Parallel and Divergent Aspects of British Rule in the Raj, French Rule in Indochina, Dutch Rule in the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia), and American Rule in the Philippines
by David Steinberg
Home page http://www.houseofdavid.ca/
I dedicate this essay to the memory of my dear friend, co-worker and fellow omnivorous intellect Y. C. Pan (1935-2011).
1.3.1 British Raj
1.3.2 French Indochina
1.3.3 Dutch East Indies
1.3.4 The Philippines
2.1 British Raj
2.2 French Indochina
Box - The Malay Archipelago
2.4 The Philippines
3.1 British Raj
3.2 French Indochina
3.4 The Philippines
4.1 British Raj
4.2 French Indochina
4.4 The Philippines
5.1 British Raj
5.2 French Indochina
5.4 The Philippines
Box - The ‘Colons’ Factor
6.1 British Raj
6.2 French Indochina
6.4 The Philippines
7.1 British Raj
7.2 French Indochina
7.4 The Philippines
8.1 British Raj
8.2 French Indochina
8.4 The Philippines
9.1 British Raj
9.2 French Indochina
9.4 The Philippines
I wrote this essay to better understand the development of the British Raj in India which is my more central concern. In that context, it is useful to consider the other European empires in Asia and the American ruled Philippines. All of these great powers largely shared the common European higher culture of their day as well as being influenced by more particularistic national characteristics concerning the form of, and attitude toward, government, national self-image, economic and military challenges etc.
Like so many people in all times and places, the decision makers, officials and propagandists of the major imperialist nations in Asia (France, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA) tried to rationalize their actions in the context of their values. This was a particularly strong challenge given that all of these countries trumpeted their support for human rights. In addition, all four of the major imperialist nations were fundamentally democratic. The one partial exception was France prior to 1871.
Metcalfe’s statement (below) could apply equally to the Dutch, Americans or French -
“Of necessity, as they sought to come to terms with the existence of their new dominion, the British drew upon a range of ideas that had for a long time shaped their views of themselves and, more generally, of the world outside their island home. As products at once of Britain's own history of overseas expansion and its participation in the larger intellectual currents of Europe, these ideas included settled expectations of how a 'proper' society ought to be organized, and the values, above all those of the right to property and the rule of law, that for the English defined a 'civilized' people. As they extended their conquests to India, the British had always to determine the extent to which that land was a fundamentally different, 'Oriental' society, and to what extent it possessed institutions similar to those of Europe; how far its peoples ought to be transformed in Europe's image, and how they should be expected to live according to the standards of their own culture” Thomas R. Metcalfe, Ideologies of the Raj, (pp. 1-2)
The century from about 1850 until about 1950 saw many technical triumphs, a huge increase in the belief in science and technology as panaceas, a decline of religious belief and, a not unrelated, increase in xenophobic nationalism often buttressed by social Darwinism, scientific racism, racial anti-Semitism and unbridled capitalism embraced and supported by the state.
This racist perspective worked against according oriental subject people equality as human beings. In India this is illustrated by the replacement of the Utilitarian view that Indian cultures, languages, customs were primitive and inferior while Indian people, minus their culture and acculturation were the same as Europeans to the “Orientalist” racially deterministic view that Asian people were by nature different, and in most things inferior, to Europeans.
The Utilitarian view led to the belief that erasing Indian culture and acculturation, and replacing it with a scientific-rational-European total upbringing and education would turn Indians into ideal rational men. When this would be completed, in the words of Lord Macaulay, a leading exponent of the utilitarian point of view, in his historically important Minute on Indian Education (1835) -
Come what may, self-knowledge will lead to self-rule, and that would be the proudest day in British history.
It may be that the public mind of India may expand under our system till it has outgrown that system; that by good government we may educate our subjects into a capacity for better government; that, having become instructed in European knowledge, they may, in some future age, demand European institutions. Whether such a day will ever come I know not. But never will I attempt to avert or retard it. Whenever it comes, it will be the proudest day in English history. To have found a people sunk in the lowest depths of slavery and superstition, to have so ruled them as to have made them desirous and capable of all the privileges of citizens, would indeed be a title to glory all our own.
The Orientalist racially deterministic view led to the belief that educating Indians as Europeans led only to corrupt Indians showing the worst features of both races/civilizations. This approach naturally led to the marginalizing of Eurasians.
1.3 Marginality of Concern with Empire
1.3.1 British Raj
Although India was of great importance to Britain both economically and in maintaining Britain’s position in the world there was little general interest in its welfare. Though the Conservative party passionately embraced the Empire, and the Liberal party considered the Empire to be a heavy moral responsibility, many writers have remarked that the few days Parliament dedicated to debating Indian issues were marked by the very sparse attendance of MPs. There were prominent British politicians, most notably Winston Churchill, who tried to make India a party issue. However, to their credit, some statesman, such as Ramsay MacDonald, William Wedgwood Benn and Stanley Baldwin tried to maintain it as a non-party issue. Unfortunately, this resulted in excessively cautious decision making. This approach resulted in the Government of India Act 1919 and the Government of India Act 1935 both of which were too little and too late to win the cooperation of most nationalist opinion.
In fact, aside from the small number of Britons connected to India by family or service, concern with India was centred in narrow political circles of which the following were the most important:
Ø The Lancashire cotton trade for which India was the most important export customer for its product as well as being a minor supplier of raw cotton. The main concern of this group was to maintain its position in the Indian market, which implied opposing any imposition of import tariffs, and retarding the development of the Indian cotton industry. Their concern for the wellbeing of India and Indians was non-existent;
Ø Government patronage managers who enjoyed the filling of the limited number of lucrative positions particularly that of viceroy and the governorships of the three presidencies (Bengal, Bombay, Madras). The fact that these positions were frequently filled with politically involved aristocrats, often in payment of a political debt, shows a high degree of insouciance of the British political establishment regarding their responsibility for hundreds of millions of Indians. In this connection, one has only to survey the viceroys between Hardinge and Montbatten to get the point –
· Lord Chelmsford (viceroy 1916 to 1921)
India made a massive contribution to the British war effort in World War I. The mishandling of the war effort by British authorities (disaster in Iraq, coerced recruiting for the Indian army, inflation, cutting off of vital imports etc.) led to inflation and wide-spread social distress and potential unrest. In addition, the wartime propaganda about fighting for freedom etc. led to a strong demand for “home rule” after 1915 among the numerically small but rapidly growing and important westernized elite.
Lord Chelmsford was considered unimaginative and not very intelligent. However, he was selected at this time of unprecedented crisis because no first class talent in British politics was willing to leave the center of power in London during the First World War. Among the mediocrities available, he was supposedly selected because he was the only fellow of All Souls at hand in India (see Gopal, Sarvepalli, “ALL SOULS AND INDIA, 1921-47”). In fact, contrary to what might have been expected, like Lord Irwin he turned out to be a strategic thinker and reformer making a major contribution to Indian political development (see Robb 1976).
· Earl of Reading (viceroy 1921 to 1926) - a brilliant jurist sent when what was needed was a dynamic politician capable of restoring rapport between the British and the Indian political classes – i.e. brilliant but the wrong man for the time and place.
· Lord Irwin (viceroy 1926 to 1931) – when sent he had not accomplished much in life and was not known to have any interest in India. He made, from the British point of view, serious blunders which decreased the prestige of the Raj, undercut its Indian supporters, strengthened the Indian nationalist movement and led to a split in the Conservative party in Britain. These were:
Ø He proposed, and then supported, against opposition, the decision to have an all-white constitutional Statutory Commission (Simon Commission). This gave a badly needed issue to unify and revivify the flagging nationalist movement;
Ø He negotiated the Gandhi-Irwin Pact to buy Gandhi’s attendance at the second Round Table Conferences in London and a temporary suspension of the second civil disobedience campaign at the price of treating Gandhi as the leader of India and thus making the Congress Party into a sort of shadow parallel government. This undermined the support for the British Government of India among its most important supporters and made the task of governing India almost impossible.
The goal of British policy was stated in the declaration of August 1917 to be that of providing for the gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral part of the British Empire…. I am authorized on behalf of His Majesty's Government to state clearly that in their judgement it is implicit in the declaration of 1917 that the natural issue of India's constitutional progress, as there contemplated, is the attainment of Dominion Status.
This statement thoroughly upset the Conservative and Liberal parties while it did little to propitiate the nationalists because:
o It did not give any time for the realization of dominion status;
o Dominion status in 1917 meant internal self-government with the UK being in charge of defense and foreign affairs and a theoretical right to disallow colonial legislation. This was similar to the commonwealth status enjoyed by the Philippines 1935-46. Dominion status was redefined in 1926 when the Balfour Declaration, recognized the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire as fully autonomous i.e. virtually independent states. It will be noted that the wording of Irwin’s statement essentially stated that the British government remained committed to giving India the pre-1926 version of dominion status. This was in line with the clear, if undiplomatic, statement of Sir Malcolm Hailey, Home Member to the Government of India, on 8 February 1924 -
The pronouncement of August 1917 spoke of '… the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India '. That is also the term used in the Preamble to the Act … The expression used in the Act is a term of precision, conveying that the Executive in India would be responsible to the Indian Legislature instead of to the British Parliament. If you analyse the term full Dominion Self-Government ', you will see that it is of somewhat wider extent, conveying that not only will the Executive be responsible to the Legislature, but the Legislature will in itself have the full powers which are typical of the modern Dominion. I say there is some difference of substance, because responsible government is not necessarily incompatible with a Legislature with limited or restricted powers. It may be that full Dominion self-government is the logical outcome of responsible government, nay, it may be the inevitable and historical development of responsible government, but it is a further and a final step.
Even so, Conservative opposition prevented any mention of dominion status in the Government of India Act of 1935. In fact, the first statement that Britain was committed to give India dominion status of the post-1926 (Statute of Westminster) variety was made in a minor speech of the Viceroy in 1940. It is worth quoting Rizvi’s text (pp. 148-149) -
The reaction was somewhat different in Britain. Linlithgow's mention of 'Dominion Status of Westminster variety' evoked protests from the diehards who tried to bring pressure on Zetland to dissuade Linlithgow from coming to terms with the Congress, The difficulty, as Morley had complained thirty years before, lay in synchronizing clocks in different hemispheres. 'It was not easy to devise a formula that could pass for self-government in India, and for the British Raj at Westminster.' Sir Henry Page-Croft, a diehard who was to become a parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Churchill Government, declared himself 'astonished' that in order to placate the Congress 'the Viceroy should have gone out of his way to stress that Dominion Status was of the same kind as that provided by the Statute of Westminster'. A few days later he again warned Zetland:
The Viceroy seems to have made a most definite statement which goes far beyond the intention of Parliament, which statement some of us regard as most dangerous and seriously to embarrass Parliament in dealing with any alteration of the constitution should it become necessary, at the end of the war.
· Earl of Willingdon (viceroy 1931 to 1936)
Willingdon had been a very progressive governor of Bombay (1913-18) and Madras (1919-24). He got along well with upper class Indians and had many India friends. He also genuinely wanted the Indians to achieve self-government. Unfortunately he was not very intelligent and time had rather passed him by. Like Van Mook, he believed that no progress could be made in a situation of disorder. In the case of India this required that Congress cease its program of civil disobedience, cease claiming to be the sole spokesman of the Indian people, cease claiming the right to be a parallel government and start behaving as a responsible democratic party, like those in Britain, dedicated to achieving its supporters’ goals through constitutional means. Having been landed by Irwin with a situation of severely weakened morale among government officials and the government’s traditional supporters he used a two pronged approach of encouraging the Home government to make a generous constitutional settlement while trying to re-establish the government’s ability to rule through applying repressive measures aptly called “civil martial law”. Though this was successful it eventually became clear that in the long run, the British had to get the support of Congress as they could not permanently rule through the use of emergency powers.
· Marquess of Linlithgow (viceroy 1936 to 1943)
Linlithgow was really an aristocratic party hack. If not for his birth it is doubtful whether he would have risen higher than the chairmanship of a parliamentary committee or, at most, a second level ministerial post. He was high-minded, cautious, unimaginative, hard working and extremely unempathetic. He lacked the ability to put people at their ease and they generally felt uncomfortable with him.
· Viscount Wavell (viceroy 1943 to 1947)
Wavel was a man of great integrity, a capable if rather unlucky soldier, an intellectual and a poet. It might fairly be said that his personality was polar opposite to those of Irwin and Montbatten. He knew and loved India and wanted to help it achieve independence. He forced Churchill to provide food to the victims of the Bengal famine of 1943 which had been almost ignored by Linlithgow. However, he was no politician and did not like politicians and politics, whether Indian or British. He had did not have any of the social graces required to develop a relationship with the key political figures.
Ø He did not like Wavell and wanted to force his retirement from the army to clear the way for the appointment of Montbatten as Commander in Chief, South-East Asia;
Ø No major political figure was willing to take the post which would amount to political exile. Atlee, Lord Halifax (formerly Lord Irwin) and Eden were considered to be suitable and indeed would have been.
Those whose work and responsibility lay in India were often baffled to understand what possible justification there was for many of the appointments made. When they peered below the surface it was frequently to learn that the last consideration was fitness for the job. "Lord A." was selected because his wife had held a position at Court; "Mr. B." because he was a failure in his political office and it was desirable to get rid of him without friction; "C." because he was a junior Whip or a Parliamentary Private Secretary… This practice prevailed almost to the end.
One of the evening newspapers announced a certain name; it seemed to me so grotesque, knowing the circumstances; I could not believe it possible... To everyone's amazement the official announcement was made two days later, with consequences everyone should have foreseen…. (A)ll blinked their eyes when Sir George Clarke was taken from his desk as Secretary to the Committee of Defence and sent to Bombay. What was the reason? It can be given in his own words. "Haldane had produced his scheme of Army Reform. As Secretary to the Committee of Defence I tore it to pieces in a note, and a precis was sent to each member of the Cabinet. Haldane was told to carry on. After that, of course, there was no place for me in the Committee of Defence and they sent me here."
1.3.2 French Indochina
Historically there was little public or political interest in the empire. Indochina started out as an initiative of the French Navy and was run largely for the benefit of French prestige, French settlers (colons) and French investors in that order. No real, as opposed to rhetorical, interest was taken in the native population though any sign of unrest was brutally suppressed.
It was true that the colonies, African and Asian, had proved valuable to France in the depression: in 1927 France imported 11.4 per cent of its goods and raw materials from the empire and exported 14.7 per cent; by 1936 the figures were 33.6 per cent and 33.1 per cent. Colonial soldiers and factory workers had been important in the First World War, even if their importance had apparently been forgotten by the late 1930s. Despite the National Colonial Exposition of 1922 and the vast International Colonial Exposition at Marseille in 1931, the idea colonial had not, however, become a popular one: the colonies remained a minority interest. For the general public they were `exotic', and colonialist propaganda, evoking that feeling, could not make them less so. The French proletariat, as Ho Chi Minh put it, thought of a colony as 'nothing but a country full of sand below and sun above, with a few green palms and a few brown natives'.
