- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 17 Jan 1957, p. 165-180
- Dewhurst, Brigadier Claude H., Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- An independent view of the Middle East based on 10 years out there and later on in planning Middle East Affairs at the War Cabinet Offices, and a recent visit. To begin, raising some pride. The Middle East as Great Britain's baby. A review of accomplishments in the Middle East by Britain. The current situation. Have and have-not countries in the Middle East. What Egypt really needs. Britain's problems with Nasser, and the reasons why. What is happening in the Middle East now with regard to the acquisition of Intelligence. How the plot of Russia in the Middle East was unfolded to British Intelligence. Reasons for the lack of consultation with the U.S. or other Commonwealth countries. The military plan. The Soviet bluff. Looking at the better side of the situation. The lack of information as outlined here, coming from Britain. The resignation of Eden. The American "plan." A summation of the current situation. Realizing the vital importance of the Suez Canal. Britain learning lessons from the Middle East Crisis. Giving assistance to America in the meantime. Problems ahead for the U.S. in the Arab world. The hope that Mr. MacMillan will patch up Britain's quarrel with President Eisenhower. The hope that Britain will lead a European Confederation. Rallying by the Commonwealth.
- Date of Original
- 17 Jan 1957
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- Full Text
- "THE STRUGGLE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST"
An Address by BRIGADIER CLAUDE H. DEWHURST, O.B.E
Thursday, January 17th, 1957
CHAIRMAN: The President, Mr. Donald H. Jupp.
MR. JUPP: Our guest speaker is well known to Canadian audiences and in general he needs no introduction from me. I feel, however, that we should examine his credentials to see just how well qualified he is to speak on what is undoubtedly the most controversial and vital issue of the present day.
Claude H. Dewhurst joined the Regular Army in Britain in the year 1929 and remained in the service until 1954. During that time he worked in Intelligence and Diplomatic work in 47 countries and in the process learned to speak five languages. During the war he fought in the Middle East and earned among other decorations the O.B.E. Key appointments served to give him an unrivalled knowledge of the Middle East and I ask you to note especially the following:- Intelligence Officer for the Suez Canal, aide to Palestine's last High Commissioner, appointment to the War Cabinet offices in London, Deputy Head of Middle East Intelligence 1946-8, Military Attache at Belgrade, Yugoslavia 1948-51, Chief of the British Mission to East Germany accredited to Marshal Chuikov at Potsdam 1951-3, and after his resignation in 1954 BBC Balkan Correspondent.
Since settling down in Toronto he has been Foreign Editorial writer for the Telegram, lecturer in all major cities of the United States, author, radio and TV personality. His books, "Limelight for Suez"; "Close Contact with the Russians" (a best seller in five languages) and "The Soviets: What's Their Line" will be followed by others as he still writes not only books but magazine articles.
We are indeed fortunate in having such an eminently well qualified speaker to address us on "The Struggle For the Middle East". Brigadier Dewhurst.
BRIGADIER DEWHURST: I am going to talk today about the Middle East Struggle and I am going to offend quite a lot of people in this room because I am not a politician like Your Worship here, I have no religious strings like my Lord Bishop, I have no economic strings like many of you in this room, and I have few commercial ties with the business world!
So I want to give an independent view of the Middle East based on 10 years I had out there and later on in planning Middle East Affairs at the War Cabinet Offices, and a visit there quite recently. I want to raise some pride in you to start with.
The Middle East really has been Great Britain's baby. She founded it and there is a lot to be proud of in what has been accomplished in the Middle East. If you start on the left with Syria and Lebanon ... we helped them to their independence, assisting to get the French out who had done a very good job there, but had perhaps overstayed their leave ... (to the French Consul-General) ... I'm sorry, sir, for so speaking of France! We founded the borders of Iraq and we discovered oil in Iraq. We also discovered oil in Persia nearby and we defended Persia many vital times in her recent history.
