161. Telegram From the Embassy in Thailand to the Department of State1

26100. Subject: Atmospherics in Bangkok One Week After the Coup of Oct 20.

1. As of close of business Oct 28 political situation in Bangkok remained calm, but there is abundant evidence [less than 1 line not declassified] from other Embassies, and from the lack of much definitive movement that there are considerable differences among the Revolutionary Party leaders on the form and structure of the new Thai Government. The coup leaders have maintained an overt image of unity and direction, but behind the scenes maneuvering continues regarding the structure and leadership of the government. The situation is best described as fluid, with most factional activity turning on the efforts of the Royal Thai Army to ensure that it is the dominant influence in the life of the country.

2. Despite Oct 24 announcement of cumbersome civilian governmental structure (with Directors of Military Affairs and Civilian Affairs under Revolutionary Party Secretariat), military leadership does appear moving toward a normal Cabinet structure with mixed military/civilian composition. Indeed, a good part of the present maneuvering appears to relate to apportionment of positions in such a Cabinet.

3. Embassy is continuing to watch situation closely, but after a week of confusion following the Oct 20 coup the only clear development we can discern is that Kriangsak is increasingly likely to seek the Prime Ministership, rather than deal through a civilian Prime Minister, as we believe he was earlier inclined to do.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770398–0122. Confidential. Sent for information to Chiang Mai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London for Holbrooke, Manila, Singapore, Songkhla, Udorn, Vientiane, DIA, and CINCPAC also for POLAD.