On 17 July 1958, Moscow immediately looked to take full political advantage of the interventions in Lebanon and Jordan. The Soviet delegation at the UN described the British action as ‘a desperate attempt of obsolete British imperialism in the Near and Middle East’. 1 Overall, however, the care that the Cabinet had taken in making intervention look respectable to world opinion by linking it with the American landings in Beirut gave the British sufficient confidence to ignore the Soviet attacks at the UN. In the Security Council, Pierson Dixon asserted that Britain was ‘particularly sensitive for historical reasons to any threat to the national independence of the Arab states of the Middle East’, and that a ‘consistent aim’ of British policy had been to ‘assist in their national renaissance’. 2 The Jordan delegation at the UN played their part by registering a complaint about UAR interference in the country’s domestic affairs. On 17 July, a Soviet resolution to the Security Council calling for the withdrawal of the Anglo-American forces was vetoed by the United States. A game of UN ping-pong ensued in which further Swedish, Japanese and American resolutions were vetoed or rejected by majorities. Macmillan, out of respect for Gaitskell’s moderate tone in the Commons, was publicly willing to concede a role for the UN in stabilising the Middle East. In private, he did not welcome the idea of Britain’s case being cross-examined by the world body. 3