No. 390
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of Thai and Malayan Affairs (Landon)



  • Situation in Thailand


  • The Secretary of State
  • His Excellency Pote Sarasin, Ambassador of Thailand
  • Mr. Landon—PSA

The Thai Ambassador, Pote Sarasin, called by appointment in order to inform the Secretary of various problems faced by his Government as a result of the Viet Minh invasion of Laos. He indicated that his Government had ordered strict enforcement of the closure of the frontier which has in theory been closed for a long time; that police and military reinforcements had been ordered to the border provinces; that an air patrol of the frontier had been established; that Vietnamese refugees of political inclination were being evacuated from northeastern Thailand where they have been residing for the past five years; that the Thai Government will firmly defend its territory; .…

The Ambassador went on to say that he had been instructed to tell the Secretary that it would be very reassuring if he would make a strong statement on the Laos situation, mentioning the danger to Thailand, the importance of Thailand in the resistance of the Free World against Communist aggression and some indication of United States and United Nations support in case Thailand is attacked.

The Secretary immediately incorporated a sentence or two in an address which he will make on Thursday1 and said that he would [Page 665] seek an opportunity before leaving the United States to make a more comprehensive statement.

The Thai Ambassador then asked what possibility there was of the United Nations taking up the Laos situation saying that the Thai Government and nation would accept a United Nations resolution as a basis for their own policy decisions and action. The Secretary said that until now it was chiefly the responsibility of the French Government to raise the question of Laos in the United Nations but that it had not done so for reasons of its own. He then read Article 34 of the United Nations Charter and advised the Thai Ambassador of the desirability of Thailand bringing the question itself before the United Nations Security Council as a preventive measure pointing out that it would focus the attention of the world on Thailand’s position and might act as a deterrent to Communist forces. He added that an appeal brought before the United Nations after the act of aggression would be somewhat tardy in that the damage would have been done. The Thai Ambassador was very favorably impressed with this suggestion and said that he would strongly recommend that his Government do so.

  1. On May 7, Secretary Dulles spoke briefly about the international situation before the New York State Republican dinner in New York. After referring to the invasion of Laos, he continued: “These armed aggressors now also threaten peaceful Thailand (Siam). Thailand is one of the nations which, showing its faith in collective security, has gallantly and substantially contributed to the U.N. effort in Korea. By performing this act for others, it has won the right to help from others.” For text of the Secretary’s remarks, see Department of State Bulletin, May 18, 1953, pp. 706–707.