890.00B/9–2248: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Consulate General at Saigon

149. Text statement Dept spokesman Sept 16 response pertinent questions[:] “Dept has watched closely rapid increase of Communist activity which has taken place in southeast Asia since early this year and has naturally taken this development into consideration in determining its course of action. Results of these activities in Burma, Malaya, Indochina and Indonesia have been reported by press as they occurred from time to time and need not be reviewed. However, little attention has been directed toward one major stratagem employed by Communists in dependent areas of southeast Asia. To win support and allies in their drive for power, Communist leaders have consistently pretended to champion cause of local nationalists and have attempted to identify communism with nationalism in minds of people of area. This scheme worked well, at least until Cominform’s denunciation of Yugoslav Communist leaders as being, among other things, guilty of nationalism. There is some evidence that sincere nationalist leaders in southeast Asia, originally deceived by this device, have now awakened to fact that, in Communist controlled states outside Soviet Union, nationalism to which they aspire is regarded as a high crime and grounds for ruthless interference in internal affairs of such states by international Communist organizations.”

Sent Saigon1; rptd Hanoi, Singapore.2

  1. As 149.
  2. As 45 and 151.