91. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Harriman) to Secretary of State Rusk 0

SUBJECT

  • Sihanouk’s Demand for Guarantees

As you know, Prince Sihanouk has made it plain he does not feel that a formal exchange of letters concerning his neutrality and independence would be sufficient without the inclusion of guarantees which we could not possibly give. He no longer holds to the necessity of a conference but [Page 204] as an alternative talks of adopting the 14-Power Lao Neutrality Declaration for his country, merely substituting Cambodia for Laos in the text. This would likewise give us impossible problems.

Accordingly we have been searching for some alternative which we could propose which might satisfy him and thus deflect another unfortunate initiative on his part. We have hit on an adaptation of the 1955 exchange of notes with Austria as the basis. A proposed text was sent to Paris and London with instructions that they explore this idea with the respective Foreign Offices.1 However, since the proposed text had not been approved the Embassies were instructed to consider this “FYI only”.

I would appreciate your considering our proposed revised text (Tab A). If you approve, we will send another telegram (Tab B) informing the Embassies that the revised text has been cleared and can be discussed directly with their Foreign Offices as a United States draft.2

Tab A 3

Begin Cambodian Text

For the purpose of maintaining her sovereignty, independence and unity and in order to ensure the inviolability and integrity of her territory, the Kingdom of Cambodia reaffirms its declaration made at Geneva on July 21, 1954.

The Kingdom of Cambodia is resolved to continue to fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Charter and to follow the path of peace and neutrality in conformity with the interests and aspirations of the Cambodian people in order to build a neutral, independent, democratic, unified, and prosperous Cambodia at peace with all nations and in particular with its neighbors.

In order to guarantee the fulfillment of these national goals, the Kingdom of Cambodia appeals to the Government of the United States [Page 205] of America to recognize and respect the neutrality of the Kingdom of Cambodia as defined in the aforementioned declaration, to recognize and respect as well its sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, to conform to these principles in all respects, and to refrain from any action inconsistent therewith.

The Kingdom of Cambodia requests that, in the event of a violation or threat of violation of the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity or territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Government of the United States of America agree to consult with it in order to consider measures which might be taken to ensure the observance of the principles and provisions of the Declaration.

Begin Proposed US Text

The Government of the United States of America has taken cognizance of the declaration made by the Royal Government of Cambodia on July 21, 1954 and, in compliance with the request expressed in the letter under acknowledgment, solemnly declares that it recognizes and will respect and observe in every way the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia and will refrain from any action inconsistent therewith.

The Government of the United States of America agrees, in the event of a violation or threat of violation of the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity, or territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia, to consult with it at its request in order to consider measures which might be taken to ensure the observance of the principles and provisions of the Declaration.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.51H/9–1262. Confidential. Drafted by Koren and Arzac and cleared in draft by Chayes and by Joseph J. Sisco, Director of the Office of UN Political and Security Affairs, and U. Alexis Johnson. Johnson wrote the following note on the memorandum: “Mr. Secretary: This is not a very happy situation but I believe this formula is about the best that can be done. Alex.”
  2. Sent in telegram 1366 to London and 1477 to Paris, September 7. (Ibid., 751H.00/9–762)
  3. A note on the source text indicates that the attached draft telegram (Tab B, not found) containing the proposed revised text was dispatched. It was sent as telegram 1471 to London and 1589 to Paris, September 13 at 7:32 p.m. The Department indicated that to head off a further initiative by Sihanouk it would be necessary to reach agreement with the French and British as soon as possible. The Department hoped that France and the United Kingdom would send Sihanouk a draft similar to the one it was proposing. (Ibid., 751H.00/9–1362)
  4. Confidential. Drafted by Arzac and Salans on September 12.