Further down Israel or Palestine was carved out by us and its birth announced by Lord Balfour of Great Britain, so that Jews throughout the world owe to Great Britain's inspiration the fact that Israel exists. Across the border in Jordan is a country founded by Britain. The king was put there by England, and the last King, Amir Abdullah, was a very enlightened fellow. In Saudi Arabia again the old King Ibn Saud, whom I had the pleasure of meeting, was an extraordinarily wise fellow. And he gradually became rich-first of all from subventions Britain gave him and later on from the greater discovery of oil by the United States. His son now rules.
As for Egypt, the one country that has turned most against us, that is the one we have done the most for. Without Britain's backing the great dams on the Nile would not be there; her health would not be bettered as it has been over the last 25 years; the railways would not run, because we laid down the railways. We defended the Suez Canal. We defended the borders of Egypt against Fascists first, and later against Nazis. We gave her a decent little army. We gave her a corrupt-free Civil Service. All this we gave her and we were proud of Egypt, as we were of the Sudan to the South. We had nothing to be ashamed of in the world "imperialism" at all, although the term "Imperialist" is now used as a cliché by Communists and has, unfortunately, permeated in its bad sense to a lot of our friends.
We have a lot to be proud about in the setup that Great Britain gave to the Middle East and, after giving this to the Middle East she withdrew, mostly in her own time leaving good governments behind, sometimes a little hastened by national aspirations and the clamour for nationalist governments, and occasionally, and unfortunately, under prodding from her good friends in the U.S. For instance, she had to leave Palestine prematurely. I was deputy head of Intelligence there and I know very well how our High Commissioners strove to their utmost to develop that country, commensurate with a reasonable number of Jews coming into it, but when the U.S. supported a limitless number of Jews coming to that country and a policy of-shall I call it-forcibly overcrowding Palestine, it was impossible for Britain to hold the Mandate any longer. So she handed it back and I thereupon closed my books and wrote on top "This Means War", and there has been war ever since.
In Egypt, too, we were prodded out unduly hurriedly. I know the officers who negotiated the Suez "Get-Out" Agreement, and the Egyptians were quite agreeable to the extra 18 months which we wanted to see that enormous depot with $160 million worth of equipment properly safeguarded and arranged to take over. But under U.S. prodding we got out 18 months earlier, and in that precise 18 months the most calamitous events took place.
And had we followed this prodding to its ultimate, we would be out of Cyprus now. There would be war in Cyprus with EOKA, with the Communists or the Turks against the Greeks, and there would probably be intervention from one Major Power or another.
So that in a nutshell, is, as an Englishman sees it, the history of the Middle East to date.
Now the Middle East, to most people who haven't been there means just oil. Yet there are certain `have-not' countries-There are, in fact, three `have-not' countries who have no oil; they are Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They may get money through pipelines passing through them but they do not have the wells. And as a result it is precisely those three countries who are the mischiefmakers, headed by Egypt, who wishes to form a military confederation to ring around and overcome Israel.
Now Egypt is, of course, one of the greatest Imperialist countries in the world. It wishes to extend the old Caliphate of its past Imperialism throughout the Middle East, though it has no oil revenue to support this struggle. As a result it has considered, under Colonel Nasser, that the best way to do this is by military prowess. ... A prowess difficult to come by because the Egyptian army is one of the most hopeless fighting instruments I have ever come across. But they hope to do this by military prowess, and as a result it is essential to have an objective for their army. It is no use having an army if it has no possible objective, with the result that Egypt is undoubtedly interested in keeping vast crowds of Palestinian refugees as a warlike thorn in the Middle East flesh, and particularly in not coming to terms with Israel-though we know that certain other countries in the Middle East would be perfectly willing to see an advantageous peace signed with Israel.
But what does Egypt really need? Not what Colonel Nasser thinks it needs. We know the Middle East very well; Britain has been there for a century and we know precisely what Egypt needs. She needs three things....
