Records of the Bangkok Legation, Lot F167, 800 Political Affairs: Telegram

The Political Adviser in the India–Burma Theater (Yost) to the Secretary of State

587. Following are recent developments in Anglo-Thai negotiations.

Thai Delegation has completed study British draft and, though final instructions not yet received from Bangkok, will probably present comments to Dening today. Following are principal points in British draft on which Thais raise questions:

  • A3. Thais do not wish to repudiate agreement with Japs by which latter agreed repay credits extended to them by Thais.
  • C1. Thais, while eager to participate in United Nations security arrangements, are puzzled concerning intent this paragraph.
  • C3. Thais argue this should be matter United Nations rather than purely Anglo–Thai concern.
  • Dl. Thais do not understand reference to “good neighborly policy in regard to coastal shipping” since normal international practice reserves coastal shipping to domestic carriers.
  • D5. Thais fear 1937 agreement may not be in all respects compatible with Chicago agreements75 to which Seni subscribed.
  • E2b and E3. Thais fearful broad implications these clauses.
  • Military Annex 4. Thais willing to compensate but wish establishment Allied Commission to assess all allied damages and determine Thai capacity to pay.
  • 11. Thais wish to limit duration these powers to period required to disarm and intern Japs.
  • 11d. Thais wish to limit censorship to prevention anti-allied propaganda.
  • 11e. Thais wish to state merely they will cooperate in matters of civil administration with allied military authority.
  • 13. Thais believe this paragraph should be in body of agreement rather than Military Annex and should be tied in to United Nations security arrangements.
  • 14. Thais object to vagueness purpose and duration this paragraph.
  • 15. Thais fear complete and prolonged Allied control their export trade.
  • 16a. Thais willing to make gift rice to Allies or Britain on behalf Allies but offer presently limited 20,000 tons monthly for one year.

As Dept will note Thais in far more confident frame of mind than when Regent so promptly accepted original agreement number 2. Whether confidence will evaporate if British begin pounding table remains to be seen.

Suni continues urge daily that US inform Thais its attitude toward various clauses of draft as Thais do not wish approve any clause to which US objects. Suni also fears sudden British demand to sign before Thais have been notified US attitude. I have informed Suni that since this is British draft I presume my Government will wish to present first to British any comments it may have and that, only if British decline to recognize a point US considers vital to its interests, will we wish to make representations to Thais.

Since Dening will presumably today or tomorrow submit Thai comments to London for approval or disapproval, believe Dept would be well advised to obtain at earliest possible moment final British decision US aide-mémoire Sept 19.

  1. International Air Services Transit Agreement and International Air Transport Agreement, both opened for signature December 7, 1944; for texts, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series Nos. 487 and 488, or 59 Stat (pt. 2) 1693 and 1701, respectively. For documentation on discussions regarding international civil aviation at Chicago, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, pp. 355 ff.