A fascinating and detailed glimpse into the world of international diplomacy by one who dedicated his life to that world. Sir Archie illuminates the vital role the diplomatic service has played, and continues to play, having to adapt itself to the demands and pressures of a rapidly changing and increasingly perilous world.
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REVIEW (Zeals Village News) : ”Sir Archie Lamb, author of “A Long Way From Swansea”, has published a second volume of memoirs entitled “ The World Moves On”. Sir Archie described his journey from wales to the Heftyehus, the British Ambassador’s residence in Oslo, in his first book; but it was, as he puts it, a Life without the Times. Now we learn more about the wider situation, including such riddles as to why an Arabic specialist should be sent to Norway. The answer is simple – oil.
Sir Archie joined the Foreign Office as a Clerical Officer in 1938 just after his 17th Birthday. He had “a good war”, as his superiors noted, and was able to put the lessons he had learned in the RAF about leadership, management and administration to good use as the Foreign Office gradually became m ore accessible to talent rather than privilege. He found himself learning Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in Lebanon at the time of the disastrous Suez adventure and shortly afterwards became the first Clerical Officer to break through the glass ceiling and become a “First Secretary” in the Political Residency in Bahrain. This was followed later by a puzzling transfer to to the Diplomatic Service Inspectorate, though it soon becomes apparent that the Foreign Office knew what they were doing, as Sir Archie proved to be an Inspector of the highest quality. So to Oslo – and then to Zeals”.
The following letter from Dr Ian Olson in Aberdeen was published in The Spectator of 31 October : “Sir: In his letter of 24 October, the 94 year old Sir Archie Lamb modestly does not mention that he ably describes the evolution of the Diplomatic Service from pure diplomacy to the promotion of “trade” in his latest memoir “The World Moves On”. This is history from the inside as he rises from pre-war filing clerk (with a break as a Hurricane and Typhoon pilot) to Ambassador and the Diplomatic Service Inspectorate”.
Ian Olson is well known in Scotland as medical man, author and academic, well-nigh a polymath, who has published books on Scottish history, culture and traditions.