322. Editorial Note

At 10 a.m. on January 7, King Savang named a “provisional government” to organize the next general elections in Laos. The Cabinet members in the new government were: Kou Abhay, Prime Minister; Nhouy Abhay, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Education and Fine Arts; Ngon Sananikone, Minister of Justice, Cults, Sports and Youth; Khamphan Panya, Foreign Minister; Thao Leaum Rajosombat, Minister of Finance, National Economy and Agriculture; Nouphat Chounramany, Minister of Information, Tourism and Social Affairs; Tiao Somsanith, Minister of Interior; General Phoumi Nosovan, Minister of Defense and Veterans Affairs; Chao Souvath Sayavong, Minister of Health; and Oudong Souvannavong, Minister of Public Works, Plan, Transportation and Communications. (Telegrams 1953 and 1956 from Vientiane, both January 7; Department of State, Central Files, 751J.13/1–760 and 751J.00/1–760, respectively)

In telegram 1387 to Vientiane, January 7, the Department of State provided the Embassy with its “preliminary analysis” of the Abhay government: “On whole, Cabinet is able, honest and one we can work with. Prime Minister is not forceful but respected and well liked.” (ibid., 751J.13/1–760)

The Embassy responded in telegram 1969 from Vientiane, January 9, that the breach between anti-Communist elements in the new government was still “profound.” The Embassy believed that the top Lao military leadership was disgruntled at its lack of representation in the Abhay government. The Embassy added that the task of holding new elections required unity and teamwork by conservatives. (ibid., 751J.13/1–960)

Telegrams 1387 to Vientiane and 1969 from Vientiane are included in the microfiche supplement.