Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Cold War, by Nicholas Tarling

By Nicholas Tarling

This designated and unique learn throws new mild at the evolution of British coverage in Southeast Asia within the turbulent postwar interval. vast archival examine and insightful research of British coverage show that Southeast Asia used to be perceived as a quarter together with collectively 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 publication is a huge contribution to the diplomatic and political background of Southeast Asia.

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But the agreements did not give the British any administrative role. In the 1890s the Colonial Office, led by C. P. Lucas, began to develop a new approach, particularly after the creation of the FMS. Might not a comparable structure be created out of the Borneo territories? In 1906 a Resident was placed in Brunei, the sultan seeing that as a last-resort means of preserving independence, the CO as a first step towards federation. Sultan Hashim was more successful than the Colonial Office. No federation emerged, nor were British officials placed in Sarawak or North Borneo.

103 Possibly Ruth wanted 'to produce a situation in which he feels that we shall have no alternative but to come to the support of a Resistance Movement with material help and with declarations of the type which he suggests - in this he may be judging shrewdly as we should be under pressure from the United States, both to make a declaration of the type suggested', and to send in military assistance to the possible detriment of other operations. A declaration would be necessary at some stage. But if possible it should not be made before an agreement had been reached with Ruth: 'there are several things to settle up before we welcome Siam as a member of the United Nations or commit ourselves to a declaration which would to all appearances entirely wash out the past and heal the breach with Siam .

The American view, Ballantine thought, 'was that if, starting with some modest acts of recognition of a Free Siamese Movement, amicable relations could be built up with Siam in the post-war period, this would set a pattern for the relations of occidental and oriental states in the future which would be of all-round advantage'. At least, Foulds commented, the State Department did not favour a government-in-exile. 93 Bennett told Allison once more that Britain - against which Siam had declared war and from which it had taken territory - must consider any Siamese approaches 'rather carefully.

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