Pote Sarasin


Pote Sarasin ( th, พจน์ สารสิน, , ; 25 March 1905 – 28 September 2000) was a
Thai Thai or THAI may refer to: * Of or from Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia ** Thai people, the dominant ethnic group of Thailand ** Thai language, a Tai-Kadai language spoken mainly in and around Thailand *** Thai script *** Thai (Unicode block) ...

diplomat and politician from the influential Sarasin family. He served as
foreign minister A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations. Difference in titles In some nations, such as India ...
from 1949 to 1950 and then served as ambassador to the United States. In September 1957 when
Sarit Thanarat Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat (also spelt ''Dhanarajata''; th, สฤษดิ์ ธนะรัชต์, ; 16 June 1908 – 8 December 1963) was a Thai general who staged a coup in 1957, replacing Plaek Phibunsongkhram as Thailand's prime min ...

Sarit Thanarat
seized power in a military coup, he appointed Pote to be the acting prime minister. He resigned in December 1957. Pote also served as the first Secretary General of the
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was an international organization ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. It was ...
from September 1957 until 1963.


Pote Sarasin came from an old family of merchants and landowners. His father Thian Hee Sarasin (Thai: เทียนฮี้ สารสิน) was a doctor and rice dealer. Pote studied law at
Wilbraham AcademyWilbraham Wesleyan Academy was one of the oldest educational institutions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was established by Methodist clergy of New England in 1818. Originally located in Newmarket, New Hampshire, it was intended both for gener ...
in Wilbraham, Massachusetts and Middle Temple in London and was admitted to the English Bar. From 1933 to 1945, he practised as an attorney in Bangkok.


A close friend of the temporarily disempowered prime minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, Phibunsongkhram (Phibun), Pote provided financial aid to the field marshal after his release from prison in 1946. In return Phibun had Pote appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs in 1948. As foreign minister Pote was a wilful opponent of Phibun's attempts to recognise the French-backed Bảo Đại regime of Vietnam, a stance that had the full support of parliament, the press, and much of the government. Pote recognised Bảo Đại's lack of popular appeal and doubted the playboy-emperor's chance of success, and explained to a ''New York Times'' reporter that "if they [the Thais] backed Bảo Đại and he failed, the animosity of the people of the country Vietnam would be turned against the Siamese." In the end Phibun discarded months of Foreign Ministry recommendations and on 28 February issued formal recognition of the royal governments of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Embittered, Pote resigned. It was the only time a Thai foreign minister resigned on a matter of principle. Shortly afterward, he became ambassador to Washington once again. On 21 September 1957, Sarit chose Pote to head the coup-installed government, mainly because the American-educated diplomat had good relations with the Americans. Under him largely free and fair elections were held in December. He resigned from the premiership that same month to resume his post as Secretary General of SEATO.


Pote was a scion of the Sarasin family, one of Bangkok's oldest and wealthiest assimilated Thai Chinese, Chinese families. The Sarasins had always cultivated good relations with the bureaucratic elite of the 19th century, and by the early 1950s held substantial interests in real estate and rice trading. His father, Thian Hee (Chinese language, Chinese: 黄天喜, whose official title was Phraya Sarasinsawamiphakh), was the son of a traditional Chinese doctor and pharmacist who had immigrated from Hainan to Siam in the early 19th century. Pote's sons are Pong Sarasin, Pong, a leading businessman, Police General Pao Sarasin, Pao, who once served as the Chief of the Royal Thai Police, and Arsa Sarasin, Arsa, who, like his father, was also one of the former foreign ministers of Thailand and was serving as the late King Bhumibol's Principal Private Secretary. All three sons–Pong, Arsa and Pao Sarasin had all served as the Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Sarasin, Pote 1905 births Hainanese people 2000 deaths Leaders who took power by coup Prime Ministers of Thailand, Pote Sarasin Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Pote Sarasin Alumni of Bangkok Christian College, Pote Sarasin Members of the Middle Temple Wilbraham & Monson Academy alumni Ambassadors of Thailand to the United States, Pote Sarasin Secretaries General of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization Deputy Prime Ministers of Thailand, Pote Sarasin Thai politicians of Chinese descent, Pote Sarasin People from Bangkok, Pote Sarasin Ministers of Commerce of Thailand, Pote Sarasin Ministers of Finance of Thailand, Pote Sarasin