The disintegration of the Anglo-Jordanian relationship at the end of 1956 was one result of the abortive invasion of Egypt by British, French and Israeli forces. For Britain, the most dramatic domestic political consequence of the Suez Crisis was the resignation of Anthony Eden and his replacement by the chancellor of the Exchequer, Harold Macmillan. As far as the Conservative Party was concerned, Macmillan treated the Suez crisis as a temporary setback rather than the major defeat that he acknowledged it was in private. In an evocation of past glories, Macmillan argued that although Suez had been a reverse, it was ‘our task to ensure that, like the retreats from Mons and Dunkirk, it should prove the prelude to a strategic victory’. 1 Macmillan’s penchant for melodrama was obviously designed to raise the spirits of the government in the post-Suez gloom, but his apocalyptic views on the importance of the Middle East were consistent with those he had developed during his spell at the Foreign Office in late 1955. He felt that the region had become the focal point of a worldwide struggle between the Western world and the Soviet Bloc. For Macmillan, Britain’s economic survival, as well as the future of the Western European members of NATO, would depend on secure access to Gulf oil. 2