With a long coastline and small population, Australia could not hope to defend itself against external attack. It has therefore always felt the need for the protection of a “great and powerful friend”.
The United Kingdom traditionally filled that role. Shortly after Federation, however, Australian prime ministers began to look across the Pacific to the United States for help against an expanding Japan. Alfred Deakin envisaged a combination of Anglo-Saxon people-in Britain, America, Australia, and New Zealand- to stabilize the Pacific. Billy Hughes also wanted a coalition of Pacific powers to check Japanese expansion. When Japan entered the Second World War, John Curtin bypassed Britain and appealed directly to the United States for help.
Attempts to strengthen ties between Canberra and Washington culminated in 1951 in the ANZUS Treaty, which became the focal point in relations between the two countries. But closer collaboration raised the problem of the relationship between junior and senior partners in the alliance. Could Australia conduct an independent foreign policy and not become a satellite of the United States?
This important book traces the developing diplomatic relations between Australia and the United States during this century, tying together a great deal of specialized research on various Canberra, Washington, and London for the period 1944-51 has provided interesting case studies, and access to other previously unavailable material has enabled the author to throw fresh light on relations between Australia and the United States during the occupation of Japan, the Indonesian struggle for independence and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.