346. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Laos 1

2020. Your 28622 and 2863.3

1.
In light reftels and information received via other channels and since we understand from French you have already made representations to Khamphan Panya along lines Deptel 1997,4 believe you should seek make démarche to King in person as it appears most effective step exert influence at present juncture.
2.
Your presentation to King should marry substance subparas a) through c) Deptel 20055 and draft démarche Deptel 1997. You should emphasize that actions of Laos affect not only her own security but also inescapably those on whose support Laos relies.
3.
You or other Embassy officer might return to Phoumi to impress again upon him what he seems to recognize, viz. how potentially dangerous in present circumstances would be his becoming Prime Minister or even Vice Prime Minister, whether as civilian or officer since he stands for Army rule and all it connotes to allies and enemies of Laos. Even though he has objections to other personalities, surely one can be found around whom an effective government can be formed. It appears to us that Phoumi as MinDef of well balanced cabinet would have ample scope play vital role in period ahead.
4.
We have told British and French of your conversation with Phoumi and Ouan and indicated to them course of action we are proposing. If your colleagues have sufficient authority, we hope they will take parallel action. Presence of Selkirk may be helpful.
Herter
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751J.02/5–1060. Secret; Niact. Repeated priority to London and Paris.
  2. In telegram 2862, May 10, the Embassy suggested that Kou Abhay, Khamphan Panya, and King Savang (indirectly) should be informed of the approach to Generals Ouan and Phoumi since they would probably learn of it anyway. Informing the three would reinforce the message that the United States did not favor Army domination of the next Lao Cabinet. (ibid., included in the microfiche supplement)
  3. See footnote 2, supra .
  4. Document 343.
  5. Supra .