War Cabinet Papers Relating to Syria and the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916

Mss Eur F112/265

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The record is made up of 1 file (83 folios). It was created in 11 Apr 1917-21 Oct 1919. 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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Content

The file chiefly comprises correspondence, memoranda, and newspaper cuttings relating to the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 and British policy in former Ottoman territories following the end of the First World War. Many of the papers were printed and prepared for the War Cabinet (from March 1918, the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet) and date from May 1915 to September 1919.

The papers cover several matters, including:

  • Negotiations leading up to the Sykes-Picot Agreement (ratified in May 1916) and concerning the future government of Syria (including Lebanon), Palestine, Mesopotamia [Iraq], and Asiatic Turkey, and the securing of British and French 'rights' in the region
  • Other wartime agreements involving Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and Roumania [Romania]
  • Revision of the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1918 following subsequent developments during the War, in particular the 'Arab Revolt' [uprising of Arab nationalists against the Ottoman Empire] and the conquest of Palestine and Syria by British and Arab forces
  • The discussion of an Anglo-French declaration to be made to try and appease the inhabitants of the region
  • The British Government's response to a memorial issued by seven Arab leaders resident in Egypt regarding their desires for self-determination in the region, particularly Syria
  • A statement made by Feisal [Fayṣal bin Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī] to the Chief of General Staff, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 31 August 1919, regarding recent events in the region, promises made to the Arabs during the War, and Arab determination to achieve independence.

The correspondence is principally between diplomats and politicians of the British, French, Russian and Italian governments, and officials at the Foreign Office and War Office.

Folios 70-84 consist of related manuscript notes by Lord Curzon.

The French language material consists of correspondence from French diplomats and politicians.

Extent and format
1 file (83 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 85; 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.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
Type
Archival file

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
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.
Access conditions

Unrestricted

Archive reference
Mss Eur F112/265

History of this record

Date(s)
11 Apr 1917-21 Oct 1919 (CE, Gregorian)

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War Cabinet Papers Relating to Syria and the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/265, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000001491.0x00029c> [accessed 20 July 2024]

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