365. Memorandum for the File by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Parsons)1


  • Laos—General Phoumi

I telephoned [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] to call his attention to the Department’s 171,2 Vientiane’s 2883 and Bangkok’s 265.4 I said that in light of these messages, on which high level approval was being sought and could be presumed, it would in our opinion be most unfortunate if any junior employee [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] were to encourage General Phoumi in any way to act against Vientiane, [less that 1 line of source text not declassified] said that he well realized this and his concern was where should Phoumi go. He thought that if he could settle quietly somewhere in Laos rather than be exiled in Thailand it would be preferable. I agreed. [Page 796] I added that I hoped Sarit would see the situation as Thanat now apparently does following removal by Leonard Unger of an earlier misunderstanding on Thanat’s part.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] repeated his assurance that nothing would be done to encourage Phoumi either in the direction of separatism or military action directed against Vientiane.

  1. Source: Department of State, FE Files: Lot 62 D 26, Laos 1960. Secret.
  2. Printed as telegram 172 to Bangkok, Document 364.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 363.
  4. Telegram 265, August 15, reported on a conversation between Unger and Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman during which Thanat Khoman made it clear that he was aware that the delay in supporting Phoumi’s plans for retaking Vientiane was due to indecision in Luang Prabang and the fall of the Tiao Somsanith government rather than U.S. inaction. (Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/8–1560; included in the microfiche supplement)