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To save the £ Labour decided on wide-ranging spending cuts, and one of the main targets was defence. Denis Healey had been made minister of defence, and in 1965 he began a series of enormous cutbacks; he closed the overseas’ bases and brought the troops who had once protected the empire back home. Adam Curtis, The Mayfair Set I: Who Pays Wins ***** Channel 4 1999
[Denis] Healey believed that instead British defence industries should make money for the country. The Americans were selling weapons throughout the world and Healey wanted Britain to compete with them and earn precious foreign currency. But Britain was not very good at selling weapons until David Stirling decided to get involved. ibid.
He [Khashoggi] told Lockheed that the only way to win the [arms] deal was to bribe the Saudi government. Ten years later in a Senate investigation Lockheed’s chairman admitted what had happened. Stirling told the British government they would have to do the same as the Americans: pay commission to their agents in King Faisal’s entourage. If they didn’t, Britain would lose the deal. In December 1965 the Saudis announced they would buy the British planes: the bribes had worked. It was the biggest export deal in Britain’s history. And King Faisal came on a state visit to celebrate it. It was also the beginning of the modern arms trade with the Middle East which has grown to dominate Britain’s economy. And from it also came a much wider commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia. ibid.
By the late ’60s many of Britain’s former colonies were being torn apart by civil war. In Nigeria the federal government were fighting a vicious campaign to stop Biafra from seceding. The British government were secretly supplying the federal side with weapons. Their aim was to protect Britain’s oil interests in Nigeria. ibid.
100,261. The federal government won helped by the British arms. But the resulting scandal clearly showed the limits of openly using arms sales as a tool of foreign policy. As coups and civil wars spread throughout the Third World, Stirling was determined to find a subtler way to maintain Britain’s influence in the world. He set up a secret organisation called WatchGuard: its job was to provide Africa and Middle-Eastern leaders with a private army of British mercenaries. They would prevent the rulers that Stirling approved of from being overthrown. WatchGuard was a great success. Stirling organised protection for leaders in Africa and the Middle East. ibid.
In Oman many of the Sultan’s advisers were ex-SAS men. They ran the Sultan’s guerrilla war against Marxist rebels. The rebels made a propaganda film attacking the Sultan and his British mercenaries. But the British won. ibid.
By the early ’70s [David] Stirling had become a successful businessman. He arranged enormous arms deals, and his mercenaries kept many third-world leaders in power. Almost single-handedly Stirling had created the foundations of Britain’s modern privatised foreign policy. It is a hidden world of vicious guerrilla wars fought by British mercenaries, a world that occasionally surfaces in scandals like the Sandfire affair. It all began with Stirling selling Britain’s military power to countries he approved of. ibid.
The price of oil had been massively increased as a result of the Arab/Israeli war. The oil-producing states led by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia were furious at American support for Israel. Their action had catastrophic effects for Western economies. ibid.
Tobacco exports should be expanded aggressively because Americans are smoking less. Dan Quayle
Well, the way things are going, aside from wheat and auto parts, America's biggest export is now the Oscar. Billy Crystal
The elaborately decorated material was in such demand that by the last 1700s hand-woven Lyon silk made up over a third of France’s exports. Ronald Top, Industrial Revelations: The European Story: s3e10: King Silk, Discovery 2005
The history of silk development spans through centuries and can be traced around the world’s very ancient trade route called ‘Silk Road’. A UNESCO inspired team trekked this obscure yet historical caravan tract called ‘Silk Road’, which began in China, passed through Tashkent, Baghdad, Damascus, Istanbul and reached European shores. Since the beginning of the Christian era (by 126 B.C.) silk has been the most colourful of world caravans. Fabulous silks from China and India were carried to Europe through this 6,400 km long road. R K Datta, Global Silk Industry
The Export Credit Guarantee Department. They underwrite British business … so if that country defaults, the taxpayer … cough for it … 95% of third world debt owed to Britain comes from the Export Guarantee Department … Mark Thomas Comedy Product s4e5, Channel 4 1999
We not only armed Saddam Hussein, we paid for it as well. ibid.
ECGD and what they do is they provide underwriting, financial underwriting, from the taxpayer’s money to support firms who are exporting overseas. If the country they export to default they get the money within thirty days of default coughed up by the taxpayer … An insurance scheme for arms dealers … 52% of their business was arms sales. Mark Thomas Comedy Product s4e9
They’ve recently banned Iraq importing twelve bulls from France … to improve the breading stock of Iraq. Mark Thomas Comedy Product s4e11
Throughout the 1980s billions of pounds of arms were being exported from this country to both Iran and Iraq by British companies with full knowledge of the British government in defiance of the government’s guidelines and in defiance of course of the UN. That is a far more significant issue. And if Scott was serious about it, he ought to interview the key businessmen who knew about the deals. Michael Meacher MP
When Mrs Thatcher became prime minister there was a definite rallying to sort of say, Yes, you should be proud of what you’re doing; you’re exporting for the United Kingdom; you’re doing a good job, and her very public appearances, for instance at Farnborough she went to, she made it quite obvious from the moment she became prime minister that she personally thought that defence exporting was good for the United Kingdom. Lt Col Robert Jarman, former government arms salesman
In the United States President Roosevelt induced Congress to repeal an arms embargo: but the supply of arms was limited to cash and carry. Arms had to be paid for in hard cash, and could not be exported in American ships. World War II: The Complete History: The End of Illusion, Discovery 2000
At one time chintz made up three quarters of India’s exports. Jeremy Paxman, Empire IV: Making a Fortune, BBC 2012
Australia is now one of the biggest exporters of coal in the world. Australia with Simon Reeve III, BBC 2020
Just over four hundred years ago a group of London merchants arrived here on the India coast hoping to do some peaceful trading ... and built from scratch a commercial enterprise to export goods to Britain ... and by accident created one of the most powerful empires in history. Dan Snow, The Birth of Empire: The East India Company I, BBC 2014
The greatest company the world has ever known. ibid.