288. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State 1

8684. Subj: Thai Unwillingness to Let the U.S. Flex Its Thai Based Military Forces in Indochina.

Prime Minister Khukrit Pramot, obviously concerned by press statements from the U.S. threatening the use of force to free the [Page 988] Mayaguez, summoned me May 13 to seek information on the status of the ship. I summarized the information available to us, largely from wire service reports.
Khukrit stressed that from the Thai Government standpoint any retaliation should be purely between the United States and Cambodia and should not in any way involve Thailand. I asked if he was referring to use of U.S. military assets in Thailand. He said he definitely was. I told him that in line with established procedures we would inform the RTG before any action involving Thai-based planes was undertaken.
Khukrit has announced publicly the reason for calling me in. It is most important that we play this by the rules. Otherwise, in the current supercharged political atmosphere, we stand to lose a great deal in terms of RTG cooperation and use—or even continuation—of bases here.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files. Confidential; Flash. Repeated to the Defense Department and to CINCPAC for POLAD.