3. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 16. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. For President.

“Dear Mr. President:

“Have had useful twenty-four hours at Rangoon2 with ample opportunity to have a good personal discussion with U Nu. We exchanged views regarding Soviet internal situation, which U Nu interprets as essentially army coup. I then made full presentation our China position which Foreign Minister later told me he thought had been very valuable in educating them and dissipating some false conceptions. However, U Nu continues to urge admission of Communist China to United Nations as immediate step, following which he says he hopes Chinese Communists would behave.

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“Private talks with President3 indicate he has much more realistic view of Communist purposes and danger therefrom, but he has only minor influence as elder statesman without political authority.

“US position and influence badly shaken by our rice disposal program which has left Burma with about 20 percent of its crop unsold. This has forced them to deal with Soviet Union virtually on latter’s own terms and has given Soviet Union opportunity to claim that it came to Burma’s relief after US dealt its economy a crippling blow.4

“I transmitted your invitation that U Nu visit Washington in June. Believe probable he will accept. In any event he was very appreciative of invitation.

U Nu, as well as Foreign Minister,5 came to airport to see me off, and there was much more cordiality then than on my arrival when atmosphere seemed somewhat strained. Faithfully yours, Foster.

“P.S. Our arrival Vientiane delayed by water buffalo on runway.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 110.11–DU/2–2755. Top Secret; Priority. Another copy of this telegram in Eisenhower’s files bears a notation in Goodpaster’s handwriting that the President saw it. (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles-Herter Series)
  2. February 26–27.
  3. Ba U.
  4. A memorandum of February 28 from Goodpaster to Secretary of Agruculture Ezra Taft Benson included a paraphase of this paragraph and reported that it was an extract of a report received by the President and sent at his request. (Eisenhower Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File)
  5. Sao Hkun Hkio.