United States Support for the Royal Lao Government and Attempts to Prevent Coalition with the Pathet Lao 1

1. For previous documentation on Laos, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, volumes XIII and XVI.


260. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/–1355. Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh.


261. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/1–1155. Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Paris, and Phnom Penh.


262. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files 751J.5–MSP/1–1555. Top Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Paris.


263. Telegram From the Department of State to the Legation in Laos

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/1–1555. Secret. Drafted by Young and Byrne; cleared by BOA (in substance) and WE; approved by Robertson. Repeated to Paris, Saigon, Phnom Penh, London, and Bangkok.


264. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5/2–1655. Top Secret. Transmitted to the Department of State under cover of Document 275.


265. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/1–2155. Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Paris.


266. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/1–2655. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Saigon, Paris, London, and Phnom Penh.


267. Letter From the Minister in Laos (Yost) to the Officer in Charge of Vietnam–Laos–Cambodian Affairs (Hoey)

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.51J/1–2755. Secret and Personal.


268. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/1–2855. Top Secret. Repeated to Saigon and Bangkok.


269. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5–MSP/1–2955. Top Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Paris.


270. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Philippine and Southeast Asian Affairs (Young) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Murphy)

Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Southeast Asia. Secret. Drafted by Byrne.


271. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/2–455. Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Paris, and Phnom Penh.


272. Telegram From the Department of State to the Legation in Laos

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/2–455. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Hoey, cleared by PSA and WE, and approved by Robertson. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Paris.


273. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/2–1355. Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Bangkok.


274. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/2–1455. Top Secret; Priority. Repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Bangkok.


275. Letter From the Secretary of Defense (Wilson) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5/2–1655. Top Secret.


276. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, central Files, 751J.001/2–1655. Top Secret; Priority. Repeated to Bangkok, Saigon and Phnom Penh.


277. Memorandum of a Conversation, Vientiane, February 27, 1955

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751].00/2–2755. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur. After the conclusion of the SEATO Council meetings at Bangkok, Dulles made brief visits to Rangoon and Vientiane on February 27, Phnom Penh on February 28, and Saigon from February 28 to March 1. Briefing material for the Secretary’s visit to Laos is ibid., FE Files: Lot 56 D 679, Bangkok Conference, Visits. The Legation suggested in telegram 374 from Vientiane, February 21, that Dulles meet with the principal Lao political figures alone, because “due to peculiarities of local political situation, each of above figures will talk much more frankly and substantively alone than he would in company of any of the others.” (Ibid., Central Files, 110.11–DU/2–2155)


278. Memorandum of a Conversation, Vientiane, February 27, 1955

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BA/2–2755. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur.


279. Memorandum of a Conversation, Vientiane, February 27, 1955

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BA/2–2755. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur.


280. Memorandum of a Conversation, Vientiane, February 27, 1955

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BA/2–2755. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur.


281. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/2–2855. Top Secret. Repeated to Vientiane, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh. Dulles also sent a general report on Indochina to Eisenhower in which he specifically mentioned his discussions with Lao leaders and the Pathet Lao situation. See Dulte 18, vol. I, p. 96.


282. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5–MSP/3–455. Top Secret. Also sent to Paris and Bangkok and repeated to Manila, Saigon, and Phnom Penh.


283. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5/3–1455. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Phnom Penh, Saigon, Paris, London, and Bangkok.


284. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/3–1555. Top Secret. Repeated to Phnom Penh, Saigon, Bangkok, Paris, and London.


285. Telegram From the Department of State to the Legation in Laos

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/3–1555. Top Secret; Priority. Drafted by Byrne; cleared by Hoey, Sebald (in draft), Merchant, Murphy; and approved by Robertson. Also sent priority to Paris and London and repeated to Saigon, Phnom Penh, Ottawa priority for MacArthur, and Bangkok. MacArthur was accompanying Dulles on a trip to Ottawa, March 17–18, for discussions with Canadian officials. (Dulles’ Appointment Book; Princeton University, Dulles Papers)


286. Telegram From the Legation in Laos to the Department of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/3–2655, Top Secret. Repeated to Saigon, Paris, London, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh.


287. Message From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Churchill

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/4–955. Top Secret. The source text is labeled “Extract from Message from the President to the Prime Minister dated March 29, 1955.” Attached to a memorandum from Robbins P. Gilman of S/S to Roderic O’Connor. Delivered to Robertson by the British Embassy in Washington. No text of the letter has been found in Department of State files.

Also attached to Gilman’s memorandum is the British response, a long memorandum delivered to Robertson by the British Embassy in Washington on April 9. In it the British argued that “a precipitate recourse to force” in Laos would be a mistake, given the British view that even without Viet Minh the outcome of a fight between the Royal Lao Government and the Pathet Lao would be doubtful. Furthermore, the British believed that any “police action” in northern Laos would have international consequences and should be supported by a majority of the ICC in Laos. The British noted U.S.–U.K. agreement on the question of trying to get ICC support for restoration of the Royal Government’s authority in the northern provinces. What remained unsettled, however, was the course of action to follow should the attempt to work through the ICC fail.


288. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.5–MSP/4–655. Secret. Drafted by Byrne and concurred in by Hoey and Young.