Sir Oliver Shewell Franks


Sir Oliver Shewell Franks


In December 1948, a Washington, DC, radio station telephoned various ambassadors in the capital, asking what they would like for Christmas. The unedited replies were recorded and broadcast in a special program the following week. “Peace throughout the world,” proclaimed the French ambassador. “Freedom for all people enslaved by imperialism,” demanded the Russian ambassador. “Well, it’s very kind of you to ask,” came the polite voice of Sir Oliver. “I’d quite like a box of crystallized fruit.”

Biographical Note: 

Sir Oliver Shewell Franks was a British diplomat and academic. He entered the civil service in 1939 and was British ambassador to the United States (1948–52). Franks played a crucial role in putting the Marshall Plan for European recovery into effect after World War II.