Laos: The Three Princes

Laos last week teetered between hope, farce and failure.

In Geneva, the 14-nation conference on Laos (which includes Red China and the U.S.) reached surprising agreement on 1) withdrawing all "foreign forces" from Laos; 2) the guaranteeing of the withdrawal by Great Britain and the Soviet Union; and 3) the granting of more authority to the International Control Commission (Poland, Canada, India) in investigating violations of neutrality. The major catch: the agreement cannot go into effect until Laos gets a new government, and attempts to form one were mired in petty haggling and intrigue.

King Savang Vatthana had designated three princes to...

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