British Perception IV
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On 17 October 1945, Attlee, the new Prime Minister, summed up Britain’s obligations in South East Asia as ‘disarming the Japanese forces, releasing Allied prisoners of war and internees and helping to restore normal conditions’,1 that is to restitute British, French and Dutch regimes. Originally, in the temporary absence of civilian governments, South East Asia Command (SEAC) had been considered to carry out the responsibilities in the colonies.2 Authority was to pass through the Chiefs-of Staff in London to Admiral Mountbatten in Singapore, and in the region itself the supreme commander, his military commanders and the chief civil-affairs officers were to co-ordinate and carry out Britain’s policies. Developments, however, took a surprising turn, and Japan’s sudden collapse put SEAC in a dilemma. Having neither a plan nor sufficient resources for an immediate and simultaneous occupation of all the Japanese controlled territories, SEAC’s troops reached Saigon and Batavia (later Djakarta) after quite some time.
KeywordsImperial Chemical Industry Loan Agreement China Association British Industry British Trade
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