Eden 55-57

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  • Eden 1955-57
    • Election Results 1955
      • Conserv: (votes) 13,286,569 (seats) 344 (%) 49.7
        • Increased Conserv. majority - but only real success of short admin.
      • Lab: (votes) 12,404,970 (seats) 277 (%) 46.4
    • Eden's fate was to live in the shadow of Churchill. Held foreign secretary for 10 years. But seen to be past his best by 1955
    • Eden 'man in a hurry' once PM - irritated by criticism that he had uninspiring domestic policies "lacked the firm smack of govt'
      • Determined to silence this - led to ill-fated Suex Crisis
    • Suez Crisis 1956
      • Events
        • Colonel Nasser announces nationalisation of S/C as means of raising finances after USA pulls out loans to help build Aswan Dam due to receiving aid from Soviet
          • Foreign shuips now have to pay to pass through
            • Threatened essential oil supplies that came to Britain - Eden stated "Nasser could not be allowed to leave his thumb on Britain's windpipe
              • Eden planned to bring Nasser down with the help of the French and Isreal
                • Israel = military invasion (29 Oct). Britain and France allow time for them to reach the canal by giving an ultimatum (30 Oct) before intervening  at the north of the canal to gain 'peace' (31st Oct)
                  • UN enter immediate debate, with USA leading the condemnation of Israel, Uk, France - deprived of US backing used its veto for the first time to defeat a UN resolution of an immediate ceasefire
      • Soviet Involvement
        • Nov. 5th : USSR issu formal note condemning the invasion as bullying if the weaker by the stronger  - note stated the USSR was prepared to use rickerts against the West invaders
          • Last time in the Cold War that USA and Russia had minor agreement - shows Britian's dividing foreign policy
      • British windrawal from Suez
        • Britain in an extreme isolated position
        • The strength of opposition among the British - Gaitskell and Bevan made withiring attacks "Eden's mad venture"
        • Fury of Eisenhower and Americans not being consulted
        • failure to gain international backing
        • the reluctance of all but few Commonwealth countries backing
    • Eden's personal role in Suez
      • Eden saw  in Nasser 1930s dicatators and he had a Anti-British motive
        • Did not help cause by being tetchy and shirt tempered - didn't try to hide his distaste of those who disagreed with him
          • Shown most through matters with USA - Eden was obvs. annoyed with Eisenhower and thus couldn't win them over as an ally
            • USA simply not willing to be involved in a costly military venture that re-called old style imperialism
      • Poor health weakened his judgement - J.P Mallalieu (Lab. MP) gave striking description of his ailing mental and physical health
        • Within weeks Eden stepped down as PM with the official reason being ill health and he was truthfully unwell
          • But S/C had shattered his standing at home and abroad - he could not carried on as the head of govt. even if he had been fully fit.
    • Significance of S/C for Britain
      • Failure of political will not military resolve
        • Britain became isolated
          • Had to accept Britain was no longer a world power - maybe need closer ties with Eu?
            • Last occasion Britain would attempt such independent action


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