'Historical Summary of Events in Territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia and Arabia affecting the British Position in the Persian Gulf, 1907-1928' [15r] (36/188)
The record is made up of 1 volume (90 folios). It was created in 1928. It was written in English. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
necessary to pay an immediate price for his friendship, but also from the general
situation which will be created in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , as the result of the present war,
of the disappearance of Turkish rule from Basra, to which His Majesty's Govern
ment are pledged. It may be anticipated that the Emir of Nejd will be left master
not only of Central Arabia, but of a long strip of the coast, and in the interest of
peace and order it will be essential for the Power that controls the Gulf to have a
working agreement with him. The extent, therefore, to which his claims must be
met must be measured not only by the immediate services which he may be expected
to render, but also by the potential powders for mischief which, in the event of
y success, he will possess, and if permanently estranged w T ill doubtless exercise . . . . '
The treaty was signed at Qatif by Sir P. Cox and Ibn Saud on the
26th December, 1915, and was ratified by the Viceroy and Governor-General of
India on the 18th July, 1916. By this instrument we recognised Ibn Saud as
independent ruler of Nejd, Hasa, Qatif and Jubail, and engaged to support him
against aggression by any foreign Power " to such extent and in such manner as the
British Government, after consulting Ibn Saud, may consider most effective for
protecting his interests and countries." For his part Ibn Saud covenanted to have
no relations with any foreign Power, and not to cede, sell, mortgage, lease or dispose
of any part of his territories to any foreign Power or the subjects of a foreign Power
without the consent of His Majesty's Government. It may be remarked that soon
after the treaty w T as ratified 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. laid down the important decision that
" we cannot admit that article 2 (promising His Majesty's Government's support
against aggression by any foreign Power) is binding on us against other Arabs."
While British policy towards Ibn Saud, conducted by the Government of India
chiefly with an eye to British interests in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , took the course just
* outlined, wider necessities of the war were dictating another policy, conducted from
London and Cairo, towards the Shereef of Mecca on the western side of the Arabian
Peninsula. The secret negotiations between His Majesty's Government and the
Shereef, which brought about the Hejaz rising, sought to harmonise the vast
ambitions of the Shereef and his Syrian supporters w T ith the Arabian, Syrian and
Mesopotamian interests of Great Britain, and the Syrian ambitions of France. The
Shereef aimed at uniting the w T hole of the Arab countries'—in Arabia, Syria and
Mesopotamia—excepting British Aden and its hinterland, in a confederation, under
himself as King or Suzerain. The agreement he actually reached with His Majesty's
Government imposed certain limits on this design as to Syria and Mesopotamia. It
also made clear that all Arab rulers in treaty relations w T ith His Majesty's Govern
ment must be excluded from the scheme unless of their own free w T ill they choose to
The Arab rising, begun by the Shereef on the 5th June, 1916, was followed,
two days later, by the proclamation of Hejaz independence. So far Ibn
Saud was unaware of the secret negotiations and the agreement between His
Majesty's Government and the Shereef. But after the latter's armed incursion into
Nejd in November 1915 the Wahabi ruler seemed to have clearly discerned the wider
political ambitions that the war had enabled the Shereef to pursue. In December
1915 he remarked to Sir P. Cox that if the Shereef of Mecca assumed the Caliphate
it would make no difference whatever to his status among other Arab rulers. Writing
to Sir P. Cox on the 20th July, 1916, he expressed the fear that the success of the
rising might encourage the Shereef to claim authority over portions of Nejd; and
that he had noticed that the British official communique sent to him referred to
the Arabs " as a compendious whole." He added that an old feud existed between
the Shereef and himself, and that he and his tribesmen would never tolerate control
or interference by the Shereef.
In 1916, therefore, the position was that His Majesty's Government w T ere in
alliance with and giving support to both rivals for the domination of Arabia; but
that from His Majesty's Government's point of view there was no comparison
between the importance of the two as allies. Hussein, descendant of the Prophet,
Emir and Shereef of Mecca, hereditary guardian of the Holy Places, had already
by his action discredited the jihad; and might be able to exert for Great Britain
an invaluable influence in Islam. Moreover, his territory ran for a thousand miles
along the flank of the vital line of British communications in the Red Sea; by the
existence of the Hejaz Railway this territory w T as directly accessible from
Constantinople and Germany; he was able to deny all these strategical advantages
to our enemies. As a spiritual and secular Prince of Islam and Arabian ruler he
seemed, indeed, to be the ally w 7 ho could deliver the goods.
By comparison, Ibn Saud possessed none of these assets as an ally. His territory
 ^ E 2
About this item
The volume is entitled Summary of Events in Territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia and Arabia affecting the British Position in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , 1907-1928 (printed by the Committee of Imperial Defence, October 1928).
Includes sections on The Ottoman Empire, Persia, Arabia (Nejd [Najd]), Mohammerah [Khorramshahr], Muscat, and Bahrein [Bahrain].
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (90 folios)
There is a table of contents at the front of the volume.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at 1 on the front cover and terminates at 90 on the back cover. These numbers are written in pencil, are enclosed in a circle, and appear in the top right hand corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. page of each folio. Foliation anomalies: ff. 1, 1A; ff. 86, 86A. Two folios, f. 3 and f. 4 have been reattached in the wrong order, so that f. 4 precedes f. 3. The following map folios need to be folded out to be examined: f. 87, f. 88.
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- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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