No. 399
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Philippine and Southeast Asian Affairs (Bonsal)



  • Thai Foreign Minister’s Call on the Secretary


  • The Secretary
  • Prince Wan (Prince Naradhip), Foreign Minister of Thailand1
  • Mr. Pote Sarasin, Thai Ambassador
  • Mr. Philip W. Bonsal

After a cordial exchange of amenities, Prince Wan expressed his satisfaction at the Secretary’s American Legion speech2 and particularly with regard to the passage dealing with Indochina. He said it should do much to discourage any thought of Chinese Communist aggression there. There was a general exchange of views regarding the current situation in Indochina with emphasis on the importance of the efforts being made by our side to improve the situation politically and militarily.

The Secretary remarked in this connection—somewhat jocularly—that our attitude toward the Thai project to raise the invasion of Laos in the UN might have appeared “vacillating” but he pointed out that the situation itself had constantly changed and that, due to a variety of circumstances, it had been difficult to come firmly to grips with the French over this subject. Prince Wan expressed understanding. He said that his government was ready to present its case to the UN should future circumstances warrant. There ensued some inconclusive discussion of enemy intentions during the coming fighting season.

Prince Wan then raised the question of the KMT troops in Burma and expressed some optimism that results were about to be [Page 683] achieved. The Secretary agreed stating that he thought that through the cooperation of Thailand and the US, a sincere demonstration had been given the Burmese of the rather limited degree to which the situation of these troops is subject to outside influences including that of the Chinese Nationalist Government. It was generally agreed that a good part of this problem, because of considerations of terrain and regional associations transcending frontiers, remains outside of the area in which outside influences can be effective.

Prince Wan introduced the subject of the presidency of the General Assembly by stating that his candidacy was still alive and that he is actively campaigning. The Secretary replied that we had been embarrassed by the position which we had been obliged to adopt with respect to so good a friend as Prince Wan and that we would be very happy if Prince Wan should be successful.

After the conversation with the Secretary, Mr. Bonsal recalled to Prince Wan that sometime ago we had endeavored to ascertain if Thailand was interested in being a candidate for ECOSOC or for the Trusteeship Council with a view to the possibility of our supporting the Thai candidacy to either of these bodies. Prince Wan replied that he appreciated our interest but that Thailand was not currently a candidate for either ECOSOC or the Trusteeship Council. He said that in fact Thailand had been approached by Pakistan with regard to ECOSOC and by the Philippines with regard to the Trusteeship Council and that Thailand planned to commit her vote for these vacancies rather than to be a candidate herself. He gave Mr. Bonsal the impression that Pakistan and the Philippines would receive the Thai support they had requested but a final decision may not yet have been made. Prince Wan expressed appreciation of our interest. He took occasion to say that India’s concept of leadership was that India should be a candidate for everything but that Thailand had other views of what constitutes leadership.

  1. Prince Wan Waithayakon Krommun Naradhip Bongsprabandh.
  2. For text of Secretary Dulles’ address before the American Legion on Sept. 2, see Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, pp. 339–342.