This book is very much a group effort and without the
insights provided by its contributors it would certainly not have come to
fruition. Where authors have wanted to thank individuals for providing
support they have had the opportunity to do so at the end of their chapter.
As the general editor I personally would like to extend my particular thanks
to Ryan Johnson for providing the impetus to start this book and for acting
as a very good sounding board for its ideas. I also thank my colleagues
within the sub-discipline of medical history, many of whom, whether they
know it or not (!), directly helped to further my ideas for this book
through their ever-incisive questioning. In this regard, I would like to
particularly thank Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Pratik Chakrabarti and Jim Mills. My
grateful thanks are extended too to the anonymous reviewer of this
manuscript; they provided fabulously useful and constructive feedback and
this book is very much improved directly because of their astute commentary.
I also want to say a collective thank you to all the staff at MUP who made
the production of this book possible, as well as the numerous librarians and
archivists that assisted me over the past couple of years. I am very proud
that all of the papers presented in this book are the result of fresh
archival research and I genuinely feel that, both collectively and
individually, they offer timely advances in our understanding of colonial
Finally, on a personal note, I thank David Greenwood who,
as well as being my lovely Dad, is surely my shrewdest, yet most supportive,
academic critic. I dedicate this book to him as well as to the entirely
wonderful Sarb and the ever-witty Otto. These exceptional individuals
comprise my precious family and make my life immeasurably richer every day
through their unfailing love and good humour.
The Washington summit was useful to Lyndon B. Johnson mainly because it allowed him to impress upon the British the need for them to retain their traditional 'great power' role and also to allow him to bring the multilateral force (MLF) to a conclusion. Harold Wilson accepted the American view that Britain should preserve its current position in defence, telling the Cabinet on 11 December that 'the most encouraging fact about the conference was America's emphasis on Britain's world wide role'. Johnson not only wanted Wilson to maintain Britain's defence commitments, but to extend them into South Vietnam. After Wilson's visit to Washington, most observers, including the President, anticipated that he would face a serious challenge in explaining what he had agreed to in Washington to the House of Commons in the foreign affairs debate scheduled for 16-17 December.
From January to April 1965 the character of the Harold Wilson-Lyndon B. Johnson relationship traversed the spectrum from discord to cordiality. Discord erupted over the Vietnam War when Wilson telephoned Washington in the early hours of 11 February to suggest to Johnson an urgent visit to the White House. Wilson agreed to the US initiative, even though the visit might have caused a political storm in Britain had it become public knowledge - it would appear that the United States was dictating British economic measures. Wilson noted that unlike the December summit and the telephone conversation in February, Johnson did not make 'any suggestion of our committing troops to Vietnam nor even any reference to police, medical teams, or teams to handle the flow of refugees'. On 10 April, Patrick Dean advised that to help strengthen the Anglo-American relationship, Britain should provide more support for the United States in Vietnam.