449. Circular Instruction From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices1
- Detailed Suggestions of Possible British Action to Counter Subversion in Malaya
As the action posts are aware, the problem of communist subversion in Singapore and Malaya may be raised during the bilateral discussions with the British on the occasion of Prime Minister Eden’s [Page 755] visit to Washington at the end of January.2 If so, it is anticipated our approach will follow the lines set forth in the annex to the December 5 draft OCB paper on possible courses of action to counter communist subversion in Malaya,3 copies of which were pouched to the action posts at the time.
It will be recalled, however, that the OCB paper also recommended that we present to the appropriate U.K. authorities on the operating level detailed suggestions as to possible additional courses of action which we think they might well undertake. An interagency working group has now completed a detailed list of suggestions, and a copy is transmitted herewith.
For the time being, the enclosed paper is for your own information only. Since the Department cannot anticipate with certainty what the British reaction will be to our initial approach during the Eden talks, instructions as to how you should use the enclosed document will probably not reach you until after the talks have taken place.
It is the Department’s hope, however, that instructions can then be issued to you to use the enclosed list as a basis for discussion with those British officials with whom you have close and cordial contact and in whom in your judgment we would be most likely to produce a favorable response. A simultaneous approach would in all probability be made to the British Embassy here.
The Department is fully aware that we run the risks of appearing merely to intrude into matters which are of deep concern to the British, of appearing to presume to tell them how to run their own affairs, and thereby of generating an attitude hostile to our suggestions. The Department will therefore rely upon your careful tact and judgment, once you have received authorization to approach your British colleagues, to the end that we can in fact stimulate the British to take ameliorative action in this situation, which we regard as both grave and urgent. You should bear in mind that we are more interested in stimulating the British to develop and undertake a comprehensive and positive program than we are in seeing these particular suggestions followed.
We envisage that you will receive instructions to approach the British informally, making clear, however, that you are acting on instruction. You will probably be authorized to leave with your contact a copy of the enclosed paper if you should believe it would serve a useful purpose to do so. The Department will plan to leave to your sound discretion the degree of informality of your approach, the decision [Page 756] as to which official or officials you approach, and the extent of whatever remarks you deem advisable in order to make clear that our interest stems from concern over the threat to our common interests in Southeast Asia, from an appreciation of the British contribution to the interests of the Free World in that area, and from a genuine desire to offer constructive suggestions.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 797.00/1–1456. Secret. Drafted by Smith and cleared in draft with BNA, ICA, USIA, and the Department of Defense. Initialed for Dulles by Robertson. Sent to London, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur and repeated to Canberra, Wellington, Bangkok, Manila, New Delhi, Saigon, Hong Kong, and Penang.↩
- See Document 451.↩
- No copy of this paper, an earlier draft of the OCB Staff Study, supra, has been found in Department of State files.↩
- Ngo Dinh Diem, President of the Republic of Vietnam.↩