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

927. Ur 1108.2 Appreciate timely summary political situation Bangkok and concur your continued efforts urge on Sarit and associates desirability early formation government. Also agree importance maintaining good relations with Sarit while not prejudicing our ability work with other appropriate leadership which may emerge. While we recognize need for positive action such as might follow emergence of Praphat as dominant figure, would welcome further comment on his probable position on Thai foreign policy in view our lack knowledge his stand this subject. In addition, we wonder if he has sufficient maturity and useful political connections to maintain leadership and consolidate control over highly unsettled internal situation. Request your estimate re possibility of effective Praphat/Thanom cooperation. In this connection are there any other alternatives which might be more favorable Thai and U.S. interests? Advise if Phibun or Phao involved in present maneuvering and comment on chances return of either should Sarit Govt disintegrate or be overthrown.

Would appreciate estimate of King’s attitude toward current developments and role he may be able and willing play in influencing favorable outcome.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 792.00/11–558. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Bushner, approved by Alfred leS. Jenkins and Kocher, and approved by Parsons.
  2. In telegram 1108, November 5, Ambassador Johnson expressed concern about Sarit’s health and said that Sarit gave every appearance of drifting without any clear course of action in mind. He added: “There are increasing indications serious deterioration situation within Revolutionary Party pointing toward possibility loss of control by Sarit and probable scramble for power by others within group.” (Ibid., 792.00/11–558)