No. 402
The Chairman of the Operations Coordinating Board (Smith) to Robert Cutler, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

top secret

The answer to the President’s questions raised in the attached memorandum1 lie in the purpose behind General Donovan’s appointment. Before he left I had a long and private talk with him and told him that his initial missions were:

To sell himself thoroughly to the Thai Government, which still harbors some latent misgivings because of his past association with Pridi;
To gather together quietly under his personal direction and coordination the activities and money spending by FOA, USIA, and …;
To insure that these three agencies operate in close … coordination with the stepped-up Military Mission which, as you know, is being headed by a senior Major General;2 and

. . . . . . .

[Page 688]

In other words, Donovan as the Ambassador and the senior American official is quietly to assume command and direction. He understands this and has been over with me the NSC directive,3 which was pretty close to final form at the time he left. I will be in personal communication with him on matters other than ambassadorial duties.

  1. Supra.
  2. Maj. Gen. William N. Gillmore, Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Thailand and Chief of the Joint Military Mission to Thailand. General Gillmore’s functions in the latter role were outlined in telegram 424 to Bangkok, Aug. 28, which stated that he would, subject to the Embassy’s guidance, negotiate with the Thai Government on the terms of reference and status of a proposed mission to be established thereafter. He would also serve in a special advisory capacity as outlined in the Department’s aide-mémoire of May 6 and accepted in the Thai Embassy’s aide-mémoire of May 19 (see footnotes 1 and 2, Document 393). These functions were not to be publicized to avoid speculation and possible embarrassment to the Thai Government. (792.5 MSP/8–2853)
  3. Reference is presumably to PSB D–23, infra.