Quoted from Tarling Imperalism in Southeast Asia: a fleeting passing phase p. 272
The degree of public and political interest in the NEI was much higher than in the case of the other imperial powers. This is accounted for by three factors
· The Netherlands’ standing as a middle power was due to that tiny country’s ruling the huge, populous and potentially wealthy NEI;
· Income from the NEI was of great importance to the Netherlands’ economy;
· It was an important source of employment for Netherlands’ university graduates.
1.3.4 The Philippines
There was never much imperialist sentiment in the 19th and early 20th century USA. For that reason the United States defined its colonial mission as one of tutelage, preparing the Philippines for eventual independence.
B. Land and People of the Empires
2. Diversity and Integrity of: the British Raj (Indian Subcontinent); French Ruled Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos); the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia); and the Philippines
2.1 British Raj
India is a subcontinent with variations in geography, language and culture exceeding the parallel variations in Europe. Underlying all these differences is the underlying unity of the Hindu religion and culture. In 1940, the Indian total population 360 million while the UK population in 1941 was 48.2 million.
Two of the most important divisions in the British Raj, compromising in 1937 modern day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were:
· Religion – Overall, about 25% of the population of the Raj was Muslim and about 70% were Hindu. Only in the Northwest (modern day Pakistan) and in the Northeast (modern day Bangladesh) were Muslims a majority.
· The British directly ruled about two-thirds of the area of the Raj (called British India) containing about three-quarters of the population. The remaining area was divided up into almost 600 Princely or Native States. In the words of Hodson -
The Indian States presented a unique problem, and a highly complex one, in the progress to independence. They varied enormously, from principalities the size of France to petty estates unworthy to be ranked as political entities yet neither part of British India nor subordinate to any other government than the Crown itself. Their citizens were not British subjects, but, in international status, ‘British protected persons’. Some of the States were ancient monarchies whose history went many centuries back beyond the advent of European power; some had been former feudatories or satrapies of the Mogul Empire which had asserted their independence of the Delhi throne; others were fragments from the breakup of Mogul dominion after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, or of the more limited empires of the Mahrattas, the Sikhs, or the Muslim overlords of the Deccan and the south; a few were deliberate creations of the British….
Geographically, India was one and indivisible; communications, common economic interests, and close ties of cultural affinity, linked States and provinces. Only two things separated the Indian States from the rest of India, the historical factor that the States had not been annexed by the British, and the political factor that the States maintained the traditional monarchical form of government.
Did these factors, however, really segregate the States from the Provinces and create an impassable political barrier between them? The freedom of the Indian States from foreign subjugation was only relative; the paramount power controlled the external affairs of the States and exercised wide powers in relation to their internal matters. The whole of the country was, therefore, in varying degrees under the sway of the British Government.
% of Total French Indochina
Total French Indochina
Although containing many minority groups all three countries have one predominant ethnic group and have long, if fluctuating histories as states (see: Vietnam; History of Cambodia-Khmer Empire; History of Laos-Lan Xang). This is a major distinction between Indochina, on the one hand, and India, Indonesia and the Philippines, on the other. As regards ethnic groups in Indochina –
Ø "Vietnamese" population (Annamite for the French administration, also known as Kinh ethnic group) always represented more than 80% of the total population of Annam, Cochinchina and Tonkin..”
Ø Cambodia is ethnically homogeneous. More than 90% of its population is of Khmer origin and speaks the Khmer language, the country's official language. The remainder include Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham, Khmer Loeu, and Indians.”
Ø Laos More than 80% of the population are Lao, while most of the remainder belong to various indigenous minorities such as the Hmong and the Yao. There are small Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese minorities.”
“The Malay Archipelago is a vast archipelago located between mainland Southeastern Asia (Indochina) and Australia. Straddling the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this group of some 20 000 islands, the world's largest archipelago by area, constitutes the territories of Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah along with the Federal Territory of Labuan, East Timor, and most of Papua New Guinea. “
Indian cultural and religious influence was felt throughout the region. Indian influence was least profound in the Philippines (see Hinduism in the Philippines; Buddhism in the Philippines; Maradia Lawana) and in the Outer Islands of Indonesia, more important in Malaysia (see Hikayat Seri Rama) and strongest in Java (see: Kakawin Rāmâyaṇa; Kakawin Bhāratayuddha) where Hindu (see: Majapahit Empire; ) and Buddhist (see Srivijaya; Sailendra) kingdoms lasted until the rise of Islam and Bali (Ramakavaca) which remains predominantly Hindu until today. In Java a native spiritual tradition, (Kebatinan or Kejawen) co-exists with Islam.
Subsequently all, except Bali, were converted to Abrahamic religions by foreign missionaries.
In the case of Malaysia and Indonesia Arab traders played a key role. In the case of the Philippines Spanish rule fostered the Catholic faith. However, the Southern Philippines include a significant Muslim population.
However, traces of Hindu influence remain in the Malay language, literature and art, while “[t]he influence of Hinduism and classical India remain defining traits of Indonesian culture; the Indian concept of the god-king still shapes Indonesian concepts of leadership and the use of Sanskrit in courtly literature and adaptations of Indian mythology such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata.” “Islam is Indonesia's dominant religion with approximately 88% of its population identifying as Muslims, making it the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world.” However, Indonesia has major Christian, Hindu and animist minorities.
The peoples of the Malay Archipelago, though similar in language and ethnic origin, developed into many isolated communities due to separation by the sea and, within islands, separation by mountains and jungles. This prevented the rise of a shared sense of national identity.
The boundaries of present day Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines mirror the final boundaries between the British, Dutch and Spanish empires respectively within the Malay Archipelago rather than any distinction of language, culture or ethnicity. The sense of national identity of Indonesians and Filipinos are products of the nationalist movements of the 20th century, in the case of Indonesia, and the late 19th century in the case of the Philippines. The rise of nationalist movements, in turn, was a response to Western rule and Western education which led to acceptance of Western norms including the normative nature of nation states, the right of self-determination for peoples, democracy and human rights.
“Most Indonesians are ethnically Austronesian , particularly in central and western Indonesia, although much of eastern Indonesia is Melanesian. There are, however, around 300 distinct native ethnicities in Indonesia and 742 different languages and dialects.”
Outside New Guinea the languages are of the Malayo-Polynesian group. The national language is Indonesian is a standardized dialect of the Malay language though the most widely spoken language is Javanese.
Indonesia is made up of about 18 thousand islands about 6,000 of which are inhabited (see Geography of Indonesia). Java is by far the most populous island in Indonesia, with approximately 62% of the country's population. With 130 million inhabitants at 940 people per km², it is also the most populous island in the world. If it were a country, it would be the second-most densely-populated country of the world after Bangladesh, except for some very small city-states. Approximately 45% of the population of Indonesia is ethnically Javanese”
At the time of the Second World War, the population of Indonesia was about 72 million as compared to the Dutch population of about 9 million.
The Dutch at times claimed that they wanted to develop a sense of Indies nationality while at other times they claimed that valid political institutions could only be rooted in the many diverse indies’ societies and ethnic groups. This view, strongly propounded by Colijn, led to the conclusion that there never was or could be an Indonesian nation and that Dutch rule and coordination would always be required even if local autonomy were to be granted. This view parallels those of the anti-nationalist Conservative politicians in the UK and the associationists in France. In Colijn’s view the Volksraad should never have been established; it promised a non-viable (autonomous Indonesian nation) future.
In 1940 the population of the Philippines was about 16.4 million as compared to the United States population of 131.7 million for that same year. About two-thirds of the population lived on the island of Luzon which includes the capital Manila.
“About 90% of Filipinos are Christians, where 81% belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and the 9% composed of Protestant denominations…. Approximately 5% of Filipinos are Sunni Muslim. They primarily settled in parts of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.”
C. Origin of the Asian Empires
3.1 British Raj
“The British East India Company … [b]ased in London … presided over the creation of the British Raj. In 1617, the Company was given trade rights by the Mughal Emperor. 100 years later, it was granted a royal dictate from the Emperor exempting the Company from the payment of custom duties in Bengal, giving it a decided commercial advantage in the Indian trade. A decisive victory by Sir Robert Clive at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 established the British East India Company as a military as well as a commercial power. By 1760, the French were driven out of India, with the exception of a few trading posts on the coast, such as Pondicherry.”
“The efforts of the company in administering India emerged as a model for the civil service system in Britain, especially during the 19th century. Deprived of its trade monopoly in 1813, the company wound up as a trading enterprise. In 1858, the Company lost its administrative functions to the British government following the 1857 uprising which began with what the Company's Indian soldiers called the Sepoy Mutiny or Indian Rebellion of 1857. India then became a formal crown colony.”
3.2 French Indochina
“France assumed sovereignty over Annam and Tonkin after the Sino-French War, which lasted from 1884 to 1885. French Indochina was formed in October 1887 from Annam, Tonkin, Cochin China, and the Kingdom of Cambodia; Laos was added after the Franco-Siamese War of 1893. The federation lasted until 1954. The French formally left the local rulers in power, who were the Emperors of Vietnam, Kings of Cambodia, and Kings of Luang Prabang, but in fact gathered all powers in their hands, the local rulers acting only as figureheads.”
“Beginning in 1602 with the founding of the Dutch East India Company, the Dutch took three centuries to establish themselves as rulers of what is now Indonesia, exploiting the fractionalisation of the small kingdoms that had replaced Majapahit…. Although the full extent of the colonial territory was not established until the early twentieth century, it was these boundaries that formed the modern nation of Indonesia that was declared in 1945….
[The of the Dutch East India Company] went bankrupt at the end of the 18th century and after a short British rule under Thomas Stamford Raffles, the Dutch state took over the … possessions in 1816.”
In the wake of the Spanish-American War, “Spain was forced to cede the Philippines to the United States in exchange for 20 million United States dollars with the Treaty of Paris in 1898.” United States forces then bloodily defeated the Filipinos in the Philippine-American War.
“A civilian government was established by the Americans in 1901, with William H. Taft as the first civilian governor of the Philippines. English was declared the official language. Six hundred American teachers were imported aboard the USS Thomas. Also, the Catholic Church was disestablished, and a considerable amount of church land was purchased and redistributed.
Some measures of Filipino self-rule were allowed, however. An elected Filipino legislature was inaugurated in 1907.
When Woodrow Wilson became the American President, in 1913, there was a major change in official American policy concerning the Philippines. While the previous Republican administrations had envisioned the Philippines as a perpetual American colony, the Wilson administration decided to start a process that would gradually lead to Philippine independence. U.S. administration of the Philippines was declared to be temporary and aimed to develop institutions that would permit and encourage the eventual establishment of a free and democratic government. Therefore, U.S. officials concentrated on the creation of such practical supports for democratic government as public education and a sound legal system. The Philippines were granted free trade status, with the U.S.
In 1916, the Philippine Autonomy Act, popularly known as the Jones Law, was passed by the U.S. Congress. The law which served as the new organic act (or constitution) for the Philippines, stated in its preamble that the eventual independence of the Philippines would be American policy, subject to the establishment of a stable government. The law maintained the Governor General of the Philippines, appointed by the President of the United States, but established a bicameral Philippine Legislature to replace the elected Philippine Assembly (lower house) and appointive Philippine Commission (upper house) previously in place. The Filipino House of Representatives would be purely elected, while the new Philippine Senate would have the majority of its members elected by senatorial district with senators representing non-Christian areas appointed by the Governor-General.”
D. Defensibility of the Empires
The British, as dominant naval power, could easily defend its Asian possessions at least until the early 20th century. The Americans as a rising naval power could do likewise. France could not have defended its Asian colonies against Britain but, it was a major European military power which Britain would think twice about offending. Here the situation of the NEI was quite different. The Netherlands could not have defended the NEI against seizure by the British, Americans or French or, after about 1910 by the Japanese. What kept the NEI safe was the benevolent protection of the British navy. The temptation for stronger powers to seize the NEI to gain markets or access to resources was reduced when, in 1870, the Dutch instituted a 'Liberal Policy' opening the markets of the Netherlands East Indies to foreign imports and its resources for exploitation by foreign investors.
E. Benefits from the Empires to the Metropolitan Country – i.e. National Interests Served by the Colonies
4.1 British Raj
British Material Self-interest in India
The material self-interest was economic and strategic. India was a captive market, for long prevented by a system of countervailing excise duties from protecting its cotton-manufacturing industry from the products of Lancashire. Even after the Fiscal Convention of 1920 had thrown out this system, and established that when the Government and Legislature of India, acting for the benefit of India and in response to Indian opinion, were agreed on fiscal policy, the Secretary of State would not exercise his overriding power on behalf of any British interest, it remained true that British control of Indian government conveyed substantial economic advantages. At least it prevented the development of Indian economic policy on autarkic lines which most British people honestly believed to be harmful to India—and which would certainly have been harmful to Britain. Strategically, India became the trunk of a systematic corpus of imperial defence whose limbs stretched from Hong Kong to the Middle East, from East Africa to the northern passes of Burma. Apart from the Indian forces themselves, it was an essential overseas training-ground and cantonment for the British Army. And for this India paid. Such benefits were not lightly yielded to political pressure.
A less tangible but nevertheless very powerful interest was the prestige and authority that Britain gained in world affairs from being master of an immense empire of which India was the heart. Without that empire and the naval power that cemented it she was but a medium-sized European country. With it, she was great among the greatest, boasting a world-wide Pax Britannica. Without India, the subordinate empire would be scarcely more than a string of colonial beads. Pride is less easily sacrificed than even major material interests.
Quoted from Hodson pp. 3-4.
"In the years before 1914 India's imperial commitment meant three things in practice: that India should be retained as a market for British exports. which meant that the Government of India should not impose insurmountable barriers, especially tariffs, to the flow of British merchandise to India; that the Indian army be kept available for the imperial cause; and that the Indian administration should ensure that repayment of interest on guaranteed debt bonds was made smoothly and that adequate revenue and remittance was available for the Home Charges. Isolating the imperial factor in India policy allows us to pin-point the fundamental dichotomy of British rule in India. Each prong of its triple commitment cost the Government of India money…. As an India Office memorandum pointed out in June 1931: If a Federal Government were established in India, the aggregate charges under these three heads (Defence, Service of the Debt, and Salaries and Pensions) would, at a very conservative estimate, absorb three-quarters of the total revenues of the Federation, and a very large proportion of these payments would have to be made in sterling. This fact illustrates vividly the direct interest which the British Government must continue to retain in the financial administration of India, and explains why it is necessary to impose such measures of Parliamentary control as may be sufficient to ensure that these obligations are met. . . There is no escape from the conclusion that so long as the British Government retains obligations which absorb so large a proportion of the total revenues of India, it must retain a direct interest in the financial administration of the country. This by no means implies that financial administration must remain under close or detailed control, but merely that provision must be made to ensure that the financial stability and credit of the country will be maintained, as unless this can be ensured the obligations falling on the British Government could not be met. This, from the purely British point of view, is the primary object of the [financial] safeguards."
In practice British latitude was constrained.
Ø India as a market for British exports – The Fiscal Autonomy Convention of 1922, a bid to win the support of industrial and political India, allowed the Government of India to set protective tariffs even if they hurt UK exports.
Ø Sterling Charges on the Government of India – The British Government ensured that the Rupee was maintained at the high rate of R.1=1s 6d in the face of strong Indian opposition. This required an extremely tight monetary policy at a time of depression. It is clear now, and was clear then, that the interests of the Indian economy were being subordinated to those of the British tax payer who would have had to pick up the tab if the government of India could not meet its Sterling obligations.
