18. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Burma1

267. Your 304.2 Department also greatly concerned implications high level Burmese Military Mission to CPR and hopes Embassy can [Page 25] develop more information re Mission’s frame reference (Burmese Military Attaché DC. not even aware mission).

While possibility exists Burmese acceptance CPR military assistance, believe, in view Burmese studied neutrality, offer US military assistance this time might have effect encourage and justify acceptance CPR aid. However Department will attempt expedite decision use 401 funds3 but view limited appropriations, few million dollars worth of goods for token dollar payment from Burmese probably about all we can hope for at this time.

Department records indicate previous discussions with Kyaw Nyein re reimbursable aid inconclusive although negative reaction inferred. Therefore at your discretion you may wish go to Kyaw Nyein and ask him to review status US arms offer as you uninformed as to details. If conversation permits you may point up dangers any dependence upon Communist bloc for military assistance and, stressing you not under instructions, assure him you believe US still very interested assist Burmese obtain needed arms and equipment and that mutually satisfactory procedures should be possible.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 790B.5893/9–2155. Top Secret.
  2. Telegram 304 from Rangoon, September 21, reported that a Burmese military mission, headed by General Ne Win, was on its way to the People’s Republic of China for an 8-week visit. Satterthwaite commented that the mission could represent a new Burmese orientation toward the Communist bloc and urged that the Department authorize him to offer U.S. military equipment to Burma at substantially reduced prices. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 6, Document 15.
  4. Telegram 355 from Rangoon, September 28, recommended that since U Nu and Kyaw Nyein had given assurances that the military mission would not negotiate any purchases of arms while in China, the approach to Kyaw Nyein should be postponed until after the mission’s return. (Department of State, Central Files, 790B.5893/9–2855)