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Minister Pramoj was also requested by Minister Arthakitti to send a representative to Stockholm to discuss the matter.
The Thai Minister stated that the message was not what he had expected and was contrary to his declared principles. He said that it was not clear to him just why the Regent would make such a request. Mr. Landon suggested that possibly the Regent planned to escape from Thailand and wished to prepare an organization to which he could go immediately and with which he would have status.
Mr. Moffat indicated that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to send a Thai representative to Stockholm without having such a representative noticed by the enemy. The Thai Minister said that possibly an American might be sent inconspicuously but that this was a matter for further study. It was the general opinion that further study should be given to the various questions raised by Minister Arthakitti's message 24
THAI PROTESTS AGAINST BOMBING OF ALLEGEDLY NON-MILITARY
740.0011 Pacific War/3708
The Swiss Minister (Bruggmann) to the Secretary of State
Th. 1 Thailand
The Minister of Switzerland presents his compliments to The Honorable, The Secretary of State, and has the honor to submit a communication from the Government of Thailand which has been received from the Federal Political Department in Berne, with the request that it be transmitted to the Government of the United States:
“In air raids about the end of 1943 and January 1944 AngloAmerican aeroplanes dropped bombs on Chulalongkon Hospital, Saowapha, on the Pasteur Institute of the Red Cross Bangrak Hospital and two mental disease hospitals. Such humanitarian establishments cannot be said in any way to be military objectives and the indiscriminate bombing thereof is not only a violation of the Geneva Convention of 1929 25 but also of the principles of humanity. His Majesty's Government therefore enters a strong protest against the unjustifiable act of destruction above mentioned."
24 In a memorandum of conversation with the Thai Minister on December 15, Mr. Moffat wrote as follows: "The Minister stated that after much thought he had decided that establishment of a Free Thai Government with himself as head would be completely illegal; that he would have no right or power to do so and that he would under no circumstances do this. Later, he qualified this by implying that he might consider the proposal if the situation appeared desperate and the Regent absolutely required some such action. He stated that he thought the request if bona fide indicated that the position of the Regent was very serious and that there must be excessive Japanese pressure on him." (701.9258/12–1544)
In a memorandum of conversation with the Thai Minister on December 22, Mr. Moffat stated: “We discussed briefly the question of the establishment of a Free Tai government here, and I said that while it had not been considered by the Department, my own personal view was that such a move, unless there was some compelling reason of which we did not know, would not help them and might be embarrassing to us.” (701.9258/12-2244)
The Minister would be grateful to The Honorable, The Secretary of State, for an acknowledgment of this communication.26
WASHINGTON, February 4, 1944.
740.0011 Pacific War/3729
The Swiss Minister (Bruggmann) to the Secretary of State
The Minister of Switzerland presents his compliments to the Honorable the Secretary of State and has the honor to refer to the Minister's note of February 4, 1944, and to submit a further communication from the Government of Thailand which has been received from the Federal Political Department in Bern, with the request that it be transmitted to the Government of the United States:
“Anglo-American aeroplanes have been dropping bombs on the entire area of Bangkok causing serious damages to the people, dwellings as well as temples and schools and inflicting a heavy list of casualties among the civilian population while Thailand has never committed similar acts upon her enemies. His Majesty's Government consider the indiscriminate bombing abovementioned as being contrary to the general principles of international law as well as the principles of humanity and register vigorous protest against such unjustifiable acts of destruction."
The Minister would be grateful to the Honorable the Secretary of State for an acknowledgment of this communication.27
WASHINGTON, February 14, 1944.
The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister (Bruggmann)
The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Minister of Switzerland and has the honor to refer to the
International Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick of Armies in the Field, signed July 27, 1929, Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. I, p. 321. Presumably, reference to Article 6 was intended. 20 Acknowledgment was made by the
Secretary of State on February 14. 27 Acknowledgment was made by the Secretary of State on March 3. In a memorandum of April 25, the Department informed the British Embassy that no further reply to the Swiss notes was contemplated (740.00117 PW/101). In a note of December 1, the Secretary of State informed the British Ambassador (Halifax) that “The United States Government has now decided to make a definitive reply to the protests received from the Thai Government.” (740.00116 PW/10–1144)
Legation's notes (Th. 1.) dated, respectively, February 4, 1944 and February 14, 1944 each quoting the text in translation of separate communications received from the Government of Thailand concerning bombing attacks upon certain areas in that country. Receipt of the Legation's notes under reference was acknowledged by the Department of State on February 14 and March 3, 1944 respectively.
The Legation may inform the Government of Thailand that the United States Government has conducted a lengthy and detailed investigation into this matter. The results of this investigation reveal that certain hospitals in the area surrounding Bangkok were damaged by bombs from British or American aircraft. However, it is not possible to state whether the damage was inflicted by American or British forces. Investigation also reveals that United States planes did participate in several raids against Bangkok during the latter part of 1943 and January 1944 and study of target objectives in the Bangkok area indicates the probability that non-military targets occasionally may have been damaged in spite of the best efforts to avoid them.
Military forces of the United States Government are continuing, as in the past, to direct their attacks against installations of, or being used by, the armed forces of the enemy. It is regrettable that upon occasion the proximity of these installations to areas occupied by noncombatants may result in casualties among the civilian population.
The United States Government regrets that the civilian population of Thailand and non-combatant installations in Thailand suffered as a consequence of military operations directed solely against military objectives.
WASHINGTON, January 27, 1945.