Ø British Indian Army - The financial stress on the Government of India put severe limits on the Indian Army. In the period after 1918 military expenditures continued to be the largest item of government expenditure (Sen pp. 152-3). ".. 35.7% of India's national expenditure was devoted to the military... compared to that of Britain itself (16.8%) and Canada (0.6%)". In this context, there was a strong reaction when Imperial planners attempted to use Indian troops to cheaply garrison Britain’s new empire in the Middle East. This led to a struggle between, on the one side, the India Office, the Government of India and Indian political opinion vs., on the other side the Imperial General Staff. In the end, the position of the Indian government was agreed to, i.e. that
“…except in the gravest emergency, the Indian Army should be employed outside the Indian Empire only after consultation with the Governor-General in Council. . . . The …Indian army should not be required permanently to provide large overseas garrisons is supported. Units required for such purposes should be maintained in addition to the establishment laid down for the Indian Army, and the whole cost, direct or indirect, of recruiting and maintaining such units should be borne by His Majesty's Government, or by the dependency or colony requiring their services. This position held for the rest of the decade; the Indian army could still play a limited imperial role, but at London's expense."
“How important was India to Britain in 1929? A third of the British army trained there, still free of cost to the British taxpayer. The Indian army, one of the largest standing armies in the world, was under complete British control, and protected strategically vital Middle Eastern oil and Malayan rubber. Indeed the area it patrolled, from Cairo to Peking, absorbed a third of Britain's overseas trade. India was the biggest customer for Britain's largest export industry, Manchester cotton goods. India accounted for a fifth of British overseas investment. At a more personal level, many Conservative MPs had family connections there via the army or civil service. In the 1929 parliament fully a fifth of the Conservative MPs themselves had served in the colonies, or armed services or both. The Indian empire had played a central part in the Conservative imagination since Disraeli. Although from 1917 British governments had been committed to move by stages towards eventual self-government for India within the empire, the Conservative party, at least, had solid reasons for making the transition safe and slow. They recognised that possession of India was essential if Britain were to remain a first-rate power.”
“What made the retention of the empire important was, above all, the sense of French greatness: losing it would be unpopular, even if it was not a popular endeavour.
‘For us', the Free French leader Charles de Gaulle wrote in May 1942, 'the outcome of the war must be the restoration at one and the same time of the complete territorial integrity of the French Empire, of the heritage of France, and of the total sovereignty of the French nation.’ The measures that the French had taken to hold on to Indo-China had not helped their cause. They had not been able to come to terms with Vietnamese nationalism. Fear, Milton Osborne suggests, 'drove the French to reject any significant liberalization of their rule ... the middle ground of genuine constitutional opposition of the sort which emerged in India was not available. “Had Gandhi tried civil disobedience in Indo-China, Ho Chi Minh observed, he 'would long since have ascended into heaven'.”
Quoted from Tarling Imperalism in Southeast Asia: a fleeting passing phase p. 272 -273
American interests in the Philippines before the war were the following in steeply declining importance:
· As a naval and air base close to Japan which the USA considered a potentially hostile power. The position of the Philippines was such as to potentially block Japanese access to the South Pacific;
· As a “civilizing mission” preparing their “little brown brothers” for independence;
· Commercial benefit. This was quite minor. Although the USA did supply the bulk of imports to the Philippines it might very well have done so in any case. Unlike the case for NEI, FIC, present day Malaysia and India, there were no strong domestic lobbies which supported the maintenance of the Philippines as a dependency of the USA. In fact there were strong lobbies which were keen to see it independent. Two of these were US sugar growers who wanted Philippine sugar excluded from their domestic market and groups calling for the reduction or elimination of Asian immigration which wanted to impose the most restrictive controls on the entry of Filipinos into the USA.
E. Philosophies, Objectives and Realities of Government
5. Philosophies and Objectives
5.1 British Raj
5.2 French Indochina
“The bureaucracy of colonial government was split between proponents of assimilation and advocates of associationism. In other words, divided between those who believed in the acculturation of colonial populations to French republican rights and values and those who favoured a less ambitious style of indirect rule that minimised change in the prevailing social order while denying political inclusion to most colonial subjects. Neither policy was adopted throughout the empire. Nor was either alternative consistently applied in individual colonies. But the interwar period is generally considered to have marked the ascendancy of associationist pragmatism in imperial administration. We should be wary of viewing these doctrinal arguments too rigidly. As Alice Conklin has argued, French imperial practice in the late Third Republic was the product of several paradoxes. These, in turn, arose from the nuances in colonial administrative and judicial methods born of adaptation to local conditions. A republican democracy withheld basic rights and freedoms from its overseas subjects, amplifying the exclusion of French women from the metropolitan electoral process by insisting that colonial peoples of both sexes were generally incapable of making informed political choices. A republican state founded on hostility to hereditary privilege relied on tribal chiefs and colonial monarchs to maintain order in vast swathes of the empire. Anticlerical republicans committed to secular education defended France's continued reliance on missionary educators in rudimentary colonial school systems. French liberals attached to individual freedom and equal access to justice accepted the use of forced labour and a separate legal code - the indigënat - for the vast majority of colonial subjects. These contradictions were the stuff of argument between supporters of associationism and their opponents. Yet, for all that, this political community of republican imperialists concurred that French colonialism could be a constructive force for progress.” Thomas p. 6
In principle Dutch rule in the Indies aimed at developing the population’s ability to govern itself with the aim of developing the Indies as a more equal, and autonomous, partner of the European Netherlands within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
In practice, the government, proclaimed the need for an educated electorate before any concession of Dutch power could be permitted while starving the education system of funds thus ensuring that any transition of power would be over centuries rather than years or even decades. The Dutch government closely controlled the Indies through the government-appointed Governor-General who in turn controlled the country through a highly trained, overwhelmingly Dutch elite civil service. They ran a highly centralized, autocratic police state.
5.4 The Philippines
6. Nature of Rule in Reality
A. The ‘Colons’ Factor
Ideally, one might hope that Europeans resident in colonies, in daily contact with at least some elements of the native population, would be more understanding of the realities and aspirations of the colonized. However, in general, European residents (‘colons’ in French) tended to be the most resistant to the growth of indigenous capacities for development and the according of rights to native peoples.
The influence of European residents was most extreme and unremittingly negative in the French empire; seriously negative in the NEI, especially after the communist rebellion of 1926; occasionally negative and important in the Raj, mainly before 1930; and, of little account in the Philippines.
B. Dealing with Nationalists
The Americans closely allied themselves with wealthy nationalists in the Philippines.
The British repeatedly attempted to split the nationalists to encourage the formation of a large, powerful, stable and politically legitimate nationalist party willing to rule India under British approved rules in partnership with the British. If successful, this would have isolated radical nationalists opposed to constitutional methods and maintaining the British link. The radicals would either have to join the moderates or become an isolated fringe. The British were never able to get this strategy to work.
The French denied the legitimacy of nationalism in their colonies and would not talk to the nationalists.
The Dutch government mainly saw nationalism as a police rather than a political matter. They would not allow officials to talk to nationalists. They took the view that:
· The native population was uninterested in politics; the nationalists being a tiny, westernized, self-serving clique;
· The radical nationalists were unprepared to cooperate even had the Dutch been interested in such cooperation;
· The moderate nationalists, who were very interested in cooperating with the Dutch, were of little interest or importance.
6.1 British Raj
Pillar of British Rule
Acquiescence of the vast majority of Indians
Gandhi/INC non-cooperation movements from 1919
Active partnership and support of key groups such as the land owners, the princes and the moneyed and martial classes
British policy on exchange rates and tariffs gained Congress the support of many Indian industrialists while the non-cooperation movement of Gandhi/INC attracted support of some of the land-owning and money-lending groups.
British in depth knowledge of the grass roots reality vital to maintaining control
Indian provincial ministers (from 1922), provincial autonomy (from 1937), Indian district officers (gradually from about 1920), urbanization (the British always understood and controlled rural areas better than cities).
British dominance of modern economic sectors.
Indian capitalists took over control of most of the modern sector during the 1930s.
British dominance of modern (Western) scientific, technical and administrative skills
In the early days of British rule the only scientifically trained personnel were British physicians who consequently undertook some interesting tasks. These were joined by military and then civilian railway and civil engineers. The British soon set up medical and engineering colleges in India and encouraged the growth of English education. These, together with the experience gained by Indians in the British administration of India, and in the legal profession, and self-education by Indians literate in English, created a cadre of Indians with the skills needed to develop India on modern lines.
Support of the small, but important and rapidly growing English-educated urban classes
British racist behaviour, social contempt, denial of access to the ICS etc. had alienated much of this group before WW I. This group provided much of the leadership for the INC
Monopoly of key policy and administrative positions by the almost exclusively British Indian Civil Service which usually numbered about 1000.
Intake into Indian Civil Service was half British half-Indian from the early 1920s.
Monopoly of key police positions
Gradual Indianization from the early 1920s.
Exclusively British officered Indian Army.
Slow program of accepting Indian commissioned officers from 1918.
British military units stationed in India and paid for by the Indian tax-payer.
Prestige of these forces severely dented by British incompetence in the defence of Malaya, Singapore. and Burma. Burma had been part of the Raj until 1937. An empire that cannot defend its territories looses much of its legitimacy.
British control of the seas around India.
The British fleet would have been hard put to defend India in the context of a simultaneous war against Japan and Germany even before World War I but its total inability to do so in World War II was demonstrated to the world by the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse on 10 December 1941, and the capture of Singapore naval base by a numerically much inferior Japanese force.
British rule was highly bureaucratized and generally locked into the British concept of rule of law. Censorship was generally mild and, even then, tended to be limited to the vernacular press.
6.2 French Indochina
French administration tended to be disorganized, confused (different government departments involved), highly repressive (see eg. Foster) and as economically exploitative as could be managed. A general feeling, among the French, in France and in the colonies, was that any native who did not see French rule as an invaluable gift must be either ignorant or miscreant against whom severe measures were justified.
6.3 Dutch East Indies
When involved in colonial wars within Indonesia the Dutch practiced the same level of brutality as the Americans did in the Philippine-American War; the British in the Indian Mutiny; and, the French whenever their military was called in. After pacification, the Dutch ran a highly organized, tightly administered, generally humane (unless you were a “coolie” labourer on starvation wages) regime which concentrated on extracting maximum benefit for the Netherlands out of their Indonesian milch cow.
6.4 The Philippines
The USA allied itself with the upper class landowners working with them to establish the Philippines as a modern independent state by 1946. (See 3.4 above).
7.1 British Raj
The Raj, like the British and French empires, seemed at its height at the victorious conclusion of the First World War in November 1918. However, as was the case for Britain and France, the war had led to economic and psychological exhaustion. Factors included: the cost to India of participation in WW I and its inflationary impact; the unwise enactment of the Rowlatt Acts; the related Punjab disturbances climaxing in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre; the impact of the Spanish Flu; economic instability in the 1920s; and, pressure for home rule from 1916, the Non-cooperation Movement of the early 1920s and 1930s.
In these difficult conditions the British enacted two major democratizing reforms leading ultimately to Indian independence – the Government of India Act 1919 (enacting the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms) and the Government of India Act 1935. The latter was preceded by the Simon Commission and the Indian Constitutional Round Table Conferences, London 1931-1933.
7.2 French Indochina
The Popular Front government tried to effect a minor reform of colonial policy in 1936 which was, however, defeated by the bureaucracy and colons.
The Dutch established a powerless and racially unrepresentative local parliament (the Volksraad) in a 1916 reform. This met for the first time in 1918. In the closing days of World War I, in the context of fears of a possible Communist takeover of the Netherlands, the Governor General, without authorization from the Netherlands, promised the Volksraad real power and Indies autonomy. Once the panic had passed right wing governments ruled in the Netherlands.
The only major outcome of the promise was the launching of a committee to investigate needed reforms. This recommended autonomy for the Indies. The report was forwarded to the Netherlands which was involved in revising the national constitution. The recommendations for autonomy were rejected. The revised constitution reclassified the status of the Indies, Curaçao and Surinam as parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands rather than as colonies. This enabled the Dutch to claim that anyone advocating Indonesian independence was committing sedition.
In the late 1930s the Dutch rejected with contempt, using spurious logic, the Soetardjo Petition in which the Volksraad requested the reorganization of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Far too late, and from a position of weakness, the Governor-General announced, on June 16, 1941, that revisions to the constitution would be considered right after liberation. The holding of a round table conference aimed at the development of a reformed empire with full Indonesian internal autonomy was promised in the radio address by Queen Wilhelmina on 7 December 1942.
7.4 The Philippines
F. Second World War and Decolonization
8. Second World War
8.1 British Raj
The Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, declared India to be at war with Germany without consulting Indian political leaders or the Central Legislative Assembly. Although constitutionally this was acceptable it was politically insensitive. The Congress ministries in the Hindu majority provinces were ordered to resign by the Congress High Command and did so. The key Muslim majority provinces, Bengal and Punjab, continued to be governed by Muslim political leaders. British bureaucrats, for the duration of the war, governed the Hindu majority provinces more absolutely than they had at any time in the previous half century. The Viceroy, governors and Indian Civil Service ensured maximal war production and, overall, a huge Indian war effort.
The British government made two initiatives to gain an interim political settlement and the restoration of political rule in the Hindu majority provinces –
On 8th August the Viceroy issued a statement which became known as the August Offer. Lord Linlithgow declared:
It is clear that earlier differences which had prevented the achievement of national unity remained unbridged. Deeply as His Majesty's Government regret this, they do not feel that they should any longer, because of those differences, postpone the expansion of the Governor General's Council, and the establishment of a body which will more closely associate Indian public opinion with the conduct of the war by the Central Government. . . .
… There is still in certain quarters doubt as to the intentions of Majesty's Government for the constitutional future of India, and … as to whether the position of minorities, whether political or religious, is sufficiently safeguarded. . . .
. . It has already been made clear that my declaration of last October does not exclude examination of any part either of the Act of 1935 or of the policy and plans on which it is based. His Majesty's Government's concern that full weight should be given to the views of minorities in any revision has also been brought out …
… They could not contemplate transfer of their present responsibilities for the peace and welfare of India to any system of government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in India's national life. Nor could they be parties to the coercion of such elements into submission to such a Government.
. . . There has been very strong insistence that the framing of the new constitutional scheme should be primarily the responsibility of Indians themselves. . . . His Majesty's Government are in sympathy with that desire and wish to see it given the fullest practical expression, subject to the due fulfilment of the obligations which Great Britain's long connection with India has imposed on her and for which His Majesty's Government cannot divest themselves of responsibility. It is clear that a moment when the Commonwealth is engaged in a struggle for existence is not one in which fundamental constitutional issues can be decisively resolved. But His Majesty's Government authorise me to declare that they will most readily assent to the setting up after the conclusion of the war with the least possible delay of a body representative of the principal elements in India's national life in order to devise the framework of the new Constitution, and they will lend every aid in their power to hasten decisions on all relevant matters to the utmost degree. Meanwhile they will welcome and promote in any way possible every sincere and practical step that may be taken by representative Indians themselves to reach a basis of friendly agreement, first upon the form Which the post-war representative body should take and the methods by which it should arrive at its conclusions, and, secondly, upon the principles and outlines of the Constitution itself. . . .
