458. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Thailand1

1720. For Ambassador from Robertson. Your letter December 23 recommends U.S. should re-examine its policies and programs towards Thailand2 whereas Bangkok telegram unnumbered December 303 indicates “Thailand posture re collective security, Communism, and Free World has in no way deteriorated and if anything is somewhat stronger,” and concludes by suggesting Department maintain illustrative aid program at $25 million. In light apparent contradiction, we wonder if developments during last part December have arisen to change your point of view.

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This particularly significant because we have been asked to review those parts NSC 5612/14 relating to Thailand and SEATO and had concluded no major revision required at this time. Request any suggested changes you may have for NSC document if you believe revisions needed.

We continue seek solution to Phibun question.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 792.5–MSP/12–3057. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Rolland Bushner of the Office of Southeast Asian Affairs and Eric Kocher, Director of that Office; cleared by Gardner E. Palmer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Economic Affairs; and approved by Assistant Secretary Robertson.
  2. The text of the letter from Bishop to Robertson reads in part as follows:

    “The current efforts which are going on to select a new Prime Minister as well as the establishment of a new National Socialist Party also serve to reinforce my belief that the United States would be well advised in the light of Sarit’s rise to power to reexamine and reassess all its policies and programs towards Thailand.” (Ibid., Bangkok Embassy Files: Lot 67 F 117, 320 U.S. Policy)

  3. This telegram was subsequently numbered 1896. (Ibid., Central Files, 792.5–MSP/12–3057)
  4. Dated September 5, 1956; see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XXI, pp. 252263.