Siam's immediate reaction to the signature on Aug. 11, 1863 of the French treaty of protectorate over Cambodia (see article by author in the previous issue of the Quarterly) was formally to protest to Drouyn de Lhuys in Paris and to Admiral de la Grandière in Saigon, but by December it appeared as if she were reconciled to the fait accompli. The strategy of the Phra Klang was no longer to contest the protectorate but rather to diminish its importance. To this end he pretended to accept it as the means by which France sought to guarantee Cambodia in the future in a state of equilibrium between herself and Siam. In a letter to Grandière he said that no one would deny that Cambodia was an independent state. He expressed his regret for having charged the Admiral with intimidating Norodom. The translation of Norodom's letter, said he, had probably been faulty in giving the impression that he had been intimidated. The Phra Klang further acknowledged that France had succeeded to the place of Annam in Cambodia but at the same time reminded Grandière that Siam had exercised the rights of a suzerain in Cambodia over a long period. This prolonged relationship between Siam and Cambodia entitled Siam to be consulted by France before the making of a treaty, and Siam should have been consulted. It was his hope that the Cambodians would not be encouraged by the establishment of the protectorate to deny to Siam her just rights in Cambodia and that France would continue to respect these rights.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.