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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎263r] (117/664)

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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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Eng 1 ^ Translation of Letter from the Sherif of Mecca to Sir If . McMahon, His Majesty s
High Commissioner, Cairo, dated September 9, 1915 [29i/i Shawal, 1333].
T° J ]S Excellency the Most Exalted, the Most Eminent—The British High
Commissioner in Egypt; may God grant him Success.
iQ>iQ^hih great 'h:: r, ': lnefS ? nr| delight I received your letter, dated 19th Shawal,
IJdJ (doth August, 191o) and have given it great consideration and regard, in spite of
the impression I received from it of ambiguity and its tone of coldness and hesitation
with regard to our essential point.
. ^ ^ ne( ?essary to make clear to your Excellency our sincerity towards the illustrious
hhitish Empire, and our confession of preference for it in all cases and matters and under
a orms and circumstances. The real interests of the followers of our religion
necessitate this. s
Nevertheless your Excellency will pardon me and permit me to say clearly that
the coldness and hesitation which you have displayed in the question of the limits and
boundaries by saying that the discussion of these at present is of no use and is a loss of
time, and that they are still in the hands of the Government which is ruling them, &c.,
might be taken to infer an estrangement or something of the sort.
As these limits and boundaries demanded are not those of one person whom we
s ou d satisfy, and with whom we should discuss them after the war is over but our
^• V6 T 611 the hfe of their new proposal is bound at least by these limits
and their word is united on this.
Therefore they have found it necessary to first discuss tfiis point with the Power
m whom they now have their confidence and trust as a final appeal, viz., the
illustrious British Empire.
{Literal translation o f the above passage.)
And therefore they saw the discussion in it first the place of then* confidence
and trust the axis of final appeal now, and that is the illustrious British Empire.”
Their reason for this union and confidence is mutual interest, the necessity of
regulating territorial divisions
the feelings of their inhabitants, so that they may know how to base their future and
hfe, so not to meet her (England ?) or any of her allies in opposition to their resolution
which would produce a contrary issue, which God forbid.
{Literal translation of above passage as follows)
“ the fee l in gs of its inhabitants to know how to base their future and life for not
to meet her or one of its allies in front of their resolution when the thing comes to
a contrary result, which God forbid.”
. For the object is, honourable Minister, the truth which is established on a basis
which guarantees the essential sources of life in future.
_ Yet within these limits they have not included places inhabited by a foreign race.
It is a vam show of words and titles.
May God have mercy on the Caliphate and comfort Moslems in it.
am confident that your Excellency will not doubt that it is not I personally who
am demanding of these limits which include only our race, but that they are all
proposals of the people who, in short, believe that they are necessary for economic life,
is this not right, your Excellency the Minister ?
In a word your High Excellency, we are firm in our sincerity and declaring our
preterence for loyalty towards you, whether you are satisfied with us as has been said
or angry.
With reference to your remark in your letter above mentioned, that some of our
f^p r 7T d01 m g the r i utmost in promoting the interests of Turkey, your Goodness
Ef fe ctnes . s ) would not permit you to make this an excuse for the tone of coldness
and hesitation with regard to our demands, demands which I cannot admit that you as
man o sound opinion will deny to be necessary for our existence ; nay, they are the
essential essence of our life, material and moral. ’ ^ EX are the

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:

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' [‎263r] (117/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 July 2019]

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