THE FALL OF THE BRITISH LABOUR GOVERNMENT IN 1951, IN THE MIDST OF THE NATIONALISATION OF THE ANGLO-IRANIAN OIL COMPANY’S CRISIS.

THE FALL OF THE BRITISH LABOUR GOVERNMENT IN 1951, IN THE MIDST OF THE NATIONALISATION OF THE ANGLO-IRANIAN OIL COMPANY’S CRISIS.

In the meanwhile the British delegation, by the course of events and by the attitude of their colleagues on the Council, had been persuaded to call merely for the resumption of negotiations, rather than terms of their resolutions. The Security Council met on 15th October, the British representative, Sir Gladwyn Jepp, made a brief statement in explanation of his new draft resolution. He called, just, for

the resumption of negotiations at the earliest possible moment in order to make further efforts to resolve the difference between the parties in accordance with the principles of the provisional measures indicated by the International Court of Justice unless mutually agreeable arrangements are made consistent with the purpose and principle of the United Nations Charter.35

In reply to Sir Gladwyn Jepp’s statement, Dr. Musaddiq said:

It is gratifying to see that the European powers have respected the legitimate aspirations of the peoples of India, Pakistan and Indonesia, and others who have struggled for the right to enter the family of nations on terms of freedom and complete equality… Iran demands just that right.36

The petroleum industry had contributed practically nothing to the well-being of the people or to the technical progress or industrial development of my country. The evidence for that statement is that, after fifty years of exploitation by a foreign company, we still have not enough Iranian technicians and must call in foreign experts.37

The Iranian nation is determined to use this vital resource, which is part of its national patrimony, to raise its standard of living thus to promote the cause of peace.38

With the completion of the formal statements of British and Iran, the debates in the Security Council during its next meetings were concerned primarily with two issues; first, the determination whether there was a dispute, and if so whether the dispute was a threat to international peace and security or was essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of Iran; second, the determination, in relation to the scope of domestic jurisdiction, of the competence of the Security Council and the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. The British delegation went into an emergency consultation with their supporters, and on 19th October, Lacoste of France proposed that the debate be adjourned until after the International Court of Justice had given its verdict. The British representative, Sir Gladwyn Jepp, accepted this resolution. The Council passed the resolution by eight votes to Russia’s single opposing vote, Yugoslavia and Britain abstaining.39 In the meantime the British general election came on 25th October 1951, an ample period away from the Hague court’s hearing, Churchill took the place of Attlee.

  1. L.P. ELWELL-SUTTON, Persian Oil: A Study in Power Politics, (London: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd., 1955), p. 261.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid. pp. 261-262.
  5. A.W. FORD, op. cit., pp. 124-53

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