467. Memorandum of a Conversation, Government House, Bangkok, February 22, 1955, 6–6:30 p.m.1
- The Secretary
- Mr. MacArthur
- Mr. Robertson
- Ambassador Peurifoy
- Field Marshal P. Pibulsonnggram
- Call on Prime Minister
The Secretary opened his remarks with the Prime Minister by stating how happy he was to be in Bangkok.2 He remarked that this was his first visit to Thailand and that he was pleased that Thailand was the host government at the current conference. The Secretary went on to say that both he and the President were looking forward to the Prime Minister’s visit to the United States in May.3
The Prime Minister said that he was personally very honored and Thailand in particular by the visit of the Secretary and the fact that his country had been chosen as the site of the first meeting of the Council of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty Organization. He stated that he was indeed grateful for the Secretary’s and the President’s invitation to visit Washington on his forthcoming trip. He had never been in Washington before, nor the United States, and he was looking forward to this visit with a great deal of pleasure.
The Secretary took occasion to inform the Prime Minister that in the United States our really great resources lie with private capital and not with the US Government. He discussed American belief in “free enterprise” and the need for foreign governments to revise their laws in order to attract foreign capital. The Prime Minister said that his Government was very much interested in attracting private capital and had, in fact, borrowed from the Bank of America and the World Bank. He also hoped that oil companies and other American industry would be interested in investing in Thailand.
The Prime Minister touched on the situation in Laos by mentioning that the Government which existed there was, in his opinion, extremely weak and he recognized the need for doing something to help the country. The Secretary at this point told him that he hoped the Thai Government would facilitate the movement of products through Thailand with a minimum of red tape and expense to the Laotian Government. The Prime Minister said that his Government would do everything possible to aid its northern neighbor.
- Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 428. Official Use Only. Drafted by Peurifoy.↩
- Dulles was in Bangkok for the initial meeting of the Council organized under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty. The meeting opened on February 23 and concluded on February 25.↩
- See Document 472.↩