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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 326


FOREIGN RELATIONS, -19 51, VOLUME VI
                           DISCUSSION
  British and American officials generally agree that the situation in
Burma is deteriorating at an alarming rate, that Burma is the "soft
spot" of Southeast Asia and that because the Govermnent and people
of Burma are apathetic to the Communist threat and highly suspicious
of British and American motives, it is difficult to find any way in
which we can render assistance. However, it would appear that by a
,joint study of the problem we might discover ways in which our re-
spective policies could be made more effective: in increasing the will
and ability of the Burmese to resist Communist pressures.
  Among matters which might appropriately be discussed are:
  (1) The possibility of increasing Burmese military strength by
augmenting the supply of war materials to the Burmese armed forces
and by improving the effectiveness of the British Services Mission.
The "British might wish to consider the feasibility of making the
Mission more acceptable to the Burmese-by changing its composition
to include elements from other Commonwealth nations, especially
Oriental.
  (2) A re-examination of our respective information programs to
determine whether they could profitably be changed to have a stronger
impact during the present, crucial two-year period.
   (3) An exploration of possible joint or coordinated action in case
the Communists should be successful in their declared intention of
establishing control over a substantial part of Northern Burma within
the next two years.
890B.43/12-,2751
Mefemorandum by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far
      Eastern Affairs (Allison) to the Acting Secretary of State
SECRET                          [WASHINGTON,] December 27, 1951.
Subject: ECA Proposal to Use Counterpart Funds for Strengthen-
    ing Anti-Communist Activities Through Buddhist Projects in
    Burma.
Problem,:
  To develop a State Department position regarding the expenditure
of ECA counterpart funds in Burma to aid in the construction of
buildings to house a Buddhist university at Rangoon.
Discussion:
  ECA has proposed as a means of strengthening the moral stature
of the Burmese people and thereby combating Communism that it
authorize the use of counterpart funds in support of a plan drawn up
by Thakin Nu, the Prime Minister, to increase the effectiveness of
the Buddhist religion. This plan would cost 5,400,000 rupees (the
equivalent of U.S. $1,347,368.42). These funds are under the joint
326


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