611.9231/16

Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton)

Conversation: The Siamese Minister, Phya Abhibal Rajamaitre;
Mr. Sayre.2
Present: Mr. Hamilton.

The Siamese Minister called at the request of Mr. Sayre. Mr. Sayre informed the Minister that he had asked him to be so good as to call in order that Mr. Sayre might inform the Minister of two points in connection with the study which the Department was giving to the question of the new commercial treaty with Siam.

Mr. Sayre informed the Siamese Minister that the first of these two points was that since receipt from the Siamese Government of the draft of the proposed treaty,3 the Department has been preparing two counterdrafts, one following the lines of our standard draft and the other following the lines of the Siamese draft with such suggested amendments as would be needed to bring the draft into conformity with the desires of this Government. Mr. Sayre said that we have been working very hard on these counterdrafts; that a good many divisions in the Department were concerned and had to scrutinize carefully each proposed article; that our study was taking a good deal more time than had originally been anticipated but that the time and effort which had been put forth would probably serve to shorten the period of actual negotiation; and that we hoped to be in position within one or two weeks to hand the Siamese Minister in tentative form the two counterdrafts which we were preparing.

Mr. Sayre continued that the second point in regard, to which he wished to inform the Siamese Minister was that both the British and the Japanese Governments had indicated to us that they would be interested in receiving information in regard to our attitude toward [Page 826]the draft of the treaty between the United States and Siam proposed by the Siamese Government. Mr. Sayre said that we were now communicating to the British and Japanese Governments, in reply to their inquiries, information of a general character in regard to our attitude. Mr. Sayre stated that we of course wished the Siamese Minister and his Government to know what we were doing in this regard. Mr. Sayre thereupon handed the Minister an informal memorandum (copy attached hereto)4 containing the substance of the information which we were communicating to the British and the Japanese Governments.

The Minister read the memorandum and then expressed his appreciation of and thanks for the information which Mr. Sayre had given him.

The Minister raised the question of the place where negotiation of the new treaty between the United States and Siam should be held. After some discussion and interchange of views Mr. Sayre and the Minister expressed agreement that from a number of points of view it would seem preferable that the negotiations be conducted at Bangkok rather than at Washington.

  1. Francis B. Sayre, Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Missing from the Department files; it was handed to the Legation in Siam on November 5, 1936.
  3. Infra.