Itchy Fingers

May 1, 1951 — The Advocate

The Mossadegh Project | November 12, 2020                  

Lead and sole editorial in The Advocate daily newspaper, serving Northwestern and Western Tasmania, Australia. Motto: “Fair and Impartial”.

Australian media archive

The Advocate (Northwestern and Western Tasmania, Australia)


BECAUSE Persia possesses one of the largest oilfields in the world—four times that of the Soviet Union—it is but natural that the Kremlin should be casting anxious eyes on the control of the indispensable liquid fuel resources there. And for no less reason are the countries in other parts of the world interested. Whether there is to be a slowing down of exports from Abadan is of the utmost concern to Australia, and the sinister way things are moving could mean rationing in Australia in the not distant future.

The rumors of open Russian intervention to control Persia may well be ruled out. That would mean war with Persia as well as the Western world, and the first effect would be destruction of the industry. The Russian line is to stimulate that of jingoism in the country and to infiltrate the nationalism which is building up hate against the foreigner, especially the British and American.

The proposal for the nationalisation of the industry, with the handing over of the refineries to a committee of 12 men of the most corrupt Parliament in the world, is most disturbing. Apparently what is intended is expropriation on Persian terms. Lacking the technical skill to conduct the industry, the prospect does not appear bright, either for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. or for the consumers of oil who depend, as Australia does, so largely on the output from the mammoth Abadan works. The question is being asked what will Britain do. It will not be easy to answer, for there is the rising tide of rabid nationalism, and the itchy fingers of a corrupt bureaucracy reaching out for the wealth which control of the industry they hope, perhaps mistakenly, will give them.


Related links:

On the Other Foot | The Nashville Tennessean, May 16, 1951

Bleak Outlook In Persia | Newcastle Morning Herald, May 5, 1951

Persia Is Adamant | The Advocate (Tasmania), September 27, 1951

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

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