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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 ebook clarifies the significance of Vietnam to Britain's neighborhood goals in Southeast Asia; concluding that Churchill was once keen to sacrifice French colonial pursuits in Vietnam for his all-important 'special relationship' with the USA.

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By its very nature this policy would have to involve the United States – a potential source of conflict. 54 Churchill returned to the United States and dined at Roosevelt’s family home at Hyde Park on 14 August. 58 The Foreign Office feared that Roosevelt intended to use the Atlantic Charter as the blueprint for governing the post-war world. Even more worryingly it held that this blueprint was not ‘static’ and that Roosevelt intended that it was solely ‘for him to interpret and secure the realisation of this as and when appropriate’.

At this point Roosevelt’s clear thinking was upset by both his and Murphy’s previous pronouncements. Welles reminded the President that the United States had already agreed to the restoration of French territory, but Roosevelt countered that this only applied to North Africa. Welles was adamant that this was not the case. 21 Eden was experienced enough not to be belittled by the Americans and wise enough to avoid jumping into the Roosevelt–Welles divide. 22 Eden knew how to play the American game.

Cranborne believed strongly that such a word could not be included in any declaration. Colonies removed from British protection could fall under the influence of less experienced nations in such affairs – the United States. Winant proposed substituting independence for ‘social and economic development’. 34 Churchill was not content to let Eden direct Britain’s foreign policy towards America or to debate the shape of the post-war world. Churchill insisted that he had to be at the centre of Britain’s relationship with the United States.

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