69. Despatch From the Embassy in Cambodia to the Department of State2

No. 296


  • Possibility of Cambodia’s Abandoning its Policy of Neutrality

Since the first of the year Prince Sihanouk has been increasingly outspoken in his attacks on the Communists in Cambodia. During the past week with the Communists offering the only opposition in the national elections scheduled for March 23, the Prince has been more specific in tieing the Cambodian Communists up with international Communism.

The Embassy has considered the desirability of making efforts to persuade the Cambodian Government to abandon its policy of neutrality and the possibility of success if such a move were made. Accordingly, the attached outline paper3 was developed in order to present the pros and cons in connection with such a step.

[Page 229]

It has been concluded that such a step would not be desirable under the circumstances. General Hartshorn, the Chief of MAAG/Cambodia, agrees with the attached paper.

Action Requested: Department please send copies to London, New Delhi, Paris, Rangoon, CINCPAC.

Edmund H. Kellogg
Chargé d’Affaires a.i.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751H.00/3–1858. Secret. Copies were sent to Bangkok, Saigon, and Vientiane. Sent to Robertson under cover of a memorandum by Floyd L. Whittington, March 31, in which Whittington stated that SEA agreed with the views of the Embassy. Parsons wrote the following note on the memorandum: “I fully agree, Cambodia is currently neutral in favor of the US (not neutralist) and events since the despatch was written make it even more certain that an effort to align Cambodia with us would hurt, not help us. I think we might write and tell Strom we agree with him. J.G.P.” Robertson added the following note: “I agree too, WSR.”
  2. included in the microfiche supplement.