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

Secto 25. Reference: Tosec 11.2 At dinner last night Eden and Sir John Harding referred to military planning under Manila Pact and inquired whether in addition we envisaged more secret talks on a more limited basis. They explained that on security grounds it would be difficult to have as full exchange of views as seemed necessary and suggested that on a discreet and informal basis there should be military consultations in Washington, US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, all of whom have qualified personnel in Washington.

Admiral Stump replied that we were always prepared to have, and indeed we were carrying on, informal bilateral talks with U.K. and others. A discreet meeting such as suggested might well be possible within the general framework of ANZUS cooperation but it would not be called an ANZUS meeting.

It was left that we would pass on the above request to Washington.

Casey and Macdonald have also both made similar requests in course of side discussions with members of USDel.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.2–BA/2–2555. Secret.
  2. Tosec 11 to Bangkok, February 21, is a summary of press comment on the meeting at Bangkok and the major problems in Southeast Asia. (Ibid., Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 425)