By Robert McNamara
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Additional resources for Britain, Nasser and the Balance of Power in the Middle East 1952-1967: From The Eygptian Revolution to the Six Day War (Cass Series--British Foreign and Colonial Policy)
BDEEP, Egypt, PartII, Doc. 200’ 28 May 1951. 47. Ovendale, Transfer of Power, p. 49. 48. BDEEP, Egypt, Part II, Doc. 207, 6 July 1951. 49. Northedge, Descent From Power (London, Minerva, 1974), pp. 117–18. 50. FRUS, 1951, Vol. V, State/JCS Meeting, 435. 3 The New Regime and the Base Agreement, 1952–54 ROAD TO REVOLUTION THE INCOMING Conservative government was prepared to fight back against Egyptian guerrilla activity. The new, if ageing, Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was a firm believer that all non-white peoples acting up should be faced down with force.
Indeed the Egyptian proposals were based substantially on an 34 BRITAIN, NASSER AND THE BALANCE OF POWER American draft document. There was considerable liaison between the United States through the CIA and the Egyptian leadership about the negotiations. The proposals were only accepted by a narrow majority in the RCC. Nasser was the key figure in forcing its acceptance. This essentially called for the British base to be manned by technicians in civilian clothes. The base would be available should there be an attack on a member of the Arab nation.
His clashes with Arab leaders (Nuri, Qasim, King Saud, King Faisal and King Hussein) who sought to oppose Egyptian dominance suggest that imperialist British leaders were but one obstacle on the road to Arab leadership. There is evidence that Nasser believed that he was the charismatic leader that the Arab world wanted and needed—a man of destiny. British policy, which required a divided Middle East primarily to ensure the supply of oil on reasonable terms and to provide the communications and base rights that allowed the British global role, could only be aimed at frustrating this ambition.