A relatively neglected but important facet of British foreign policy after the First World War is that of commercial interests in the Near East. 1 Before the peace makers had gathered in Paris in early 1919, moves were afoot to resuscitate the Levant Company, the bulwark of British commercial endeavour in the Near East during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as the ‘“spear head of British influence” in Turkey, and the Near East generally’. 2 This duly occurred and its emergence reflected much positive thinking at the time concerning Britain’s overseas commerce. Lord Faringdon, who was a leading force in the New Levant Company, Governor of its parent body, the British Trade Corporation (BTC), and a key figure in wartime discussions concerning Britain’s overseas commerce, perceived a ‘unique opportunity’ for Britain. 3 It is instructive to consider the underlying motives in the emergence of the company. It occurred at a time of heightened expectations for the future, among some observers.