Witty Australian Column Opines on Iran (1950’s)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | December 23, 2020                    

“Quips and Quizzes” was a topical column in The Uralla Times (New South Wales, Australia).

Here is a selection of their attempts at humor on Iran during its oil nationalization row with Britain.

June 21, 1951

The Persian oil business appears to be developing on first-class international lines.

You can bet your sweet life that the Russian bear is prowling on the northern border ready to pounce.

It means that Persia wants to grab £500 million worth of assets, and the question is whether Britain and U.S.A. will take it lying down.

July 12, 1951

All very well for Persia to nationalise the oil wells and refineries, but if no tankers are available to take the oil away, her last state will be considerably worse than the first. Oil is of no use in the wells or the refineries. Without consumers, wherewith will the cute Persians be able to “oil up”?

July 18, 1951

It seems that Persia’s decision to nationalise the oilfields was in part suggested by the British Government’s recent decisions to nationalise the coalmines. So what!

August 3, 1951

Talks having broken down practically all British technicians have evacuated the Persian oil refinery.

The average Persian is beginning to find that oil without sales is a bit of a blister on the landscape.

[Lord Privy Seal Richard Stokes and his team arrived in Tehran for talks the next day]

September 20, 1951

Persian Prime Minister Mossadeq has been a pretty sick boy since he liquidated the British from the oil business in that country, and thus dried up a source of big revenue.

October 18, 1951

What Britain should do is to render an account to Farouk and his tribe for the cost of saving the smellfull country in the last world war, an army of occupation until the bill is paid. [King Farouk in Egypt]

That’s about the only form of logic these Middle Easters understand.

Iraq, not failing to notice how the Britishers ran from Iran, now seems to have made a move to get in for their cut.

How far reaching the Persian surrender was is becoming more evident every day in every way.

November 22, 1951

The Persian Prime Minister says there might be agreement made on the oil argument.

Since “juice” has skyrocketed to four bob the gallon we seem to have lost a fair amount of interest in it!

November 29, 1951

Russia’s tentative desire for peace in Korea stems probably from the fact her ends there have been well served and are now ripe for transference to the Middle East, with Persia and Egypt weaving the sticky road.

December 13, 1951

Persia has given former customers of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. ten days to sign up for renewal of business or threatens them with a loss of priority.

The gay Persian is suffering from a touch of the shorts since he lost the oil revenue and badly wants somebody to buy a lot of “juice.”

August 27, 1953

Mossadeq, of Persia, appears to be on the road followed by Hitler and Mussolini. The Shah’s flight to Rome seemed to leave the way open for the doctor to proclaim himself as absolute boss, but his confidence left him vulnerable and he was duly upended.

Persia’s finances fell in the sticky ditch when Mossadeq shooed off the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

Perhaps the new turn in its affairs will bring the oil business more into play.

September 16, 1954

In the devastation following a gigantic earthquake in Persia, bread and water melons were the only food available at one stage. What a gift these water melons would have been to the boy we used to know!

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

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Related links:

Richard Murray’s Greatest Iran Quips | Sunday Times (Perth, Australia) column, 1951-54

British humorist Nathaniel Gubbins Lampoons Premier Mossadegh (1951)

Be wise and help to nationalise! | Peter Russo (Australia), June 5, 1951

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

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