347. Memorandum From the President’s Military Representative’s Naval Aide (Bagley) to the President’s Military Representative (Taylor)0


  • Summaries of action being taken re Laos
That which follows summarizes actions being taken on our side as a result of the loss of Nam Tha.
British Ambassador Roberts in Moscow had a 20 minute talk with Gromyko at 0400 hours our time today. He had been instructed to protest the breach of the cease fire, to urge withdrawal of the Pathet Lao from Nam Tha, and to seek Soviet co-operation in obtaining an ICC investigation. The results of his talk have not yet been received in Washington.
Ambassador Thompson was instructed by Secretary Rusk yesterday to make a similar approach on behalf of the US. There is no indication as yet that he has seen Gromyko.1
Mr. MacDonald, British representative at the Geneva conference, is in Vientiane on a personal fact finding trip. Subject to the Soviet reply to the British, he will be asked to proceed to Khang Khay on behalf of the Geneva Co-Chairmen (USSR and UK), to seek a halt to hostilities and an ICC investigation.
On the basis of an appointment made about a week ago, British Ambassador Addis in Vientiane, in company with the Indian member of the ICC Laos, will visit with Souphonouvong tomorrow and will make representations to halt the fighting, calling particular attention to Souphonouvong’s past promises not to violate the cease fire unless provoked.
There is information which indicates Souvanna is informing Souphonouvong that the action at Muong Sing and Nam Tha was a mistake and that Communist forces should be withdrawn.
Ambassador Brown has been instructed to deliver to Sisouk (Acting RLG PriMin) Souvanna’s reply to the RLG proposals on a new approach to negotiations.2 At the same time, Ambassador Brown will emphasize our efforts to get the ICC to re-establish a cease fire, omitting reference to our representations to the Soviets for immediate evacuation of Nam Tha. This is intended to steer the RLG away from making evacuation of Nam Tha a condition to resumption of negotiations.


No information.

Other Actions under Consideration
State has suggested to the French that Kong Le be invited to visit Paris following his current tour of the bloc countries. I suggested to Mr. Forrestal that in view of the fact Kong Le troops were not included in the recent offensive that this might be a proper time to offer him a carrot. I got the impression that such a move was under consideration.
The possibility of urging Souvanna to return to Khang Khay is being discussed. I have the impression this is not an active matter, but believe Mr. Forrestal intends to go over the possibility in detail with Mr. Harriman on his return to Washington at 2130 tonight.
  1. Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Laos # 2, 7, T–265–69. Secret. Taylor’s initials appear on the source text.
  2. In telegram 2883 from Moscow, May 8, Thompson reported on his meeting with Gromyko that afternoon in Moscow. Gromyko claimed that the events at Nam Tha were the result of a popular uprising in response to political and military provocations by the Boun Oum-Phoumi group. Gromyko then complained that despite assurances from Rusk, the United States had not brought pressure on Phoumi who was allowed to do what he wanted. Thompson pointed out that Americans were in Nam Tha and it was no internal uprising. Thompson suggested that the Pathet Lao used the attack to prevent an understanding between Souvanna and Phoumi which was in the initial stages. Gromyko reiterated the Soviet Union’s desire for a neutral Laos, but it must be based on deeds, not words. (Department of State, Central Files, 751J.00/5–862)
  3. In telegram 964 to Vientiane, May 7. (Ibid., 751J.00/5–762) Brown reported in telegram 1515 from Vientiane, May 8, that he had delivered Souvanna’s reply to Sisouk who considered it the “same old proposal and did not meet the RLG’s desire for tripartite decisions and maintaining forces pending agreement on integration.” Sisouk stated he would discuss it with Phoumi and promised a reply in a day or two. (Ibid., 751J.00/5–862)