Britain and Portuguese Timor

1941-1976

By Nicholas Tarling

In Timor's checkered history, many other States have been involved. This book examines the historical role of British relations with Timor, which was not a part of Britain's empire, nor important to their commerce. But, Britain had a long relationship with Portugal, with which, indeed, Timor had its longest relationship. Britain's interest was thus largely indirect with two 'peaks' marked by World War II and the decolonization of Southeast Asia, which are discussed in this book. Additionally, the book concludes with an account of the Indonesian incorporation of the territory. The reporting of British diplomats was still copious and perceptive, but Britain - which had now finally withdrawn from Singapore - adopted only a very limited policy-making role. Though its interest was more indirect than ever, it was, even so, not without implications for the independence that the Timorese finally secured, and that affirmed the rule that post-colonial States were successor States of empire. (Series: Monash Asia Series) *** "Tarling...has written a thorough, well-researched history of Britain's involvement in what is now the independent country of Tmor-Leste, beginning with WW II and continuing through Indonesia's invasion in 1975. The book certainly adds to the small number of studies about Timor-Leste, but its emphasis on British policy, especially as the 1975 invasion approached, finally points out how relatively tangential Britain's wishes and concerns were to events on the ground in Indonesia and Timor-Leste at that time. Recommended." - Choice, Vol. 50, No. 12, August 2013


336 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781921867347