304. Memorandum From Richard K. Stuart of the Office of the Deputy Director for Coordination to the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Hughes)1


  • Mr. Bundyʼs Meeting with Mr. Colby, September 8, 19652


  • Messrs. Bundy and Moore for FE;
  • Messrs. Colby and [name deleted] for CIA;
  • Mr. Thomson for White House;
  • Messrs. Trueheart, Pickering, Barbis and Cuthell of FE for their respective areas; Mr. Stuart for INR/DDC


Mr. Colby opened the discussion on Thailand with a brief review of conversations between CIA and Ambassador Martin during his recent [Page 651] period of consultation in Washington. Ambassador Martin had reported that [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] had approached the Ambassador before his recent return to Washington and asked for help in the election which would follow adoption of the new Thai constitution, possibly in the middle of 1966. These Thai politicians wanted approximately [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] US dollars in order to obviate the necessity of approaching Chinese merchants in Bangkok, the usual source of political funds. While their reasons for approaching the U.S. seemed somewhat far fetched, the Ambassador believed that, in effect, they did not want to be beholden to the Chinese. Before he returned to Bangkok the Ambassador wanted some idea of how far he could go in conversations with these Thai politicians. The Ambassador felt that an ideal solution would be to get 303 Committee agreement in principle for support of the Thai election.

Mr. Bundy said that he felt that it might be worth [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] dollars to have control of the Thai political scene but that he did not want to see the governmentʼs administrative machinery used as a political party. This had always been done in the past and he did not think that it augured well for the future of democracy in Thailand if this practice were to continue. Mr. Stuart asked who the opponents would be to the politicians presently in power in an election as far off as 1966. He was not aware that there was any opposition worth mentioning now and it was doubtful that, even after the adoption of a constitution, an opposition would be allowed to develop. Mr. Colby replied that the money would be used less to defeat an opposition than to build stability on a democratic basis in Thailand. Mr. Pickering said that he felt that there might be some opposition, particularly in Bangkok, although he was not sure that there would be much in the provinces. He went on to say that we do not know whether the constitution would require the present leaders to stand for election to Parliament before they could lead the government.

After an inconclusive discussion of the prospects of future party growth, it was left that CIA would produce a draft paper for the 303 Committee. The paper, however, would be thoroughly discussed with FE before being presented to the Committee.3

Mr. Bundy said that Ambassador Martin would be returning to Washington early next week and that he expected to discuss this matter further with him at that time.

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Thailand, 1965. Secret. Also sent to Deputy Director of INR Denney and Deputy Director for Research Evans. Sent through Albert E. Carter of INR/DDC.
  2. Agenda attached at Tab A. [Footnote in the source text. No agenda was attached.]
  3. For the paper as submitted, see Document 305.