She needs health.... The whole of Egypt is infected with a disease from the Nile waters called Bilharzia which shortens your life by 10 years and ravages your kidneys and liver. Everyone not living in a town where there is piped water is weakened by Bilharzia, a cure of which must be found and will cost millions and millions of dollars. Secondly, all children suffer from Trachoma, which is an eye disease-a debilitating disease from which every child in Egypt, almost without exception, suffers.
Next she requires Education. ... The standard of education is appalling. If you had been around like me in almost every village-and there are I think over 1600 in Egypt-you would be appalled at the complete and utter lack of education. I don't believe much in higher education myself, for reasons we won't go into now, but at any rate there must be elementary education, and there is still none at all in the greater part of Egypt.
Finally it needs Irrigation ... It doesn't need irrigation to raise the standard of living as many people think. It needs irrigation--that is to say the new Aswan Dam--merely to keep abreast of the existing population increase. By the time the Aswan Dam is built, if it ever is, at a cost of 1.3 billion dollars, in 10 years' time the Egyptian population will have increased so greatly that the Aswan Dam will only just provide the needs of that new generation. So don't think it is going to give so much arable land that Egypt will become a rich country. It has to try and stabilize the appalling situation which the birth rate will bring about very shortly. And so anyone who is planning, any Egyptian who rises to a predominant position to plan for the good of his country, must plan long term over 25 years-Health; Education and Irrigation.
Of course, this does not suit dictators. There is nothing triumphant, nothing notable, nothing glittering which the population likes about it, and as a result Britain gradually learned, as she had guessed when Nasser first came up through the army to his present position, that he would be just the sort of man that he is.
Great Britain does not like Nasser. Yes it's perfectly true; and with good reason. She doesn't like Nasser for the following reasons:
Under that Suez Agreement where we had to get out 18 months prematurely, there was no reason why there should have been this hustle and bustle, unless there was something behind it; and we have learned now that Nasser had planned the seizure of the Suez Canal two years in advance.
Over Israel and her appeal to the United Nations, we saw that Nasser was not interested in a peace with Israel. We saw that, in 1951, when the United Nations ordered Israeli ships to go through the Canal, that Egypt refused permission to let them through.
Thirdly, we saw that, over the Refugee problem, which is at the bottom of all the Palestinian troubles, that he is not interested in solving, or accepting, in getting other members of the Arab League to accept, or even putting to the Arab League the question of how many of these Refugees could be absorbed in the various countries in the Middle East.
Fourthly, there were meant to be free elections in the Sudan with neither side, Britain or Egypt, interfering. But Nasser did interfere in a big way and also in a stupid way. He sent down, for instance, Colonel Salem to dance in his underpants to natives who were, it transpired, more affronted than encouraged!
Fifthly, over the Aswan Dam, when the negotiations had been going on for some two years, we and the Americans found that we were being doublecrossed. All the time there was Egyptian talk about Russian gold coming in, with constant movements backwards and forwards to the Soviet Ambassador's house. In fact, nothing was going on, and when we called his bluff the Soviets threw in their hand and said--"We haven't really been negotiating at all". He was doublecrossing us, and he doublecrossed us over the arms deal. Those arms were meant to be 5 or 6 million dollars' worth coming from Czechoslovakia--in his words as an "ordinary commercial deal". It later turned out that the cost was running into tens even hundreds of millions, and coming straight from the Soviet Union by agreement.
And, finally, if we were left in any doubt as to what he intended for the so-called betterment of his country, we found it in a speech made to a crowd of rabble he said--"I will lead you from Triumph to Triumph", and we asked ourselves from which "Triumph" and to which "Triumph" because there were then only two "Triumphs" left? One was the seizure of the Suez Canal, which took place a fortnight later, and the other is the ultimate triumph over Israel, which he reckons will finally put him at the head of the Middle East world.
