Conflict in Indochina: Foreign Office Files for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, 1959-1979

Conflict in Indochina: Foreign Office Files for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, 1959-1979

Conflict in Indochina consists of the digitized files of the British Foreign Office (later the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) regarding Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for the period of 1959-1979. The materials in this collection illustrate Britain's perspective of trade, economic development, and political and military conflict in the region during this time period. 

Aiming to protect British interests in Malaysia and Singapore, the British Foreign Office attempted to prevent the spread of communist influence from the Soviet Union and China while also trying to avoid an escalation of conflict that might envelop the rest of South East Asia. As an ally of the United States, the British Foreign Office received news and information about US strategies, actions and plans. These documents thereby allow crucial new insights into the internal politics of Vietnam, Laos,  and Cambodia; American intervention in the region; the Vietnam War; the rise of Khmer Rouge; and the Cambodian genocide. Rutgers has access to both modules available on this platform: 

  • Crisis and Upheaval, 1959-1964
  • Escalation, Reunification and Withdrawal, 1965-1979

The documents in both sections cover Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The first section consists of files from FO 371, with the bulk of documents relating to the years 1959-1964. The second section includes both FO 371 and FCO 15 files and covers the years 1965-1979. Some materials in this collection include graphic descriptions and imagery, and some views or terminology in these materials may be considered outdated, biased, or offensive by present-day standards. 

The original files are held by the National Archives of the U.K. 

Dates covered

1959 - 1979.