The Department of State to the British Embassy


Reference is made to the Department’s aide-mémoire of January 19, 1942 in regard to Thailand, which was handed to Mr. Hayter of the British Embassy.

On February 2, 1942 the Department received a telegram from the American Legation at Bern,14 reporting that by note of January 31, 1942, the Swiss Foreign Office communicated to the Legation a telegram from the Swiss Consul at Bangkok stating that on January 25, 1942 the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the Swiss Consul in writing that “by royal command a declaration of war on Great Britain and the United States of America has been made as from noon twenty-fifth January”.

It is not the present intention of the Government of the United States to declare war on Thailand. However, in any case in which Thai forces actively engage in or cooperate with the Japanese in military operations against the forces of the United States or of any of the United Nations, and in any case in which their presence obstructs the operations or threatens the security of forces of the United States or of any of the United Nations, this Government intends to treat those forces as enemies. Also, this Government intends to treat Thailand for economic warfare and other purposes as enemy-occupied territory.15

The above information and expression of views are communicated to the British Embassy in accordance with the policy of interchange of information between the British Government and the Government of the United States in regard to matters relating to Thailand.16

  1. Supra.
  2. This information was communicated to the Netherlands, Australian, and Canadian Legations on February 17.
  3. The British Ambassador informed the Secretary of State on February 9 that in view of the Thai declaration of war, the British Government was announcing that a state of war with Thailand had existed from 5 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time, January 25 (740.0011 Pacific War/1863).