21. Telegram From the Delegation at the SEATO Council Meeting to the Department of State1

Secto 16. Morning session February 24. Agenda Item 3.2 Pakistan proposed Bangkok as site of council representatives emphasizing desirability location on points of danger and psychological effect. France, Australia agreed. Garcia made plea for Manila. New Zealand and UK supported Bangkok. Secretary stated we came to meeting without firm opinion which several locations should be chosen. We recognized certain considerations pointed to Bangkok others to Manila. From our viewpoint certain advantages re military aspects for Manila as we have bases there, cooperate closely with Philippines in these matters and very often have high military officers in Philippines. However, are willing go along with majority.

Secretary proposed changing paragraph B–l of MP(C)(55) D–13 by addition sentence “working groups composed of such specially qualified personnel may meet at such locations as may be appropriate and convenient” immediately before last sentence section B–l.

Philippines proposed amending section B–l by inserting in second sentence4 immediately after words “the council representatives” the following: “Which shall be the executive body of the [Page 47] council.” Philippines maintained that this would further define activities council representatives.

Secretary stated that group is not only an “executive” body but also an “initiating” body to initiate proposals for consideration of council. Secretary also questioned whether Philippine terminology might detract from functions of council. Thailand suggested alternative language, “the council representatives shall carry out the decisions of the council and shall … ”5 UK favored no change in working group draft. Australia opposed any change.

Thailand representative then supported position that no change should be made.

Philippine delegate stated could not withdraw his proposal but would abide by majority decision.6

Representative Australia suggested that section B–2 Working Group Paper was little vague and wondered if it were advisable at this time to discuss question of expenses for establishment of secretariat. He suggested costs might be divided among 8 governments.7

Chairman stated his government would provide physical facilities as they did for UN agency here. Suggested that council representatives might well make recommendations re costs for maintaining organization to next council meeting.

With further minor editorial changes, paper adopted.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–BA/2–2455. Confidential. Repeated to London, Paris, Manila, Taipei, New Delhi, Karachi, Rangoon, Saigon, Djakarta, Canberra, Wellington, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, and Singapore.
  2. Item 3 was the organization of the Council.
  3. “Establishment of the Council and Rules of Procedure: Organizational Arrangements”, dated February 23, not printed. (Enclosure to a memorandum from the Working Group to the Secretary General of the Conference, February 23; Department of State, FE Files: Lot 56 D 679, Bangkok Conference—Agenda)
  4. The second sentence of section B–l reads as follows: “The Council Representatives shall maintain continuing consultation on matters relating to the Treaty and shall perform such special tasks as the Council may from time to time direct.”
  5. Ellipsis in the source text.
  6. In the final communiqué dated February 25, the substance of the equivalent sentence is unchanged from that in MP(C)(55) D–1. For text of the communiqué, see Department of State Bulletin, March 7, 1955, p. 371.
  7. Section B–2 reads as follows: “The Council Representatives shall make arrangements for a secretariat to assist them. The personnel of this secretariat would be made available by the representatives on a contributed basis.” The equivalent passage in the final communiqué is in substance unchanged.