Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Sayre)

The Siamese Minister came in to see me on October twenty-first to show me a copy of the cable which he had received from the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs (copy attached hereto),21 to the effect that Siam expects to sign shortly a new treaty with Japan and hopes that the first of the new series of treaties which it signs may be that with the United States. I thanked the Minister for the copy of the telegram and asked him to come in to see me about the matter on the following day.

(Immediately after the Minister’s departure, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Hackworth,22 Mr. Hiss23 and I discussed the situation. We considered the possibility of signing the Siamese treaty without a formula covering land tenure but containing, in its place, some such clause as follows: [Page 866]

“The question of land tenure in the two countries shall be dealt with in a separate protocol to be signed hereafter, which when signed will constitute an integral part of this treaty and will be ratified concurrently with this treaty.”

We decided, however, that this would not be desirable and that, instead, we ought to use every effort to get the land formula settled in time for the signing of a treaty by the date requested by the Siamese, namely November seventh.)

The Siamese Minister again called on October twenty-second to discuss what reply he should send to his Government. I suggested to him that he might want to cable back to his Government a reply based upon the following suggestions: that he had had a talk with me and that I had expressed serious concern to expedite in every way possible the settling of the land formula so as to enable the treaty to be signed, if possible, by November seventh; that it was important, however, since the treaty must be ratified by the Senate, to have the approval of various important Senators of the land formula, as well as of other important provisions, and that to this end we had communicated with certain Senators; that we had not yet received their replies but were seeking to expedite replies in every way, by the use of long distance telephone and telegraph; that we still hoped that the matter could be satisfactorily arranged in order to sign the treaty by November seventh but that of course we could guarantee nothing until we received the necessary replies; and that if the worst came to the worst I had suggested that it might be of assistance for the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs and the American Minister at Bangkok to issue a joint statement to the effect that substantial agreement had been reached on the treaty and that it was expected the treaty would shortly be signed. The Minister thanked me for these suggestions and said that he would cable to Bangkok as suggested.

F[rancis] B. S[ayre]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser.
  3. Alger Hiss, assistant to Mr. Sayre.