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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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Churchill and Egypt 1946–1956

Churchill and Egypt 1946–1956

Chapter:
(p.473) 27 Churchill and Egypt 1946–1956
Source:
Churchill
Author(s):

Wm. Roger Louis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.003.0028

Winston Churchill believed that the Egyptians were an inferior and essentially cowardly people. But he did, towards the end of his career as Prime Minister of Britain, decide in favour of evacuation of British troops from Egyptian soil and the peaceful resolution of the issue of the Canal Zone. That goodwill was no substitute for power was a theme running inside his head. On this point, he differed fundamentally from the leaders in the Labour Party, above all Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin. Churchill believed — at least until 1953 or 1954 — that the Canal Zone would continue to provide Britain with a commanding bastion in the East despite the irrevocable loss of India. Suez, in his view, remained the geographical keystone in the Middle East, and indeed one of the supreme geopolitical positions in the world. He never forgave the Labour government for proposing to withdraw British troops from Egypt in the spring of 1946.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, Egypt, Canal Zone, Suez, Labour Party, troops, Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin

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