chapter  22
The British Parliament and Occupied Japan, 1945–52
Pages 10

At all times parliament is merely the public face of politics and its discussions rarely reveal every aspect of government and official policy. In the autumn of 1945 the public mood also prevented ministers revealing many of the painful realities of Britain’s position. At this time the sense of Commonwealth and Imperial unity was so great that many Englishmen believed that Britain was more powerful than she was, while an understandable pride in victory made it difficult for leaders to admit Britain’s inability to influence United States actions in Japan. Furthermore, America was so crucial to British security in Europe that ministers generally felt compelled to defend American occupation policy. Government spokesmen also claimed that Britain was being consulted in these important matters; for to have suggested otherwise might have damaged relations between London and Washington. Despite these qualifications there was genuine British approval for much that General MacArthur was attempting in occupied Japan.