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191 Eastman to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram B41 BANGKOK, 14 March 1948, 12.30 a.m.

Your telegram 19. [1] Siamese Political situation.

Except for Australia all countries represented in Siam have
already recognised the new Government by replying to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs in the agreed form. United Kingdom, American,
Chinese, French, Netherlands and Indian representatives replied on
March 6th. The remaining representatives replied one or two days
later, with the exception of the Swedish Consul-General who
replied on March 12th. No information as to the Russian attitude.

The Russian Legation has not yet been formally established
although two junior secretaries are already in Bangkok. The
Russian Ambassador in London recently told the Siamese Ambassador
informally that Russia would decide its attitude independently of
other countries but he gave no indication what this attitude was
likely to be.

2. The words 'other obligations' in paragraph quoted in paragraph
2 of telegram H.16 from the Secretary of State for Commonwealth
Relations and included in the Minister for Foreign Affairs' note
were proposed by Ambassadors here with the intention of covering,
inter alia, obligations undertaken as a member of the United
Nations. In outline of policy announced in Parliament on March
1st, the Government specifically mentioned its intention of
supporting the United Nations' policy and co-operating faithfully
in all matters connected therewith. However, if you feel that a
supplementary assurance from the Minister for Foreign Affairs on
this point is necessary, I should have very little difficulty in
obtaining it.

3. Overthrow of the Thamrong Government and the establishment of
new constitution were largely achieved by force. Nevertheless,
Khuang's [2] confirmation in office resulted from popular election
which showed no obvious signs of coercive measures employed by
previous Governments. His Cabinet consists of many of the most
eminent and honest men in Siam and there is every indication that
they will endeavour to resist interference by any extremist
groups. Having regard to the character and methods of opposition
groups it is too early to estimate with confidence the Cabinet's
expectation of life but at least we have prospect for next three
or four months of doing business with the best Government Siam has
had for many years and the kind most likely to honour its
obligations. In view of this and the importance of early
settlement of certain outstanding matters, I would appreciate
further instructions by most immediate telegram.

1 Document 189.

2 Nai Khuang Apaivongse, President of the Council of Ministers.

[AA:A1838/283, 451/3/1/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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