By Nicholas Tarling
This targeted and unique research throws new gentle at the evolution of British coverage in Southeast Asia within the turbulent postwar interval. wide archival examine and insightful research of British coverage display that Southeast Asia was once perceived as a area together with at the same time cooperating new states, instead of a fragmented mass. A better half quantity to Tarling's Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Pacific struggle (CUP, 1996), this booklet is an incredible contribution to the diplomatic and political heritage of Southeast Asia.
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Additional info for Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Cold War, 1945-1950
119 T could not help feeling then, and indeed I still feel', Andrew Gilchrist wrote, 'that the Foreign Office were quite remarkably hoity-toity about Siam, considering how easy they had just found it to make friends with Italy . . I could equally well cite Burma and Aung San . ,'120 It was not merely, or even chiefly, the Foreign Office. At all events, the policy, inadequate as it still was, had finally emerged only in circumstances that demanded its further modification. The Thais were to make the most of them.
Britain could not make unrestricted promises to Pridi 30 PLANS FOR POST-WAR SOUTHEAST ASIA about the future of Siam. But 'it is against our interests to leave the field to the Americans and the Chinese by remaining completely and indefinitely silent about our general attitude towards Siam'. The mission could be assumed to be going to Mountbatten as 'the highest British military authority', and not as SACSEA, but the US should be informed of the instructions sent to him. They should stipulate that as Supreme Allied Commander he should confine himself to military matters; if political issues were raised, he should say he could only report them.
Delivering the note to Bennett, John Allison of the US Embassy explained that he thought that the State Department understood our position fairly well but there was a lot of uninformed opinion in the United States - of the type which asked why the United States should expend a lot of effort in handing back territories like Malaya and Borneo to the British Empire. It helped the State Department in dealing with this sort of opinion to be able to point to definite British statements about their policy in relation to particular territories.
Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Cold War, 1945-1950 by Nicholas Tarling