File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [252r] (95/664)
The record is made up of 1 item (330 folios). It was created in 28 May 1919-13 Jan 1920. It was written in English and Arabic. 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.
the Viceroy tor a further communication (also to be made through Koweit) explaining
His Majesty s Government’s attitude towards Turkey, and asking Bin Saud 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 B,esident
'P ^ ie other two bv the Sheikh (82216/14), in w*hich Bin Saud was addressed in the
toonse 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 bauds lieutenant on the Hasa coast, and the latter was instructed to
arrange a meeting for him with Captain Shakespear when that officer arrived
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 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. 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
outbieak 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
Gurnaii, as may prevent assistance reaching Basrah, untd such time as the British
arrive and take over the city. Consistently with your main object, viz., the
capture oi 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,
msha Allah—Basrah will never again be allowed to be subject to Turkish
I . am further to assure your Excellency that the British Government
will guarantee your Excellency—
E Against all reprisals by the Turks in consequence of these measures ;
<£ 2. Against attack by sea ; and
“3. lhat they will be prepared to recognise your Excellency as independent
Ruler of Nejd and al-Hasa, and to enter into treaty relations with
“I am also directed to request your Excellency to turn the Turkish garrisons
of al-Hasa and al-Qatif out of your territory.”
draft was approved in due course by the Government of India and the India
Umce, 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, m 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 I 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.
About this item
The title provided at the beginning of this item does not relate in any way to the item's contents. Part 10 is in fact concerned with the dispute between Bin Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and King Hussein of Hejaz [Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī, King of Hejaz], and British policy towards both.
The item begins with reports that Bin Saud's Akhwan [Ikhwan] forces have advanced to Tarabah (also spelled Turaba in the correspondence) [Turabah], in Hejaz, and includes details of His Majesty's Government's proposed response, which is to inform Bin Saud that if he does not withdraw his forces from Hejaz and Khurma then the rest of his subsidy will be discontinued and he will lose all advantages secured under the treaty of 1915. Included are the following:
- copies of translations of correspondence between Bin Saud and King Hussein;
- discussion as to whether the British should send aeroplanes to assist King Hussein;
- minutes of inter-departmental meetings between representatives 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. , the War Office, the Foreign Office, and the Treasury, on the subject of Bin Saud, held at the Foreign Office and chaired by the Foreign Secretary, Earl Curzon of Kedleston [George Nathaniel Curzon];
- discussion as to how the British should respond in the event of Bin Saud's Wahabi [Wahhabi] forces taking Mecca and advancing on Jeddah, which it is anticipated may result in the evacuation of a large number of Arabs and British Indians;
- discussion regarding a proposed meeting between Harry St John Bridger Philby and Bin Saud on the Gulf coast;
- a report by Captain Herbert Garland [Director of the Arab Bureau, Cairo], entitled 'Note on the Khurma Dispute Between King Hussein and Ibn Saud';
- a document entitled 'Translation of a Memorandum on the Wahabite [sic] Crisis', addressed to the High Commissioner, Egypt, by Emir Feisal [Fayṣal bin Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī], in which Feisal implores the British to take military action against the Wahabi movement;
- copies of translations of letters addressed to Bin Rashid [Saʿūd bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Āl Rashīd], from Bin Saud and King Hussein respectively, which provide the perspectives of both on recent events at Khurma and Tarabah;
- a memorandum from the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department, entitled 'Memorandum on British Commitments to Bin Saud'.
The item's principal correspondents are the following:
- High Commissioner, Egypt, General (later Field Marshal) Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby;
- Secretary of State for India [Edwin Samuel Montagu];
- Secretary 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. 's Political Department (John Evelyn Shuckburgh);
- Foreign Office;
- Bin Saud;
- King Hussein;
- Emir Ali [‘Alī bin Ḥusayn al-Hāshimī], son of King Hussein;
- Emir Feisal [Fayṣal bin Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī], son of King Hussein;
- Viceroy of India [Frederic John Napier Thesiger];
- War Office;
- 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. , temporarily based in Baghdad [ Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Talbot Wilson, acting Resident in Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Percy Zachariah Cox's absence];
- Civil Commissioner, Baghdad [held in an officiating capacity by Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Talbot Wilson];
- Colonel Cyril Edward Wilson;
- Harry St John Bridger Philby.
This item also contains translated copies of correspondence between Hussein and the then High Commissioner at Cairo, Sir Arthur Henry McMahon [commonly referred to as the McMahon-Hussein correspondence], dating from July 1915 to January 1916.
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- 1 item (330 folios)
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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [252r] (95/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100036528096.0x00006d> [accessed 21 July 2019]
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