a fortnight in Paris, New Delhi or Moscow – three capitals where Australia and North Vietnam both have diplomatic missions.
Mr Whitlam said his Government had told some countries, through diplomatic channels, of Australia’s intention to seek negotiations.
Australia’s initiative to begin the negotiations has been expected. It follows the Labor Government’s prompt recognition of China and East Germany after Mr Whitlam came to office nine weeks ago.
Mr Whitlam told his weekly press conference yesterday that details of Australian aid to both North and South Vietnam for reconstruction depended on an effective ceasefire.