Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Adams)70

Participants: Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj, Minister for Thailand, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Adams.

The Thai Minister, who called at his request, said that he had received from the Prime Minister of Thailand a telegram expressing gratification and satisfaction over the attitude of the Secretary of State in the conversation which the Secretary had on Monday, August 18 with the Thai Minister.

The Thai Minister said that he had understood the Secretary to say that if Thailand should be attacked by Japan and should undertake in good faith to defend itself, the United States would, with reference to the extension of assistance, place Thailand in the same category as China and other nations engaged in resisting aggression. He said that he had told the Secretary that preparation to resist an attack would be necessary and that for such preparations materials which could only be had in the United States would be required. He said that the Secretary had told him in response to this that while production was increasing there was at present a demand for defense materials greater than the supply and the Government of the United States was doing its utmost to see that available supplies reached places where they would be most effectively used.

The Thai Minister said that his country was now faced with an emergency and that everything else was being subordinated to preparations to meet that emergency and that, therefore, he would not request at this time permission for export from the United States of articles not connected with defense needs of Thailand. He said, however, that when he spoke of defense needs he used the term in a broad sense which would include machine tools for the repair of airplanes and other war materials as well as such commodities as cables and wires and road materials needed for communications. He said that there were many export applications pending in the Department of [Page 280] State upon which no action had been taken. He hoped that at least some of these applications might be acted upon favorably.

[Here follows report of discussions regarding various items of trade.]

  1. Initialed by the Acting Chief of the Division (Mackay).