When negotiations for a new Anglo-Iraqi treaty were going swimmingly in Britain, the Foreign Office thought it would be a nice gesture for King George VI to send Iraq's regent, Prince Abdul

Illah, three pairs of royal swans.* Then angry Iraqis in Bagdad rejected the treaty (TIME, Feb. 2) and forced their chief negotiator, Prime Minister Saleh Jabr, to flee to Trans-Jordan scrunched down in the back seat of his car with bullets whistling after. No one remembered to call off the shipment of swans.

Last week, King George's Swan Keeper Fred Turk, with four assistants, dutifully and warily rounded up...

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