Fight for the pacific

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Fight for the Pacific


5. The American imperialists push back the British colonialists in Thailand

Until the Second World War, British monopolies dominated Thailand. About 90% of this country's exports went to the British Empire, and British investment there in 1932 was estimated at £20 million. Art.

British and American political sabotage had a somewhat different character in Tai than in Indonesia.

Even the ruling classes of Tai have long been hostile to the British, who torn away a number of areas under the suzerainty of this country, annexed them to Malaya and for many decades plundered the country and dictated their will to it. Therefore, the hypocritical ingratiation of the representatives of the United States after the Second World War found fertile ground among the ruling sections of Tai.

The American imperialists, who had identified Tai as an object of their expansion, after the capitulation of Japan began to declare their benevolent attitude towards Tai's claims to a number of territories annexed to Indo-China by the French colonizers. These territories were transferred to Tai as a result of the pressure of Japanese imperialism during the Second World War, and after the surrender of Japan, Tai again gave them to Indo-China. Now, however, the French imperialists resolutely refused to grant any territorial claims to Tai. The hypocritical American gesture brought some political capital to the American imperialists, strengthening US influence in the ruling circles of the country.

The American imperialists amassed much greater political capital in the eyes of the ruling classes of Thayi by again hypocritically appearing at the end of 1945 in the role of "defenders" of the country against the encroachments of British imperialism. The London government, using the fact that Tai, as a satellite of Japan, turned out to be a defeated country, wanted to establish its own protectorate there and formalize it with an agreement. This, however, was at odds with the plans of the American monopolies, which chose Tai as their own fiefdom. The Americans therefore strongly opposed the British claims.

The American press covered in some detail the Anglo-American diplomatic skirmish over Tai, in which the City quickly capitulated on almost all points.

Among the British demands made by Thai at the end of 1945, during the negotiations for a peace treaty, were such as giving England control over the armed forces of Thai, granting the right to enter British troops into any area of ​​Thai, if the British government deems it necessary, granting British rights to censor the press and radio.

In the first half of December 1945 p. the press of the American big bourgeoisie fell upon the British claims in Thailand. The New York Herald Tribune stated that the British government was seeking to "turn the only independent country in Southeast Asia into a British province full of discontent" (1) .

American financial capital showed particular dissatisfaction with the fact that the British conditions for Thailand "tend to close the open door that the United States has long had in Thailand" (2) .

An anti-British campaign was raised in the bourgeois press at the same time as the measures taken by American diplomacy. According to American newspapers, the Washington government presented a demand to London to change the conditions imposed by Tai.

State Department spokesman Acheson confirmed on December 19, 1945, that "The United States has made many representations to England and Tai, demanding that they refrain from entering into a bilateral treaty, since the United States is interested in taking part in the discussion of future destinies South-East Asia".

The British imperialists did not dare to heed the outcry from Washington. The terms of the Anglo-Thai treaty were greatly changed. After negotiations on the new basis were brought to an end on December 22, the US State Department announced that it did not encounter any obstacles to the conclusion of a bilateral Anglo-Thai treaty.

Under this agreement, signed on January 1, 1946, in essence, the extraterritorial rights that England had previously possessed in Thailand and which she had renounced under the agreement concluded in 1937 were restored. All their enterprises were also returned to the English capitalists and their rights and privileges were restored. They were to receive compensation for the damage suffered during the war. The Thai government undertook not to proceed without the consent of England to the construction of any canal in the territory of Thai, connecting the Bay of Bengal with the South China Sea (3) .

In addition, Tai pledged to transfer to England 1.5 million tons of rice, as well as the right to purchase rice in the country within 21 months. Tai pledged in advance to comply with any international agreement on the production and trade of rubber and tin.

The American imperialist press pretended to make a little fuss about the "harsh conditions imposed by England on Thai," but on the whole the American capitalists were satisfied, since, in accordance with the most favored nation right, they received the same extraterritorial rights and privileges in Thailand that the British received. Tai thus remained a semi-colony in which the imperialists enjoy special rights and privileges.

After Washington dealt the first blow to British imperialism in Tai in December 1945, the American monopolies quickly began to strengthen their positions in that country. In particular, the affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began to be run by the American adviser Patton, who for a long time secured the post of de facto head of Thai foreign policy.

The American-oriented King Ananda Mahidol, restored to the throne, was preparing to visit the United States in 1946, apparently with the aim of establishing close economic and political relations with American capitalists. But in early June 1946, the king was found dead in his bedroom in Bangkok. American correspondents stated that British agents were responsible for the death of the king, dissatisfied with his American orientation and striving to prevent Tai from completely moving into the orbit of American influence.

For some time after the death of the king, the American monopolies could not boast of new great successes in Tai. In November 1947, an armed coup took place in the country. The former prime minister of the pro-Japanese government, Thai Luang Bipul Songgram, who led one of the cliques of the local ruling classes, seized power and appointed a new government. This government in the winter of 1947/48 entered into negotiations with the Americans for a large loan to Tai.

Bipul Sontram himself took over as prime minister on April 12, 1948. After that, a large anti-government conspiracy was uncovered, in which representatives of the high command of the Thai army participated.

