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Title: Harold Macmillan and the Middle East, 1955-1956
Author: Cooper, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 9888
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis examines Harold Macmillan's role in formulating and implementing Britain's policy in the Middle East during the period from him becoming Foreign Secretary in April 1955 to the cessation of Suez hostilities on 6 November 1956. The intention is to explore what this reveals of his character and beliefs. The argument in the thesis is in three parts. Firstly that Macmillan's motivation was the preservation of Britain's economic interest in the region, principally oil. Secondly that as a result of his character and background his outlook was limited. He could not detach himself from an outdated historic attachment to the British empire. This made it difficult for him to consider other policies that might have been more successful in protecting British interests. Thirdly his concept of Britain's place in the world was allied to a conflict in himself between the pragmatic realist and the romantic imperialist. His attitude in regard to, and actions in respect of, the Baghdad Pact, Project Alpha, the Buraimi Oasis, the Aswan dam and the Suez affair are discussed. Intellectually he accepted that countries within the Middle East were seeking to free themselves from colonial shackles. Emotionally he regarded the relationship between those countries and Britain almost in feudal terms whereby Britain provided protection in return for loyalty. After the nationalization of the Suez canal his emotional side prevailed. This led to his central role in the ensuing debacle.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available