A Word About Global Trade
May 19, 1951 — The Tablet

The Mossadegh Project | October 20, 2021                      

An editorial (sort of) about Iran in The Tablet, (London) a weekly British Catholic newspaper founded in 1840.

Part of why it is confusing and ponderous is because each editorial flowed into the next, like one long-winded manifesto. A subsequent piece went on:

“Both the economic prospects and the political liberties in the Indian Republic are now, naturally, in process of rapid curtailment; while the increasing unreality of the whole conception of the Commonwealth, as Mr. Attlee and his Ministers envisage it, is illustrated by the declaration of the Pakistan Foreign Minister that Pakistan sympathizes with Persia in its violent and high-handed supercession of British rights. What the Pakistanis feel strongly about is something quite different, the aggression of Israel against the neighbouring Arabs. The feeling is not against lawlessness or injustice as such, but is highly selective, against lawlessness and injustice where the victims are fellow-Moslems.”

And another:

“We shall be entitled to be disappointed if the United States does not have more to say about the violent proceedings in Persia, beyond recognizing the right of sovereign States to nationalize or requisition the wealth in the territories under their rule. Much more needs to be felt and said, and said with energy, by those who speak for the world’s leading countries, to enforce, by precept as well as by example, the truth and importance of saving the free world from the grievous impoverishment and loss of freedom which will be its lot if variants of national socialism everywhere separate men into partitioned communities, each at the mercy of the acquisitive economic policies of the others.”

A Principle in Persia

THE property and rights of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company are important in themselves, and much more important as a test case which will determine the whole future of President Truman’s Point 4, the policy by which the richer countries are to save and invest and develop the poorer countries in order that their populations may live better; and it is of the first importance that both in London and in Washington there should be unity in defending the idea of property rights, which is fundamental to the whole economic progress of the under-developed continents.

Two great and good and natural forms of human association, the family and the national community, are both capable of so absorbing men’s loyalties that they lose sight of any wider duties. Most of the evils of economic exploitation and injustice have been created and maintained by men acting for their own families, conscious of their obligations and their pleasures inside a restricted circle, and using that sense of obligation to justify their complete indifference to what might happen outside their circle as the direct result of the way they chose to act. But the French proverb, “Le bon pere de famille est capable de tout,” has expressed a great political as well as a great commercial reality. [The good father of a family is capable of anything.] When, generally for some emotional reason quite unconnected with any horror of corruption, men draw attention to the corruption in some foreign Government, they do not find it difficult over most of the earth’s surface. Even in the countries where national government shows little or no corruption, local government is a much more tainted affair. But in most countries certain forms of corruption stretch through all the official fabric, for the simple reason that the family has always been for most men a stronger source of motive than the public good; and, wherever the family is preferred to the wider community, there will be official corruption, secret payments and favours, and men using their time of authority to make useful friends to receive them into their houses when they have failed. Through the Middle and Far East this has been particularly notable. Only two ways have ever been found of checking corruption: a draconian severity, which makes the risks not worth while, or the pressure of an educated public opinion visiting offenders with an ineffaceable stigma; but this pressure of opinion is progressively less effective at the lower levels of society, and where it has been successful it has been accompanied by a continual restriction of the opportunities for misusing official positions.

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Related links:

Persia’s Oil Grab Will Hurt Us — Her, Too | Aubrey Thomas, May 3, 1951

The Desperate Situation In Persia | As the Earth Turns, July 19, 1951

Clement Attlee | Labour Party Manifesto Speech (Oct. 1, 1951)

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

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