File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [254r] (99/664)
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.
include many matters of detail, fraught with difficulty and requiring ripe con
sideration for instance, definition of boundaries, law and jurisdiction, harbouring
of refugees, reciprocal treatment of subjects, arms traffic, and arms facilities.
“ We consider early conclusion of treaty with Bin Saud most important, but
that, for the present, it should be on broad lines somewhat similar to the original
Afghanistan agreement with Abdur Bahman, and suggest following :—
“1. British Government recognises Bin Saud as independent ruler of Nejd,
Hasa, and Katif, and guarantees hereditary succession to his dynasty,
subject to the acceptance of successors by tribesmen and approval of
His Majesty’s Government;
2 . In the event of unprovoked aggression on his territories by any foreign
Power, British Government are prepared to aid Bin Saud to such extent
and in such manner as the situation may require ;
“ 3. In return, Bin Saud agrees to have no dealings with any other foreign
Power, nor grant concessions to subjects of any other foreign Power,
except on the advice of the British Government, which advice he will
unreservedly follow ;
“4. British Government and Bin Saud agree to conclude, as soon as this can
be arranged, a detailed treaty in regard to other matters jointly
“ Cox agrees that a preliminary treaty on these lines would meet the case,
and thinks Bin Saud would accept it. Dynastic guarantee of some kind would
pxobably be essentia].* That proposed appears sufficiently guarded.”
On the 30th January, 1915, 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. communicated this telegram to the
Foreign Office with the following observations (11837/1385/15)
“ Ihe desirability of concluding a treaty with Amir Abdul Aziz follows not
merely from the exigencies of the moment, which make it necessary to pay an
immediate price for his friendship, but also from the general situation that 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. in the event, as the result of the present war, of the
disappearance of Turkish rule from Basra, to which His Majesty’s Government are
pledged. It may be anticipated that the Amir of Nejd will be left the master not
only of Central Arabia, but also 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 arrangement with him. The extent, therefore, to which his claims must
be met must be measured not only by the immediate services which he is expected
to render, but also by the potential power for mischief which, in the event of
success, he will possess, and if permanently estranged will doubtless exercise.
“ As regards the terms of the treaty suggested by the Government of India,
the dynastic pledge is undoubtedly the crux, but safeguarded in the manner
proposed it appears to be free from reasonable objection. It is, however, more
than probable that the condition that the successor must be accepted by the
tribesmen will be a stumbling-block to Bin Saud, as it was to the Sheikh of
Mohammerah, in whose case His Majesty’s Government, under the pressure of
the war, have recently approved its abolition. Moreover, regard being had to the
very large area over which Bin Saud is to rule and the notoriously factious temper
of the Arabs, it may be very difficult to fulfil in practice. We must therefore be
prepared for opposition from Bin Saud, and the Marquess of Crewe would not let
the negotiations break down over this point.
“The guarantee against unprovoked aggression should, in his Lordship’s
opinion, be so worded a$ to make His Majesty’s Government sole judges of the
nature and extent of the assistance to be given.
Subject to these remarks Lord Crewe commends the proposals of the
Government of India to Sir E. Grey’s favourable consideration. It is a question
whether, in view of the importance of our eventual relations with Bin Saud, the
present treaty should not contain a clause binding him (subject to an agreement as
to boundaries in the detailed treaty to be concluded later) to abstain from inter
ference with Koweit, Bahrein, al-Katar, and the Trucial Chiefs. His Lordship
would propose to suggest' this to the Government of India, but to leave it to
* The Turks had given Bin Saud a dynastic guarantee in their Treaty of the 15th May, 1914.
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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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [254r] (99/664), 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_100036528096.0x000071> [accessed 18 July 2019]
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