Whatever might be said of the substance of this declaration, its structure and terminology were such as to make it as unattractive as possible in India.
Churchill, who opposed India’s desire for independence, probably had little interest in actually making a settlement as opposed to appearing reasonable to the Americans. However, there was probably little prospect of any settlement because of the demands of each of the key parties –
Ø The British were impressed with India’s war effort under Linlithgow’s leadership and were determined to maintain complete control of the Indian war effort, and the Indian Army for the duration of the war;
Ø The INC demanded immediate independence and majority rule though they would probably have settled for a very large slice of power immediately including a large measure of control over the Indian war effort. There was a strong element in the Congress leadership which wanted to make a separate peace with Japan;
Ø Organized Muslim opinion demanded that any transfer of power into Indian hands include a Muslim veto and Muslim equality in the central government even though Muslims were only 25 percent of the Indian population.
Concessions to Self-Rule by the British Government
What Was Ceded
Eventual responsible government for British India. Pace and form to be decided by British Parliament
“Dominion Status” announcement - 1929
Dyarchy in provinces
Provincial autonomy and proposed central federal structure for all of India. It gave the princes a veto on whether the central federal government would come into existence. The princes refused to accede and the federal part of the act never came into force.
For the first time it was formally conceded that the British Government's object was to grant India the 'full Dominion Status . . . of the Statute of Westminster variety' and that the British government would do its best to 'reduce to the minimum the interval between the existing state of things and the achievement of Dominion Status'.
This was significant since previously HMG had refused to reconsider the federal portion of the Act even though it had been rejected by almost all Indian political opinion.
“August Offer” of August 1940
Essentially replaced the veto of the princes on the adoption of responsible central government by a veto placed in the hands of the Muslim minority.
" … (HMG) could not contemplate transfer of their present responsibilities for the peace and welfare of India to any system of government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in India's national life. Nor could they be parties to the coercion of such elements into submission to such a Government."
Cripps Offer 1942
This in effect conceded India's right to write its own constitution for independence right after the war. It removed the princely and Muslim vetoes by giving provinces and princely states the right to opt out of the independent Indian union. This was a big step in making Pakistan a reality.
8.2 French Indochina
The Vichy French ruled Indochina 1940-45 under Japanese control. On 9 March 1945 the Japanese carried out an armed takeover killing, imprisoning or driving out the Vichy garrisons. They then “encouraged” the monarchs of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to declare their “independence” as allies of Japan. At the end of the war, Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh dominated Democratic Republic of Vietnam claimed sovereignty over all of Vietnam. In fact, it effectively controlled the north but had a weak hold on the south. The British occupying force in southern Vietnam restored French rule in that region.
Negotiations between the French and the Viet Minh, during which the French were willing to offer very limited autonomy, eventually broke down after a series of rogue initiatives by aggressive local French commanders. This led to France’s ultimate defeat in the French Indochina War.
8.3 Dutch East Indies
Out of view of the population, the Dutch air and naval forces resisted the Japanese. However, in plain view, the NEI government surrendered to the Japanese invasion forces without a land battle. This undoubtedly save many civilian lives but it shattered any respect the Indonesians may have had for Dutch military prowess. This had major long-term effects.
When the British arrived in Batavia (Jakarta) in mid-September 1945 to accept the Japanese surrender and release prisoners of war and civilian detainees, they found Java more or less controlled by the self-declared Republic of Indonesia. (For details see Drooglever, Dennis, Anderson, Reid, van der Post and other sources in the bibliography)
Key Official Netherlands Government Statement and Agreements on the Future of Indonesia
- the Linggadjati Agreement
8.4 The Philippines
Autopsies of empire, particularly by British writers for whom the subject is of great forensic interest, tend to focus on the shared experience of colonies scattered throughout the world. In that the entire British empire was wiped out in the space of a few decades, they understandably look for tell-tale lesions common to British colonial rule worldwide. Perhaps, for instance, the British electorate, enamoured of social spending at home, had come to recognise empire as an imposition, the pax Britannica as a 'tax Britannica'. Perhaps the failings of Britain's class-ridden society with its elitist educational system had finally betrayed the empire by precluding the innovative compromises that twentieth-century dominion demanded. Or perhaps reliance on the now largely obsolete concept of naval power had fatally reduced imperial clout.
These and many other causes for the demise of the British empire make good sense. But it was not only the British empire that succumbed in the space of a few decades. So did all the West's other colonial enterprises. There may, therefore, be some merit in dissecting not a particular empire but a particular arena of empire. Comparing the cadavers of British, Dutch, French and American empire in the Far East may focus attention on contributory causes of a regional nature and may reveal failures in the very concept of empire.
If there was one major surprise about decolonisation in the East it was the speed with which it came about. In the 1930s, although few expected empire to last indefinitely, a couple more generations still looked a safe bet. As late as 1950, with India, the Philippines and Indonesia already independent, Europeans and Asians in Malaya, Singapore, Vietnam and Borneo were still thinking in terms of decades rather than months. Decades, in the case of Hong Kong, would prove right; but for the rest it was as if some unforeseen force had taken over, depressing the accelerator of history and scattering empire to the winds.
The force in question seems to have been that cliche of the period, the 'revolution in communications'. Impossible to quantify and difficult to incorporate into a historical narrative, the twentieth century's catalogue of advances in long-distance transport, mass media and instantaneous communication would make the structures of formal empire look antiquated and superfluous. This applied, of course, throughout the world; but in the East the impact was particularly dramatic, partly because of the war and partly because of existing traditions of travel, trade and migration around the west Pacific rim.
The war brought to the East the whole paraphernalia of a modern communications infrastructure, something which to this day some parts of the once colonial world lack (notably most of sub-Saharan Africa). Malayan and Javanese villages received their first radio sets courtesy of Tokyo's propaganda effort. Airstrips were built, under both Allied and Japanese direction, in places which even now scarcely justify an air service. Roads and rail tracks, like the notorious `death railways' of Sumatra and Siam, were carved through the jungle. Wharves, dockyards and ferries opened up whole archipelagoes in the Philippines.
And then came American matériel. Vehicles, ships and planes, radios, telephones and radar flooded the East courtesy of the US war effort and then continued coming under a variety of aid and reconstruction programmes. Whole airlines sprang into existence using superfluous US army transports and whole automotive industries were jump-started by the maintenance requirements of US army vehicles. Later a country like Laos, though still awaiting a television service, would find itself inundated with television receivers. South Vietnam's airports would briefly become the busiest in the world.
The ease of contact, and the ability to exert long-range influence which resulted, might have been superfluous elsewhere. Not so in the Far East. To the peoples of the west Pacific rim, the island-girt Java and South China Seas have always formed an integrated trading basin, like the Mediterranean, criss-crossed by routes of migration and exchange. Vietnamese, Malay, Bugis, Chinese, Indian and Arab navigators have travelled and traded within and beyond the region since 2000 BC….
Under colonial auspices new products and new markets brought a dramatic increase not only in the region's external trade but also in its internal trade. American emphasis on the 'Open Door' in China, British obsessions with free trade and free ports, and the inability of the Dutch to withhold free access to their island world in the Indies encouraged a highly competitive and uniquely open trading climate. Migration also boomed, especially of Chinese and Javanese labourers to the plantation economies of Malaya and Sumatra. The Chinese commercial networks which dominate the region today were as much a product of empire as the great European- and American-owned `hongs' of the China coast.
Ascribing the Far East's late twentieth-century economic 'miracle' to the liberation of its peoples from the tentacles of empire may, therefore, be simplistic. There seems to be a continuum in the history of the East to which, albeit for its own purposes, empire substantially contributed. In this sense the white men did 'come and go leaving all things as they were'.
9.1 British Raj
9.2 French Indochina
A very good outline of post-war developments in French Indochina is contained in Tarling 2001 (pp. 272-279).
Hubertus Johannes van Mook (1895–1965) was of Dutch parentage, born in the NEI. He was a member of the elite Indies civil service (BB) which ran the NEI with almost military rigor. From his student days during the first World War he believed that the NEI should be developed into a quasi-independent country whose natural rulers would be the permanently resident Dutch, the Indo-Europeans and the tiny class of educated natives.
When, van Mook took up his career in the BB he found a country deeply disturbed by war time pressures ruled by a Netherlands whose government was becoming more right wing and controlling. Van Mook fought against the economic exploitation of the NEI and for his view of the future. To this end he was a founder of the Stuw group. When appointed to the Volksraad, he used it as a platform for his views.
During World War II, he was Minister of the Colonies in the Netherlans government in exile in London and later Lieutenant Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies based in Australia.
In September 1945 he became the top Dutch official in the NEI and may have been one of the few key Dutch decision makers to really work for Indonesian independence. However, he believed that independence could, and should, come only after the Dutch had first restored their rule, stamped our disorder and followed all the forms and stages so dear to the legalistic Dutch approach. The refusal, and probably the inability, of the leadership of the self-proclaimed Republic of Indonesia, to play by his rules led to his practical actions and recommendations converging with those of the Dutch politicians, military leaders, colonials, investors etc. whose aim was the reestablishment of colonial rule perhaps with cosmetic changes. The bulk of the Netherlands political leadership embraced this position because:
· They were convinced that the Netherlands could not recover economically without the resources of the NEI;
· They considered that the Netherlands without the NEI would be a powerless and ignored tiny power in Europe whereas with the NEI they would be a significant economic and political force; and,
· Their legalistic mindset was highly offended by the “illegal” Indonesian declaration of independence and its “unconstitutionality” in terms of the Netherlands constitution of 1922 which was formulated without any input from the Indonesian people and against the recommendations of the Dutch NEI government’s reform recommendations.
To Van Mook the full, though transitional restoration of Dutch rule was an essential precondition for the restoration. He simply closed his eyes to the fact that the Republic had maintained order over much of its territory while Dutch settlers and Dutch and Dutch-led soldiers caused much of the chaos and actively provoked violence.
When blocked by Dutch military weakness and British authority from restoring Dutch rule in Java where the population was overwhelmingly anti-Dutch. Van Mook set up Dutch-supported puppet governments first outside Java and after the first police action (anti-Republic military offensive) on Java itself.
9.4 The Philippines
Comparative Summary of Aspects of Colonial Rule
Conscious preparation for Independence
The French denied the possibility of independence at any time.
Economic Benefit of Colony to Metropolis
Tiny elite only
Tiny elite only
Indigenous Access to Top Admin. Posts
Slow indianisation from 1919
Limited number of Indonesian officers
Divide and Rule
Yes but only serious during WWII
Major aspect for maintaining rule
Major aspect for maintaining rule
Major constraint to good race relations, advancement of indigenous personnel and eventually to decolonization.
Major constraint to good race relations, advancement of indigenous personnel and eventually to decolonization.
Origin and Nature
Military and Civil Governance
Origin and Impact
Civilian government controls the military
Linear continuation of the British Indian Army which was ethnically and religiously mixed and always stayed out of politics and was loyally subordinate to the civilian authorities. From 1918 Indians became commissioned officers embued with the British military ethos.
The British Indian Army served victoriously against Germany (North Africa, Italy) and Japan (Burma).
Communist Party controls the military
Viet Minh, a communist dominated guerrilla army,
Military dominates civilian government
Although there were some Indonesian officers in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger; KNIL), which fought against the Republic in the Indonesian National Revolution, the basis of Indonesian military culture was in the ideology of Japanese militarism inculcated into the young officers of the Japanese sponsored Indonesian army (PETA). The PETA became the army of the Republic and fought the Dutch 1945-49. In this they were greatly aided by sympathetic Japanese officers handing over about half the Japanese weaponry in Java contrary to the terms of surrender.
Civilian government controls the military
Copy/adaptation of American military ethos.
1. Elections, cabinet system, legislatures etc. adapted from British Parliamentary practice
2. Federal constitutional system similar to that in the USA adapted from Government of India Act, 1935
Communist party control
1. New Order 1966-98
Attempt to replicate the American system.
Abeyasekere, Susan, One hand clapping: Indonesian nationalists and the Dutch, 1939-1942, Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University, 1976
Alatas, Seyd Hussein, The Myth of the Lazy Native: A Study of the Image of the Malays, Filipinos and Javanese from the 16th to the 20th Century and Its Function in the Ideology of Colonial Capitalism, Routledge, 1977, ISBN-10: 0714630500
Allen, Louis. Fujiwara and Suzuki: patterns of Asian liberation. in Newell, William H., ed. Japan in Asia. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1981. Discusses the part played by Major Iwaichi Fujiwara and Captain Mohan Singh in the development of the Indian National Army in Malaya. Pp. 83-102.
Anderson, Benedict R. O'G. (Benedict Richard O'Gorman. Java in a time of revolution; occupation and resistance, 1944-1946. Ithaca, Cornell University Press 
Note – review by J. A. C. Mackie in the American Political Science Review vol. 70 no. 4 pp. 1320-1321.
- Some Aspects of Indonesian Politics under the Japanese Occupation: 1944-1945. Ithaca, Cornell University Indonesia Project, Interim Report Series 196, 1961
Andrew, C. M., '”The French Colonialist Movement during the Third Republic: The Unofficial Mind of Imperialism”, TRHS 26 (1976).
Andrew, C. M.and Kanya-Forstner, A., “French Business and the French Colonialists”, HJ 19 (1976), 981-1000.
Antlöv, Hans and Stein TØnnesson, eds., Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, London: Curzon Press (1995) 34-62. Note bibliography.
August, Thomas G., The Selling of the Empire: British and French Imperialist Propaganda, 1890-1940 (Contributions in Comparative Colonial Studies), Greenwood Press, 1985, ISBN-10: 0313247226; ISBN-13: 978-0313247224
Bennett, Frank C., Jr., The Return of the Exiles: Australia's Repatriation of the Indonesians, 1945-47 (Monash Papers on Southeast Asia,), Monash Asia Institute (2002), ISBN-10: 187692411X; ISBN-13: 978-1876924119
Boot, Max, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power, Basic Books; Reprint edition (2003)
Broek, Jan O. M., Economic Development of the Netherlands Indies, Institute of Pacific Relations, New York, 1942.
Chowdhry, Carol. Dusk of Empire: Roosevelt and Asian Colonialism, 1941-1945. U. of Virginia 1973.
Cribb, Robert, Gangsters and Revolutionaries: The Jakarta People’s Militia and the Indonesian Revolution 1945-1949, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1991.
De Jong, L., The Collapse of a Colonial Society: The Dutch in Indonesia During the Second World War (Verhandelingen Van Het Koninklijk Instituut Voor Taal-, Land), Kitlv Press (April 2003), ISBN-10: 9067182036; ISBN-13: 978-9067182034
Dennis, Peter. Troubled days of peace: Mountbatten and South East Asia Command, 1945-46. Manchester University Press, 1987. (Extensive references to published and unpublished sources)
Djajadiningrat, Idrus Nasir, The beginnings of the Indonesian-Dutch negotiations and the Hoge Veluwe talks (Cornell University. Modern Indonesia Project. Monograph series), Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Dept. of Far Eastern Studies, Cornell University (1958), ASIN: B0007EG4B8 . (Extensive references to unpublished sources and bibliography)
Djajadiningrat, Raden Lukman, Educational Development in the Netherlands East Indies, National Council for the Netherlands and the Netherlands East Indies of the Institute of Pacific Relations, 1942.
