536. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State1

1244. It my understanding that Thai tentative FY 1960 MAP as approved by State now stands at only $5.3 million with 9.3 million deferred and that this results in again deferring any steps toward supply F–86’s to Thailand, as well as construction program.

I have previously expressed fully strong views self and country team on particular importance not further deferring supplying F–86’s. Reduction of Thai program to $5.3 million which represents reduction of more than 60 percent from congressional presentation, as well as program transmitted Deptel 583,2 seems entirely disproportionate to cut in appropriations as well as my understanding cuts being applied other MAP recipients. Effects will be profoundly discouraging to Thais, who have during past year shown such marked improvement in training and performance, against background of US statements to Sarit and others that important element in MAP level for Thailand was Thai performance. Also seems to me apart from other considerations, Lao situation increases importance maintaining and further developing Thai military capabilities. Also as I have pointed out to Department value wholehearted Thai cooperation with US and agencies in Lao situation has been beyond measurement in monetary terms. Balanced against Thai contribution of well over $1 million for maintenance JUSMAG here, reduction of program to $5.3 million may well begin to raise in Thai minds question balance of advantage.

Therefore, most earnestly urge reconsideration.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 792.5–MSP/11–1359. Secret. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. Document 531.
  3. On November 20, the Department, in telegram 1232, informed the Embassy that the Department of Defense had recommended reinstatement of certain items in the fiscal year 1960 military assistance program. (Department of State, Central Files, 792.5–MSP/11–1359) On February 29, 1960, in telegram 2265, the Department told the Embassy in Bangkok that the Department of Defense had already informed the Thai Government that one F–86–F squadron was approved and programmed for 1960 and that additional information concerning funding and delivery could be obtained from the Chief of JUSMAG. (Ibid., 792.5–MSP/2–2860)