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

498. Following is a draft text of letter which Department considering proposing for high-level signature.2 Appreciate your comment soonest. (Paras numbered for your convenience)

[Page 1141]

Begin Verbatim Text.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

The recent visit of Their Majesties the King and Queen to the United States was a major milestone in the long and happy history of relations between our two countries and I believe that it was a tremendous success. At that time I had the pleasure of a cordial and useful exchange of views with His Majesty the King. The communiqué issued following this meeting indicates our mutual concern with the vital problems of preserving freedom and independence, achieving lasting peace, and establishing a world order based on international justice. We reasserted our mutual determination to work towards these goals, believing that this would contribute immensely to the progress, prosperity, and welfare of mankind.
His Majesty and I likewise noted that the staunch adherence of Thailand and the United States to the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization demonstrates a mutual determination to preserve the frontiers of the free world from aggression and to promote the peaceful objectives shared by both countries. I took this opportunity to pay tribute to the steadfast partnership of Thailand and the United States in all fields and reaffirmed to His Majesty the unwavering determination of the United States fully to honor its treaty commitments undertaken in the cause of collective security.
In this light I have carefully followed the situation confronting the free world owing to recent difficulties in Laos. I fully share the anxiety of the Royal Thai Government concerning this situation and assure Your Excellency that the United States Government is giving it the most urgent and serious attention.
It is a mutual objective of Thailand and the United States that an unfriendly regime not be established on the border of Thailand. Our principal purpose in Laos continues to be to bring together all patriotic elements determined to maintain the country’s independence and integrity against external aggression and internal subversion and to preserve its ties with the free world. I am very pleased that in this situation our two countries have maintained the closest possible contact in our search for the best ways of defending our mutual interests. I wish to assure Your Excellency that the United States, for its part, will take all possible measures to prevent a Communist seizure of power in Laos.
As regards relations between Thailand and the United States, I wish to assure Your Excellency that the preservation of the independence and integrity of Thailand continues to be a matter of the highest concern and importance to the United States and that Thailand will have the unswerving support of the United States, as an ally and friend, in resisting both Communist aggression and subversion. I consider [Page 1142] Thailand a mainspring of free world strength in Asia, whose contribution towards mutual objectives is of such significance that we must strive together to reinforce and sustain its strength and well being.
Our continuing military and economic assistance programs constitute an earnest of our intentions in this respect. I am able to inform you that the level of aid programmed for Thailand for 1961 is higher (FYI: This refers to combination of military and economic assistance. End FYI) than that provided for 1960, although our aid programs are being decreased in many countries. I trust that this will serve to reaffirm the importance which we attach to the continued strength and stability of Thailand.
The United States Government is fully prepared to explore with the Royal Thai Government measures by which economic development can be accelerated in Thailand. I have accordingly requested appropriate departments of the government to undertake a careful review of ways in which this important objective can be furthered through mobilizing the resources of Thailand for self-sustained economic growth. Officials of my Government are impressed with Thailand’s favorable prospects for more rapid development and its potential ability to profit from external capital availabilities as the emphasis in United States assistance programs shifts from a grant to a loan basis.
It is my earnest hope that this initiative, conceived in the spirit of my conversations with His Majesty the King, will serve to illustrate the abiding importance which the United States Government continues to place on its friendship and alliance with Thailand.

End Verbatim Text.

FYI: If RTG were to be responsive to concept set forth Para 7, we are prepared send team at appropriate time composed State, ICA, and DLF to work with CT in discussion with RTG. Country Team’s comments desired urgently. Would particularly appreciate elaboration points outlined Embtel 4213 re 1) timing approach to Sarit, 2) type by specific project of US help envisioned, 3) nature of quid pro quo and 4) indication when substantive exploratory talks would be held. Believe it most important proposal for closer cooperation be given thorough study by CT in concert with Washington agencies before approaching RTG and that we minimize possibility of any open end commitments and any uncertainty on part US concerning timing and content proposal.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 792.11/10–960. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted in SEA by Swezey and Wile, cleared in several offices, and approved by Steeves. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. As originally drafted, this sentence indicated that the letter was proposed for the President’s signature.
  3. Supra.