Iran commentary from Morning Bulletin column

The Mossadegh Project | May 11, 2020                     

The following excerpts derive from the topical humor column “TOPICS OF THE DAY” in The Morning Bulletin newspaper of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. It was credited only to “G.W.”

Australian media archive

The Morning Bulletin newspaper (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia)

November 17, 1951

This has been the kind of week when a certain amount of bad has had to be taken with the good “in the swift intoxicating rush of great events”. The visit of oil technicians to Port Alma in quest of a new storage installation site bucked the city no end; but it was thrown into the doldrums by the news that loan money had suddenly dried up and there was every prospect of a lot of jobs folding up for want of the needful to bring the pay envelope up to their right quota. The threat of a meat famine was staved off with the news that Victorian lamb was to be had for 2/2 per lb. The slump in the price of onions on southern markets was offset by the news that local watermelons were fetching 8d per lb.

On balance it can be claimed that the good tidings exceeds the bad, without inspiring excessive manifestations of rejoicing and festivity. High hopes have sunk into disillusionment so often when we have looked to some new industry or developmental project coming this way that any movement of the kind nowadays is received with a subdued note of expectancy. But a cautious optimism blows cheerfully about the presence of the oil technicians, who are backed by Anglo-Iranian capital, who visited Port Alma and appeared to find there what they were looking for. It turns out that our deepwater port possesses most of the things that the oil people want – depth of water to accommodate their tankers, rail connexion, a waterway that lends itself to barging, to points of distribution, cheap land, unlimited room for expansion, and a natural site for an airfield. No doubt more hospitable spots could be found but they have not the things required for this project. That is what makes our marble good.

The development is the outcome of British oil capital seeking fresh fields and pastures new in view of current trends in Middle East oil countries. Whatever he may be doing to his own country, Dr. Mossadeq is wafting winds that will blow a lot of good to others. There is every possibility that we may be on the receiving end of one of these beneficent breezes.

November 27, 1951

[Discussing a recent interview with a native of India] Another interesting bit in the “Bulletin” interview with the sahib related that when the sub-continent went all independent the native populace expected a sudden deluge of wealth and prosperity derived from stepping into the shoes of the departing Britons. But it has worked out in rather the opposite direction and loud have been the vociferations of the disappointed. Old Omar K’s countrymen are going through the same experience in Persia. [Omar Khayyam] The British dragon has been slain, but instead of everyone rolling in the wealth of the expelled “exploiters,” Persia finds itself in undisputed possession of the world’s richest oilfields and the world’s biggest refinery, but has no customers. Doc. Mossadeq has been greeted with anguished cries of the gravity of her peril on his return from a mission which was marked by a striking lack of gusto on the part of any other country to shove its neck out.

January 30, 1952

Anything interesting today? I’m afraid not. Only the Gyppos making what a chap on our bus called “a bit of a shine.” [gypsies] Quite; although, as has been remarked, it’s a pity they didn’t show something of their present spirit when Rommel was camped on their doormat. [Nazi Gen. Erwin Rommel] On the other hand, the yeast of change seems to be working strongly in Persian Premier Mossadeq. Instead of ordering an egg, and a ripe one at that, whenever the name of that bounder [dishonorable man] was mentioned, he might yet prove to be a thorough gentleman who always keeps his coat on when beating his wife, pays his dog licence on time and is a vice-president of the local cricket club. Still, we must hope that before this sudden turn round begins to cut any ice the Anglo-Iranian Co. who have got the stumps in for the £40,000,000 Australian refinery and a decision has been come to in favour of Port Alma as the site for Central Queensland’s COR depot. Either Persia has been misunderstood or she is hard up. Only one or the other is capable of producing this almost superhuman meekness on the part of old Mossie.

Oil Discovered In Western Australia’s Exmouth Gulf (1953)
Oil Discovered In Western Australia's Exmouth Gulf 'Rough Range' (1953)


Related links:

“If British paratroops move into Persia...” | Douglas Wilkie (May 16, 1951)

No Tears For Tearful Mossadeq | The Weekly Times, Sept. 2, 1953

Colonel Joe Bush Says || Iran Jokes from the 1950’s

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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