And so we have learned about Nasser with hard lessons and are more than aggravated that he should have been the blue-eyed boy of the Americans for such a long time, because we have learned to be disillusioned by Arabs, but the Americans, I regret to say, have not.
Now my job in the Middle East for 10 years was the acquisition of Intelligence, and I am quite confident that what is going on now in the field of acquisition of Intelligence in the Middle East is of the very, very highest order.
I have tried to put together in a few words, how the plot of Russia in the Middle East was unfolded to our Intelligence. Indeed, it can be accurately traced, day by day, starting on a Tuesday. The first thing to happen, as agreed with the Soviet Ambassador in Cairo, was the seizure of the Suez Canal and immediately after the seizure of the Suez Canal Jordan was to denounce her treaty with Great Britain. Within three days a Confederation of Egypt, Syria and Jordan-the "have-not" countries that encircled Israel--was to be announced under an Egyptian commander. Within a day or two of this three attacks were meant to be launched; not on one front, but three fronts.
The Egyptian front would have had amongst it some 1600 Soviet technicians to man the new types of tanks, rocket-firing apparatus and certain aircraft, while Syria was to have aircraft from the Soviet Union flown in at high altitudes for that short campaign. Jordan was merely to stage a diversion to get the Israelis to cross over the river Jordan so that the matter could be immediately referred to the United Nations. If either side had referred to the United Nations, then, of course, the Soviet Union was there to block it with her veto.
If you know the geography of Palestine, you know that you can get from one side to the sea in half an hour; you will know that 16 miles is sometimes the proximity of Arab land to the sea across Israel and that the whole of its configuration is such that a three-pronged attack would quickly have cut it into three. It was reckoned we don't know precisely how long) that within about a week Israel would have succumbed to these attacks and it would have taken quite a week before the United Nations met, before the Security Council met, vetoed and referred the question to the General Assembly, with counterclaims from Arabs and Jews to work out meanwhile. By that time Israel would not have existed!
This Intelligence information was available, and had for some time been available, but speed and secrecy were what was essential to thwart this Soviet-inspired plan and to prevent the first step happening, and, secondly, not to let the people know that counter-action was about to take place.
Now the Israelis were the ones most immediately threatened, and they were the ones who at once beat the pistol by saying: "Before this happens we will hold Jordan, we will hold Syria but we will launch an attack on Egypt, for we know the stamina of her army and we believe it can be defeated within a fortnight". Actually they defeated it within five days.
This speed and secrecy, which was so necessary, did not allow of the U.S. to be consulted. They were informed 48 hours before, although it had only reached the White House 24 hours before, but they were not consulted in it because it would have been quite useless to consult the U.S. on election eve. They could not have given both the go-ahead and their support--No leader could have given it who was fighting for his Presidency within 48 hours, and so there was no point whatsoever in consulting the U.S. ... only informing them.
Nor really was there any point--when you look at it dispassionately--in consulting the Commonwealth. Commonwealth reaction might have shown itself in one of many decisions:--"Yes we support you." Or it might have been a calling for documents ... "Produce your evidence." "Why is this a calamity?" "Why must you work swiftly?" Right oh! then we would have had Commissions set up--people flying here and there--divulging our Intelligence--putting plans on the table. "See if you agree to this, or that." Then they would go back to their Legislative Assemblies, and so forth, and so forth!
But, there was not TIME for this! There was no point if they disagreed because they would HAVE to be overruled in any case.
And when you look at it in that light, you realize the sort of differences of opinion there might have been between India and Australia, or Canada and South Africa. They would undoubtedly have been very great. There would not have been unanimity and Eden reckoned it would be better to take the risk oneself since only U.K. troops were to be involved rather than to appeal to the Commonwealth beforehand.
