SIAM: Battle of Bangkok

Bedizened with flags and bunting, the dredge Manhattan, a $600,000 gift to Siam from the ECA, last week lay alongside a Bangkok wharf. After yellow-robed Buddhist priests chanted prayers, Siam's Premier Phibun Songgram, clad in gleaming white, made a formal speech accepting the dredge from the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires. Grouped around Phibun were the fashionably dressed ladies & gentlemen of Bangkok's diplomatic corps. The first inkling of trouble came when a fluttery British lady in long gloves and a floppy picture hat was approached by a smooth-shaven young Siamese marine, who said quietly: "Please step to one side, Madam....

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