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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎65v] (131/220)

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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naturally look round for a new rallying point, and King
Husein, if he continues to display the same diplomatic dis
cretion as lie has already shown, stands an excellent chance
of becoming the new leader. In fact, he is likely to
become so, whether we support him or throw him over,
[f we support him, he will be strong in our financial
assistance, and in the political prestige which we can
give him by offering thrones to his sons. If vve throw
him over, then he and his sons will become martyrs in
the eyes of Islam, and any lingering sentiment for Turkey
will be transferred to the Arabs. This calculation
doubtless underlies the Emir Feisal’s determination,
which is evidently sincere, to resist the entrance of the
French by force of arms (Mr. Balfour’s memorandum on
his recent interview with Feisal). If this disastrous con
flict took place, His Majesty’s Government would he con
demned by Moslem opinion as a consenting party to the
action of the French, and our relations with our Moslem
subjects would be subjected to at least as severe a strain
as at the outbreak of war between Great Britain and
Turkey in 1914.
9. The argument, up to this point, may be summarised
as follows : If we support the Arab movement we shall
destroy Turkey with much less risk of arousing against
us the permanent antagonism of Islam ; and we shall knit
up our Empire by establishing a link between Egypt and
India, without being compelled to take France into
partnership, and placing her in a position to break our
newly-won territorial continuity. On the other hand,
if wS allow the Arab movement to fail, and Syria to pass
from Turkish to French domination, we shall be playing
into the hands of the pro-Turkish faction among our
Moslem subjects ; we shall incur the resentment of the
Arabs, who will consider that we have broken the spirit,
if not the let* er, of our engagements, and we shall place
ourselves and France in a position in which our tradi
tional rivalry in the East, which has been removed only
with great difficulty, will be bound to arise again in an
asrgravated form. It remains to consider how we can
meet the claims of France.
(R). —The Untenability of the Anglo-French Agree
ment of 1910.
10. M. Gambon, in a note of the 1 8th November, 1918,
uncompromisingly asserted the validity of the 1916
Agreement (“ le Gouvernement fran^ais priele Gouverne-
ment anglais de noter que sur aucun point il n’accepte de
diminuer. en quoi que ce soit, les droits qu’il tient de
1’accord de 1916 ”), but clearly this should not be taken
to mean that the French Government have made up
their minds to be intransigeant about it, for whether that
is their intention or not, it is to their interest to assume
an uncompromising attitude until the moment for
negotiation arrives.
i 1. But the attitude they are adopting is not in any
case tenable. If the Agreement is to be carried out to
the letter, what is the meaning of the admission (both in
this note of M. Gambon’s and his preceding note of the
22nd October) that the Agreement must be “ adapted ”
to the new condition of affairs ? Or what is the explana
tion of M. Glemenceau’s subsequent letter (of the 6th
December) to the President of the Central Syrian
Committee at Paris, in which he has stated that the
1916 Agreement “is absolutely transitory in character,”

About this item


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)

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 [‎65v] (131/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 5 March 2024]

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