Doom, J. van, A Divided Society: Segmentation and Mediation in Late Colonial Indonesia, Comparative Asian Studies Programme, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1983.
Fieldhouse, D. K. (David Kenneth). The colonial empires; a comparative survey from the eighteenth century, Delacorte Press, 1967.
Frederick, William H., Visions and Heat: The Making of the Indonesian Revolution, Ohio University Press, Athens OH, 1989.
Friend, Theodore, The Blue-Eyed Enemy: Japan Against the West in Java and Luzon, 1942-1945, Princeton University Press, 1988.
Fujiwara, Iwaichi, F. Kikan: Japanese Army Intelligence Operations in Southeast Asia During World War II, Heinemann (1983), ISBN-10: 9622250726; ISBN-13: 978-9622250727
Furnivall, J. S. (John Sydenham). Netherlands India. London, Cambridge U. P., 1939.
George, M. L., Australia and the Indonesian Revolution, Melbourne University Press, 1980.
Hahn, Emily. The Islands, America's imperial adventure in the Philippines. New York, N.Y. : Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, c1981 ISBN: 0698110978
Hammer, Ellen J. (Ellen Joy), The struggle for Indochina, 1940-1955. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, [1966, c1955]
Hyma, Albert, A history of the Dutch in the Far East. Ann Arbor, Mich. G. Wahr 1953
Ingleson, John. Title Road to exile : the Indonesian nationalist movement, 1927-1934, Singapore : Published for the Asian Studies Association of Australia by Heinemann Educational Books (Asia), 1979.
Jong, Louis de,The collapse of a colonial society : the Dutch in Indonesia during the Second World War, [translated by, Jennifer Kilian, Cornelia Kist and John Rudge]. Leiden : KITLV Press, 2002.
"This the first book to offer a thorough English-language study on the vicissitudes of the Dutch and Dutch Eurasians during the Japanese occupation of the East Indies." "Dutch historian Louis de Jong's extensive study Het Koninkrjik der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (1969-1988), whose 13 parts were published in 27 volumes and together add up to almost 15,000 pages, is considered to be the standard work on the history of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Second World War. The present book, a translation of chapters 5 through 10 of Part 11b - one of the five volumes on the East Indies - makes a section of De Jong's magnum opus available to English readers. It presents an impressive account of the experiences of the Dutch civilians and prisoners of war under the Japanese occupation. An extensive introduction by Jeroen Kemperman sketches the course of events from the arrival of the Dutch in the Indonesian archipelago to the capitulation of the Dutch East Indies in March 1942." "De Jong did not aim his work exclusively at historians, but made a conscious effort to reach a broader audience. His text is thus lively and easy to read. As a starting point for all future research on the Netherlands during the Second World War, De Jong's study continues to be of inestimable value."- BOOK JACKET.
Karnow, Stanley. In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines, Random House 1989.
Keay, John. Empire's end : a history of the Far East from high colonialism to Hong Kong. New York : Scribner, c1997. ISBN: 0684815923 (Extensive Bibliography)
Klaveren, Jacob Van. Dutch colonial system in the East Indies. Gravenhage, Nijhoff, 1953. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms., 1972. ASIN: B0007IX77S
Kramer, Paul A., The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines, The University of North Carolina Press (2006) Lancaster, Donald. The emancipation of French Indochina. London, New York, Oxford University Press, 1961.
Lancaster, Donald. The emancipation of French Indochina.London, New York, Oxford University Press, 1961.
Lebra, Joyce C., Japanese-Trained Armies in Southeast Asia, New York: Columbia University Press, 1977
Louis, William Roger. Imperialism at bay 1941-1945: the United States and the decolonization of the British Empire. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977.
- Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization, I. B. Tauris,
Low, D. A., “Counterpart experiences: India/Indonesia 1920s-1950s” in Eclipse of Empire (pp. 120-147), Cambridge Univ (1990), ASIN: B000GREPWQ
Note – book review by Metcalf in Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 51, no. 1, Feb. 1992 pp. 128-129.
- Britain and Indian Nationalism, 1929-1942: imprint of ambiguity, Cambridge University Press, 1997 (the Introduction contains the relevant material).
Marshall, D. Bruce. The French colonial myth and constitution-making in the Fourth Republic, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973
Mehden, Fred R. von der. South-East Asia 1930-1970; the legacy of colonialism and nationalism. London. Thames and Hudson, 1974
Meulen, D. van der, Don’t You Hear the Thunder: A Dutchman’s Life Story, Brill, Leiden, 1981
Miller, Stuart Creighton, Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903, Yale University Press; Reprint edition (1984)
Mook, Hubertus J. van, The stakes of democracy in South-East Asia, Allen and Unwin (1950), ASIN: B0006DB0F0
Nish, I ed. The Indonesian Experience, The role of Japan and Britain, London School of Economics, 1979.
Pender, Chr. L. M. (ed. and translator) Indonesia: Selected documents on colonialism and nationalism, 1830-1942, University of Lewis
Pyenson, Civilizing Missions: Exact Sciences and French Overseas Expansion, 1830-1940, Baltimore and London, 1993.
Queensland Press (1977), ISBN-10: 0702210293; ISBN-13: 978-0702210297
Quinn, Frederick. The French overseas empire. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2000.
Raben, Remco, Representing the Japanese Occupation of Indonesia: Personal Testimonies and Public Images in Indonesia, Japan, and the Netherlands, B.V. Waanders Uitgeverji (2000), ISBN-10: 9040093466; ISBN-13: 978-9040093463
Raffin, Anne, Youth Mobilization in Vichy Indochina and its Legacies, 1940 to 1970 (After the Empire: the Francophone World and Postcolonial France), Lexington Books (2005), ISBN-10: 0739111469; ISBN-13: 978-0739111468
Reid, Anthony J. S., Indonesian National Revolution 1945-1950. Hawthorn: Longman, 1974
Shipway, Martin. The road to war: France and Vietnam, 1944-1947. Providence : Berghahn Books, 1996.
Shmutzer, Eduard J. M. Dutch colonial policy and the search for identity in Indonesia, 1920-1931. Leiden, Brill., 1977.
Tarling, Nicholas. Imperalism in Southeast Asia: a fleeting passing phase. New York: Routledge, 2001. (In my view this is the best treatment of this subject)
- A Sudden Rampage: The Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia, 1941-1945, University of Hawaii Press (2001), ISBN-10: 0824824911; ISBN-13: 978-0824824914
Thomas, Martin. Title The French empire between the wars : imperialism, politics and society. Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2005.
Thompson, Virginia McLean, French Indo-China, New York, Macmillan., 1937.
Vandenbosch, Amry. The Dutch East Indies, its government, problems, and politics. Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing company, 1933.
Van der Post, Laurens, The Admiral’s Baby, John Murray, 1996
Wales, H. G. Quaritch (Horace Geoffrey Quaritch), The making of greater India,: Quaritch, 1974.
- The Malay peninsula in Hindu times, London : Quaritch, 1976.
Yong Mun Cheong,. H.J. Van Mook and Indonesian Independence: A Study of His Role in Dutch-Indonesian Relations, 1945-48. Springer; 1982. (Extensive references to published and unpublished sources and good bibliography)
Alexander, Jennifer and Paul Alexander, “State Economic Policy and Social Division: Protecting Peasants from Capitalism: The Subordination of Javanese Traders by the Colonial State”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 33, No. 2. (Apr., 1991), pp. 370-394.
Antltov, Hans, “Rulers in Imperial Policy: Sultan Ibrahim, Emperor Bao Dai and Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 227-260.
Barber, Alvin, “SIX YEARS OF ECONOMIC PLANNING IN NETHERLANDS INDIA”, Far Eastern Survey, vol. VIII, no. 17, Aug. 16, 1939.
Benda, Harry J.. “The Pattern of Administrative Reforms in the Closing Years of Dutch Rule in Indonesia”. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 4. (Aug., 1966), pp. 589-605
- “Decolonization in Indonesia: The Problem of Continuity and Change”. The American Historical Review, Vol. 70, No. 4. (Jul., 1965), pp. 1058-1073.
Bijsterveld, Sophie C. van, “THE CONSTITUTION IN THE LEGAL ORDER OF THE NETHERLANDS”
Booth, Anne. “FOUR COLONIES AND A KINGDOM: A COMPARISON OF FISCAL, TRADE AND EXCHANGE RATE POLICIES IN SOUTH EAST ASIA IN THE 1930S.” Modern Asian Studies [Great Britain] 2003 37(2): 429-460. ISSN: 0026-749X
Broek, Jan O. M., “Indonesia and the Netherlands”, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 16, No. 3. (Sep., 1943), pp. 329-338.
Buckley, Roger, “RESPONSIBILITY WITHOUT POWER: BRITAIN AND INDONESIA, AUGUST 1945-FEB. 1946” in Nish.
Cleisz, Gerard. “The Problem of Education in French Asia, Oceania and Australasia” The Journal of Negro Education
Colbert, Evelyn. Title: RECONSIDERATIONS. THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: DECOLONIZATION AND INDEPENDENCE IN INDONESIA AND INDOCHINA. Citation: Foreign Affairs 1973 51(3): 608-628. ISSN: 0015-7120
Dulles, Foster Rhea, and Ridinger, Gerald E. “THE ANTI-COLONIAL POLICIES OF FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT”. Political Science Quarterly 1955 70(1): 1-18. ISSN: 0032-3195
Emerson, Rupert, “EDUCATION IN THE NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES”, The Journal of Negro Education
- “REFLECTIONS ON THE INDONESIAN CASE”, World Politics, vol. 1 (Oct. 1948), pp. 59-81.
Foster, Anne L., “French, Dutch, British and US Reactions to the Nghe Tinh Rebellion of 1930-1931” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995) 63-82
Frederick, William H., “The Man Who Knew Too Much: Ch. O. Van der Plas and Postwar Indonesia” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995) 34-62
Garrett, Clarke W., “In Search of Grandeur: France and Vietnam 1940-1946”, The Review of Politics
Graaff, Bob de, “Hot Intelligence in the Tropics: Dutch Intelligence Operations in the Netherlands East Indies during the Second World War”, Journal of Contemporary History
Groen, P. M. H., “DUTCH ARMED FORCES AND THE DECOLONIZATION OF Indonesia: the second police action (1948-1949). A pandora’s box”, War and Society, vol. 4, no. 1, May 1986.
Habibuddin, S. M. “FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S ANTI-COLONIAL POLICY TOWARDS ASIA: ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIA, INDO-CHINA AND INDONESIA (1941-45)”. Journal of Indian History [India] 1975 53(3): 497-522. ISSN: 0022-1775
Hack, Karl, “Screwing down the People: The Malayan Emergency, Decolonisation and Ethnicity” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 83-109.
Hart, George H. C. “The Netherlands Indies AND HER NEIGHBORS”, Pacific Affairs vol. 16, no. 1 (March 1943), pp. 21-32.
Hering, Bob, “Soekarno: The Man and the Myth: Looking through a Glass Darkly”, Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 26, No. 3. (Jul., 1992), pp. 495-506.
Hobbs, Cecil. “Nationalism in British Colonial Burma”, Far Eastern Quarterly vol. 6 no.2, Feb. 1947 pp. 113-121.
Homan, Gerlof D.. “The United States and the Netherlands East Indies: The Evolution of American Anticolonialism” The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 53, No. 4. (Nov., 1984), pp. 423-446.
- “The Netherlands, the United States and the Indonesian Question, 1948”. Journal of Contemporary History
Officiële bescheiden betreffende de Nederlands-Indonesische betrekkingen, 1945-1950 by S. L. Van Der Wal in The American Historical Review, Vol. 82, No. 1. (Feb., 1977), pp. 164-165.
Hue-Tam Ho Tai, “The Politics of Compromise: The Constitutionalist Party and the Electoral Reforms of 1922 in French Cochinchina”. Modern Asian Studies
Julien, C. A. "From the French Empire to the French Union” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-)
Kahin, George Mc. T., “Some Recollections and Reflections on the Indonesian Revolution”, Indonesia
- “Sukarno's Proclamation of Indonesian Independence”, Indonesia, Vol. 69. (Apr., 2000), pp. 1-3.
- “Indirect Rule in East Indonesia”, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 3. (Sep., 1949), pp. 227-238.
Keller, Arthur S., “Netherlands INDIA AS A PAYING PROPOSITION”, Far Eastern Survey, vol. IX, no. 2 Jan, 17, 1940
Kennedy, Raymond, W. L. Holland, Hsu Yung-ying. “Dutch Charter for the Indies”. Pacific Affairs, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Jun., 1943), pp. 216-240
Kennedy, Raymond, “Dutch PLAN for the Indies”. Far Eastern Survey, Vol. XV, No. 7 (April 10, 1946), pp. 97-102
Kroef, Justus M. van der, “INDONESIAN NATIONALISM RECONSIDERED”, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring, 1972), pp. 42-59
- “THE TERM INDONESIA: ITS ORIGIN AND USAGE”, American Oriental Society 1951
- “The Indonesian Revolution in Retrospect”, World Politics, Vol. 3, No. 3. (Apr., 1951), pp. 369-398.
La Feber, Walter. “Roosevelt, Churchill, and Indochina: 1942-45”, The American Historical Review, Vol. 80, No. 5. (Dec., 1975), pp. 1277-1295.
Lebra, Joyce C., “THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE JAPANESE MILITARY MODEL FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 48, no., 2 (summer 1975), pp. 215-229.
Lee, Oey Hong. “BRITISH-DUTCH RELATIONS AND THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA”: Asian Affairs [Great Britain] 1976 63(1): 35-53. ISSN: 0306-8374
Lin Hua, “The Chinese Occupation of Northern Vietnam, 1945-1946: A Reappraisal” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 144-169.
Louis, Roger. “THE BRITISH AND THE FRENCH COLONIAL EMPIRE: TRUSTEESHIP AND SELF-INTEREST”, in Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization, I. B. Tauris, pp. 271-288
McIntyre, Angus, “The 'Greater Indonesia' Idea of Nationalism in Malaya and Indonesia”. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1. (1973), pp. 75-83.
Maddison, Angus, “Dutch Income in and from Indonesia 1700-1988”, Modern Asian Studies 23, 4 (1989), pp. 645-670.
Marsot, Alain-Gerard, “The Crucial Year: Indochina 1946”, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Apr., 1984), pp. 337-354
Micaud, Charles A. “Post-War Government and Politics of French Indo-China”, The Journal of Politics
Mook, H. J. van. “INDONESIA”. International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 25, No. 3. (Jul., 1949), pp. 274-285.
Reid, Anthony, “The Birth of the Republic in Sumatra”. Indonesia, Vol. 12. (Oct., 1971), pp. 21-46
Ricklefs, M. C., “CULTURAL ENCOUNTER: ISLAM IN JAVA”, History Today, Nov. 1984.
Roadnight, Andrew. “SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY: Britain, Japanese troops and the netherlands east indies 1945-1946”, History, the Journal of the historical Association 87 (Apr. 2002) pp. 245-268.
