Not Ready For Prime Time
June 22, 1951 — The Goulburn Evening Post

The Mossadegh Project | September 29, 2016                       

The Goulburn Evening Post of Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia (established in 1870) was visibly shaken by the loss of British prestige vis-a-vis Iran, as displayed in this nakedly orientalist lead and sole editorial.

Australian media archive on Iran

The Goulburn Evening Post


The farther the Persian trouble goes the worse it gets and, it might be fairly added, the more contemptible becomes the behaviour of those in charge in Britain who are supposed to represent the people of a once great empire. The basic trouble is that these leaders in Britain have been immersed for so long and so completely in their doctrinaire views about the behaviour of the human beings among whom they live and have their being, that, while they may know something of the human reactions in their own circle, like three mile-limit man elsewhere, they are surprised and even horrified when other human beings about whom they know nothing behave strangely and even savagely. While it is not necessary to agree entirely with the Prime Minister of South Africa, Dr. Malan, [Daniel F. Malan] in what he has to say about the “colonial policy” of Britain, there is a basis of hard fact in what he declared when he criticised the policy of the British Government in its plans for self-government of the native people because “they are not ready for it.” An example of this was seen in Indonesia where the same line of thought ended in the same result, the handing over to people who were, in the main, no more ready for self-governmen't than a mob of sheep. The metaphor puts it mildly. So the same attitude of mind has been evident in Britain in relation to Persia. After all, the head of the United Nations under which the International Court of Justice functions, is a Persian. [Nasrollah Entezam] All that was necessary was to put the matter before the proper authority and affairs would be straightened out. The United Nations, prodded by Russia and also to some extent by the United States, has been continually attacking Britain’s “colonial policy,” and this, aided with the attitude that now rules at No. 10 Downing Street, has contributed to the overwhelming spirit of defeatism which has made the happenings not a possibility but a certainty. For six months, the British Government has been warned what was going to happen in Persia and for six months the Government did nothing until the little fire lit by Mossadeq became a blaze which threaten what is left of the empire handed over in comparatively good order and condition to Attlee [Clement Attlee] by one Churchill. [Winston Churchill] It was the latter who remarked that he was not there to preside at the liquidation of the British Empire. It has been his wretched fate to have to watch his successor sit there and, seemingly, enjoy the process. Yesterday, Attlee was holidaying in Scotland.


Related links:

The Road To Disaster In Persia | The Sydney Morning Herald, June 28, 1951

A Lesson In Oil | The Toledo Blade, May 4, 1951

Desperate Situation in Iran Calls for Action: 3 Steps Suggested | Marquis Childs (May 1951)

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

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