The Department of State to the British Embassy


Reference is made to the Department’s aide-mémoire of December 18, 19411 and the British Embassy’s reply thereto of December 24, 19412 in regard to Thailand.

The Department notes that the British Government considers that the conclusion of a Treaty of Alliance between the Thai Government and Japan3 would normally justify a declaration of war upon Thailand. The British Government has, however, “received convincing indications that the majority of Thai opinion is anti-Japanese if not pro-Ally, and it is likely to become increasingly anti-Japanese as the Japanese proceed to apply their usual arrogant methods and to infringe their agreement to respect the sovereignty of Thailand”. The British Government feels that a declaration of war upon Thailand might change this movement of opinion for the worse and have the effect of throwing Thailand into the arms of Japan. The British Government is inclined to consider, therefore, that it would be premature to declare that a state of war exists with Thailand.

Although information available to the Government of the United States would seem to suggest that the extent of anti-Japanese feeling in Thailand may not be so substantial as stated by the British Government, this Government is of the opinion that from a practical point of view it would seem to be preferable for the time being not to declare that a state of war exists with Thailand.

As regards general policy to be adopted toward Thailand, and propaganda to be directed to Thailand, the views of the Government of the United States are in substantial conformity with those expressed by the British Government.

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With regard to the Thai Minister in Washington,4 this Government has decided, after careful consideration of all factors involved, not to proceed at present with the proposal to recognize the Minister as “the representative in the United States of the free people of Thailand”, and intends for the time being to continue to recognize him as “Minister of Thailand”.

With regard to the text of the statement which the British Government proposes to issue in London, this Government considers that it would be preferable to defer the issuance of any statements by the British and the United States Governments until such time as word shall have been received that the British and the American Ministers to Thailand5 have safely departed from that country. This Government agrees that any statements issued in regard to Thailand by the British Government, the Netherlands Government and the United States Government should not conflict.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. v, p. 387.
  2. Ibid., p. 392.
  3. Signed at Bangkok, December 21, 1941.
  4. Mom Rajawongse Seni Pramoj.
  5. Sir Josiah Crosby and Willys R. Peck, respectively.