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Churchill, America and Vietnam, 1941-45 by T.O. Smith

By T.O. Smith

Installed the broader context of British imperial and diplomatic goals in 1941-1945, the booklet clarifies the significance of Vietnam to Britain's neighborhood pursuits in Southeast Asia; concluding that Churchill used to be prepared to sacrifice French colonial pursuits in Vietnam for his all-important 'special relationship' with the U.S..

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Example text

Eden believed that Welles’ reaction concerning guarantees to the French empire meant that this would not be pursued any further. 31 The Foreign Office feared Chinese opportunism at Britain’s weakness to extend into South and Southeast Asia – regions which had large indigenous Chinese populations. Winant, the American Ambassador to Britain, met with Cranborne to discuss the Anglo-American drafts of the joint colonial declaration. The main difference between the drafts was the American emphasis on the word ‘independence’ for the colonies.

Even Churchill’s wife, Clementine, admitted: ‘I don’t argue with Winston, he shouts me down. So when I have anything important to say I write a note to him’. 44 The Foreign Office continued to monitor the political situation in the United States and in particular American attitudes towards imperialism. The prospect of American elections in the forthcoming year explained for them some of Roosevelt’s more lavish anti-imperial pronouncements. 45 However, the Foreign Office failed to comprehend that despite its often fanciful direction Roosevelt’s abundant anti-imperialism was not merely an electoral whim.

China would be pronounced a Great Power, but not to the same degree as the supreme three. France would assist in the policing of Europe. The world security organisation that Churchill pictured did not exclude an Anglo-American special relationship. Churchill would have been pleased with the reception that his ideas received. Welles and Connally were in complete agreement. S. and England could run the world by themselves’. Churchill knew how to work his audience. He was in his element acting as the charming host, pontificating on great Anglo-American issues.

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