In the rather unstable political situation that had developed in the country, American financiers decided not to rush to provide a large loan to the Bi-pool Songgram government. This government itself also feared that the immediate receipt of a large American loan, no doubt on enslaving terms, might further shake its position. Negotiations on a large loan were interrupted, but this did not prevent American capital from strengthening its positions in Thailand.

After the war, many American companies opened their branches in Tai. In 1948, 30 American firms already had offices in Bangkok (before the war there was only one office). Anaconda Copper Mines has secured a mining concession in some areas of Thailand. American monopolies focus primarily on Thai tin and rubber (4) The Thai government agreed to sell tin and rubber directly to American firms, instead of exporting them to Malaya to the British, as was done before (5) .

The American aviation company Pan American Airways actually controls all the airfields in Thailand and has a monopoly in the field of air communications in this country.

The reactionary government of Songgram signed an agreement with Britain in December 1948 under which it undertook to assist in the suppression of the guerrilla war in Malaya and Burma. At the request of the United States, this government concluded a similar agreement with the French colonial authorities in Indo-China - to assist in the struggle against the Republic of Vietnam.

The envoy of American imperialism, General Erskine, also visited Tai in the fall of 1950, where he agreed with Songgram on the creation and arming by the Americans of an army of 70,000 men and on the use of this army on the instructions of the Americans. Songgram's puppet government constantly demonstrates its slavish obedience to Washington. At the United Nations, the representative of this government opposed the Korean and Chinese peoples, even when representatives of other Asian countries made compromise proposals. Cursing its American "boss", the Thai puppet government was one of the first to offer to send troops to Korea. Thus, the people of Tai are paying with the blood of their sons for the treacherous, anti-national policies of the Songgram clique.

Increasingly enslaving the Thai people, on September 19, 1950, the American imperialists concluded an agreement with the anti-national government of Songgram on American "economic and technical assistance." On October 17 of the same year, an agreement on "military assistance" was signed.

The United States promised to provide Tai with 10 million ammos worth of equipment and ammunition. dollars and a loan in the amount of 25.4 million am. dollars (6) Already in October, American military advisers and instructors arrived in Tai, who failed miserably in China. In the same year, American weapons arrived for 10 battalions of Tai troops. American "advisers" operating in all ministries and government bodies of Thailand, effectively form the US colonial administration in Thailand.

The US has significantly increased its share of Thai foreign trade. American imports to Thailand before World War II peaked in 1939 and 1940, when US goods were imported by 4.3 and 9.6, respectively. million dollars In 1947, Thai imports from the United States amounted to 13 million, in 1948 - 32 million, in 1949 - 72 million dollars; exports amounted to 18 million, 90 million, 72 million dollars, respectively. The US share in Thai imports was in 1948 and 1949. 10 and 16%, while before the war, in 1938, it was zero.

Before the war, exports from Thailand exceeded imports by an average of 50%. In the first years after the war, Thai trade, like other Asian countries, had a deficit balance, and only in 1948-1950. exports barely exceeded imports. In 1946, the deficit amounted to 95 million, in 1947 - 364 million barrels.

In 1947, Tai received a short-term loan from India of 50 million rupees, which was paid by early 1950, and a loan of $10 million from the United States for the purchase of "surplus" American war materials, which was also paid.

By extending larger loans to Thai in the future, the American imperialists, in accordance with Truman's program of "assistance to backward countries," that is, of the colonial enslavement of these countries, more and more entangled the ruling layers of Thai in their nets.

The armed forces of Thailand, transport, communications, industry and raw materials are increasingly coming under the direct control of the American aggressors. Tai has been turned into a food and raw material base for US imperialism, into a military springboard for aggression against the peoples of China and other peoples of Asia.

However, even in Thailand the American imperialists do not feel solid ground under their feet. Their imperialist rivals, the British colonizers, are continuing open and especially covert attacks against American economic and political positions. But the main danger for the US imperialists is that the broad masses of the Thai people and even the ruling strata are rapidly growing indignant at the oppression of US imperialism.

On June 29, 1951, there was an uprising in the Tai Navy; Son-gram was captured and taken to the warship Ayuthia. He managed to escape; the ship was sunk by government aircraft. The uprising was crushed, the chief of staff of the fleet and other officers were arrested. Songgram's clique saw that hatred against it was growing in all sections of the people. At the end of November 1951, the Songgram clique, motivating their actions with the goals of "fighting communism", carried out a new coup d'état in an attempt to strengthen and strengthen their dictatorial power. Although more and more Thai patriots are being sent to the concentration camp set up in August 1949 in the mountainous region of Pechabun, nevertheless, the struggle of various sections of the people against the lackeys of imperialism is intensifying, which indicates the rapid weakening of the positions of the anti-national Song-gram clique.

(1) New York Herald Tribune, December 9, 1945.

(2) New York Times, December 15, 1945.

(3) This clause of the treaty referred to the Isthmus of Kra on the Malay Peninsula. Japan at one time planned to dig a canal here, bypassing the naval base of Singapore and to the detriment of English merchant shipping. Now the threat of building a canal could come from the United States.

(4) In 1948, 33,000 tons of rubber were produced in Thailand. Under the plantations of rubber, 242 thousand hectares were occupied.

(5) Tribune de Nation, Aout 13, 1948.

(6) See Pravda, November 24, 1950