Long-time New Mandala readers know that I occasionally draw attention to a fragment of a historical source about mainland Southeast Asia. Recently I stumbled upon this intriguing report from The Age (18 May 1962). It begins by noting that:

Although Australia has not yet committed troops to Thailand, it seems obvious from Sir Garfield Barwick‘s statement yesterday that we will do so if asked. It would hard to find reasons for refusing. Thailand is naturally concerned about the turn of events in Laos, and Australia would not be doing more than protecting her against the eventuality–unlikely, it would appear–of the Laotian conflict spilling over the border.

Australia’s obligations in this case are more clearcut than in South Vietnam.

This extract is drawn from the Google News Archive which is, as more and more materials are included, becoming a top-rate resource for particular historical periods. Just take a quick look at what it presents for those interested in Burma. It brings in newspapers from around the world, peppered with countless often overlooked details on the reporting of Burma’s place in international history in the 1940s and 1950s.

Compared to the hard work required of any individual researcher to consolidate these newspaper articles, this simplifies things greatly. More details on the Google News Archive are available here.