811.20 (D) Regulations/3172: Telegram

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

76. Your 330, July 3, 2 p.m.

The Department is hopeful that the plan to extend economic assistance (including oil supplies) to Thailand may prove to be an effective means of counteracting whatever attempts may be made to divert Thai trade relations to new channels and to undermine Thai independence. In accepting the British plan in principle the Department had two aims, (1) to support British efforts to oppose the attempts described above as well as to improve the attitude of Thailand toward Great Britain during the present emergency and (2) to obtain for the United States as large a part as possible of the Thai output of rubber and tin.
The Department desires that you approach the appropriate Thai authority and inform him orally that the American Government was gratified to receive through the Thai Minister in Washington the information that the Thai Government accepted in principle the proposal that Thai rubber and tin be made available for purchase by the United States and that American products be released for export to Thailand. The American Government desires that detailed arrangements for the purchase and shipment of the respective commodities shall be concluded at the earliest possible date. The Department urges, therefore, that the Thai Government at its earliest convenience supply you with an indication of the largest amounts of rubber and tin it can allocate for purchase by the United States and similarly furnish a list of American products it desires to import. You may explain that the appropriate authorities of this Government will carefully scrutinize the list with a view to releasing for export as many items as the defense needs of the United States in the present emergency will permit.
For your confidential guidance: (1) The Department would prefer that negotiation should take place in Washington because there [Page 206] will be frequent necessity to consult other branches of the Government but the removal of the Thai Legation to summer quarters makes this plan impracticable; (2) such rubber and tin as may come within British control will be held subject to our purchase and our efforts should therefore be directed toward acquiring that portion of the output free for allocation to other than British purchasers; (3) as an added inducement to prompt action by Thailand you may indicate our willingness to assist in carrying out the internal development program in proportion as the Thai Government is disposed to assist us in regard to rubber and tin but you should not at this stage introduce the subject of a loan or of commercial credits; if requests for financial assistance are made you should offer to report them to the Department; (4) it would be advisable to inform your British colleague in advance concerning your intended approach to the Thai authorities; (5) this Government attaches great importance to the acquisition of tin and rubber.