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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Sir John Shuckburgh


4th July, 1922. 

My dear Shuckburgh, 

It seems to me that the time has come when I can fairly offer my resignation from the Middle East Department. You will remember that I was an emergency appointment, made because Mr. Churchill meant to introduce changes in our policy, and because he thought that my help would be useful during the expected stormy period.  

Well, that was eighteen months ago; but since we 'changed direction', we have not had, I think, a British casualty in Palestine or Arabia or the Arab provinces of Irak. Political questions there are still, of course, and wide open; there always will be, but their expression and conduct has been growing steadily more constitutional. For long there has not been an outbreak of any kind; and while it would be foolish to seem too hopeful, yet at the same time I think there is no present prospect of trouble.  

As I said, I think of myself as an emergency appointment. There are many other things I want to do and I came in unwillingly in the first place. While things run along the present settled and routine lines I can see no justification for the Department's continuing my employment - and little for me to do if it is continued. So if Mr. Churchill permits, I shall be very glad to leave so prosperous a ship. I need hardly say that I'm always at his disposal if ever there is a crisis, or any job, small or big, for which he can convince me that I am necessary.  

I have to thank you personally for the very pleasant conditions under which I have worked in the Department itself.  

yours sincerely 

T. E. Lawrence

Source: DG pp. 344-5. Morning Post 20 Jul 1922
Checked: dk/
Last revised: 3 January 2003


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