197. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Laos1

410. Embtels 576, 584.2

We appreciate Lao constant need assurances and we desire afford Crown Prince and Phoui all possible support. However we would not wish at this time give blanket US endorsement this or any other government Laos in light prevailing uncertainties political scene. Such assurances might also reduce pressures which now apply Lao leadership in direction unified non-Communist effort develop popular support and prevent Communist takeover.
You authorized on occasion exchange notes constituting monetary reform agreement3 deliver orally following message from Secretary Dulles to Crown Prince: (which may be repeated Phoui at your discretion) (Verbatim Text) “I have asked Ambassador Smith to assure Your Royal Highness personally that the United States continues fully to support, as in the past, effective efforts of the Kingdom of Laos to maintain its security. As I informed Your Royal Highness in June 1956 the United States stands firmly behind its commitments in SEATO to the nations of free Asia. As Your Royal Highness knows the SEATO powers unanimously included the Kingdom of Laos in the protocol of the SEATO treaty for purposes of Article IV. The present government of Laos has clearly proclaimed its determination to protect the national interests of the Kingdom against Communist subversion and its actions [Page 482] to date augur well its success in achieving that high purpose. The United States is prepared to continue its wholehearted moral and material support to such a government.” (End Verbatim Text)
FYI. Assurances para two above reiterate those given by Secretary in personal message to Crown Prince Deptel 1260, June 8, 1956.4 End FYI.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 851J.13/9–2858. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Corcoran; cleared by SEA, FE, FE/L, and Dulles; and approved by Robertson. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD, Saigon, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, London, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 584 is supra. Regarding telegram 576, see footnote 2 thereto.
  3. By exchange of notes and a signature of a protocol, the Lao and U.S. Governments agreed on monetary reform on September 30. (Memorandum from Kocher to Parsons, October 6; Department of State, FE/SEA (Laos) Files: Lot 65 D 169, United States/Laos; included in the microfiche supplement)
  4. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. xxi, pp. 773774.