Persia

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Persia

Persia

P.M. 

Exp. Order.  Strong repn to Shah made.  Amb. seeing him this p.m.
Message to Truman.  Read reply (3115).  Takes us no further.
U.S. refuse to support use of force.  Have to see Oppn leaders this p.m.  I said:  "We have no intention of leavg. Abadan."
Didn't say we wd. stay there in all circs.
What is legal view?
Solr. G. Read A.G.'s opinions (Tel. 153 Hague).

P.M. 

That is the law.
What are possibilities?
i) Effect on P. opinion.  Doubtful wtr. it wd. be salutary in '51. - risk of uniting nationalist feeling behind M.
ii) Wd. have to stay on.  Work refinery.  Cdn't do it w'out co-opn of P. people.
I don't favour use of force.  Shd. lack support of U.S. & others - & success is doubtful.
Humiliatg. to be pushed out.  But we still control tankers & distn:  & we cd. hope still to bring P. to reason.

H.M. 

P. tear up contract without consultn with us.  Push our people around.  Steal their personal property.  Pinch Br. asset - now propose to push B. personnel out.  Defied decision of Hague Ct.
Humiliation to Br. throughout M/E.  Talk now in E. of nationalisg. Suez Canal.
Shd. go to Security Council either to report use of force or to complain of expulsion.  But no warrant they wd. do anything effective.
Truman's message isn't helpful.
Shd. we threaten use of force?  Mght. make M. hesitate.
Effect on Br. public.  "Under this Govt. foreigners are flouting Br. interests & trampling on Br. rights.  We are weak."  I wd. prefer action. Favour telling M. we won't have this & shall stop it (implied 'by force').

McN. 

This wd. please Br. public in Election.  But we wd. be in a jam thereafter.
H.S. makes d.o.'s daily.  We shd. be brght. to Sec. Council.
Favour our going to Sec. Council askg. for action to enforce Hague decn.  If Sov. veto that, posn of Truman & U.S. public opinion. wd. be v. difft.

H.D. 

Truman's para. (2) is explicit.  We can't flout U.S. - on whose aid we depend so much.
Tell W.S.C. & A.E. what Truman has said.  He wants to march with U.S.
13/9 tel.  U.S. deprecate any mil. measures save to protect Br. lives or against a Comm. P. Govt.
Force wd. be illegal unless evce of danger.  There is no such danger. Support advice of P.M.  Bring the people out.  Go to Sec. Council.

J. 

Sympathise with H.M.  But U.S. attitude is of gt. importance.
Doubtful about legal advice.  Goes too far.
We can't do nothing.  Choice:  drastic action or immedte refce to Sec. Council.  Then, if R. veto, we mght. use force.

E.Sh. 

Buccaneer cd. go in w'in 12 hrs.    }C.O.S.
But, if our object is to protect lives, evacuate them first  }view         
For arrival of Br. troops will occasion danger to Br. in Abadan.
Don't go to Sec. Council.  P. wd. flout an unfair decn:  & a fav. decn wd. not help us.
My plan:  Mexico.  No-one suggested use of force.  Br. & U.S. personnel had to leave.  But we broke off dipl. reln.  That, I think, is only action we can take.  Followed by economic sanctions.

R.R.S. 

Can't use force w'out U.S. backing in absence of violence to Br. lives.
Use force & we shan't succeed.
But, if we have, we shan't get back.
I favour Truman (3) viz. feed in a better alternative proposal thro' the Shah & leave him to deal with M.
50/50 won't do in Persia because they've had a worse basis for so long.

H.S. 

Can't use force w'out U.S. support.  Reject that.
Tell Shah tht. we are not rigidly tied to 50/50 basis, if that's real trouble.  But if Br. expelled, we shall on same day w'draw Ambassador, go to Sec. Council & apply extreme econ. measures.

A.V.A. 

Public here wd. not understand it if we did not go to Sec. Council.
Favour J's course.  If we can't use force (wh. I regret) we shd. go at once to Sec. Council.
If we don't, what next?  Will R. come in?  Will U.S. Cos. be free to supply technicians.

P.M. 

If R. came in, it wd. be easier for us to act - and U.S. also.

T.W. 

Support H.S. view.

C.E. 

Must go to Sec. Council.  Favour fresh offer.

N.B. 

No use of force in these circumstances.
New offer.  We can improve on earlier one.  But don't make the offer to M.  Do it thro' the Shah.
Go to Security Council.  Statute of Hague Ct. gives us right to ask Sec. Council to enforce their decision.
But, before going there, await result of U.S. demarche in Tehran.
And tell U.S. first.

H.G. 

Go to Sec. Council if we can be assured we shan't get slap in face.
W'drawal of Amb. wd. cut us off fr. Shah.
Don't make fresh offer until we have Truman's next message.
Or prs. until U.N. mediator appointed.

A.R. 

Sec. Council.  No further offer.  If we break off dipl. relns, use force to prevent P. use of our plant.

H.S. 

State publicly tht. if Br. prs. expelled, we shall go to Sec. Council etc. etc.
And tell Shah privately we will go better than 50:50.

G.W.  

1)  Force wd. upset Comm.
2)  Mayn't get fav. decn in Sec Council.  Depend on India.
1) Go to Sec. Council w'out delay.
2) Tell Shah as H.S. proposes.

H.G. 

Work out cost of new offer.
Compensn is prs. a better thing to make concession on, rather than 50/50 principle, wh. affects other fields.

P.M.     

Tell Shah
  a) going to Sec. Council
                      x | b) we are prepared to consider better offer if we have reasonable people.
  c) canvass support of other countries.
  d) tell Shah what we'll do if it breaks excludg brkg. dip. relns.
  e) enlist interest of Aga Khan  (R.R.S.)

H.M. 

Comments:  don't put ourselves in posn tht. we can't act anywhere w'out U.S. consent & approval.
  don't rely too much on the Shah.  He hasn't much authority or influence.
  don't depart from 50/50 principle.
  don't bring B. personnel out before last day.
  don't break off dipl. relns: useless.
Go quickly to S. Council.

E.Sh. 

Must state my dissent.
We have floundered around all thro'.
Suppose we "succeed" at Sec. Council, what then?  Will P. give way?

P.M. 

Council is enforcement body.  U.K. mght be authd to enforce Court's decision.

E.Sh. 

Still favour breakg. off.

P.M. 

Don't w'draw until last moment.
No force save to protect lives [unless Sec. Council ruling helps us]
Go to S. Council - telling Truman in advance.
Tell Shah we are going to do so:  & ready to talk to reasonable Govt.
P.M. (with H.M. & H.G.) to see W.S.C. & A.E.

Taken from C.M. 60(51) - Meeting held on 27 September 1951.