416. Telegram From the Embassy in Laos to the Department of State1

1154. Department pass USUN/NY for Kenneth Young. Saw Souvanna this a.m. to: (1) advise him my trip Phnom Penh meet General Lemnitzer (2) point out RLG failure either in document on [Page 883] PL problem summarized Embtel 11502 or elsewhere answer aide-mémoire of November 6 (Despatch No. 813) on specifics integration PL effectives (3) acknowledge receipt but register fundamental difference viewpoint between US RLG which this document revealed once again (4) repeat concern re deficiencies December 28 communiqué. Said call entirely on my own initiative.

Souvanna made usual plea for three or four months reservation judgment and then said he thought US Government understood situation.

I said difficulty not lack of comprehension. Then citing RobertsonOurot conversation (Deptel 849) said no basis for complacency about US attitude. Usual argument re nature PL and Communist tactics followed.

As result receipt Souvanna’s document and of this morning’s talk it occurs to me we may have been given one more opportunity express Washington viewpoint officially. This is most formal and thorough expression RLG stand on vital issue faced by Laos and if we so wish we may reply—although time is short.

If Department considers reply desirable and feasible suggest for consideration (1) brief reference to our contrary view of PL and their tactics which has so often been made known to RLG (2) our desire to support a solution in conformity Geneva Accords and January 7 resolution and (3) reservation of our position until impending decisions Vientiane can be made known and situation can be evaluated in light thereof. If Ourot is still in town he might be given copy together with oral elaboration our concern.4

I am under no illusions as to effect of this on Souvanna but if our concern can be disseminated it may help to strengthen hand of Katay and Phoui and to provide further incentive for them get together. Nevertheless up to moment I still feel deal unlikely be defeated or Souvanna overthrown until sometime later on. We may raise more doubts and obtain a few safeguards in addition to those now in prospect but as of this moment I still believe Souvanna will get this through Assembly—unless PL raises the ante.

  1. Source: Department of state, Central Files, 751J.00/1–1957. Secret; Niact. Repeated priority to London and paris, and to Babgkok, Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Ottawa.
  2. Telegram 1150, January 19, contained a summary translation of the Lao Government’s so-called “Chiefs of Mission memorandum”, an explanation of the settlement with the Pathet Lao, sent to all diplomatic missions in Vientiane. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 2, Document 391.
  4. See Document 418.