Now the attack was astonishing successful. The only thing one had against it was an overruling of the purely military point of view .... and I have now more or less heard from London what this military point of view was. The military plan was in fact to seize Cairo, Alexandria, north of the Canal at Port Said and South at Suez, all at the same time. This would have involved considerable preliminary bombardment-a good deal of what I shall call "promiscuous" bombing, where you cannot be as accurate as you would like to be; a great killing of personnel, and, of course, destruction of civilian buildings, and so forth.
Had that been carried out, as the plan was originally put up by the General Staff in London, it would undoubtedly have been successful in only three days, but unfortunately World opinion, Arab League opinion, Commonwealth opinion, and the U.N. had to be considered, and in the end it was decided to go only for Port Said, and to "soften up" by one of the most accurate bombardments in history; pinpoint-shooting of aircraft,, tanks and so forth, which alone went on for three days before the actual attack was launched. And the modified a plan of attack had to stop, as I shall tell you, three days before it could finally be concluded. Nevertheless, in that time the Israelis, and later on British and French troops, had shot down or destroyed on the ground 80% of the aircraft which Egypt had received from Russia and routed over 35% of her army in the Sinai Desert or near Port Said. It was amazingly successful.
And then, of course, as you know--and I don't want to recapitulate history--came the Soviet bluff; the great bluff that said they would send volunteers to the Middle East in hundreds of thousands and that they would rocketbomb England. It was undoubtedly a bluff, though I quite see that in the present state of the world, no one could dare to call it. How could she have got volunteers there? Across Iran? How would they get to the canal from there? Would she FLY them in when the Allies had five aircraft carriers to stop her? Would she send them by I sea when there were two fleets, apart from the American Fleet, in the offing?--three fleets all together. How would these volunteers have arrived? After all, she had the technicians she wanted for the scheme; why should she have more troops flown in there? And as for bombardment of Great Britain by rockets, has she got those rockets? We very much doubt it. And if she bombarded Great Britain, how do you deal with rockets? You bomb the bases. And who would do it? The American aircraft from their bases in Great Britain, and Russia would thus be at war with the Americans within 24 hours. To my mind that was a bluff and, all to our sadness, we were too fearful to call it, though it is, as I said, perfectly understandable.
Thereafter, of course, Eden had to reap the fruit of all this. He had to reap the fruit of U.S. fury and the personal jealousies of Mr. Dulles. The telegrams of blackmail--that England would be cut off from the American dollar--poured into London. There came in telegrams from Canada (as yet, luckily for Ottawa, not divulged!). And there came in telegrams from India on the same lines, that they would be prepared to leave the Commonwealth as well. There came in telegrams from elsewhere, and to cap it all, there came the Hungarian revolt, with Russian fury at being thwarted in the Middle East, reeking its revenge on poor Budapest. And it was Great Britain who had thus to give an ultimatum to the French commander, who wanted to go ahead with the final three days of getting the Canal. Eden had to give the ultimatum to his ally to stop action with their joint work unfinished.
But do not look at the bad part, as the papers always wish us to look. Let us look at the better side:--The Soviet arms supplied to Egypt were virtually all knocked out; Israel was given peace and a respite which she hasn't had for many long years; the Arab States did not, as our Intelligence rightly knew, come to the assistance of Egypt at all. They should have done. They were called upon to do so every two hours from Cairo radio, but they did not do so, except a small band of soldiers who cut a pipeline in Syria. We foiled a Soviet plot which was of far greater dimension than most of the world realized. We drew attention to Israel's position after hundreds of unfructuous meetings of the U.N. and a solution of the Suez Canal will surely be come by which may last for years to come. However it may be worded, it will be a solution. Finally we have forced the U.N. into action, and we are getting people for the first time used to intervention of the U.N. I see today that Pakistan has asked a U.N. force to come to Kashmir to intervene there. We are thus getting people used to the fact that the U.N. has teeth.
Now here I must come to blame the country from which I have just left, Great Britain. I think it appalling that the information that I have tried to outline here has not been more readily available. I have just finished 50,000 miles in the U.S. and found my audiences amazed to know details of Great Britain's action and justification, and that they have been pleased, astonished and bewildered that there is another side of the question at all! Now I blame very much the British Information authorities for this.
