790B.00/2–1450: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Burma 1


71. Embtel 85 Feb 14.2 Suggest that in discretion Emb reply Bo Set Kya be made along fol lines:

US does not view present world situation in terms spheres influence or power blocs but rather as clear cut issue of preservation free world against threat domination by forces of totalitarian imperialism. US sees urgent need for mutual assistance among free nations to stabilize and maintain themselves as free independent states. US therefore desires cooperate in such ways as it can with UK and Burm in carrying forward Burm’s development along lines acceptable to Burm people.

With respect Set Kya’s suggestion full alignment Burm with Western powers, Emb might say US not thinking in terms of Western powers alone, but of all free nations and has always recognized Burm as part of free world and recognizes and endorses Burm’s determination preserve itself from domination by any outside power.

UK and Commonwealth have been giving mil and financial assistance to Burm and US feels such assistance is needed by Burm and can be helpful. It is in this context therefore that US particularly interested exploring with Burm Govt possible types technical assistance from US which Burm Govt cld use to complement UK and [Page 233] Commonwealth aid programs and which might augment Burm Govt’s technical resources for making best use UK and Commonwealth aid. We wld welcome discussion along these lines but wld of course wish to deal with Burm Govt as a whole, and suggest it wld be appropriate undertake further talks on US technical assistance and exchange of persons projects with Amb Key3 upon his arrival Burm.

Background re Dept views on relation US Burma program to that of UK and Commonwealth contained Deptel 62, Feb 13.4 Rangoon pls rpt Bangkok, Emb London inform FonOff.

  1. Repeated to London as 762.
  2. Not printed; it reported that Bo Set Kya, a confidant of Deputy Prime Minister Ne Win, had stated that Ne Win was “willing discuss full alignment Burma with western powers if US prepared extend long-range assistance including loan, military supplies and technicians, and Point Four type assistance.” (790B.00/2–1450)
  3. David McKendree Key, Ambassador designate to Burma. His appointment was approved by the Senate on March 16.
  4. Not printed; it stated in part:

    “Secstate has approved policy for Burma which provides that US shld take steps to complement Brit and Commonwealth efforts stabilize Burma and forestall Commie subversion. Fundamental is UK shld accept primary responsibility for aid to Burma.

    “US program mainly confined to exchange of persons and technical assistance projects designed to increase Burm capability for dealing with own problems and wld be useful only as supplement to UK financial and mil aid.” (890B.10/2–1350)