[Abadan Crisis and UK Foreign Office.] Three typewritten Foreign Office briefing documents (two 'RESTRICTED') for British Army 'R.A.E.C. Instructors', including 'A general note on Persia and the Persian oil question' and 'Persia - Oil Dispute'.

The Abadan Crisis and the British Foreign Office [Anglo-Iranian Oil Company; Mohammed Mossadegh; Persia; Persian; Special Intelligence Service (M6)]
Publication details: 
[British Foreign Office, Whitehall, London.] Main document by 'GSI | 29 May 51' [29 May 1951]
SKU: 21268

The five items (two maps are included in addition to the three documents) are in good condition, lightly aged and worn. From a batch of Foreign Office documents, including material from the Information Research Department (for whose activities, financed from the budget of the Special Intelligence Service, otherwise MI6, see The Times, 17 August 1995; and also Michael Cullis's obituary of Sir John Peck in the Independent, 20 January 1995). The purpose of the material would appear to have been to prepare British Army officers for the possibility of armed intervention in Persia following the nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. ONE: Duplicated typescript titled 'A general note on Persia and the Persian oil question', by 'GSI | 29 May 51'. [1] +12pp, foolscap 8vo. At end of last page: 'GSI | 29 May 51'. Each of the twelve pages of text headed 'RESTRICTED'. Stapled into buff card folder, with the title printed (rather than typewritten) on the cover. Divided into 31 numbered paragraphs, in three sections with a total of fifteen subheadings: 'Introduction' ('Topography and climate', 'History of modern Persia', 'The government', 'The people', 'Economic and financial conditions'); 'Oil industry' ('Refining and production', 'Importance to Persia', 'History', 'Effect of nationalising the oil industry', 'Importance to Great Britain'); 'Review of recent events' ('Supplemental Oil Agreement', 'Assassination of General Razmara', 'Oil Nationalisation Bill', 'The British Case', 'Conclusion'). No copy of this item found on either OCLC WorldCat or COPAC (no copy in the Columbia University Law School collection of 23 pamphlets relating to the affair), nor any reference to it discovered. TWO: Duplicated typescript ('current affairs' information sheet) titled 'Persia – Oil Dispute'. 12 + [1]pp, foolscap 8vo. Stapled, but with the last three leaves loose. The first eight pages form a discrete section beginning with lengthy quotation from 'a very comprehensive statement on Peria and Oil Supplies' made on 1 May 1951 by 'the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr Herbert Morrison)'. The next four pages, paginated 9-12, form another section, beginning: 'The purpose of these notes is to show the developments that have taken place in Persia, as a result of the Oil dispute since May 19, 1951 to the present, June 22 1951.' The last (unpaginated) page is carries notes and information (including Moussadek's cabinet and 'Oil Facts and Figures'), headed 'PERSIA – OIL DISPUTE Appendix A'. Stapled to the front of the first eight-page section is a covering duplicated typescript on a slip, with facsimile signature of Major P. V. Lewis ('S.O. (Edn) 11 HQ. 1 Inf. Div.') of 'HQ. 1 Inf. Div., M.E.L.F.I.', addressed to 'C.Os. List. | and All R.A.E.C. Instructors'. Under the subject heading 'Current Affairs', the covering note reads: 'Ref our Edn/19 dated 17 Mar. '51. | Herewith special issue of current affairs topic - “Persia – Oil Dispute”.' THREE: Duplicated typescript titled 'The Perisan oil question'. 3pp, foolscap 8vo. Each page headed 'RESTRICTED.' Talk notes, presumably for 'R.A.E.C. Instructors' who are to outline 'the Perisan Oil Situation' to British Regimental Officers. Beginning: 'The purpose of this paper is to present for the guidance of Regl Offrs two Current Affairs periods on the Persian Oil Situation.' Divided into thirteen sections, with the 'Conclusion': 'Your object will have been achieved if your class has received factual instruction on the subject of PERSIA and the demand for the nationalisation of the IRANIAN petroleum industry. | Do not leave the soldier with vague ideas too many in number and not sufficiently concrete to assimilate easily. | Your Blackboard Summary, paras 6 to 10 above, should give the “form at a glance”.' FOUR and FIVE: Two maps, both around 24 x 33 cm: one hand-drawn and in colours of 'Iran' and its neighbours (including Turkey and Egypt); the other a less tidy lithographed map of the same area. One of the maps is presumably based on the other. NO other copy has been traced.