331. Editorial Note

On March 3 at the Secretary’s Staff Meeting, Parsons reported on cooperation between the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency on formulation and implementation of policy toward the Lao elections:

“Mr. Parsons reported that the meeting with CIA representatives yesterday had prepared some proposed courses of action on the Lao elections which would be recommended to Mr. Merchant today. He noted the problem of dealing with Sarit in his effort to place Colonel Phoumi in a position of power. In answer to a query from Mr. Merchant, [Page 742] Mr. Parsons said the new election law would apply to this election, with provision for a run-off in the event no single candidate gained a majority on the first ballot.” (Department of State, Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75)

Three days earlier on February 29, at the Acting Secretary’s Staff Meeting, Parsons assured the participants that, “preparations for elections in Laos were almost complete, i.e., the Gerrymandering of the country had been arranged.” (ibid.)