I know that the Empire hasn't needed propaganda in the past, but it needs propaganda very much now--if you know what propaganda can do. Take instances: I think it was in 1933 to '43 that the new Indian "Congress" party smothered the U.S. with lecturers and newspaper articles and succeeded even in persuading President Roosevelt as to the rightness of the Congress cause in India. More recently, I see now in my weekly "New York Times" that even little Cyprus, whose cause is quite wrong in my mind, is convincing the American by two and one-half columns a week in the "New York Times", irrespective of expense. It puts its case over quite well and is persuading American opinion to only the Cypriot point of view. The Greeks also use many lecturers-one of them has given 160 lectures, and I challenged him on Buffalo T.V. the other day. Another instance. Within the last week, the Yemen has attacked Aden and I have read all about the Yemeni side in the Star, Telegram, The Globe & Mail, and the New York Times, but never read England's point of view, except as a footnote, until a week later. Yet I know the Yemen, and I know Aden, and there is no question of our troops in Aden attacking the Yemen. There is no reason for it. Yemen is the most backward, hopeless and uneconomical country that anyone would want to get their hands into. But I have not seen the British point of view forcefully and interestingly explained to the press, and so I blame our information services not only there, but for the final reckoning of the Suez crisis I have outlined today.
This led as to the resignation of Eden. Eden fell as an oblation and a sacrifice to the then Nasser-Dulles axis, and so to the shoulders of the United States. I am sorry indeed to criticize them. Americans are, in my opinion after two years' of travelling around there, some of the finest people in the world; people of the best intention in the world; people who want to know what is going on in the world and who have given an enormous amount to the world, starting with the Marshall Plan. I have a very great admiration for them, but in the last few months over events in the Middle East, which they understand so singularly badly, they have shown fear, vacillation and ineptitude. As a result they, of course, became popular with the Soviets and with the Arabs and were "foisted" with a policy. Out of this vacillation and ineptitude and fear came a policy which has now been enunciated by our friend Mr. Dulles-whose best place, when he was in bed, would have been to remain there!
And out of this has hopped a wonderful frog, of which we have read in the press recently, namely, that the generous U.S. will allot to the eight Middle East countries one-fifth of the money that might have been available for the Aswan Dam and, secondly, that the U.S. will use force against the Communists only if the Communists openly attack. As if this had been anything new-when a few weeks earlier Great Britain had taken action to prevent just such an attack. Great Britain had acted quickly because the Russians act quickly, and if you don't act damn quickly yourself you will be overwhelmed, as many, many other countries can tell you.
But to revert to the American "plan". First of all the attack has got to be overt. Now, how it is going to be overt I cannot conceive, unless they send some divisions from Azerbaijan over the mountains of Persia (Iran) and start marching to the Suez Canal, where at least three of them will arrive! They cannot get there by sea, they cannot get there by air, so I cannot think how they can attack overtly, except on foot. Secondly, the country attacked has got to request assistance. They forget, perhaps, that Mr. Nagy requested assistance a short time ago from Budapest and reaped an adequate reward! If a formal request means that the legal government still exists; that the Russians have been extraordinarily unsuccessful and that their troops are still marching into the country when it requests U.S. aid, why then the U.S. will "consider it"--in their own words--"after consulting with the appropriate committees". So they will then consult the appropriate committees to see if it is worth sending anyone to the appealing country. And how are they then going to intervene? They have with their Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, just one marine battalion, and I cannot think quite how that is going to be placed or supplied in the far reaches of Iran, Pakistan or wherever this overt attack is coming from!
In other words, Dulles' plan is an enunciation of a policy which has been "foisted" upon him, which is good as far as it goes, but the trouble is it doesn't really get started! It is in any case insufficiently grandiose and doesn't strike the imagination. So, let us think for one second what might it have been.
