The Odd Spot
Excerpts From Australian Column on Iran (1950’s)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | January 26, 2021                    

The odd spot by Doug Eason

The odd spot was a topical column by Doug Eason that ran in The News of Adelaide, Australia, a newspaper owned by Keith Murdoch, father of Rupert Murdoch. Here is a selection of excerpts during the Iran oil nationalization crisis.

Australian media archive

May 24, 1951

THIS upside-down world: In Persia these days, they seem most intent on pouring trouble on oiled waters.


June 5, 1951


THERE’S not much permanency about British foreign correspondents’ residence in European countries these days. Latest to get marching orders—Sefton Delmer, very able correspondent of London’s "Daily Express"—must be be getting used to these expulsions.

When Persian police officers brought him the order of expulsion, he told these instruments of justice that their masters were “joining the illustrious company of Hitler, Franco, Gottwald (President of Czechoslovakia) and Bierut (Poland), who have all expelled me for telling the truth.”

[Adolph Hitler (Germany), Francisco Franco (Spain), Klement Gottwald, Boleslaw Bierut.]

August 10, 1951

British Lord Privy Seal Richard Stokes MR. Richard Rapier Stokes, Lord Privy Seal and leader of the British oil mission to Persia, is as sharp as a thrust from his middle namesake. London papers are recalling he’s never shirked an issue, prefers dealing with a problem right on the spot rather than working it out on paper.

Once, after a personal inspection of a project during which he and his party were soaked with rain, one of his party sought to dodge the inevitable conference that followed by pointing out Mr. Stokes would probably catch cold if he stayed in his wet clothes.

Mr. Stokes agreed. He produced a radiator, took off his trousers, hung them in front of it, then proceeded to chairman the conference in his underpants.

November 5, 1951


GENERAL knowledge test set for an under 13 scholarship at a girls’ college in Adelaide included: “Name the countries of which these men are the Prime Ministers—Mr. Attlee, Dr. Malan, Mossadeq, Pandit Nehru, Mr. Menzies.”

Seems history, through the change of the UK Government, caught up with the examiners.

[British Premier Winston Churchill replaced Clement Attlee on October 26th. The others were Daniel Malan (South Africa), Mohammad Mossadegh (Iran), Jawaharlal Nehru (India), Robert Menzies (Australia).]

August 25, 1953

The odd spot by Doug Eason

IN CASE you, too, seized on an apparent error in 5KA’s "Battle of Wits" quiz last night.

Competitor who was asked to name the Prime Minister of Persia and answered “Dr. Mossadeq” was quite right at the time he answered it.

This broadcast happened to be one of the few times the program had to be recorded, a week in advance. And the rapidly changing international situation these days makes no provision for recorded quiz shows.

[Refers to an Australian radio quiz show airing at 8pm. Mossadegh fell from power from a coup on August 19, 1953, and was succeeded by Fazlollah Zahedi.]

December 23, 1953

CABLED footnote to the Mossadeq sentence story says: “The name Mossadeq was granted to the former Premier by the Shah’s father. It means. ‘One who has been tried, tested, and found worthy.’”

[Mossadegh named himself, not Reza Shah Pahlavi]

November 6, 1953

CABLE today says Persian police have arrested 28 butchers in the Government’s fight against high food prices. The butchers, according to a Government spokesman could expect from 20 to 60 days’ gaol for overcharging.

Housewives’ Association might consider importing a few Persian policemen to get things moving here in home deliveries.

Filling in the Gaps: How Newspaper Layouts Squeezed Every Last Inch
Filling in the Gaps: How Newspaper Layouts Squeezed Every Last Inch


Related links:

IRAN SNIPPETS | More Rim Shots From the Mossadegh Era (1951-53)

Good Morning! | Cheeky Australian column on Iran (1951-53)

International Herald Tribune | Iran News 1951-1954

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

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