1. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) to the Secretary of State2


  • Official Visits 1955: Prime Minister U Nu of Burma


On January 4 I recommended that a 1955 visit for U Nu be approved provided no “peacemaker mission” were involved.3 You instructed that I explore with Ambassador Barrington the “peacemaker” aspect of this visit without giving any commitment for an invitation (Tab B).4

It has been agreed that you would handle the problem upon meeting U Nu in Rangoon (Tab C).5 In past weeks U Nu has made various remarks indicating he realized he would not be acceptable in the announced role of peacemaker but would still like to visit the United States. In late January U Nu told an American businessman he planned to visit Yugoslavia in June and had hoped to work in a U.S. trip at that time.

S/S–PR reports that the official visit schedule is now clear from June on.

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It would be possible for you, at Rangoon, to invite U Nu indefinitely for a date to be fixed later. However I feel that a more positive gesture is needed to save face. The best and surest way to ease the atmosphere, and incidentally to contribute substantially to the success of the Rangoon visit, would be for you to mention a specific date, with June as first choice or later if Nu prefers. The basis would be to continue the friendly contact established at Rangoon, to further mutual understanding and give Nu a chance to know the U.S. at firsthand.

If you approve, and the President agrees in principle, a tentative luncheon reservation should be requested of the White House, to be confirmed once Nu has indicated his wishes.


That you approve the inviting of U Nu to Washington on the above basis and that you sign the attached memorandum to the President (Tab A).6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.90B11/2–1255. Confidential.
  2. Robertson’s recommendation was made in a memorandum of January 4 to Dulles. (Ibid., 033.90B11/1–455) Following a visit to the People’s Republic of China in December 1954, U Nu had expressed interest in visiting the United States in the hope of furthering better understanding between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
  3. Tab B, not attached to the source text, presumably was Robertson’s January 4 memorandum and a memorandum of January 11 from O’Connor conveying Dulles’instruction. (Ibid., 033.90B11/1–1155)
  4. Tab C was not attached to the source text and is not further identified. Dulles visited Burma and several other Southeast Asian countries after attending a meeting of the Council of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization in Bangkok, February 22–26.
  5. The attached memorandum requested the President’s approval of an invitation to U Nu to visit Washington for 2 or 3 days in June; it was initialed by Dulles on February 14 and by the President, indicating his approval, the same day.