Eisenhower Library, Eisenhower papers, Whitman file

No. 398
Memorandum of Discussion at the 159th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, August 13, 19531

top secret eyes only


The following were present at the 159th Meeting of the Council: The Vice President of the United States, presiding; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of Defense; the Director, Foreign Operations Administration; the Director, Office of Defense Mobilization. Also present were the Acting Secretary of the Treasury; the Acting Director, Bureau of the Budget; General Omar N. Bradley, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (for Item 1 only); General Collins for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Acting Director of Central Intelligence; Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to the President; C.D. Jackson, Special Assistant to the President; Brig. Gen. Paul T. Carroll, Acting White House Staff Secretary; the Executive Secretary, NSC; and the Deputy Executive Secretary, NSC.

There follows a summary of the discussion at the meeting and the main points taken.

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[Page 681]

2. Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security

The Acting Director of Central Intelligence2 opened his briefing of the Council with a background statement respecting the situation in Thailand. He pointed out that the Bangkok Government was firmly anti-Communist and strongly pro-American. He warned, however, that this government was in fact a military dictatorship which had come to power by a coup d’état. Accordingly, it could reverse its pro-American stand with little fear of public opinion. Inasmuch as the controlling clique was very corrupt and Thailand was somewhat less prosperous than in the past, an upheaval in the government could occur at any time. Such internal weaknesses, continued General Cabell, would cause us little concern were it not for the threat of foreign intervention posed by the setting up of the Thai autonomous state and by the possible repetition of the invasion of Laos by the Vietminh. On the occasion of the latter event that Thai Government had at once sought commitments from the U.S. for stronger support. General Cabell predicted that this move would be repeated when the fighting season opens in Indochina. He further predicted that Thailand would resist Communist demands only in so far as its government received U.S. support. If such support were not forthcoming, Thailand was likely to yield to Communist demands.

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6. U. S. Psychological Strategy With Respect to the Thai Peoples of Southeast Asia (Memo for NSC from Acting Executive Secretary, same subject, dated July 7, 1953; Memo for All Holders of July 7 Memo, dated August 5, 1953)3

Mr. Cutler introduced the subject report and read to the Council the main points in U.S. policy with respect to Thailand.…

. . . . . . .

The National Security Council:4

Referred the Summary contained in the enclosure to the reference memorandum of July 7 on the subject to the Psychological Strategy Board (a) for redrafting in the light of the comments by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the changes proposed by the Central Intelligence Agency, and (b) for resubmission to the Council, including the addition of a Financial Appendix.

[Page 682]

Note: The above action subsequently transmitted to the Psychological Strategy Board for implementation.

. . . . . . .

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Drafted by Gleason on Aug. 14.
  2. Lt. Gen. Charles P. Cabell, USAF.
  3. Neither printed. The July 7 memorandum transmitted the July 2 draft of PSB D–23; see footnote 2, Document 396. The Aug. 5 memorandum transmitted revisions of two pages of the July 2 draft.
  4. The paragraph and Note below constituted NSC Action No. 884.