The Minister in Siam (Neville) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 5—7:57 a.m.]
35. Department’s 29, November 4, 1 p.m. The Minister of Foreign Affairs told me today that Siam could not give national treatment in respect of land holding. They have refused it to all powers including the British who had national treatment under a former treaty, [Page 879]and to the Japanese who asked for it, but have assured the latter most favored nation treatment in this respect. Granting national treatment to us would require the Siamese to grant it to the Japanese of whom they are afraid and whom they [suspect?] of wishing to found agricultural or other communities in Siam. The Minister begged me earnestly not to raise the question of national treatment as to land holding saying “we cannot do it; you say it is important to you but it is vital to us because we have the French and British on two sides and the Japanese not so far away; we must consider the future and reserve our land for our people”.
I am sure this is their last stand. For practical purposes it seems to me this offer is satisfactory so far as our interests here are concerned. If there is a probability of ratification in the Senate I urge acceptance of the Siamese offer. Otherwise I believe they will ask that there be no land clause; they have reached their limit.