Withdrawal of British armed forces from Persian Gulf

FCO 8/1620 1971 Jan 01-1971 Dec 31

This file is about the withdrawal of British military forces from the Gulf, January to August 1971. It contains correspondence relating to:

  • The future of the Royal Scots Greys armoured car squadron presently stationed at Sharjah, including an article titled 'Armoured Cars leave Gulf', from the Daily Telegraph, 23 March 1971
  • A draft minute from the Defence Secretary Lord Carrington [Peter Alexander Rupert Carington] to the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home on the revision of the rundown plan for the Gulf
  • The possible extension of the Air Agreement, 1951 with the Ruler of Sharjah Sheikh Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, the planned reduction of the RAF airfield to a small staging post, and the question of whether International Aeradio Limited will manage the airfield until 31 December 1971
  • A request from the Chiefs of Staff for decisions on the composition of a long-term British presence in the Gulf, the manner and timing of further withdrawals, and special arrangements to be made for the Gulf islands
  • A draft minute from the Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Peter Hill-Norton to the Secretary of State [Lord Carrington] on the revision of the rundown plan
  • A letter from the Political Agent in Dubai J F Walker to the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf G G Arthur requiring a draft note to Sheikh Khalid on the disposal of assets prior to handing over the base at Sharjah
  • The agreement of Prime Minister Edward Heath to Secretary of Defence Lord Carrington's plans for the withdrawal of British forces currently stationed at Bahrain and Sharjah; and a telegram from Douglas-Home on the approval by the Ministers of the Gulf rundown plan
  • The question of whether British defence commitments in Bahrain will cease with independence and whether all commitments in the southern Gulf are to be terminated simultaneously
  • The committees established in the Gulf to supervise the various aspects of the rundown plan
  • An article titled 'The Men who'll leave a Gap in the Gulf', from the Birmingham Post, dated 22 June 1971
  • The plans for the composition of the covering force and informing the authorities in Iran
  • The revised version of the Gulf rundown plan including numerous annexes and appendices
  • The idea of a Defence Attache in Muscat versus a liaison and training team in the lower Gulf
  • An article titled 'The Navy to stay in Gulf' in the Sunday Telegraph, and one titled 'UK to Retain Naval Presence in Gulf after Troops Withdraw', from the Glasgow Herald, dated 11 to 12 July 1971
  • An article titled 'More British Troops abandon Bahrain', from The Times, dated 15 July 1971
  • Two articles titled 'Britain and US Build Up Iran's Power' and 'US, Britain quietly bolster Iranian Military Strength' printed in the Scotsman and the International Herald Tribune, dated 26 July 1971
  • A proposal by Rear Admiral David Williams for the Gulf Covering Forces to carry out exercises in Masirah and Fujairah to acclimatise and become familiar with the environment
  • The publicity for the naval Covering Force expected to assemble in the Gulf in late 1971