Of all oddities, the British had been at work in 1945 even trying to extend their empire. British troops were present in Vietnam and Indonesia, where they were dragged into support for the existing French and Dutch rulers. In order to do so (and in Burma as well) they were driven to use the hundreds of thousands of Japanese prisoners of war to put down risings by the local nationalists. The French and the Dutch somehow understood even less than did the British that the European position was hopelessly lost: the Foreign Office adviser on Mountbatten’s staff told him that the Dutch were ‘mentally sick’ and ‘not in a fit state to resume control in this vast area’; it was not until 1948 that the Dutch abandoned Indonesia. But the British were also fantasizing, though less bizarrely. In the second half of the 1940s they were trying to create a new form of empire, in this case one based on Malaya. Here, they had a certain amount of justification, in that Malayan rubber earned a surplus of £170m for the sterling area - more than a third of its income (the Gold Coast supplied another quarter). Malaya was put together in a novel way, together with Singapore, but this did not solve the three-cornered problem of Indian, Chinese and Malay cohabitation. A civil war soon developed, with a Communist insurgency that was largely Chinese, and Malaya was not stabilized until 1960. The Americans faced problems of the same sort in the Philippines, to which they gave an independence with certain limits.