The Limits to Anglo-American Cooperation

  • Helene von Bismarck
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


Luce’s suggestion in November 1961 of enlisting US support for Britain’s Persian Gulf policy resulted in an intense debate in the Foreign Office as to how this aim could best be achieved. In January 1962, Denis Greenhill of the British Embassy in Washington DC, who had read Luce’s Despatch No. 98, suggested holding detailed discussions with the US State Department about Britain’s problems and policies in the Gulf.1 He wrote to Sir Roger Stevens, deputy under-secretary of state in the Foreign Office, informing him that the US Government relied on the stabilizing effect on the Gulf of Britain’s special position and hoped for this presence to be maintained, although there was a feeling in the State Department that the British Government did not make enough use of its political influence in the Persian Gulf. Greenhill warned:

While the Americans are, I believe, quite content to let us carry the responsibility for maintaining the stability and security of the Persian Gulf, and indeed have recently appeared somewhat nervous lest we should be thinking of cutting down the military force which we can bring to bear there, I also have the impression that they feel there must be a more ‘progressive’ alternative to our present political policy in the area.2


Saudi Arabia Middle East Arabian Peninsula Protected State British Policy 
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© Helene von Bismarck 2013

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  • Helene von Bismarck

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