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S. arrival in the Philippines, British officials, like their counterparts in France, sensed that decisions could no longer be put off. Although French demands often exasperated officials in London, most were convinced that the moment had come to demonstrate sympathy for French objectives. Fearful of antagonizing the United States, the British government had not done much to promote French interests during earlier stages of the war. Now some in London understood French restlessness. H. Foulds, a Southeast Asia specialist in the Foreign Office.

Although French demands often exasperated officials in London, most were convinced that the moment had come to demonstrate sympathy for French objectives. Fearful of antagonizing the United States, the British government had not done much to promote French interests during earlier stages of the war. Now some in London understood French restlessness. H. Foulds, a Southeast Asia specialist in the Foreign Office. Among other risks was the alarming possibility that the French would give up on cooperation with Britain in Asia.

Then in summer 1941, as the Japanese military prepared to attack southward toward the Dutch East Indies and Singapore, Tokyo insisted on establishing bases in southern Indochina. 2 In a sense, Catroux’s strategy was successful. In return for French cooperation Tokyo permitted the colonial administration to remain in place at a time when Japanese forces were uprooting Western regimes in Malaya, Singapore, Burma, the Philippines, and the East Indies. Even in its hour of humiliation France nominally remained master of its Southeast Asian empire, a privilege that the colonial administration struggled to protect over the following years.

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