The Thai Prime Minister, Kukrit Pramoj, said in Bangkok on Monday (19 May) he made two attempts to halt the use of the U-Tapao air base in the United States' Mayaguez operation.
GV Thailand Prime Minister speaking to reporter.
SCU Thailand PM speaking
TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ 2): First of all, on the 13th of this month, I heard news, very early, that the Cambodian troops had seized the U.S. ship. And later in the morning I heard very warlike sentiments expressed by members of the U.S. Congress, and Senators, and officials of the U.S. Government. So I called the U.S. charge d' Affaires to this office, and told him that it was nit our wish to be involved in this serious business at all. So whatever the U.S. Government decided to do, please regard us as out. You can do anything you like but not involve us, that's what I said. And I said the base at U-Tapao happens to be there - I regard that as a Thai base and it happens to be in Thai territory, so do not make use of it in any way in connection with this...with whatever action the U.S. Government was going to take. And the U.S. Charge d' Affaires agreed to all this, He went back, I was rather relieved and by the evening I heard that the Marines, in their base, wherever that was, were ordered to leave and come to U-Tapao. And in the early morning of the 14th I heard that they had already landed. Over one thousand and one hundred. However, I was there, taking charge. I sent a note of protest to the U.S. Charge d' Affaires, demanding that they remove their troops. That request was not complied with, as you know - those troops were not removed and in fact they held on, did whatever they did, and got the ship back. For that reason they did not comply with our request and we sent our last note giving them our determination to review all treaties and commitments, whatever there was to be reviewed, between this country and the United States."
Initials BJB/2219 BJB/2240
REPORTER: BOB FRIEND
This film includes an interview with the Prime Minister
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Thai Prime Minister, Kukrit Pramoj, said in Bangkok on Monday (19 May) he made two attempts to halt the use of the U-Tapao air base in the United States' Mayaguez operation.
He said that on the morning of last Tuesday (13 May), he summoned the U.S. Charge d'Affaires to his office in Bangkok and told him Thailand wished not to be involved in whatever action the United States might take in relation to the Mayaguez's capture.
Despite the Prime Minister's request, U.S. Marines landed at U-tapao. Shortly after, mr. Kukrit Pramoj said, he formally demanded they leave the base. But they did not, and proceeded to carry out the Mayaguez operation.
The Prime Minister then sent a final message which he said gave the United States Thailand's intention to review all treaties and commitments.