845C.00/2–247: Telegram

The Consul General at Rangoon (Packer) to the Secretary of State


88. While there is feeling in some quarters Aung San has lost prestige because he signed agreement embodying much less than he had demanded (some say he got nothing, others that he got 75 per cent), it appears doubtful he will suffer greatly within AFPFL itself. Test will come at forthcoming AFPFL Supreme Council meeting; if passed successfully he must then ease off popular enthusiasm (which he has aroused) for direct action (my 75, 29th32). Seems to me he can to his followers logically plug Constitutent Assembly as means to independence before January 31, 1948, and plug momentarily at least Panglong Conference (which will include other than Shan leaders and will be followed immediately by Shan council at Taunggyi; which Governor plans attend later) as meeting place to gain hill peoples’ support of thesis must now adopt that they should get simultaneously what Burma gets; and if any success at Panglong, he can plug it accordingly. Obviously British have picked him for immediate future Burma ship of state, and it seems unlikely he can renege on agreement since (1) he would thereby lose British support and consequently any early hope to bring hill peoples into any close degree of union with Burma proper under AFPFL administration and (2) [Page 14] his immediate political future would seem to hang on ability to popularize agreement.33

U Saw and Thakin Ba Sein may possibly have to resign or have their resignations accepted by Governor (for failure to go along with AFPFL setup);34 out of office they are not likely to be very dangerous to AFPFL in immediate future; if Aung San star later begins to set, they will be ready for comeback (Deptel 4835).

Possibility inclusion Ba Maw36 in revamped Executive Council as well as Communist representative (if AFPFL and Thein Pe-Than-Tun37 group patch differences) not to be overlooked.

Sent Department 88; repeated London 21.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The Governor’s Executive Council on February 5 ratified the London agreement, and the AFPFL Supreme Council next accepted it as an instrument by which to work for speedy attainment of independence.
  3. Both men resigned from the Executive Council in February, and the Council was then reorganized to fill the vacancies.
  4. See footnote 28, p. 11.
  5. Burmese Premier during the Japanese occupation.
  6. Leaders of the so-called White Flag Communists who had left the AFPFL in 1946.