War Cabinet, Minister of State Resident in the Middle Easts Office, 1941-1946
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Administrative / biographical background:
The minister of state resident in the Middle East, appointed in June 1941, carried out his functions through a small office in Cairo and the Middle East War Council and its sub-committees. The office was abolished in 1945 and the co-ordination of defence and economic policy in the area was undertaken by a Middle East Office under the direction of the Foreign Office until 1949.
In July 1941 the War Cabinet sent out a Minister of State Resident with Cabinet rank to represent it in Cairo. His main function was to ensure a successful conduct of the operations in the Middle East by relieving the Commanders-in-Chief as far as possible of extraneous responsibilities; giving the Commanders-in-Chief political guidance and settling promptly matters within the policy of His Majesty's Government, more particularly where several local authorities or Departments were concerned; keeping the War Cabinet and Ministers generally informed of what was happening in his sphere.
He carried out his functions by means of a small office, with a branch in Baghdad, and the Middle Eastern War Council, which met rarely most of its business being transacted through sub-committees. Executive action was usually carried out by local British representatives or by specially created bodies, such as the Middle East Supply Centre.
In 1945 the Office of the Minister Resident ceased to exist as such and was succeeded by the Middle East Office under the direction of the Foreign Office.
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