16. Memorandum of a Conversation, Ambassador Robertson’s Residence, Bangkok, February 22, 1955, 3:15–3:45 p.m.1


  • The Secretary
  • Foreign Minister Casey, Australia
  • Sir Alan Watt2
  • Mr. Robertson
  • Mr. MacArthur

[Here follows discussion of the Taiwan Straits question.]

Mr. Casey next said he wished to mention several points in connection with the Bangkok meeting. He asked the Secretary where the U.S. believed the site of the proposed Council [of] Representatives of the Manila Pact should be. The Secretary replied that he personally had some preference for Manila because of the convenience, but that we believed it should be either in Bangkok or Manila. Mention was made that Bangkok had advantages in terms of boosting the morale of the Thais and as a possible deterrent to aggression against Thailand. The Secretary said he felt Singapore, which he knew the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand favored, might result in Communist propaganda because it was colonial territory, which might make the position of the British more difficult in Malaya. Mr. Casey said that while Australia had some preference for Singapore, they were not too firm about it and that if Singapore were not selected, their next choice would be Bangkok, and third would be Manila. They had reservations about Manila because of the lack of security there.

Mr. Casey next inquired as to the Secretary’s views on economic cooperation under the Manila Pact. The Secretary explained why he did not believe it was feasible to treat the general economic problems [Page 37] of Asia on a limited basis circumscribed by the membership of the Manila Pact. He said that the Colombo Plan seemed the best forum in which to treat overall economic problems, but that we would extend certain aid in terms of defense support assistance to aid the Pact countries in maintaining their military forces. This would be done on a bilateral basis.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by MacArthur.
  2. Australian Commissioner in Southeast Asia.