Herbert Morrison, who returned from his holiday on 3 September, managed to attend the Cabinet meeting of the 4th before leaving again for San Francisco, where he was to sign the treaty of peace with Japan on the 8th. He told his colleagues of Shepherd’s belief that the Persians were determined to ensure the protection of British personnel at Abadan, so as to give no excuse for the intervention of British forces.2 As a prediction it proved to be accurate and it reflected Shepherd’s consistent opposition to British military involvement, but it was a view that was bound to erode the political basis of Buccaneer: exploiting the threat to British lives in order to preserve the British stake in Persian oil. It was also, particularly in the earlier stages of the dispute, a very risky prediction. If it was accepted, but proved to be mistaken, British subjects might be killed because British forces were not ready to rescue them. This was a risk Ministers were not prepared to run.
KeywordsEurope Jetty Egypt Defend Stake
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Notes and References
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