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File 1356/1912 Pt 1 'Turco-Persian Frontier:- negotiations at Constantinople.' [‎48r] (105/885)

The record is made up of 1 volume (436 folios). It was created in 7 Feb 1912-25 Sep 1912. 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.

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if it went before The Hague Court, yet I think that it is generally agreed that it is
very greatly to our interests to avert an appeal to that court by diplomatic action ; and
it is hoped that these notes, read in conjunction with Mr. Parker’s memorandum, will
suffice to demonstrate that the Persian contentions in regard to the boundary from
Dawairij southwards are well-founded, and will enable His Majesty’s Government to
undertake that action with confidence.
A copy of the Foreign Office memorandum of the 23rd February, 1912, in
which a reference to The Hague Tribunal was first deprecated, has been sent to
Sir P. Cox. It is in consequence of the inexpediency of such a reference that an
alternative course was suggested in the Foreign Office letter of the 31st May, 1912
(No. 22191) to 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. . — A. P.
6 . As regards point (a), I agree that we should in the first instance confer with the
Bussian Government with a view to obtaining their co-operation ; this, judging by
their attitude at the time of the Treaty of Erzeroum,' :;: ‘ we may presumably expect them
readily to afford.
1 would urge, however, that in our communication to the Porte we should go con
siderably further than Mr. Parker suggests. The expediency of making some intimation
to the Porte of the nature of our engagements with the Sheikh of Mohammerah has
aln ady been deliberately considered by His Majesty’s Government in connection with
the Zain incident of 1910, and approved of in principle. The local authorities at
Bussorah have even been informed in the most explicit manner by His Majesty’s
consul at Bussorah that the Sheikh of Mohammerah is under British protection.! This
announcement was widely promulgated in Turkish and Arabic papers at the time, and
must be common knowledge to the Porte. Surely, in view of these considerations, we
are now in a position to speak freely to the latter, explaining that we have been in the
best possible position for being aware of and taking note of the nature of the status quo,
as locally observed for the past sixty years or more ; that taking for granted, as we were
warranted in doing, the permanence of that status quo, we have entered into engage
ments with the Sheikh of Mohammerah which involve its maintenance, and that both
our interests and our good name preclude us from going back on these pledges or
permitting any alteration of the sheikh’s position on the Shatt-el-Arab and in
Arabistan.
As regards (b). It is submitted that it has already been pointed out in the past
correspondence that the rough and small-scale diagram! enclosed in Colonel Williams’
despatch of the 4th February, 1850, was not a document on which any reliance could
be placed ; that the boundary line shown in it must have been arbitrarily drawn ; that
as far as Hawizeh is concerned, it is clearly only very approximate and indeterminate,
and must have been so inserted in the absence of any local knowledge or visit to the
locality ; that the Hawizeh district has been a recognised district of Persia for three
centuries, that there is no record of its having been claimed by Turkey, and that the
adoption of the arbitrary line shown in Colonel Williams’ diagram is not feasible in
practice.
Vide supra under 2 (b).— A. P.
7. Should it be necessary for Persia to make some concession to Turkey as a set-off
against the abandonment of the latter’s claim in the Arabistan region, I would recall to
mind that the Turks seem in 1891§ to have contemplated such abandonment in return
for the cession of certain territory between Zohab and Khanikin, and it might be
possible to come to some such arrangement now. The very important British od con
cession at Kasr-i-Shirin would probably be affected by such a cession of territory, but if
the Turks would consent to guarantee the continuance of this, the change of nation
ality might not improbably operate to the benefit of the company.
Zohab is largely within the Russia?! sphei'e : moreover, Persia seems now to
attach almost greater importance to Zohab than to Mohammerah. — A. P.
Locally, the only concession which it would appear that we can advisedly recom
mend to the Persian Government to agree to, in order by friendly compromise to
eliminate the boundary betweeh Dawairij and the Shatt-el-Arab from the issues
referable to The Hague, is that the line should be drawn from the channel west of the
village of Shu’aib direct to Kishk-i-Bussorah, and thence to the locally recognised *
* P. 19 of memorandum. t P- 61 of Wilson’s precis.
]: Opposite p. 25 of memorandum. § See Annex (II) to this letter.

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Content

The volume discusses the disputed Turco-Persian Frontier, particularly at Mohammerah, and the negotiations in Constantinople to attempt to settle it.

The correspondence focuses on:

  • the differences of opinion over the actual boundary at Mohammerah, including several maps demonstrating these differences;
  • movements of Turkish and Russian troops;
  • ownership of the Shat-el-Arab and questions of access for navigation;
  • copies of treaties, correspondence and memoranda dating back to 1639 relating to the question of the Turco-Persian frontier.

The principal correspondents in the volume are the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Edward Grey); the Secretary of State for India (Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe); 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 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. (Sir Percy Zachariah Cox); the British Ambassador to Constantinople (Sir Gerard Lowther); the British Ambassador to Russia (Sir George Buchanan); the Viceroy of India (Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst); the British Ambassador to Tehran (Sir George Head Barclay); representatives of the Foreign Office (particularly Alwyn Parker) and 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. ; and Arthur Talbot Wilson, on special duty in relation to the Turco-Persian Frontier.

This volume is part one of two. Each part includes a divider which gives the subject and part numbers, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references contained in that part by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (436 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

The subject 1356 (Turco-Persian Frontier) consists of 2 volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/266-267. The volumes are divided into two parts, with each part comprising one volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 436; 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.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the leading and ending flyleaves.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 1356/1912 Pt 1 'Turco-Persian Frontier:- negotiations at Constantinople.' [‎48r] (105/885), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/266, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100036171270.0x00006a> [accessed 12 December 2019]

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