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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. Asia and the Pacific (in two parts)
(1951)

Burma,   pp. 267-330 PDF (25.0 MB)


Page 325


Lot M 88, Box 160
Draft Position Paper on Burma Prepared by the Department of State':
SECRET                           [WASHINGTON,] December 20, 1951.
TCT-D-5/7b
                               BURA
                               PROBLE3M1
   To determine what, if any, action the British and American Gov-.
 ernments should take to improve the seriously deteriorating situation.
 in Burma.
                          'U.S. OBJECTIVES
   The U.S. seeks an increase in the will and ability of the Burmese
 Government and people to halt the spread of Communism and to
 defend the country against Communist subversion or invasion.
                  rROBABLE POSITION OF THE U.K.
   From the views expressed by various British officials, we under-"
 stand that the British objectives are the same as our own in this,
 respect.
 Burma
   Position to be presented: (On U.S. initiative)
   I am sure that we agree on the strategic importance of Burma.
 It is to our mutual interest to keep this "soft spot" of Southeast
Asia,
 from falling under Communist control. Furthermore, the Government
 and people appear apathetic to the Communist threat, and this makes.
 it difficult to find specific ways in which we can help.
   I believe that the situation is serious enough to make it wise for-
 British and American officials to get together as soon as possible and
 discuss what our two countries might do, either individually or jointly,
 to accomplish our objectives in Burma. We should then consult with
 Burmese officials to see what steps can be taken. My advisers have madea
 several tentative suggestions as to what our people might want to dis-
 cuss. One suggestion is that they might want to consider ways of
 increasing Burma's military strength by supplying more war materials
 to the Burmese forces. Another suggestion is that British and Ameri-
 can information programs in'Burma might also be re-examined to see
 what can be done to make them more effective during the present1
 crucial period. A final suggestion is that our representatives might,
 want to look into whatever possible joint or coordinated action may be
 necessary in case the Communists should succeed in taking over most of
 Northern Burma in the next two years.
 'This paper was prepared for the forthcoming talks between British Prime
'Minister Winston Churchill and President Truman, January 7-8, 1952. This
document was one of many drafted by a special Steering Group in anticipation
of
these meetings.
     535 -117 77----22
.325
BURMA


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