On 27 July 1956, the Belgian Communist daily newspaper Le Drapeau rouge reports, without condemning, the decision taken by the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to nationalise the Suez Canal Company.
On 31 July 1956, the US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and his advisers refer to the Suez Crisis, which, they fear, will lead to unrest in the Arab world, should the United Kingdom take military action.
On 31 July 1956, the British cartoonist, David Low, illustrates the decision taken by the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to nationalise the Suez Canal Company (on the left is Dimitri Chepilov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union).
‘The man at the tap.’ In August 1956, shortly after the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the cartoonist Fritz Behrendt portrays the threat hanging over the Western nations’ oil supplies.
In a television broadcast on 3 August 1956, the US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, deplore the decision taken by the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to nationalise the Suez Canal.
On 4 August 1956, the London weekly political magazine The New Statesman and Nation analyses the geopolitical implications of the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, given the strategic interests of the United Kingdom in the Middle East.
On 8 August 1956, French cartoonist Pol Ferjac uses the hieroglyphs on the Obelisk in Paris to illustrate the plan to nationalise the Suez Canal by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and paints an ironic picture of the different stages of the resulting Suez Crisis. In the fountains on Place de la Concorde, which commemorate inland and maritime navigation and stand opposite the National Assembly, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, a faint smile on his face, is depicted as an allegorical statue holding a crocodile in his arms and seems to be taunting the French authorities.
‘Father Nile … and Father Suez.’ In August 1956, the German cartoonist, Oesterle, uses the image of the statue of the Roman god Nilus with the characteristic features of prosperity — an old man lying down, surrounded by symbols of abundance and prosperity such as the horn of plenty, wheat, food offerings and the 16 cherubim, an allegory of the flooding of the Nile — to illustrate the political intentions of the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and places particular emphasis on the role of the Soviet Union during the Suez Crisis.
On 25 August 1956, the Italian daily newspaper Il nuovo Corriere della Sera speculates on the reasons for the Suez Canal crisis and emphasises the strategic importance of the canal for the supply of oil to Western countries.
Twenty years after the event, Christian Pineau, former French Foreign Minister, recalls the nationalisation of the Suez Canal and the surprise in French political circles at the unilateral decision taken by the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
View of great Temple of Abu Simbel, threatened by the building of the Aswan Dam first proposed by the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1952 to facilitate navigation on the River Nile, to generate electricity and to supply water for the irrigation of new farmland.
On 26 July 1956, the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, gives an address in Alexandria during which he announces the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company. France and the United Kingdom are opposed to this, fearing for their oil supplies, and decide to take military action to put an end to the occupation of the Canal.
On 2 August 1956, the French weekly publication France Observateur deplores the comparison, which has become commonplace in the West, between the Egyptian Colonel, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Adolf Hitler.
‘The mummy awakes. Down!’ On 26 July 1956, Colonel Nasser, President of Egypt, nationalises the Suez Canal Company. On 8 August 1956, French cartoonist Pol Ferjac illustrates how Guy Mollet (centre), President of the French Council of Ministers, and Anthony Eden (on the right), British Prime Minister, are endeavouring to contain the awakening of Egyptian nationalism, symbolised here by a mummy coming back to life.
On 2 October 1956, in a statement to the Italian Parliament, Gaetano Martino, Italian Foreign Minister, expresses his hopes for a diplomatic and peaceful solution to the international crisis brought about by the nationalisation of the Suez Canal.
On 13 October 1956, in response to an initiative by Christian Pineau, the French Foreign Minister, and his British counterpart, Lord Selwyn Lloyd, the United Nations Security Council adopts a resolution of principle with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Fawzi, in order to solve the Suez crisis in a peaceful fashion.
Aerial view of two of the vessels scuttled by the Egyptians in Port Said at the entrance to the Suez Canal in order to prevent any shipping movements. On the right, a British vessel specially equipped for refloating operations.
In his Memoirs, Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957, recalls the need to take immediate measures in November 1956 following the invasion of the Sinai Peninsula by Israeli troops on 29 October 1956.
On 30 October 1956, the day after the Israeli military invasion of Egyptian territory, the President of the French Council, Guy Mollet, issues an ultimatum calling on the warring parties to bring about an immediate end to the hostilities.
On 31 October 1956, the French Communist daily newspaper L’Humanité criticises the military intervention of France, the United Kingdom and Israel in Egyptian territory and calls for an immediate end to hostilities.
On 4 November 1956, Henry Cabot Lodge, the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations gives a speech to the General Assembly calling for all warring parties to respect the ceasefire immediately.
Twenty years after the event, Christian Pineau, former French Foreign Minister, recalls exactly the attitude of the United States and the Soviet Union on the eve of Franco-British military intervention in the Suez Canal Region.
On 5 November 1956 the Soviet Marshal, Nikolai Bulganin, notifies the French, British and Israeli Governments that the Soviet Union is prepared to employ all modern forms of destructive weaponry to halt Western military intervention in Egypt.
On 5 November 1956, Nikolai Bulganin, President of the Soviet Union Council of Ministers, sends a letter to the US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, in which he calls for the United States to form an alliance with Moscow in order to put an end, even by military means, to the armed attacks to which Egypt is being subject.
‘Tourist season in Egypt. Hey, Tommy, don’t you think the Egyptians look a bit odd this year?’ On 14 November 1956, French cartoonist Pol Ferjac takes an ironic look at Moscow’s involvement and role in the events of the Suez Crisis. The two French and British soldiers keeping guard around the Suez Canal and safeguarding the interests of France and the United Kingdom in the region are speculating on the strange appearance of the Egyptians, who all seem to look identical to Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
‘Russian supply pipeline. Small oil lamp. Vase. Canal water. Overheated atmosphere. Delivery of boiling water. Translation into French of English splutterings. Cooling tank. US elections. Tepid saliva. Residue of Western solidarity. End of the crisis. Diagram illustrating the Suez Crisis.’ The French cartoonist, Pinatel, illustrates the complexity of the Suez issue and takes an ironic look at an international crisis which is coming to an abrupt end.
On 3 December 1956, the US State Department announced the withdrawal of French and British forces from Egypt and stressed the importance of action taken by the United Nations in the peaceful settlement of the Suez crisis.
In January 1957, an agreement between the United Nations and Egypt provides for the clearance of the Suez Canal. Under the auspices of the United Nations, a fleet of tugs begins the salvage of some 40 vessels sunk by the Egyptian authorities to block traffic in the canal. The canal was finally reopened in April 1957.
On 13 January 1957, Fernand Baudhuin, Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, analyses in the Belgian Conservative daily newspaper La Libre Belgique the political and economic impact of the Suez crisis on Europe.
On 26 July 1956, the Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, nationalises the Suez Canal Company. France and the United Kingdom, the principal shareholders of the company, send troops to Egypt. On 6 November, they begin their military operation, but withdraw the following day in the face of threats from the United States and the Soviet Union.