792.00/28: Telegram

The Chargé in Thailand (Chapman) to the Secretary of State

23. There has been a surprising and unmistakable recent trend toward reversal of the oft repeated neutrality policy of the Siamese [Page 119] Government. A group of army and navy officers having strong pro-Japanese sympathies, who surround the Prime Minister, seem now to dominate the present policy of the Government. This group understands only arguments of force. Members of the Cabinet gravely fear that some rash commitment to Japan is imminent. I am convinced that departure from policy of strict neutrality by Siam in favor of Japan might be disastrous for Siam and would be inimical to American interests. The French and British Ministers are much concerned over the situation, they fully share the same views in relation to the interests of their own countries and they are in communication with their Governments accordingly. I earnestly and respectfully suggest that a useful purpose might be served if the Secretary were personally to inform the Siamese Minister substantially that great sympathy exists in the United States for democratic governments and for the cautious role of Siam, that any departure therefrom would not fail to cause concern in the United States and that communication of these views to his Government by telegraph would be appreciated.