1958 Personal Letter from Conservative UK Prime Minister Robert Anthony Eden Regarding His Response to the Suez Crisis

1958 Personal Letter from Conservative UK Prime Minister Robert Anthony Eden Regarding His Response to the Suez Crisis

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On offer is a typewritten and hand signed letter marked 'personal' from Robert Anthony Eden (1897-1977), 1st Earl of Avon and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to John Edwin Hunt of New Zealand.

Eden writes this letter on Donhead House Shaftesbury blind embossed letterhead (Robert Anthony Eden lived at Donhead House for a year following the Suez Crisis of 1956).

Dated July 31st, 1958. Marked PERSONAL. Eden writes to Hunt with appreciation for a letter Hunt had previously sent to him. Context indicates that Hunt had been complementary regarding Eden's perspective on the Suez Crisis. Eden then comments on the Suez Crisis of 1956:

“I was quite sure that in time the purpose I had in mind would be understood. My only regret now is that the two years which have elapsed have made the task a very difficult one for the free world”. 

BIO NOTES: Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon was an English Conservative politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957. He was also Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including during World War II. He is best known for his outspoken opposition to appeasement in the 1930s; his diplomatic leadership in the 1940s and 1950s; and the failure of his Middle East policy in 1956 that ended his premiership.

Suez in retrospect: Following the defeat of the Arab armies by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967, Eden's own reputation, not least in Israel and the United States, soared, and he was deluged with letters of the "you were right in 1956" variety. In 1986, Eden's official biographer Robert Rhodes James re-evaluated sympathetically Eden's stance over Suez and in 1990, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, James asked: "Who can now claim that Eden was wrong?". Such arguments turn mostly on whether, as a matter of policy, the Suez operation was fundamentally flawed or whether, as such "revisionists" thought, the lack of American support conveyed the impression that the West was divided and weak. Anthony Nutting, who resigned as a Foreign Office Minister over Suez, expressed the former view in 1967, the year of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, when he wrote that "we had sown the wind of bitterness and we were to reap the whirlwind of revenge and rebellion". Conversely, D. R. Thorpe, another of Eden's biographers, suggests that had the Suez venture succeeded, "there would almost certainly have been no Middle East war in 1967, and probably no Yom Kippur War in 1973 also". Wikipedia

The letter measures 5 x 8 inches, was folded now flat with many folds and creases, typed signed letter. Signed in blue ink. Very Good condition

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