Le Délégué de la Compagnie: Claude E. Boillot and the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956-57


For 90 years the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez played an integral role in the economic development and stability of the world. The Suez Canal connects the western world to the eastern, and, consequently, a vast majority of the world's imports and exports reach their destinations via the canal. However, on July 26, 1956, President Gamul Abd'ul Nasser of Egypt nationalized both the canal and the company, and the world was thrown into political and economic chaos. The majority of the Suez Company information utilized in the writing of this work focuses on the Claude E. Boillot collection, which has recently been opened at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas. During the crisis, Boillot served as a bi-lingual intermediary between the company's New York and Paris offices. Due to his presence in New York, Boillot was able to meet and interact with various international businesspersons and delegates to the United Nations. As a result of Boillot's actions during the crisis, the company was able to preserve some rights which would later be significant in reaching a settlement between the Egyptian government and the Suez Company. Throughout the crisis, Boillot argued the illegality of the Egyptian nationalization among the international politicians and the American public. When the canal was blocked by President Nasser, Boillot helped to facilitate immediate deblockage efforts to avoid a global economic catastrophe. And finally, Boillot repeatedly demanded rights for the company and its pensioners and stockholders from the nationalization in 1956 until the canal settlement in 1958. It is the purpose of this work to provide further insight into the role of the company as well as the successes and failures of the international diplomats during the crisis.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Gilstrap, D. (1995). Le Délégué de la Compagnie: Claude E. Boillot and the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956-57. Emporia: Emporia State University.