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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎256r] (103/664)

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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.

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“ In article 4, he aads that he will follow the advice of His Majesty’s Govern
ment ‘where his interests require it.’ Cox suggests ‘where his interests are not
injured thereby,’ and this seems unobjectionable.
“ Cox proposes to arrange a meeting shortly with Bin Sand to adjust differences.
^ w f. think he should be authorised to do so, and to negotiate a treaty on lines above
indicated, subject to ratification by Government of India.”
On the 11 th August, 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 to the Foreign Office
copies of this telegram and of the documents received from Sir P. Cox, and submitted
a draft telegram of instructions to the Viceroy.
^ In their covering letter explaining the grounds of the instructions proposed in this
draft, 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 particular stress upon Bin Saud’s omission of the words
“subject to the approval of His Majesty’s Government,” at the end of article 1
It is ordinarily the policy of His Majesty’s Government to recognise only the
de facto luler, and to avoid giving dynastic guarantees; and the rare exceptions
which they have made have been in cases—such as that of Mohammerah—where
their relations with the ruler have been of long standing, and where the responsi
bilities undertaken are limited. Neither of these conditions is present in the case
of Bin Saud, and Mr. Chamberlain therefore hopes that Sir P. Cox may be able to
obtain the restoration of the words. Those which Bin Saud proposes to substitute
are apparently intended to provide for the constitutional election of a successor in
a case wdiere the ruler has failed to designate during his lifetime. There seems to
be no objection to such a provision, so long as the method of election is practicable,
but it does not appear how in such a case His Majesty’s Government are to ensure
that only a person agreeable to themselves shall be elected. Since, however, a
person elected by a tribal majority would probably have no difficulty in maintaining
himself as de facto ruler, if the election had been conducted by a method recognised
by the tribes themselves to be valid, undesirable complications are perhaps unlikely
to arise.”
Ihe draft was concurred in by the Foreign Office, and the following telegram was
accordingly despatched by 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. to the Viceroy on the 16th August, 1915
(111069/15 and 116544/15):—
“ Article 1 of treaty. Cox, after suitable explanation, should press for resto
ration of original words, to which His Majesty’s Government attach great
importance. There seems no objection to election'" - ' in default of designation, pro
vided method of election is practicable and recognised as valid according to Arab
custom by all tribes concerned. Otherwise we may become involved in inter-tribal
disputes.
‘ Article 2 . ‘ Unprovoked ’ should be restored. His Majesty’s Government do
not like leaving ambiguity as to their aid, and if Bin Saud will not agree to
original words they would prefer ‘ to such extent and in such manner as British
Government after consultation with Bin Saud may consider most eftective for
protecting his interests.’
Article 4. Cox should secure omission of Bin Saud’s addition if possible; if
not, substitution of his own proposal.
As regards other alterations he should exercise his discretion.”
On the 18th August, 1915, the Government of India communicated the telegraphic
correspondence that had passed between the Viceroy 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. to Sir P. Cox,
and authorised him (141285/15) to arrange a meeting with Bin Saud, as he might
think advisable, and negotiate further on these lines, on the understanding that a
treaty, if concluded, would be subject to ratification by the Government of India.
Accordingly, Sir P. Cox resumed negotiations, and concluded a definite treaty with
Bin Saud, on the 26th December, 1915 (201630/15).
In a letter dated the 3rd January, 1916 (38086/4650/16), he forwarded to the
Government of India a translation of the treaty as signed, and also set out the text of
this and of the original British draft (both in translation) in parallel columns, with the
alterations marked, and with comments on each alteration, explaining how it arose and *
* lor the words in the British draft of article 1 which the Viceroy quoted in his‘telegram of the 7th
July, 1915, Bin Saud had substituted “ by the living ruler or by calling for the votes of the subjects
inhabiting those countries.”

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Content

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:

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.

Extent and format
1 item (330 folios)
Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎256r] (103/664), 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_100036528096.0x000075> [accessed 23 July 2019]

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