Memorandum Prepared in the Department of State
The following message for the Secretary of State from Ruth was received by the Department of State on May 21, 1945:
“Thai Resistance Movement, in all its dealings, has continually adhered to the advice of American representatives not to take any premature action against the enemy. But at this time, I believe the Jap desire to fight can be weakened if the Resistance Movement no longer tries to remain under cover. The Japs will be more quickly forced to surrender unconditionally to the Allies because of the fear of the dissolution of the so-called co-prosperity sphere. Nevertheless, we were advised that the Resistance Movement should attempt to block every effort of the Japs for assistance from Thailand. We have followed this line as closely as possible, but you realize the Japs are becoming more suspicious all the time. Not long ago the Thai Government would not accede to a Jap demand for an additional credit of 100,000,000 bahts. I have been informed by the present government that they will not remain in office if the Japs persist in this matter. In that event, a new government would have to be installed and it would have to take action against the Japs by first ordering void all debts and agreements the Pibul regime had contracted with the Japs, including the treaty on the incorporation of four states in Malaya and Shan State[s] into Thailand, as well as declaration of war against England and the United States. The basis of relations between these two nations and Thailand will to us [have to?] be set up as they were prior to Pearl Harbor. Before going ahead with this plan I want to keep you advised of the current situation. Although I am positive that the U.S. has good intentions concerning the independence of Thailand and that they have deep regard for the Thais themselves, I believe if the U.S., on the day of the beginning of our action, would declare her respect of Thailand’s independence and state that she regards Thailand as a member of the United Nations and not as an enemy, it would greatly encourage the Thai people who are already prepared for any sacrifice. I have also advised the Supreme Commander, SEAC, of this whole matter.”
The following reply was sent on May 28, 1945:84
“Your message to the Secretary is deeply appreciated.
“We understand your desire that Thailand actively oppose the enemy as soon as possible. We are sure you realize, however, that all opposition to our common enemy must be coordinated with the over-all strategy against Japan and that it would be unfortunate if the Thai prematurely and before reasonably assured of success should commence overt action which was not integrated with the strategic plans of [Page 1270] SACSEA.85 We hope, therefore, you will continue your endeavors to prevent premature overt action by resistance movement or action which would precipitate taking over of Thai Government by the Japanese. We are confident you will keep us and the British fully informed should either development become imminent despite your efforts.
“The sincere desire of yourself and the Thai people to repudiate the Pibul declarations of war and agreements is fully understood and appreciated but it is not clear why present government should resign at this time or what compulsion would cause succeeding government to make such repudiation its first act. It would appear that the resistance movement could more effectively accomplish its objectives when emerging from cover by coordinated surprise attack on enemy supplies, communications, forces, and equipment and by seizure of enemy officers, officials, documents and key points. Political acts of repudiation and realignment with the Allies could follow.
“We attach great importance to existence of an effective constitutional Thai Government on Thai soil to work with Allies. We hope that all possible preparations will have been made to forestall seizure or scattering of important pro-Allied personnel so that such government could promptly function in areas free from Japanese, could direct Thai military operations and coordinate them with Allied operations, and could reestablish effective civil governmental machinery as areas are liberated.
“The United States cannot unilaterally declare another nation a member of the United Nations but it will be happy publicly to reiterate at an appropriate time its respect for Thai independence and to declare that it has at no time considered Thailand an enemy. We look forward to the day when both our countries can appropriately make public our common cause against our common enemy.
Acting Secretary of State.”
- In a memorandum of May 28 of a conversation with the British Minister (Sansom), the Chief of the Division of Southeast Asian Affairs (Moffat) stated that he had handed copies of the messages of May 21 and May 28 to the Minister “to assure full coordination of British and American action”. (892.01/5–2845)↩
- Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia.↩