A Broken Record? Herbert Morrison on Iran
Billboard — August 4, 1951

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| July 20, 2012      

Billboard ("the amusement industry's leading newsweekly") reports on an apparent incident at the always lively House of Commons in July 1951. While blathering on about the Iranian oil crisis, the story goes, British foreign secretary Herbert Morrison was rudely interrupted by an MP (Member of Parliament).

That MP was Conservative Member for the Isle of Ely, Harry Legge-Bourke (1914-1973) — and perhaps not for the last time. According to various subsequent unsubstantiated write-ups, he pulled the same coin stunt on Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Unless, of course, those writers are merely erronously attributing the Morrison anecdote to Attlee, or Billboard misidentified Attlee as Morrison...?


Billboard magazine - August 4, 1951 LONDON, July 28. — The juke box was the theme of a scene in Parliament the other day. Herbert Morrison, British foreign secretary, was giving a lengthy speech on the Iran crisis with standard vocal interruption from the opposition.

Then Major Legge-Bourke, M.P., tossed a penny—roughly equivalent to our nickel—at the secretary, which landed on a table in front of him. The speaker, offended at the affront to the dignity of Parliament, ordered the culprit out of the House of Commons.

Before leaving the major explained his conduct. His idea was to encourage Morrison to "put on another record."

Related links:

Communication Breakdown at the National Press Club? - Billboard — November 24, 1951

Iran’s Break With Britain | The Binghamton Press, October 18, 1952

The House of Lords on British - Iranian History

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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