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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Pax Britannica. Saigon. Memories of Vietnam

Following up yesterday's post. I never had friendly relations with the British Embassy. I think at the time the British Government tended to be rather pink instead of true blue. Not exactly collaborating with the enemy but not openly supporting the South Vietnamese either. I was most angry to find that after my contract with the US Defense Department ended I had been downgraded to a third country national. This had stopped me working with the Australians.

When I had arrived in Vietnam in July 1965 I had received a letter from the ambassador saying that as I was working with the Americans I was not their responsibility. When I needed papers from the Embassy to obtain a weapons permit I was informed the British Government did not believe it's nationals should be armed. I had to ask the American Embassy, where I had no problem. I think I heard the Embassy possessed one Browning automatic pistol apart from the kukris of it's Gurkhas. When I was teaching the Directrice of the school asked me to obtain some Union Jacks to put on her vehicle. The embassy said they didn't believe in British subjects portraying the Union Jack on their vehicle. I wonder if they would have approved the Union jack I had in Van Kiep. That was the one I put in the window of our hut so it shone all over the compound at night. It infuriated the hell out of an Australian, but I was rather proud of it.

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