Power and Control
October 10, 1951 — The Advertiser

The Mossadegh Project | April 26, 2021                           

Yet another lead editorial upholding Britain and the Commonwealth in The Advertiser newspaper of Adelaide, South Australia.

Australian media archive

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) newspaper


Nahas Pasha, the Egyptian Prime Minister, threatened on August 26 that unless Britain made a new constructive move for a revision of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty before the end of the Egyptian Parliament’s present session, he would break off all negotiations and call for the abrogation of the treaty.

He knew then — and has been repeatedly informed since — that the British Government was working on proposals which did, in fact, represent a new constructive move. Although the details are still obscure, it is no secret, least of all to the Egyptian Government, that the British plan envisages a Middle East defence pact to which Egypt would be admitted as a full partner.

There have been delays in completing the draft. In part they have been ascribed to the uncertainties and the added worries which the British Government has to contend with on the eve of a general election. But, largely, they seem to have been due to the very complexities of the task of replacing the Anglo-Egyptian alliance by a wider defence arrangement.

Nevertheless, the British Government hoped to have its plan ready within a few weeks from now. Indeed, the Ambassadors of Britain, the United States, France and Turkey were discussing it in Cairo at the very moment the Egyptian Prime Minister was denouncing the treaty in Parliament.

It is easy enough to see why Nahas Pasha should have thought the opportunity of asserting what he describes as Egypt’s national rights in this flagrantly illegal fashion, too good to miss. He would assume that the British Government may no longer be in office after October 25 and that here was the chance to present its successor with a fait accompli. Moreover, he has unquestionably been impressed by the British surrender — it is hardly less than that — in Persia. If (he must have told himself) Dr. Mossadeq has torn up an agreement with Britain, and “got away with it,” why should he not do likewise?

And there are other reasons. There is Egypt’s resentment, which falls mainly on Britain, at the recent resolution of the Security Council calling on her to cease her illegal interference with traffic through the Suez Canal. There is her claim to the Sudan, which the British defence proposals would, presumably, leave unsatisfied; and there is finally, as in Persia, the ever-present need for national successes of this nature in order to divert attention from the appalling inequalities that disfigure the country.

The British Government has, naturally and promptly, refused to acknowledge the “right” of the Egyptian Parliament to abrogate a treaty which can be ended, before its expiry date in 1956, only by the consent of both parties. It cannot conceivably allow itself to be, hustled out of the Suez Canal zone as it has been out of Persia. What is now at stake is not only British interests and British prestige, but the security of the Commonwealth’s most important life line and defence of one of the free world’s most vital areas. It is time for firmness.

SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)
SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)

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Related links:

Australia and the Middle East | The Advertiser, Oct. 15, 1951

Time To Draw A Line | The Mercury, September 28, 1951

Hopeful Signs In Two Danger Areas | Sydney Morning Herald, July 21, 1954

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

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