751G.94/237: Telegram

The Minister in Thailand (Grant) to the Secretary of State

145. The French Minister has informed me quite confidentially of the results of his conversations this week with the Prime Minister and with the Deputy Minister of Defense who headed the Thai military mission to Japan. He said the Thai leaders indicated they are convinced that the Japanese are already taking preliminary steps to take over control of Indochina and that the achievement will not be difficult since the natives will not fight the Japanese with the 24,000 French soldiers in Indochina. The Deputy Minister of Defense said that the Japanese had indicated to him in Tokyo that Thailand could have what it wants in Indochina except the coast countries which the Japanese propose to control but that in such event Thai must play with the Japanese. The Deputy Minister denied that any agreements had been signed with Japan. It was further indicated that the Japanese are particularly interested in the port of Ream on the Gulf of Siam as a naval base and Cape Saint Jacques, south of Saigon. The Prime Minister said that the attitude of the United States on the Indochina affair was generally good but very severe on the present Thai Government and that the British attitude was good and friendly. The French Minister is still of the opinion that the Thai military occupation of portions of Indochina will take place at the end of the rainy season or around December 1.