Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn)

There is attached a memorandum of conversation between officers of the Department and the Thai delegation38 on the subject of the delegation’s proposal (contained in a memorandum of February 1439) to establish a government-in-exile and to obtain recognition from the Allied governments.

The conversation was informal and exploratory in nature and was without commitment. We raised questions as to whether a committee might not achieve the Thai objectives as well as a government-in-exile, as to the legality of the acts of a government-in-exile, and as to whether there would not be an anomalous situation created which would be difficult to explain to the Thai and American publics if there were a government-in-exile coexistent with the legally constituted government at Bangkok.

The Thai delegates stated that a government-in-exile would act on the basis of the recognition of its authority by the United Nations and not on the basis of Thai law, that the delegation had not been instructed to propose a committee but a government, that from their point of view it would be easier to explain a government than a committee to the Thai people, and that they desired such a government in order to publicly identify the Thai with the cause of the United Nations. They added that if a government-in-exile seemed impracticable they would have to consult further among themselves and secure further advice from the Regent. They gave us the impression that if need be they would accept a committee instead of a government.

We raised the question of lend-lease aid, which had been referred to in their memorandum, and said that as they sought military supplies to be used against the enemy this was a military matter to be dealt with by the military authorities.

We mentioned Thailand’s prewar economic policy of discrimination against aliens, and asked if it would be continued in the postwar period. The Thai delegates said that Thailand’s postwar economic policy would be based on the idea of non-discrimination. Nationals of other countries would receive not only favored-nation but national treatment.

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The Thai said that they had made a courtesy call on Sir George Sansom but would be very glad to leave it to us to talk with Sir George as to the nature of their mission and of our conversations.

After thoroughly considering the arguments put forward by the Thai delegation in support of a government-in-exile, we continue to feel strongly that at present it would be more advantageous to favor the establishment of a committee as an initial step without prejudice to later consideration of the establishment of a government-in-exile.

  1. Dated February 19, not printed. The Special Delegation consisted of the Thai Minister, Sanguan Tularak, President of the Committee for Siamese National Liberation, and Suni Theparaksa (also known as Konthi Suphamongkhon) of the Thai Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
  2. From the Thai Legation, not printed.