made by UAE sheikdoms. Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966 and the British started losing their oil investments and contracts to U.S. oil companies. The British had earlier started a development office that helped in some small developments in the emirates. The sheikhs of the emirates then decided to form a council to coordinate matters between them and took over the development office. They formed the Trucial States Council, and appointed Adi Bitar, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's legal advisor, as Secretary General and Legal Advisor to the Council. The council was terminated once the United Arab Emirates was formed.
By 1966 it became clear the British Government could no longer afford to govern what is now the United Arab Emirates. British MPs debated in Parliament that the Royal Navy would not be able to defend the trucial sheikhdoms. Denis Healey, who at the time was the Secretary of State for Defence reported that the British Armed Forces were seriously overstretched and in some respects dangerously under-equipped to defend the trucial sheikhdoms, yet to continue spending even along current lines would mean imposing an increasing burden on the British people which none of their competitors in world trade are carrying. On 24 January 1968, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced its decision, reaffirmed in March 1971 by Prime Minister Edward Heath to end the treaty relationships with the seven trucial sheikhdoms which had been, together with Bahrain and Qatar, under British protection. Days after the announcement, the ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, fearing vulnerability, tried to persuade the British to honour the protection treaties by providing the full costs of keeping the British Armed Forces in the Emirates. Not only did the British Labour government rebuff the offer, it did so in a way that offended the Emirati rulers. After Labour MP Goronwy Roberts informed