August 21, 1951 – A day tensions ratcheted up between Britain and Iran over oil and the stalemate in negotiations over supervision and profits for the British in running the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. From London came word that the British had given their ultimatum; relax their refusal of a compromise by noon, August 22nd, or face serious consequences. The government was considering landing military forces at Abadan, the main oil refinery in Iran and Prime Minister Atlee called an emergency cabinet session, and there was now little hope of talks ending in anything but frustration. Iranian Premier Mossadegh was steadfast in his refusal to accept British terms on any supervision, management or profit-sharing of the oil fields or refineries. The British withdrew their 8-point proposal which would have turned over all assets of the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to Iranian management, but which would call for a 50-50 split of all profits with a British marketing organization, and non-profit British management. Atlee was under strong pressure at home not to yield to Iran in this dispute. Anglo-Iranian was the world’s fourth largest producer and was Britain’s single biggest overseas investment. At news time there were reports of British warships in the Persian Gulf and the British Air Force has been placed on alert at its bases in Iraq.
But there was other news going on this day. Negotiations in Korea weren’t going well either. Communists had rejected an Allied finding of an alleged violation in the neutrality zone and they complained of more. American negotiators said the Communist allegations did not substantiate the claim that Allied troops ambushed and murdered a Chinese patrol leader in the neutral zone. The Communists further alleged Allied planes had bombed a North Korean jeep carrying white flags.
And things weren’t going so well on Capitol Hill either as President Truman precipitated another row with Congress over Price Controls and the budget. Skirmishes and political wrangling echoed through the halls of Congress.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this August 21, 1951, as reported by Don Hollenbeck And The News.