chapter  4
16 Pages

Oliver Wright

ByAndrew Holt

Sir Oliver Wright had a long and distinguished diplomatic career. Spanning five decades, it reached its pinnacle with his appointment to the post of Ambassador to the United States in 1982. With the Second World War at an end, Wright returned to civilian life and joined the Foreign Office. Wright became assistant Private Secretary to Home, helping particularly with speech writing – something for which Wright had shown skill while in South Africa. Wright and Sir Alec Douglas-Home – as the Prime Minister was known after renouncing his peerage – continued their working relationship at Number 10. Wright continually demonstrated his concern for American opinion and the importance of the special relationship. Wright frequently found himself embroiled in issues that cut across departmental responsibilities. Wright was also frequently critical of British colonial policy. As Wilson's Private Secretary, Wright attended relevant meetings between the Prime Minister and visiting foreign leaders and liaised with the Foreign Office, over Congo.