138. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand [text not declassified]1

24202. 1. At General Kriangsak’s initiative, we met with him 27 October 1971 on further developments outlined ref. Kriangsak stated that he met earlier that day with CIF Generals Li and Tuan. Generals told Kriangsak that their present raw opium stocks total 14,000 choi. After Kriangsak determined size of stock, he informed Generals that RTG considering purchasing total stock on one-time basis for medicinal purposes. Price for stocks to be determined by current market price. Generals Li and Tuan said they would accept RTG offer, and Kriangsak then ordered them not to move any of these stocks without his personal approval. Kriangsak emphasized to Li and Tuan that RTG purchase, if approved, would be a one-time buy and no more. Further, Kriangsak added, he extracted commitment from Li and Tuan that they will not engage in opium traffic in future.

2. At current market of about 1,200 per choi, preemptive buying of total stock would be close to USD one million. Kriangsak asked that we consult with appropriate USG authorities seeking approval for this preemptive purchase. We reminded Kriangsak that per previous statements [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] this proposal had already been forwarded to Washington for consideration. We added that as of now, however, policy decision had not been communicated to mission in Bangkok.

3. Kriangsak commented that he starting to resettle CIF personnel and dependents in about December. In the meantime, he paying cost for feeding and housing CIF families which held in five or six locations in Fang district along Thai-Burma border. It appears clear that Kriangsak strapped for funds in his resettlement program and that preemptive buying of opium stocks will alleviate partially Li and Tuan’s needs for funds.

4. Amb. Unger briefed on above 29 Oct. Amb. requests that substance of above be passed to Assistant Secretary Green together with statement that he endorses favorable action so that we can begin specific discussions with General Kriangsak in near future on conditions and means of carrying out this action.

  1. Source: National Security Council, Country File, Thailand, 1971. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. In an October 29 memorandum to Green, [text not declassified] stated that this message was [text not declassified] also being provided to “General Haig at the White House and Mr. Ingersoll in BNDD.”