376. Paper Prepared by the Assistant White House Staff Secretary (Eisenhower)1


[Here follows material on subjects unrelated to Laos.]


The French Ambassador, Falaize, has suggested that the U.S., British, French and UN Ambassadors go to Luang Prabang today to ask the king whom they should deal with.2 State has instructed Brown that we do not like such a concerted démarche and believe the king would like to avoid being confronted with decision. Meanwhile, permission has been granted for the evacuation of foreigners from Vientiane and the first group of evacuees is to be ferried into Thailand today.3

The French have been urging us to support Souvanna on the basis that Souvanna appears to be nearing an agreement with Phoumi, and if we would support him now, we could influence him better later.4 Apparently, Souvanna is bitter over King Savang’s attitude in withholding royal sanction for his government, thus undercutting its authority. Phoumi, by contrast, seems increasingly confident.

King Savang is reported hopeful that a negotiated settlement can be worked out between Souvanna and General Phoumi as a way toward a bloodless solution which would preserve his neutrality in the situation. Souvanna’s first attempt to enter into negotiations with Phoumi has ended in failure, however. Troop movements in preparation for Phoumi’s scheme to encircle Vientiane are continuing; an American official in touch with Phoumi at Savannakhet estimates that it will take ten days for Phoumi’s planned force of 5000 to reach the capital. Meanwhile, Kong Le, leader of the Vientiane rebels, has told [Page 815] the British military attaché that if the new Souvanna government did not conform to his ideals, he would have to remove it.5

John S.D. Eisenhower
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Top Secret.
  2. Reported in telegram 332 from Vientiane, August 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/8–1860; included in the microfiche supplement)
  3. All dependents of official U.S. personnel and certain third-country nationals for whom the United States was responsible were evacuated to Bangkok on August 19. (Joint Situation Report, [document number not declassified], August 19; Eisenhower Library, White House Office Files, Staff Secretary Records, International Series, Laos Situation Reports)
  4. Reported in telegram 651 from Paris, August 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/8–1860; included in the microfiche supplement)
  5. [Footnote (1½ lines of text) not declassified]