Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Thailand) - History


Kromma Tha and Phra Khlang redirect here

Prior to the creation of the Ministry, much of the country’s foreign relations were handled exclusively by the absolute monarchs of the day. During the Kingdom of Ayutthaya foreign relations were handled by the “Krom Phra Khlang” (Thai: กรมพระคลัง) (or the Treasury Department). The Head of the department was known as "Phra Khlang" (Thai: พระคลัง) and occasionally referred to as "Berguelang" or "Barcelon" by foreign authors. The famous 18th century Siamese Ambassador to France: Kosa Pan, was the younger brother of King Narai’s “Phra Khlang” Kosathibodi. Soon after a sub-department was created primarily to deal with foreigners called: "Kromma Tha" (Thai: กรมท่า, "Port Department").

During the Bangkok Period most of these features were retained. For instance, the Chau Phaya-Phraklang in his capacity as Minister of State on behalf of His Majesty the Sovereign and Magnificent King in the City of Sia-Yut'hia negotiated the Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce of 1833 with Edmund Roberts in his capacity as Minister of the United States on behalf of President Andrew Jackson.

In the successive reign of King Mongkut, HM in 1840 founded the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Siam, which was administered directly by the King. The responsibilities and roles of the old “Krom” were shifted to this ministry. Chao Phraya Bhanuwong became the first Foreign Minister of Siam in 1871, appointed by King Chulalongkorn. In 1881 Prince Devavongse Varoprakarn was appointed to replace him. Known today as the father of Thai diplomacy he reorganized and modernized the Ministry to meet 19th century standards. The Ministry was then permanently established at Saranrom Palace, east of the Grand Palace. The Ministry was divided into 7 divisions:

  • Senabodi Division (Ministerial Division)
  • Under-Secretary Division
  • Translation Division
  • Reception Division
  • Accounts Division
  • Filing Division
  • Diplomatic Division
  • Consular Division

After the Revolution of 1932, the Ministry came under civilian control and the Minister was made a member of the constitutional government of Siam. The first Minister under this new system was Phraya Sri Visarn Vacha.

See more at: Foreign relations of Thailand

Read more about this topic:  Ministry Of Foreign Affairs (Thailand)

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