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182 Note by Bruce of Conversation with Attlee

[LONDON], 8 May 1943

After the High Commissioners Meeting I spoke to Attlee and told
him I knew there had been a meeting of the Cabinet that morning to
consider the Egyptian situation [1], that I could think of no
matter which more directly concerned us, but I was sick of
hammering at him to implement the understanding we had reached
last August [2] and I was not bothering my head about the matter.

To this outburst Attlee really made no reply and in fact had no
opportunity to do so because I merely flung it at him and walked
out of the room.

On Friday morning the 7th May I received a notice for a Cabinet
Meeting at 1 o'clock to consider Egyptian position. I decided,
however, that I would not go to the meeting and sent a notice to
Attlee to that effect. It was quite obvious that the invitation
was due to my outburst on the Wednesday, but I came to the
conclusion I could not tolerate getting asked to meetings during
the Prime Minister's absence because I had intimidated Attlee and
then the practice ceasing as soon as the Prime Minister returned.

This appeared to me too undignified and I explained this to Attlee
in the afternoon.

It is indicative of what an extraordinarily little man he is that
he offered no comment whatever, but merely accepted the position.


1 A political crisis had developed in Egypt following allegations
made against Nahas Pasha, the Egyptian Prime Minister, which King
Farouk had exploited to his own advantage. For details of the
British position see Bruce's cablegram S96 of 15 May on file
AA:M100, May 1943.

2 See Document 14.

[AA:M100, MAY 1943]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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