It might have been a two BILLION dollar loan to the Middle East spread over five or ten years for the harnessing of the great rivers which can change the future history and economy of those countries in the Middle East, mainly of the Jordan, which, if properly dammed and irrigated, could cope with some 200,000 refugees and a great many Jews as well; of the Tigris and the Euphrates, which I have watched spewing their presently useless waters into pure nothingness in a land which was once the most arable in the world, and whose harnessing would change the complete economy of many lands; and of the Nile which needs not only the Aswan Dam, but much subsidiary work in order to keep abreast of the Egyptian rise in population.
And if in Part Two, after this advancement of the two billion loan, had come an announcement that the U.S. will not tolerate within the Middle East the setting up of any Communist government and that it would intervene whether it be that the Communists go there overtly or by subversion-if it had been so worded as to strike the imagination of Arabs-then it might have stood some chance of success.
So let us in my final two minutes try and sum all this up. It looks bad what I have just said, but it isn't as bad as all that. First of all, the Soviets are not in the Middle East now, where they would be if Great Britain had not intervened . . . . and that is the truth.
Secondly, the U.S. is taking our place, and I am glad that she is. I like the Americans and I am glad that they are taking our place rather than somebody else.
Thirdly, it has opened our eyes to the Suez Canal. I wrote its history in a book; I helped to defend it during the war and indeed planned its early defenses, yet I never realized how vital it was. I didn't know that NATO would go down the sink in a week without it. I didn't know that gas rationing would spread over Europe within three days; I didn't know that. And if it were only realized in war, Europe could be ruined, crippled and finished. So I am glad we have "discovered" this in peace time, because we must by all means now hasten alternative pipelines, alternative sites, (as in Tanganiyka where it can be piped in South Africa) build bigger tankers. We must develop, and so must the States, oil that is NOT in the Middle East, because it is quite intolerable that the whole future of the Great European Confederation should lie in the hands of a puppet of Russia and a fool like Colonel Nasser.
I would finally be glad if I felt like Sir Anthony Nutting does in an article of his yesterday, with which I fully agree, that the Middle East crisis will turn Britain's thoughts inwards as well as outwards. You cannot rely on a Commonwealth to supply an island of 50 million people. You cannot rely on unanimous reaction of a Commonwealth as you could in Queen Victoria's day. Nor can one allow England, as the Commonwealth head, to become progressively weaker in her possessions abroad until she becomes but a satellite of America. Rather than that I hope that Britain will look inwards to Europe, because in her leadership of a European Federation lies her chance once again to be pre-eminent and to lead a Third Force which will comprise much of the inventiveness of the world, the treasures of the Old World, a great supply of skilled workmen, the material and the sinues for war, as well as for the founding of an historic future. I hope then that she will learn these lessons from the Middle East Crisis.
She must meanwhile give America every assistance she can even if she feels a little bitter. God help the U.S. in the problems that she has ahead in the Arab World. I have recently met some of her diplomats who are going to try and solve those dynastic, personal, economic and other rivalries and jealousies which beset the Middle East. But she will certainly need Britain's assistance, and the first word of policy and advice she should receive is: "Do not put your trust in men like Col. Nasser".
So we must now expect many momentous days ahead, and during that time I hope America will sometimes listen to our advice. I hope that Mr. MacMillan will patch up Britain's quarrel with President Eisenhower, and I very much hope that Great Britain will be a country not forever sliding, so that we need not grow rather hot-cheeked when people talk slightingly about the prestige of Britain. I would like to see her rise again to seize the opportunity of leading this European Confederation. We want to look to a Mother country which is mighty, noble once more, rich once more, and respected as she should be. I hope that Britain will lead that Confederation and not rely uniquely on the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth will automatically rally to her when it sees that she has gone back to her predominant position in world affairs.
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by Brig. W. S. Rutherford, E.D.