Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Truman 58

Subject: Proposed Exchange of Ambassadors with Burma

It is probable that, in the near future, the British will request this Government to agree to an exchange of ambassadors between Burma and the United States. This move would be in accord with the January 27 agreement between Burmese political leaders and members of the British Cabinet.

The recent Burmese elections resulted in an overwhelming victory for the moderate Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League. The elected members will form a constituent assembly and an interim legislature along lines similar to the assembly and legislature in India. I believe that Burma’s constitutional status is now as advanced as that of India and that we should agree to an exchange of ambassadors.59

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Although American trade with Burma was not large before the war, the expected abolition of Imperial Preference makes expansion possible. Scheduled American airline service through Burma is starting this month and will be expanded in the near future. Burma’s strategic position between India and China is an important consideration.

Please inform me whether you agree to an exchange of ambassadors if the expected request is received from the British.

G. C. Marshall
  1. Notation on the original by President Truman: “Approved Harry S. Truman May 31, 1947”.
  2. In telegram 197, May 27, 1 p.m., to Rangoon, the Department stated that the Burmese Government should ask the British Government to make a new approach to the United States with a specific request for exchange of ambassadors if representation at that level was desired (701.45C11/5–2147).