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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎15r] (30/220)

The record is made up of 1 file (110 folios). It was created in 27 Aug 1893-19 Dec 1918. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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the Viceroy for a further communication (also to be made through Koweit) explaining
His Majesty’s Government’s attitude towards Turkey, and asking Bin Sand to help
them to keep the peace in Arabia in the event of Turkish aggression leading to war.
Three Arabic letters were accordingly drafted at Koweit, one by the British Resident
and the other two by the Sheikh (82216/14), in which Bin Saud was addressed in the
sense of the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. instructions and was informed of Captain Shakespear’s mission.
These letters were despatched on the 15th October, 1914. In answer to them,
Bin Saud wrote letters on the 24th October, 1914, to the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Gulf
and to Captain Shakespear himself. The letter to Captain Shakespear was conveyed
through Bin Sand’s lieutenant on the Hasa coast, and the latter was instructed to
arrange a meeting for him with Captain Shakespear when that officer arrived
(5353/1385/15).
Meanwhile, on the 14th September, 1914, the Officiating Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the
Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. had submitted to the Government of India drafts of letters and notices to
the different Gulf Chiefs, which he had prepared for the event of war between
Great Britain and Turkey, and which he proposed to issue upon the receipt of
intelligence that war had broken out (64214/61439/14).
The draft letter to Bin Saud (which was to follow a brief circular announcing that
a state of war existed between Great Britain and Turkey) ran as follows :—
“ In continuation of my previous letter, informing your Excellency of the
outbreak of war between Great Britain and Turkey, I am authorised by my
Government to request your Excellency to co-operate with our honoured friends,
their Excellencies the Sheikhs of Koweit and Mohammerah, in the capture
of Basrah from the Turks or, should such a task be beyond your united powers,
which seems unlikely, that you should make such arrangements, especially above
Gurnah, as may prevent assistance reaching Basrah, until such time as the British
arrive and take over the city. Consistently with your main object, viz., the
capture or isolation of Basrah, we request your Excellency to take all measures in
your power to prevent the plundering of British merchants and property in the
town of Basrah itself and in the neighbourhood. The personal safety of
the Europeans should also be a special object of your solicitude.
“ In return for this valuable co-operation, I am authorised by my Government
to assure your Excellency that, in the event of our success—and succeed we shall,
insha Allah—Basrah will never again be allowed to be subject to Turkish
authority.
“ I am further to assure your Excellency that the British Government
will guarantee your Excellency—
“1. Against all reprisals by the Turks in consequence of these measures ;
“2. Against attack by sea ; and
“ 3. That they will be prepared to recognise your Excellency as independent
Ruler of Nejd and al-Hasa, and to enter into treaty relations with
your Excellency.
“ I am also directed to request your Excellency to turn the Turkish garrisons
of al-Hasa and al-Qatif out of your territory.”
This draft was approved in due course by the Government of India and the India
Office, and the letter seems to have been released for delivery on the 3rd November,
1914 (82713/61439/14 : pp. 7-8, 15-6, and 17). The three assurances contained in it
became the basis of the subsequent negotiations.
Bin Sand’s reply, dated the 28th November, 1914 (17000/1385/15 : No. 46) was
phrased as follows : —
“ We have received your august communication dated the 3rd November,
1914, in which you state that your honour has already mentioned in your previous
letter that the exalted Government of Great Britain has declared war against the
Ottoman Government, and that you have been ordered by the illustrious Govern
ment to invite us to co-operate with the Sheikh of Mohammerah and the Ruler of
Koweit—our cordial friends and sincere allies—and attack Basrah The
co-operation with the above-mentioned two friends is incumbent upon us (and so is
it for us to) use our good offices with our friends, the illustrious Government, in all
useful actions which may be required by her. And 1 am using my endeavours and
efforts in furthering the common interests of all friends. You should rest fully
assured and be confident in this question.
lb

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Content

The file contains correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to Middle Eastern affairs and a few other miscellaneous matters. The majority of the file concerns discussions of and proposals for the post-war settlement of Near Eastern territories, including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula. The basis of these discussions was the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.

Other matters covered by the papers include events in Siam [Thailand] and Burmah [Myanmar] and the colonial rivalry in the region between France and Britain, the Baghdad Railway, and relations with Ibn Saud in Arabia, including a report on the 1917-18 mission to Najd by Harry St John Philby (folios 67-98).

Folios 99-110 are six maps with accompanying notes that show the various proposed territorial settlements and spheres of influence in the Near East and one showing Britain's global colonial possessions.

Memoranda and correspondence comes from officials at the Foreign Office and India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. . Other correspondents include French and Italian government officials.

Extent and format
1 file (110 folios)
Arrangement

The file is arranged in roughly chronological order, from the front to the back.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front of the envelope with 1, and terminates at the inside back last page with 110, these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Pagination: the file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎15r] (30/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100084619407.0x00001e> [accessed 5 March 2024]

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