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Lord Caccia, Former British Ambassador to Washington, Dead at 84

November 11, 1990

LONDON (AP) _ Lord Harold Caccia, a former British ambassador to Washington, has died, the Foreign Office confirmed Saturday. He was 84.

The cause of his death on Oct. 31 in Builth Wells, Wales, was not given.

Caccia, described by contemporaries as one of the most skilled and effective British diplomats of his generation, was sent to Washington in 1956 to restore confidence after the crisis over the short-lived invasion of the Suez Canal.

Britain was severely criticized over the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion that same year, a response to Egypt’s nationalization of the strategic waterway.

″In spite of arriving at a difficult moment ... he established himself and was able to make many new American friends,″ wrote Sir Roderick Barclay, a former ambassador to Belgium, in an obituary in The Independent newspaper.

″He exercised discreet diplomacy with which he skillfully helped to restore a climate of confidence between Washington and London,″ a Daily Telegraph obituary said.

The Caccia family originated in Tuscany - it is mentioned in Canto 29 of Dante’s Purgatory - and settled in England in the early 19th century.

Caccia was born on Dec. 21, 1905 in British-ruled India where his father was a senior official in the Indian Forestry Services.

After Eton and Trinity College, Oxford, he entered the Foreign Service in 1929. His first foreign posting, in 1932, was to Beijing.

Returning to London in 1935, he spent some time as assistant private secretary to Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Lord Halifax.

In 1943 he became an assistant to a senior envoy in Algeria, Harold Macmillan, who in 1957 became Britain’s prime minister. The two men established a close rapport.

Caccia returned to Greece during the civil war in the late 1940s and narrowly missed death when his jeep was destroyed by a rebel shell.

During his posting to Washington, which lasted until 1961, he was a champion of the so-called ″special relationship″ between Washington and London.

Upon his retirement in 1965, he was made Baron Caccia and became director to a number of companies. He also became provost of Eton College, responsible for the day-to-day running of his old school.

He is survived by his wife, Anne Catherine, and two daughters.

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