118. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State 1

Secto 29/3878. Subject: SecVisit SEATO: Secretary’s Bilateral Conversation with Thanat.

1.
In a private conversation between the Secretary and Thai Foreign Minister Thanat Khoman, the latter said that he was satisfied with the outcome of our discussions thus far on the PL 480 rice question. [Page 248] Thanat indicated however that he felt it important that in the coming year we avoid handling the matter as we did over the past fall and winter.
2.
In a much more extended discussion on the China question, the Secretary told Thanat that we still have under consideration the choice of continuing our present policy or adopting the principle of universality: no decision has been reached as yet. The Secretary did make clear that whichever way we move, we cannot accept the expulsion from the United Nations of the Republic of China, something which would generate a very strong dissent in the United States and could undermine our support of the United Nations.
3.
After a discussion of the various options available, Thanat recommended against proceeding at all this coming fall with the “important question” approach. He is persuaded that this will surely be defeated and in the aftermath the Republic of China will be put out of the United Nations. Instead of that formula, he and the Secretary discussed one which would be more positively based on seeking approval for the admission in the United Nations to the People’s Republic of China. Thanat felt such a tactic offered better possibilities of avoiding the expulsion of the GRC which Thailand also opposes. In the course of this discussion with Thanat the related question of representation in the Security Council was not raised.
Rogers
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, SEATO 3. Secret. Repeated to Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, and USUN.