Salemink, Oscar, “Primitive Partisans: French Strategy and the Construction of a Montagnard Ethnic Identity in Indochina” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 261-293.
Sato, Shigeru, “INDONESIA 1939-1942: PRELUDE TO THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 37 (2), pp. 225-248 June 2006.
Schiller, A. Arthur, “AUTONOMY FOR INDONESIA”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 17, no. 4, Dec. 1944, pp. 478-488.
Scholte, Jan Aart, “The International Construction of Indonesian Nationhood, 1930-1950” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 191-226.
Sebrega, John J. “The Anticolonial Policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Reappraisal”. Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 101, No. 1. (1986), pp. 65-84
Sharp, Lauriston. “French Plan for Indochina”. Far Eastern Survey, v
“COLONIAL REGEIMES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA”. Far Eastern Survey, v
Short, Anthony, “Pictures at an Exhibition” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 15-33.
Sluimers, László. “THE JAPANESE MILITARY AND INDONESIAN INDEPENDENCE”. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies [Singapore] 1996 27(1): 19-36. ISSN: 0022-4634
Smith, R. B. “The Development of Opposition to French Rule in Southern Vietnam 1880-1940” Past and Present
Smith, Tony. “Decolonization and the Response of Colonial Elites - A Comparative Study of French and British Decolonization”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 20, No. 1. (Jan., 1978), pp. 70-102.
- “THE FRENCH COLONIAL CONCENSUS AND PEOPLE’S WAR, 1946-1948”. Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 9, no. 4 (1974)
Springhall, John. “’KICKING OUT THE VIETMINH’: HOW BRITAIN ALLOWED FRANCE TO REOCCUPY SOUTH INDOCHINA, 1945-46”. Journal of Contemporary History 2005
Steiner, H. Arthur, “POST-WAR GOVERNMENT OF THE NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES”, The Journal of Politics vol. 9, no. 4 (Nov. 1947), pp. 624-652.
Stoler, Ann. “Sexual Affronts and Racial Frontiers: European Identities and the Cultural Politics of Exclusion in Colonial Southeast Asia”. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 34, No. 3. (Jul., 1992), pp. 514-551.
Tandrup, Anders, World War and Village War: Changing Patterns of Rural Conflict in Southeast Asia, 1945-1955 in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995), pp. 170-190.
TØnnesson, Stein., “FILLING THE POWER VACUUM: 1945 IN FRENCH INDOCHINA, THE NETHERLANDS EAST INDIES AND BRITISH MALAYA” in Imperial Policy and Southeast Asian Nationalism, Hans Antlövand Stein TØnnesson, eds., London: Curzon Press (1995) 110-143.
- “Colonial Labor Problems: The Labor Contract With Penal Sanction in the Dutch East Indies” Pacific Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 4. (Apr., 1931), pp. 318-324
- review of Colonial Policy and Practice: A Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India by J. S. Furnivall, The Journal of Politics, Vol. 19, No. 3. (Aug., 1957), pp. 499-501.
- “Economics and Administrative Policy in the Dutch Indies”, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 10. (Oct., 1932), pp. 886-890.
- “Education in the Netherlands Indies: Two Views - Prewar Dutch Record”, Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 13, No. 21. (Oct. 18, 1944), pp. 193-195.
- “The Provision of Education in Dependent Territories”, The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 15, No. 3, The Problem of Education in Dependent Territories. (Summer, 1946), pp. 564-570.
- “Nationalism in Netherlands East India” Pacific Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 12. (Dec., 1931), pp. 1051-1069.
- “The Netherlands COLONIAL BALANCE SHEET”, Southern Economic Journal vol 4, no. 3 (Jan. 1938) pp. 328-338
- “The Netherlands Indies” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 226, Southeastern Asia and the Philippines. (Mar., 1943), pp. 86-96.
- “The Netherlands-Indonesian Union” Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 19, No. 1. (Jan. 11, 1950), pp. 1-7.
Veur, Paul W. van der, review of important Dutch publications, Pacific Affairs
- “Cultural Aspects of the Eurasian Community in Indonesian Colonial Society”, Indonesia
- “E. F. E. Douwes Dekker: Evangelist for Indonesian Political Nationalism”, The Journal of Asian Studies
- “Race and Color in Colonial Society: Biographical Sketches by a Eurasian Woman concerning Pre-World War II Indonesia”, Indonesia, v
- “The Eurasians of Indonesia: Castaways of Colonialism”, Pacific Affairs
Vlekke, Bernard H. M., “PROGRESS TOWARDS SELF-GOVERNMENT”, Far Eastern Survey, vol. 14, no. 24, Political Problems of Indonesia (Dec. 5, 1945), pp. 348-50.
Wertheim, W. F., “THE COOLIE BUDGET REPORT”, Pacific Affairs, vol. 26, no. 2 (June 1953), pp. 158-164.
Wesseling, H. L. “POST-IMPERIAL HOLLAND”, Journal of Contemporary History vol. 15 (1980), 125-142.
Williams, J. E. “THE JOINT DECLARATION ON THE COLONIES: AN ISSUE IN ANGLO-AMERICAN RELATIONS, 1942-1944”. British Journal of International Studies [Great Britain] 1976 2(3): 267-292. ISSN: 0305-8026
3. Web Resources
of Historians of Asia
Jakarta, Indonesia, 27th August – 1st September 1998
Standard Oil in Indonesia, 1898 - 1928
Peter Mellish Reed
The Business History Review, Vol. 32, No. 3. (Autumn, 1958), pp. 311-337.
Laos - Wikipedia
History of Laos - Wikipedia
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) - Wikipedia
- Text and Comments on the Radio address by Queen Wilhelmina on 7 December 1942
- Text and critique of the Linggadjati Agreement
- Text and Comments on the Renville Political Principles
Politionele acties ('police actions') - Wikipedia
Ambonese - Wikipedia
Imperialism in Asia - Wikipedia
Malay Archipelago- Wikipedia
Federation of Malaya - Wikipedia
Malayan Union - Wikipedia
Malaysia - Wikipedia
Malayo-Polynesian - Wikipedia
Lewis James Irving. “The French union 1944-48: French colonial Policy in the Era of Liberation”, PhD thesis Washington University 1990
Valentine, Bart Daniel, “The British Facilitation of the French Reentry into Vietnam”, PhD thesis 1974, UCLA
Part I constitutes the archive of Dr. Van Mook, first
Minister of the Colonies and later Lieutenant Governor-General of the
Netherlands East Indies. In this capacity Van Mook played a central role in the
events of the time.
Part II consists of the papers of the Director of the Cabinet of the Governor-General and later the High Representative of the Crown, Dr. P.J. Koets.
Part III is particularly revealing in documenting the war period. It includes intelligence material on the Japanese occupation and informaton on allied military actions, all from the archive of C.O. van der Plas.
Part IV, the Van Roijen materials (1946-1962), mostly concern the question of Indonesian independence and the transfer of sovereignty to the Republic. They include telegrams, correspondence, reports and position papers. A smaller section covers the New Guinea affair, in the early 1960's.
Documents on the United Nations
Statute of the Netherlands-Indonesian Union, Signed at the Round Table Conference, the Hague, November 2, 1949
International Organization, Vol. 4, No. 1. (Feb., 1950), pp. 177-183. (Accessible through JSTOR)
 “The Victorians set out, in
addition, to order and classify
“At its heart … liberalism can be seen as
informed by a radical universalism. Contemporary
European, especially British, culture alone represented
civilization. No other cultures had any intrinsic
validity. There was no such thing as 'Western' civilization; there existed only
'civilization'. Hence the liberal set out, on the basis of this shared
humanity, to turn the Indian into an Englishman; or, as Macaulay described it in his 1835 Minute on Education,
to create not just a class of Indians educated
in the English language, who might assist
the British in ruling India, but one 'English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect'. The fulfillment of the
British connection with
This liberal idealism was inevitably fraught with troubling implications. With neither racial nor environmental
theories to sustain it, culture alone
remained to distinguish Europeans from those overseas. As a result,
the more fully non-European peoples were accorded the prospect of future
equality, the more necessary it became to devalue and depreciate their contemporary cultures. The hierarchical ordering of
societies on a 'scale of civilization' reflected not just the classifying enthusiasms of the Enlightenment, but was a way to
reassure the British that they themselves
occupied a secure position, as the arbiter of its values…. It was not some
chance prejudice, but the liberal project itself,
that led Macaulay in 1835 to scorn the `entire native literature of
By its very nature the
liberal transformation of
Thomas R. Metcalfe, Ideologies of the Raj, (pp. 34-35)
 Critically important in this creation of a history
 “In both the
“Although the race
criterion was finally removed from the
“Presumed Frenchness rested on two sorts of certainty: the evaluation of the child's "physical features or race" by a "medico-legal expert" and a "moral certainty" derived from the fact that the child "has a French name, lived in a European milieu and was considered by all as being of French descent." Thus, French citizenship was not open to all metis but restricted by a "scientific" and moral judgment that the child was decidedly non-indigene. As we have seen in the case of Nguyen van Thinh dit Lucien, however, the name Lucien, the acknowledged paternity by Icard, and the patriotic ambiance of the household were only sufficient for the child to be legally classified as French, not for him to be treated as French by a court of law. Inclusionary laws left ample room for an implementation based on exclusionary principles and practices.” Stoler p. 533
“Internal to this logic was a notion of cultural, physical, and moral contamination, the fear that those Europeans who did not subscribe to Dutch middle-class conventions of respectability would not only compromise the cultural distinctions of empire, but waver in their allegiances to metropolitan rule.
Such fears were centered on mixed bloods but not on
them alone. In the
 In fact, he made a major contribution to Indian constitutional history by demanding that, for the first time, the British government declare a goal for British rule. This led to the declaration of August 1917 see Robb, Peter G., The government of India and reform: policies towards politics and the constitution, 1916-1921, Oxford University Press, 1976.
 “Colonial Laws Validity Act (28 and 29
Victoria, C. 63), an Act passed by the British parliament in 1865 to remove
doubts as to the validity of colonial laws. It laid down that a colonial law
cannot be repugnant to the laws of
 “The following year (1934), … the Tydings-McDuffie Act was finally passed. The
act provided for the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines
with a ten-year period of peaceful transition to full independence. The
commonwealth would have its own constitution and be self-governing, though
foreign policy would be the responsibility of the
 “In view of continued disquiet in
the Party after the debate, Hoare, who was himself being groomed for the India
Office, and had been due to speak in support of Baldwin if the debate
had continued, arranged for an exchange of letters between Baldwin
confirming that there was no intended change of policy." There was now
no doubt that the declaration, already denounced by some Conservatives as
dangerous, was also meaningless. Nevertheless, many Conservatives were still
worried about the terms
of reference of the conference, the Party was "badly shaken" and, as one of
them noted, "Winston" was "promising serious trouble later
on"." There was nothing to stop the forces which had risen against
 “An especially informative insight into Lord Willingdon in December 1931, was written privately by Sir George Schuster, Government of India Finance Member to both Irwin and Willingdon. When the author interviewed Sir George some thirty years after Willingdon's death, the former colleague of the Viceroy re-affirmed then his views written earlier in 1931. Schuster thought Willingdon:
… a genuine liberal - and more liberal, far more genuine and far more courageous than Irwin - to tell the truth. He is delightful to work with and keeps everybody's tail up. He has not really much brain. He is very old. He is sometimes indiscreet. And yet underneath it all he has great courage, good British common sense, absolute honesty, and trusts his team. The result is that he has ready been a success so far and much better than men with fifty times his- brain power.
He believes in providing constitutional advance as fast as he can and in fact, driving the Indians faster than they may in reality want to go themselves.” Quoted in Bergstrom p. 152
 Sitting next to Mr. Muggeridge after a Viceregal Lodge dinner,
Willingdon, 'slightly tipsy', said: '
 In Willingdon’s words
“The whole trouble is that Gandhi looks upon himself as an equal and parallel with me in working the administration of the country and not without some reason. You see, the negotiations for this settlement were carried on by the then Viceroy and Gandhi on absolutely terms of equality, and the condition for Gandhi calling his civil disobedience campaign were agreed upon as between two opposing generals. That was the position when I arrived and had to take over. Well I won't admit Gandhi's equality with me, and he is continually trying to assert it, and I confess logically he has got some claim for his assertions owing to what had happened before between him and Irwin. And the fact that I look upon him as the head of a very inconvenient political party and treat him as such makes him very restive.
But there can't be two Kings of Brentford out here and he must be put back into his place, and while we are the best of friends I think he is feeling his position very keenly. You will see by what I have told you what I think of the settlement, and must own I rather wish Irwin had been here to wrap up the men he left behind him! Still it's all amazingly interesting and I am sure we shall get through. We may have to hit and hit hard which I shall hate but it won't be my fault if we do.” Quoted in Bergstrom p. 118
 “As Lords Irwin and Willingdon are frequently
contrasted and compared, it is helpful to analyze Irwin's view of the
Gandhi-Willingdon confrontation in 1931. Irwin had been relatively silent on
Indian topics, but not long after the confrontation, he broke his silence by
noting that Congress was responsible for the 'recent upheaval' and that their
‘position is both unecessary and unjustified'. He did not doubt that Gandhi's
To those who
knew Linlithgow intimately, the hallmarks of his character were reliability,
industry and 'conscientious thoroughness'. It was not always easy to fathom
him, and only those near enough to him could get a real insight in his
character. To his colleagues in
Although Lord Halifax's comment that Linlithgow 'did not really get on human terms with anybody' is unjustified, it must be acknowledged that Linlithgow had little 'gift for establishing personal relationship'. He was, it ought to be mentioned at the outset, a rather oldfashioned British aristocrat, with a public school boy's sense of duty, but lacking in 'political imagination' and 'sensitiveness'. But what he lacked in imagination, lie made up in reliability: if he was cautious in movement, he 'planted his feet firmly'.
Yet examination of popular imperialism,
imperialist lobbying and colonial policy making indicates that decisions of
lasting import to the empire were made with minimal ministerial, parliamentary
or public discussion in
An essential paradox of French imperialism
The sky-blue Chamber of 1920-24 was fervently
nationalistic. Even so, empire remained peripheral to National Bloc politics.
Colonial modernisation and constitutional reform were rejected. Empire was
there to serve, to be dwelt upon only when urgently required in the assistance
On those occasions
when significant parliamentary time was devoted to questions of empire, as, for
example, during the extended debate over colonial development between 1921 and
1923, or in response to the rebellions in
 Thomas A. August, 'Colonial Policy and
Propaganda: the Popularization of the "Idée Coloniale" in
 Ibid., pp. 58, 198.
 Ibid., pp. 196, 201
 q. C. M. Andrew and A. S. Kanya-Forstner,
In English the Dutch mainly referred to the colony as
 “Dutch income in and from Indonesia probably
amounted to about 1.4 per cent of Indonesian domestic product in 1700 and rose to
about 17 per cent in 1921-38 (see Table 1). Until 1870, about 90 per cent of
this Dutch income in
“Income remitted from
Quoted from Maddison pp. 645-646.
