5. REGARDING HIS MAJESTY, LET ME SUGGEST A SUBSTITUTE TEXT FOR THE PASSAGES IN COLUMN ONE, ON PAGE 129-1. “ANOTHER GOOD FRIEND IS THAILAND’ S KING BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ, RAMA IX. THE 46- YEAR- OLD SOVEREIGN IS A KEEN STUDENT OF U. S. AND WORLD AFFAIRS AND IS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST BELOVED MONARCHS IN THE HISTORY OF THE THAI PEOPLE. HE IS THE SYMBOL OF THE NATION TO ALL THAIS, INCLUDING STUDENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE. HE AT TIMES JOINS GROUPS OF THE LATTER TO ENJOY MUSIC- MAKING, FOR WHICH HE HAS GREAT TALENT BOTH AS COMPOSER AND PERFORMER.” YOUR TEXT IS CERTAINLY AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PREVIOUS DRAFT, BUT THE MODIFICATION SUGGESTED ABOVE WOULD BE SURE TO SATISFY THE PALACE AND YOUR THAI READERS A GREAT DEAL BETTER, AND DOES REVEAL AN INTERESTING FACET OF HIS MAJESTY’ S ROLE.
– Extracted from “Message from Ambassador Unger to William Graves, National Geographic Society”, March 1973, Declassified State Department cable.
This cable, and similar correspondence, has been consolidated at the historical commentary section of Political Prisoners in Thailand. There are, no doubt, many other such educational gems lurking in the archives of governments around the world. I have previously relied on declassified US government cable traffic when discussing the historical treatment of Thai palace decision-making.