By Sir DESMOND MORTON
I SAW FOR MYSELF, by Anthony Nutting (Hollis and Carter, 10s. 6d.).
HAVING resigned as Minister of State in the Foreign Office in 1956, Mr. Nutting decided to tour the Middle East in 1957. He had resigned over Suez-whether in disagreement with the landing of troops in Egypt or with their premature removal is immaterial. The fact that he did so resign and thereby sacrificed, or at least gravely jeopardised, his future political career, redounds greatly to his honour. It also increased the fervour of his welcome in the countries he visited, whose leaders spoke to him with freedom and frank ness. The result is a most interesting book of only 100 pages. but one full of positive information and succinct views. which should be studied by everyone interested in an area, now one of the most significant in the world and likely so to remain.
Awkward questions vET. in respect of facts and tendencies, Mr. Nutting tells us nothing that has not been apparent for some years to those with firsthand knowledge of the area and peoples concerned.
It cannot be doubted that this infonmation was available to the Foreign Office, of which Mr. Nutting was one of the political Heads. It is unthinkable that it was not at the disposal of the Minister of State.
Hence a plodding but logical mind is forced to ask whether Mr. Nutting accepts, now that he has "seen for himself," facts which he previously rejected; alternatively to wonder why he remained so long co-director of a policy which he could not possibly have vielcorned. Still more troublesome questions pose themselves if the imagination be not strictly controlled at this point.
Nevertheless, it is refreshing to note a Minister of State's true, albeit posthumous, opinion of American policy as conjured up by Mr. Dulles; while other aspiranls to that or similar posts may read the book and learn something usefol.
Anyway, let us not be captious over the past which cannot now be changed, remembering that there must be more joy in heaven over a repentant sinner than over those who continue in sin, for whose benefit, if they will hut listen, prophets are not lacking.