Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge, Burma Affairs (Acly)


Subject: Visit of Ambassador Barrington and U Sain Bwa

Participants: His Excellency James Barrington, Burmese Ambassador
U Sain Bwa, First Secretary of Burmese Embassy
Assistant Secretary Rusk—FE
R. Austin Acly—PSA

Mr. Barrington called to present U Sain Bwa, the new First Secretary who will assume temporary charge of the Embassy during the absence of Mr. Barrington at UN General Assembly in Paris.

During the course of the conversation, Mr. Barrington expressed his thanks to Mr. Rusk for assistance in obtaining a recommendation for priority in the procurement of certain materials needed by the manufacturers of certain quantities of ammunition ordered in this country by the Burmese Government. The Ambassador inquired whether the [Page 305] Department’s action in this case could be interpreted as an indication that similar action will be taken in future cases, especially other items of ammunition about which unofficial inquiries have already been made. Mr. Acly explained that in the case of such items as signal cartridges, anti-personnel mines, and other miscellaneous ammunition, the interested officers in the Department are favorably disposed toward recommending the necessary priority, but that since no official request had been received, these items had not been mentioned in the Department’s note to Mr. Barrington. Mr. Rusk suggested that it might be advisable for the Ambassador or U Sain Bwa to take up matters of this kind in the first instance informally with Mr. Acly or other interested officers in order that the prospects may be explored before formal action is taken. Mr. Barrington agreed to this suggestion.

Brief mention was also made of the matter of the Chinese Nationalist troops in the Kengtung State of Burma. In reply to Mr. Barrington’s inquiry as to whether the Department could offer any suggestions as to a possible settlement of this problem, Mr. Rusk asked whether any consideration had been given to the possibility to permitting these troops to settle on undeveloped land in the Shan States on condition that they lay down their arms and live peacefully as farmers. Mr. Barrington replied that such an arrangement would probably be objectionable to the Chinese Communists and that his Government, therefore, probably could not adopt it. Mr. Acly asked what Mr. Barrington thought the reaction of the Chinese Communist Government would be to a possible suggestion that the troops be repatriated to Taiwan through Burma. The Ambassador replied that this would probably be strongly opposed by the Chinese Communists as a violation of International law.

Mr. Barrington made inquiries as to whether the Department had any information regarding General Edwin Clark, an American who has recently approached the Ambassador with a view to selling the Burmese Government arms and ammunition. Mr. Rusk replied that he had a vague recollection of a General Clark who was connected with the China Institute in America. This was verified by correspondence found in Mr. Rusk’s files. Mr. Rusk said that General Clark appears to be well regarded in New York. Both Mr. Rusk and Mr. Acly agreed to make inquiries and to inform the Ambassador.

Before leaving, Mr. Barrington mentioned that the Burmese Delegation to the UN General Assembly in Paris would be as follows: U Myint Thein (Head of Delegation), Ambassador Barrington, U Kyin (Ambassador to India), U Tun Shein (Permanent Secretary in Foreign Office), U Xaw Win (Burmese Minister in Paris) and two members of Parliament whom Mr. Barrington described as being included for political reasons.