The principal religion in Vietnam is the so-called Tam Giáo
("triple religion"), characterizing the East Asian
intricate mixture between Mahayana
and Daoism. The
dominant religion of
 The Ramayana became popular in Southeast Asia and manifested itself in text, temple architecture and performance, particularly in Indonesia (Java, Sumatra, Bali and Borneo), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines (Maradia Lawana) and Vietnam
 “Hinduism was at one time widespread in
[T]he aim for a national identity vacillated between the creation of a Great Netherlands citizenship or a Netherlands Indies citizenship, whose members would participate in a pluralistic society of liberty, equality, and fraternity; and the creation of national identities in a narrower frame, preserving the identity of each component group in the colonial society.
While Colijn agreed with the general
condemnation of earlier liberal-minded
colonial statesmen for having been too weak in dealing with Indonesian nationalists, his criticism
was far more fundamental. In his
pamphlet Staatkundige Hervormingen in Nederlandsch-Indie
(Constitutional Reforms in the Netherlands Indies), published in 1918, he
argued that indigenous political development
should start off at the grass roots level and that the establishment of the Volksraad
had been entirely premature, as this institution had no roots in
the people. Colijn also dismissed as unrealistic the attempts to superimpose on the
had originally been infused with apostolic fervor when McKinley divulged his
divine directive to "uplift and civilize" the Filipinos—a goal he had
earlier advertised as "benevolent assimilation." Elihu Root, his
secretary of war, codified the doctrine in his instructions to William Howard
Taft to promote the "happiness, peace and prosperity" of the natives
in conformity with "their customs, their habits and even their
prejudices." Seconding that sentiment soon after becoming governor, Taft
intoned: "We hold the
Compared to European
Aware from the
start that the Filipinos would judge them by actual deeds, the Americans
launched practical programs to demonstrate their benevolence. They bought and
redistributed the rural estates held by the Catholic friars, whose excesses had
provoked Filipinos to rebel against
Above all, the
 q. Thorne, p. 133.
 in W. F. Vella (ed.) Aspects of Vietnamese History, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1973, p. 167.
 As noted
above, the early 19th century British Utilitarians foresaw without
trepidations the likelihood of Indian becoming culturally European and naturally
demanding political independence in a very distant and indeterminate future.
The orientalist point of view, which was dominant about 1850-1917 saw the
Indians as being racially incapable of ruling themselves. This, of course, was
a situation that could not be amended without a change of population. An late
representative of this point fo view was Lord Birkenhead who, on the rare
occasions that prior clasims on his time for drinking and golf allowed, served
as Secretary of State for India during
the late 1920s.
The First World War made it necessary to rally Indians behind the flagging war effort. To do so, in 1917, Edwin Montagu, the new Secretary of State for India, made a policy statement in parliament which included the following –
“The policy of His Majesty’s government, with which the Government of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration, and the gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the progressive realization of responsible government in India as an integral Part of the British Empire…. I would add that progress in this policy can only be achieved by successive stages. The British Government , and the Government of India, on whom the responsibility lies for the welfare and advancement of the Indian people, must be the judges of the time and measure of each advance, and they must be guided by the co-operation received from those upon whom new opportunities of service will thus be conferred and by the extent to which it is found that confidence can be reposed in their sense of responsibility.”
I have elsewhere, traced Indian developments.
Spear (p9. 185-189)
A declaration of policy had been delayed for three
years, but when it came it proved to be radical. For it envisaged internal
self-government of the kind then enjoyed by the dominions of
The first principle of the new constitution was that
of realization of self-government by stages…. But self-government did not mean
independence. It was the reading of independence in dominion status at the
Imperial Conference of 1926 which raised the issue in
When the Montford reforms are viewed as a whole… they
marked a great departure.
However, it is true as Read and Fisher (p. 134) have pointed out -
As a promise of freedom, Montagu's declaration was decidedly tentative, hedged in by weasel words like 'gradual development', 'progressive realization’, and `responsible government'. An accompanying clause stated that the government alone would decide what 'responsible government' meant and when the Indians would be ready for it. But for Indian nationalists the declaration was a landmark, a clear promise of the dominion status they sought. No longer could their demands for Home Rule or independence be considered seditious.
The Dutch imperialism, though highly commercial, was in fact not really interested in the transmission of European religious and social institutions from the motherland to the natives. The average Dutchman did not, in fact, consider his legal or political system as necessarily superior to that of the natives. The dutch colonial idea was, therefore, more dedicated to transforming the natives into a contented people who would worship “peace and quiet,” respect the position of the guardian country, and accept the rational and impersonal relationship between guardian and ward. In short, he was more interested in creating an ideal climate in which to continue doing business. On the other hand, Dutch democratic humanitarianism carried the implicit convictions of equality of till races and peoples, and the moral obligation to strenghten and support their development to equal standards.
The subconscious recognition of the above realities had undoubtedly a disturbing and demoralizing influence upon Dutch leaders and their approach to colonial prohlems. Here, it is essential to keep in mind that the national ideology of the Dutch is based upon the independence of a people in spite of all efforts to the contrary from without. This ideology accounts, in part, for Dutch reluctance to impose their civilization upon the natives, and for the discomfort of so many colonial officials. The often wavering attitude of the colonial government takes its rise in the impossibility of reconciling basic Dutch ideology with the unavoidable necessities of a colonial administration. In its desire to give expression to its respect for the liberties and needs of the people ni the East Indies, the Dutch government… moved to a re-adjustment of the administrative machinery by decentralizing the government and by creating the Volksraad.
A growing awareness of a political identity among the Dutch, native, and other inhabitants of the colony led to a feeling of belonging to a particular society (a nationalism of the Netherlands Indies), a feeling which was manifested by the diverse groups of the population, in their formulation of aims, desires, and demands for a measure of self-government and self-determination of the dependency.
But, instead of thus creating a harmonious
relationship between the
Quote from Shmutzer p. 72
… the Europeans have made it clear that there do not exist thinking natives, that all of them are only inferior beings one can approach only with the utmost suspicion, and that it is all-important to keep them down….
 By 1904 most of Aceh was under Dutch control, and had an indigenous government that cooperated with the colonial state. Estimated total casualties on the Aceh side range from 50,000 to 100,000 dead, and over a million wounded. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceh#The_Aceh_War
Quoted from Raymond Kennedy, “Dutch PLAN for the
The … Volksraad was democratic and representative, but only to a degree. Only thirty-eight of the sixty delegates were elected, and the remaining twenty-two were appointed by the Governor-General. The European population was greatly over-represented, for while Europeans formed far less than one percent of the total population, they held twenty-five, or over forty percent, of the seats. The Foreign Asiatics, with about two percent of the total population, were also favored in the legislature, having five, or almost ten percent.,. of the delegates. The natives held half of the seats, but they composed over ninety-seven percent of the population…. election of delegates to the Volksraad was carried out on the basis of an electorate severely restricted by income and property qualifications, which affected the natives almost exclusively. Moreover, the method of election was so indirect that true mass representation was far from achieved. Especially indirect was the electoral procedure for Indonesians….
The Governor-General could and did veto Volksraad legislation.
 “The Volksraad (the People's Council) was created in 1918. Until 1927 it had only advisory powers, but in that year it was given co-legislative powers, which in practice meant that legislative measures normally required the approval of both the Volksraad and the Governor General. Deadlocks on the budget were resolved by the States General. Other conflicts between the Volksraad and the Governor General went to the Crown for settlement. Only when the Volksraad failed to declare within a stated time whether or not it gave its concurrence to a bill submitted by him, or if urgent circumstances demanded immediate action, did the Governor General have the power to issue an ordinance on his own authority.
The Volksraad was composed of 60 members and a chairman, the latter appointed by the Crown. Under the provisions of the Indies Government Act, the membership was divided as follows: 30 Indonesians, 25 Europeans, and from 3 to 5 nonindigenous Asiatics. Of the Indonesian members 20 were elected, and of the Europeans and the non-indigenous Asiatics, 15 and 3 respectively. The remaining members were appointed by the Governor General after consultation with the Council of the Netherlands Indies. There were also provincial, municipal, and regency councils. In the regency councils the Indonesian members were in an overwhelming majority.” Vandenbosch 1943
Quote from Shmutzer Pp. P74
… the great error of the Volksraad was in "having granted too much and lot not enough.- Too much … because, although the natives were not sufficiently awakened to political realities, they had been given a voice in all state affairs: not enough because, even in the smallest administrative units, they had not been allowed to share the responsibility of power
On behalf of the Indies Government, Commisioner Mr.
Dr. D. Talma, declared on
The transfer of authority to the provinces or districts its organs of native authority and the central government (in which the native population will participate, and which will be responsible to it) can only be achieved when a large group of the population, of adequate development and moral vigor, is available to call their leaders to account, concerning the policies they are pursuing as public representatives, its well as a justification of their actions. The duty of the government to look after the interests of the population as a whole, stands out against a transfer of authority without conclusive guarantee that this transfer can be made without harm to the society. That small group of intellectuals consider themselves able to take over and judge the time ripe is not enough. There first has to be completed the school for responsible exercise of authority – which is to be opened with the creation of the promised councils…. It is a fact, however, that a re-organization of some significance is unthinkable without a substantial extension of the competence of the Volksraad; without a fundamental change in the character of this college, which has been re-organized from a purely advisory body into an integral part of the government with actual co- determination in and control upon the administration…. it is inevitable that the re-organization will bring on, not only a transfer of authority and influence to the local councils and the Volksraad, but also a shift in the relations between the motherland and the colony….
The ruling Liberal coalition was far more concerned with accommodating to some extent the growing pressure of Indonesian nationalists at this time for a greater degree of participation in government. In 1916 the Liberal Minister of Colonies submitted a proposal to parliament for the establishment of a Koloniale Raad (Colonial Council), which was to have a multi-racial membership and advisory powers. This was approved by parliament, and the council, called the Volksraad (People's Council) was officially instituted in May 1918 by the progressive Governor-General van Limburg Stirum. Members of the Volksraad, who enjoyed full parliamentary privileges and immunities, were to be partly elected and partly appointed. The Volksraad, which could be consulted on all matters of state by the colonial government, was responsible for the preparation of the annual budget in conjunction with the Governor-General, although final approval still rested with the Dutch Parliament.
Any hopes the Dutch might
have held about pacifying radical nationalists by instituting the Volksraad were
dispelled almost immediately after the opening of the first session when Sarekat Islam leaders such as
Tjokroaminoto severely criticized the colonial system. Again during the
second session of the Volksraad on
The immediate reaction of
Governor-General van Limburg Stirum was that the Volksraad would have to be
transformed into a full parliament in case the Socialists came to power in
The Socialist coup in
From your telegrams—and from press reports ... I have noticed that the current situation in
I am convinced that in the
It was with interest that I noticed from your telegram that you have set up a commission for political reforms. My first impression was that such a commission should have been instituted in this country ... But on reflection I understood that your commission is meant as a type of lightning conductor and as such—apart from disadvantages—can have advantages.
If there is still an opportunity, perhaps the Commission for the Revision of the Constitution [instituted on 20 December 1918] will take account of the work of your commission, although I doubt very much whether the Netherlands Government will be prepared to make proposals at this stage which in fact would surrender the whole of the Indies to a small group of intellectuals and semi-intellectuals, who so far have shown very little evidence of altruism and a willingness to sacrifice themselves for the general benefit.
Of course ministerial "responsibility" to the Volksraad is out of the question; at least I refuse to co-operate in this. First of all "responsible" ministers can only be considered in the provinces—after the provincial councils have first been established and are working well, and then only carefully and gradually. These [provincial councils] are even considered necessary in British India, and consider how much further British India has advanced in this field, and how much greater its right is to participate in government through the sacrifices of at least some of its people in the war ...
However, the Herzieningscommissie
(Commission for Constitutional Reform), which had been instituted by van
Limburg Stirum in
1918, in its report of 1921 rejected Colijn's proposals and advocated the
creation of a unitary government with wide powers in internal affairs, although it did not press for full self-government. The commission also recommended that suffrage
should be extended to all
The Minister for Colonies, de Graaff, dismissed the commission's proposals as "studeerkamerwerk" ("an academic exercise") and argued that the most urgent need was for administrative decentralization. And although, owing to the strong pressure of progressive opinion in the Dutch Parliament, the Netherlands Grondwetherziening (Constitutional Reforms) of 1922 laid down that in principle the Indies should be allowed to take care of their internal affairs as much as possible, and the name "colony" was officially abandoned, in practice very little notice was taken in the actual reform measures introduced by de Graaff in 1925. Admittedly die Volksraad was given co-legislative power and in 1929 Indonesians were granted a majority of seats, but without the introduction of the principle of ministerial responsibility to the Volksraad these measures were largely meaningless, as the final power still lay with :he Dutch Parliament.
De Graaff, taking advantage of the swing towards
conservatism in Dutch politics, managed to
have his earlier proposals for administrative
reform accepted by parliament, and Java was now divided into a number of semi-autonomous provinces, regency councils, and municipal councils. The
Although Colijn and his
followers did not deny that
Quote from Shmutzer Pp. 86-8
Uneasy feelings were also increased when Colijn and his
supporters publicly opposed a unitary government for the
Much of the dissatisfaction is understandable if one keeps in mind how all hopes were raised by the declarations of … 1918, and the subsequent suggestions of the Reforms commission … in 1921; hopes … which were not realized. Even the early draft of the new fundamental laws in 1922, anything but
Satisfactory in the eyes of Indonesian politicians, at least promised autonomy for the governor General, a delegation of all powers of the Minister of the Colonies – except those especially reserved to the government of the Netherlands, a limitation of intervention by the Crown in specific cases, and an elected representative assembly in the colony.
The new Constitution of 1925, however, did not realize even those
promises. It directed the Governor General to follow instruction from the
Crown; it reserved all powers to the Minister of the Colonies, except those
especially delegated; it referred conflicts between the Governor General and
the Volksraad to the Crown for it final decision; and the representative
character of the Volksraad was done violence to by increasing the European
membership to a majority at the expense of that of the natives. It was clear
that the chief idea, that of greater independence of the
Questioned as to its opinion, the Crown Council replied that the majority of its members considered a revision unnecessary, even inadvisable, since the country needed a period of political stabilization, undisturbed by any new demands or repeated changes:
Apart from the frets which would seem to point to the
contrary, consideration of a revision of the Indies Constitution would be
motivated by a strong demand of voiced public opinion. In native political
circles, such an opinion is not disclosed. Certainly the ultra-leftist nationalist
and related groups regard the political rights, which are conferred upon the
native population, to be of little or no value. But this judgment is given
expression more in non-cooperation than in a positive action for the extension
of these rights. The relative programs of the more moderate nationalists are
not considered by them to be of such importance that they are worth more
specific notice. On the other hand, European public opinion and the European
press voice much concern over the political future of the
This opinion of the Crown council’s majority was not shared, however, by member Ch. J. I. Welter, who judged that the political development had come to a dead end without offering any promise of progress or further perspective. In his opinion, the main question was less whether the actual political organization worked satisfactorily or not at that particular moment, than whether this political organization was capable of serving a people increasingly aware of itself, and whether it would be able to give satisfaction in the highest possible degree to their political and national aspirations under Dutch authority and leadership. Welter declared that he was convinced that in a very short time the thinking part of the native population would realize that the basic laws did not offer them a possibility for the real satisfaction of their political hopes. Disillusion in this respect could not be avoided, said Welter, and this feeling would he expressed in embitterment and further resistance to Dutch authority….
