442. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (Wisner) to the President’s Special Assistant (Rockefeller)1


  • Singapore Situation
[Page 736]
Submitted herewith is a brief summary of information concerning Singapore, including a pointing-up of the origin and significance of the recent riots there.2 Additional copies of the information summary as well as this covering memorandum are enclosed for Messrs. Barbour and Sullivan,3 both of whom have expressed interest.
I should like to make the following additional comments concerning the Singapore situation and to suggest that they be considered together with the information contained in the attached summary. As of last September and October, the British authorities responsible for the Government of the Crown Colony appeared to be well aware of the difficulties with which they were confronted, but at a loss to know how to deal with these difficulties. … Mr. Lampton Berry, the United States Consul General in Singapore, has for many months been expressing grave concern regarding this situation and the possibility that the Communist-inspired groups and activities may be getting beyond the control of the authorities. Mr. Berry has also been troubled about the lack of a sufficient amount of specific information concerning the situation.
An additional point deserves to be made, obvious though it may be. The situation in Singapore, and more especially the rising tide of Communist subversive activity there, is a direct reflection of developments elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Since the fall of Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Conference there has been a marked acceleration of Communist-inspired and directed activities in Singapore, and to a lesser extent in Malaya. By the same token, it is probable that any significant strengthening of the anti-Communist position which may occur in Vietnam, or elsewhere to the North, will have as its accompaniment a diminution of Communist disturbances in Singapore. This is only one of the reasons why it is so important to hold Free Vietnam and at the same time to do all that can be done to shore up the situation in other adjoining and proximate areas.

Frank G. Wisner 4

. . . . . . .

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 100.4–OCB/6–656. Secret. On June 6 a copy of this memorandum was sent to Walworth Barbour under a covering memorandum from T.W. Parker, Executive Secretary of the Planning Coordination Group. (Ibid.)
  2. The attached summary of recent Communist activities in Singapore on May 12 and 13, not printed, was prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency on May 19.
  3. Charles A. Sullivan, Director of the Policy Division, Office of Foreign Military Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.