Thailand 1961

By | December 17, 2021

The name Thailand definitively adopted by Siam on 20 July 1948 has now entered into general use and therefore the heading Siam is updated under this exponent (v. XXXI, p. 618; App. I, p. 1002; II, 11, p. 818).

According to the 1956 census, the town had 22,811,701 residents; a more recent estimate (1960) brings them to 25,500,000, over seven tenths Thai and the remainder belonging to minor ethnic groups. The Chinese would amount to 3.5 million, residing in the cities (especially in Bangkok), in the villages along the coasts where they are dedicated to fishing and, as miners, in the southern mining district. There are about 400,000 Malaysian farmers and fishermen on the east coast; few Europeans due to the adverse climate. The population increase is considerable (66% in twenty years) and the density has gone from 28 inhab / km 2 in 1937 to 46. Administratively the country is divided into 71 provinces (changwat) which altogether include 489 districts (amphur), 21 sub-districts (king amphur) and 4808 municipalities (tambon). The most populous changwats are those of Bangkok, with 889,538 residents; that of Ubon-ratchathani, with 856,373 residents; that of Khon-kaen, with 590,638 residents; that of Roi-et, with 536,279 residents. The capital Bangkok had 1,773,318 residents in 1960.

Despite the significant increase in population, its distribution has not undergone any changes, because it is linked to climatic conditions and the possibility of using the soil: agriculture employs over 85% of residents, on just over 9% of the soil, which for more than half it is rice paddy. Rice (72 million q per year) is always the main crop, whose production, exceeding the requirements, is exported. The utmost care is taken in this crop also with state interventions: in 1958 the dam dam on f. Menam Chau P’aya, near Chainat about 160 km from Bangkok which will allow the irrigation of about 900,000 ha of rice fields. Another crop that is gaining more and more importance is that of hevea, practiced in the southern provinces (1,740,000 q of rubber in 1959) which is also processed in Kho Hongs. The exploitation of the rich forests (63% of the territory) continues intensively under the control of the state, by local, British and Danish companies. The extraction of tin on the island of Bhuket is still active, although the quantity extracted (9,848 t in 1959) is subject to considerable variations, as well as that of wolfram (609 t in 1958). In the upper Menam basin, near Mae Moh, lignitiferous deposits are exploited for thermoelectric energy; deposits of iron (19,750 t extracted in 1958), lead (2,340 t in 1958), ilmenite (990 t in 1958), zinc and antimony are still in their potential state in the mountainous region west of the capital, with little communication.

In 1957, 1,570,237 tons of rice (equal to 48% of the total export value) and 13,539 tons of rubber (almost entirely absorbed by the USA) were exported, mainly to Asian markets, equal to 18% of the total export value. In 1958 he was exported teak for 262.3 million of baht and other lumber for 89, the million baht.

The livestock, severely damaged by the war, has been partially reconstituted. In 1957 there were 12,310 elephants, 196,000 horses, 4.83 million oxen, 6.05 million buffaloes, 3.7 million pigs.

The railways (3,500 km) have been improved and the number of vehicles (83,385 in 1959) in circulation on the 10,400 km of highways that ensure essential connections with the outskirts of the country has increased. Bangkok has always been a port of great importance (about 1300 ships for 2.7 million tonnes) and now also a large air communications center in which about twenty companies operate.

Finances. – The state budget constantly shows a deficit, except in 1960, when it tended to balance. The country’s economic and general situation has gradually improved in recent years, as can be seen from the data on national income, the balance of payments and the activity of credit companies. The credit system, divided into a central bank (the Bank of Thailand), a number of commercial banks, a government savings bank and a bank for cooperatives, has included a Fund for foreign currencies since 1955; a private development bank, the International Finance Corporation, was also recently created. The exchange rate of the local currency (the baht) was around 20.9 baht during 1958for 1 US dollar; in 1959 and 1960 it fluctuated around 21 baht to 1 US dollar

History. – On November 29, 1951, a coup organized by Marshal Pibul Songgram led to the abrogation of the 1949 constitution and the reintroduction of that of 1932. The general elections of February 26, 1957 gave the majority of the seats in the People’s Assembly to the Seri Manangasita, the party of Marshal Pibul Songgram, but the govenoo that he formed was overthrown in the days 16-17 September 1957 by the commander-in-chief of the army Marshal Sarisdi Dhanarajita. The new general elections of December 16, 1957 did not give a clear majority to any party. The government formed on January 2, 1958 by General Thanom Kittikachorn, was overthrown in October by Sarisdi Dhanarajita. The Assembly was dissolved, the 1932 constitution repealed and political parties banned. A provisional constitution was promulgated on January 28, 1959 pending a constituent assembly, designated by the government, to draft a permanent constitution. Marshal Sarisdi Dhanarajita, who officially holds the office of prime minister, meanwhile holds power and governs by decree. For Thailand history, please check

The reigning ruler is (since May 5, 1950) Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Thailand 1961