Welter pointed, in particular, to the new election laws,
in which representation in the Volksraad was based on particular sections of
the population instead of being based upon programs, convictions, and
principles submitted to popular approval, as had been done previously. Here,
the Volksraad, born of the desire to express the association of the population
It had to be realized that under the regulations of the existing constitution, a further political development would be impossible… any political change had to be at the expense of Dutch authority under these circumstances. It was necessary, in fact, to get out of this deadlock. The longer one existed the more sharply would these controversies be felt; the more resistance against Netherlands’ authority increased, the more difficult a change in direction would become argued Welter, He reproached his fellow members for resigning themselves to the idea that a conflict between Indonesian political development and Dutch leadership was an inescapable fate, instead of pondering what actions to take to avoid such a conflict, or to postpone it to a time as far distant as possible….
Immobility, in the name of peace and order, was prefered to the dynamism and change necessary to adjust the governmental organization in line with the vast and rapid changes which had occurred in the social relationships within the dependency. This immobility was to cause additional friction in political and economic: affairs.
Quoted from Raymond
Kennedy, “Dutch PLAN for the
The censorship laws of the Indies have been almost unbelievable in their
repressiveness, and the restrictions on free assembly and free speech have been almost as bad.", Any
person or group advocating independence, for example, has been liable to
prosecution for sedition, and with the passage of time there was no softening of the rules.
just before the great debacle, in 1910, a government spokesman in the Volksraad declared officially that
anyone who raised the issue of independence would be subject to legal punishment. Use of the word "
 “Since 1931, the Indonesians
had thirty representatives in the Volksraad, equal to the combined European and
Foreign Asian contingents. Soetardjo's petition was the first attempt to
utilize the increased Indonesian numbers to effect political change through the
council…. The initial coolness towards the petition amongst the Indonesian
political public was followed by partial support, indicating that the
nationalist parties were realizing that a cooperating tactic required
gradualist political methods. In
As presented to the
Volksraad in 1936, the Soetardjo Petition requested the government in
In August 1936 the signatories of the petition stated that according to
their view of the future political form of the
An interesting aspect of the official reaction to the Soetardjo Petition is the extreme slowness with which it was deliberated at the top level, indicating indifference and the absence of any conviction that the matter was urgent or important…. The new Governor-General perhaps had the excuse that it took him some time to find his feet, but obviously he did not give high priority to the petition. His report on the matter shows a remarkable ability to ignore anything disturbing in the advice he had received." Although he began by admitting that there was widespread feeling in the Indies that the country's development was outgrowing its constitutional structure, that the European population felt that the Dutch government exercised too much influence on the conduct of the Indies administration, and that the politically-conscious part of the native population wanted leadership in its own hands, he then proceeded as if these facts were irrelevant to the petition…. Even if the government attempted to set out a political plan, it would give no satisfaction and would merely cause confusion. Calling a conference or commission would give the damaging impression that the government was admitting weakness, and at the same time it would arouse wild hopes which could only be disappointed. The Governor-General clearly thought the petition could be rejected with impunity…. He did not think it worthwhile … to offer alternative reforms. In his opinion a Rijksraad, for example, would not be useful, and its composition would create problems….
1938 the Royal Decree on the Soetardjo Petition was finally sent out to the
Volksraad. It rejected the petition on several grounds. Article 1 of the
constitution could give no support to Soetardjo's request because it "gave
no indication of the state of autonomy of the Netherlands Indies." The
Dutch policy towards the
 Micaud, Charles A. “POST-WAR GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS OF FRENCH INDO-CHINA”, The Journal of Politics Vol. 9, No. 4 (Nov., 1947), pp. 731-744.
Brazzaville Conference, early in 1944, principles and plans were elaborated
that were to reconcile the interests of the colonial peoples with those of the
mother country. An official declaration on December 8, 1943, promised a new
status to the people of Indo-China and the declaration of March, 1945,
guaranteed administrative and economic autonomy to an Indo-Chinese federation
of five states within the framework of the French Union. These concessions were
not, however, to jeopardize the unity of the Empire, considered
as one body with
solution would have been foreign to French experience and psychology.
Accustomed to a highly centralized government at home, the French have
naturally applied this principle of centralization to their colonies. The République une et indivisible was not to
teach colonial peoples how to become independent. On the contrary, dependencies
were to be drawn progressively closer to
If we add to
this concept of centralization the French love for constitutional structures
designed to guarantee the safe evolution of life's undisciplined forces, it is
not surprising that the French should be skeptical of the British approach….
"It is a fact," said Premier Ramadier … "that in the middle of
the twentieth century a nation of traditional size is condemned to be a
satellite unless it becomes the center of its own constellation. . . .
Constitutional Assembly attempted to reconcile the vital interests of
including the Communist, have insisted on
Rightists it would be senseless to negotiate with treacherous leaders who are
communist as well as nationalist and whose only hope is to force out the French
and make their country a vassal of
Left seems willing to make "generous and bold" proposals to the Viet
Nam Government, the Right and Center parties are anxious to maintain
1946, Admiral d'Argenlieu declared that "
Such declarations seem to indicate that the policy of the French Government is similar to the policy formulated by the declaration of March, 1945, in which the ministers in the federal council of Indo-China would be responsible to the French Governor-General rather than to the elected Assembly. If so, the powers to be reserved by the federal government of Indo-China could not in practice be distinguished from the powers to be reserved by the French Union, i.e., the French Government, whether these powers were exercised from Paris or on the spot through a governor-general.
degree of independence to be given to the federal government hinges on the fate
of Cochin-China. If it becomes an integral part of Viet Nam the overwhelming
superiority of that state over Laos and Cambodia would preclude a satisfactory
equilibrium and would jeopardize France's position unless the governor is given
broad powers —a solution unacceptable to the Viet Nam leaders. Significantly,
M. Moutet declared in March, 1947, that Tong-king,
…Are French assets to be protected against a policy
of collectivization by the
"The members of the French Union hold in common
the totality of their resources to guarantee the defense of the whole
The close integration which the French consider
necessary and which would preclude the right of secession, may not be possible
unless a federal system is adopted in which the representatives of the various
peoples of the Union share with the French deputies the right to legislate for
the whole Union. If, on the other hand, a loose form of association is accepted
by the people of
Throughout the war information on the NEI was scanty and, as later events showed, often completely unreliable. Special Operations Executive (SOE), the British organisation charged with undercover activities in occupied territories, coordinated the work of Helfrich's Corps Insulinde which operated as an intelligence service, employing fewer than a hundred men. According to Helfrich's chief of staff, Rear Admiral L.G.L. Van der Kun, its lack of success was the result of the British policy of doing nothing to disturb the Japanese on Sumatra for fear that they would respond by strengthening their forces there." In addition to this British brake on the Corps Insulinde's activities, there were other factors that prevented it from achieving very much. Its senior staff was inadequate to the task, it lacked sufficient submarine transport facilities to land significant numbers of agents, and even if it had been provided with those facilities, it was unable to recruit enough competent agents. Those who were landed ran into strong hostility from the indigenous population, which ought to have signalled to the Dutch that their eventual return might not be greeted with complete favour, but it seems not to have produced in Dutch circles any questioning of their oft-repeated claim that apart from a few unrepresentative political activists, Dutch rule was largely accepted, indeed welcomed, by the great majority of the people.
 Pp. 5-7
Coupled with this kind of attitude was the pride with which the Dutch colonial officials (including Van Mook) could point to their administrative achievements: a well-functioning production system, an honest civil service, a growing economy that had borne the brunt of the last world depression and so on.104 steeled by such confidence, the average colonial civil servant was wont to believe that he was in the best position to rule the Indies, given his past experience and performance. Willy-nilly, Van Mook was a product of his time. It was as R. Emerson had said:
The white man's burden finds its counterpart in the contention that those who know best should be the custodians of power.
The Japanese Occupation was to destroy whatever visions the colonial
civil servants had of their continued service in the
Van Mook organised the first Congress of Students of
Van Mook set
out three main propositions in his speech. Firstly he claimed that Dutch
colonial rule resulted in benefits for the
The second proposition that Van Mook made was that
the independence of the
Yes, we shall one day lose the sovereignty over our colonies; but that day is still distant, and when it comes it will bring us a profit equal to that of our present ownership. Our descendants, grown wise by the experience of what is happening before our eyes, will no longer make war upon those overseas territories when they are prepared for independence, but will readily grant them their liberty and so enter into new relationship of friendship and commerce with them, which will fully outweigh the advantages that we now enjoy.'?
The third proposition was of equal importance to the
later political views of Van Mook. He argued that the people of the
… it is important to note that Van Mook by the time
of the above-mentioned congress of 1917, had sympathies for the creation of an
1912, the Partij had aims that shared a degree of reement with Van Mook's
vision of the future of the
It would be useful at this stage to identify the main
elements in Van Mook's view of the future of the
…(It) is plausible to suggest that he would have
liked to see it developed on the lines of the mestizo republics of
How did the
Indonesians respond to Van Mook's idea that the Indies Dutch should be given a
role to play in the
It is also relevant
to note that despite the image Van Mook tried to project as a defender of the
interests of the
Van Mook returned to an
these opportunities for political organization was the increasing trend towards
a more reactionary attitude vis-a-vis the nationalist movement in the
…The main theme in most of Van Mook's speeches in the Volksraad centred on the need to adopt measures to ward off the worst effects of the depression on the Indies and its native population.
For example, in August 1931, Van Mook called for
measures to protect the Javanese peasants who had rented their farmlands to the
sugar planters. The depression led to a fall in sugar prices and in order to
firm up those prices, the Dutch colonial government signed the Chadbourne
Agreement in March 1931 hereby the Indies was allotted an export quota. By the
end of 1931, sugar production in the
government dismissed the solution, arguing that as long as no force was used, the cancellations were valid and did not warrant official intervention. Moreover the crisis was viewed as temporary.
In 1931, Van Mook criticised the imposition of an
excessive burden on the
Van Mook alleged that the "open door" policy for investments led to the establishment of big industries that were dominated by the nonindigenous interests. Far from stimulating Indonesian private enterprise, these largely European-owned industries established an impregnable monopoly. Assisted by government measures like the penal sanction (which provided labour for industries), the construction of roads and water-works, the establishment of experimental stations, the position of the European-owned industries had been greatly strengthened.
policy too, Van Mook tried to defend the interests of the
Mook's defence of the interests of the
For the Netherlanders who have worked here [
on the basis of this outlook, we must cooperate to
protect these interests and must not act as defenders of the interests of the
This stand clearly reflected the attitude of Van Mook
in defending the interests of the
While Van Mook felt that there was a grave miscarriage of justice in the trial and imprisonment of Soekarno in 1929 because the latter did not really plan violence, he asserted that Soekarno should have known that his propaganda would play into the hands of the colonial "conservative diehards". IN While he condemned the judgment passed on Soekarno, his objections were focussed almost entirely on the legal problems of the case and did not question the wisdom of the colonial government's response to the emerging nationalist movement led by Soekarno. There is no recorded discussion on how best to accommodate the rising nationalist aspirations of the 1930s. He made no known attempt to try to understand the political ideology of Soekarno. To Van Mook, Soekarno was merely lacking in political insight and responsibility. The element of "realpolitik" was missing in Van Mook's objections.
… Van Mook and other like-minded people teamed up in January 1930 to form the Stuw (Stimulus) movement.
The name of the movement suggested the kind of role
it intended to play in the
To bring about the association and co-operation of
all Dutchmen who are convinced that it is their duty as Netherlanders to take
their share in a further realisation of Holland's colonial task, which will
only be fulfilled when an Indies Commonwealth shall take up a place of its own
among the independent people of the world, able and prepared both to meet
international obligations and to recognise and protect the rights and the
interests of non-indigenous inhabitants. The society finally aims at the
forging of lasting links between the
… The Stuw leadership noted:
We see in the non-Indonesian blijver [resident] as
much as in the Indonesian himself, a future member of the
Inter-ethnic relations were so bad that the Stuw
movement, for all its liberality, remained exclusively Dutch. The founders of
the Stuw felt that, given the state of Dutch-Indonesian relations existing at
that moment, it was not timely to extend its membership to the non-Dutch. In
any case the Indonesians paid scant attention to the Stuw vision of an
But what was
clear was the fact that for the moment, independence was not to be realised
immediately. The Stuw leadership argued that it was just as meaningless to
speak of the
However it must be borne in mind that apart from any
considerations of sentiment, the Netherlands Indies needs the link with the
Yong p. 19
Van Mook's views on administrative reform are
relevant because they revealed his concern for firm and efficient functioning
of the administration, an obsession that could have been responsible for his
persistent reluctance to accept the idea of full independence immediately for
The proposals of Van Mook and those of the Stuw in
general failed to evoke a positive response. In 1931, the new Governor-General
was B.C. de Jonge whose inaugural speech in the Volksraad in that year revealed
that a time of tight and restrictive colonial control had dawned in the
As a result of the adverse reaction of the colonial government towards the Stuw, new members were not encouraged to join the movement. The Stuw remained small and at the end of 1933 their publication was discontinued. … In 1935 when the new Volksraad convened, neither he nor any other Stuw member was appointed to that body….
While Van Mook felt that there was a grave miscarriage of justice in the trial and imprisonment of Soekarno in 1929 because the latter did not really plan violence, he asserted that Soekarno should have known that his propaganda would play into the hands of the colonial "conservative diehards". IN While he condemned the judgment passed on Soekarno, his objections were focussed almost entirely on the legal problems of the case and did not question the wisdom of the colonial government's response to the emerging nationalist movement led by Soekarno. There is no recorded discussion on how best to accommodate the rising nationalist aspirations of the 1930s. He made no known attempt to try to understand the political ideology of Soekarno. To Van Mook, Soekarno was merely lacking in political insight and responsibility. The element of "realpolitik" was missing in Van Mook's objections.
Van Mook was little different from the civil servants of his time. A breed of
men dedicated to the creation and maintenance of an efficiently functioning
bureaucracy in a peaceful stable state, they had little time for leaders like
Soekarno who were considered demagogues and unrepresentative of the masses. The
world view of the civil servant in the
For the conventional colonial official, the world divided normally into two: praters and werkers. Praters (talkers) were especially the politicians, parliamentarians, idealists, "reds" and ideologues. Werkers (doers) were busy and practical men of affairs, who kept their mouths shut, "ran a tight ship", had a strong sense of hierarchy and knew their place down to the last e. The division was in many ways a conventional pejorative distinction between administrators and politicians. Furthermore Dutch officialdom clearly defined their Great Society as consisting of Rust en Orde (Tranquility and Order), which was constantly being threatened by "chaos"…. Any reading of Dutch colonial literature astounds one with its obsessive concern with a (supposedly fragile) orde. Society (in all serious matters) divided between law-givers and law-takers, the regulators and the regulated. The politician was an intruder and an outsider, to be kept firmly in his place. The essential danger was always that the hierarchy would be disturbed by "lower" elements making claims to power in the name of communal, revolutionary and/ or democratic forces. The good political state is stabiel, the bad labiel.