Sir Geoffrey Arthur Collection

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Sir Geoffrey Arthur's service as a senior diplomat in the Persian Gulf, when he engineered negotiations which led to the creation of the United Arab Emirates. The collection includes agreements, orders, resolutions, laws, statements, memoranda, agendas, minutes and reports produced by or for the Provisional Union Council and the Supreme Council of the Union of Arab Emirates. A small amount of material consists of correspondence between key players in the negotiations, and articles analysing the situation. There are also two obituaries for Sir Geoffrey Arthur.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Geoffrey Arthur (1920-1984) Knight, Diplomat

Born 19 March 1920, his university career at Christ Church College, Oxford was interrupted by the Second World War and he undertook military service in Egypt, Iran and Iraq. On returning to Oxford after the war, he studied Arabic and Persian, and entered the Foreign Service in 1947. The earlier part of his diplomatic career was spent in Baghdad, Ankara and Cairo as well as West Germany. In 1967 he was appointed HM Ambassador to Kuwait and in 1970 Political Resident in the Persian Gulf. During this time he presided over the British military withdrawal and negotiated the political settlement that culminated in the creation of the United Arab Emirates. He returned to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as Deputy Under-Secretary of State from 1973 until 1975 when he was elected Master of Pembroke College, Oxford. He was married to Margaret Woodcock. He died on 15 May 1984 aged 64.

Access Information


For further information on how to use the Middle East Centre Archive, please see our Archon entry at

Acquisition Information

Received as a gift from Mrs Jean Latham (widow of Professor Derek Latham) on 17 Jul 2008

Archivist's Note

Fonds, file and item level description created by Jenny Smith, 19 Aug 2008. Biographical History based on the Times obituary and the obituary by Professor J. Derek Latham, both contained in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions on copying or quotation other than statutory regulations and preservation concerns

Custodial History

In the possession of Sir Geoffrey Arthur who gave the material to Professor Derek Latham before his death with a view to their preservation for the historical record