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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎289v] (170/664)

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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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cossiblv be created in the event of Hussein’s abdication, and think I told you that the
only way that appears at all possible is for us to enter into a secret agreement with
Abdulla to support him privately with funds in such a contingency, and to recognise
him as Kino &c if he makes good his position. I cannot recommend this course, but
if "any action' regarding Hussein’s successor is to be taken now, it appears to be the
best but it has many obvious drawbacks, though less serious than approaching us? m
direct who has already appointed Ali “ Crown Prince. .
As matters stand at present, it would be difficult, if not impossible to separate
the Kingship of the Hedjaz from the Emirate of Mecca, and the latter appointment being
at present a prerogative of the Caliph, any move on our part m appointing, or trying to
appoint, an Emir and. Grand Sherif of Mecca is likely to be resented by Moslems
^“Our'best policy is to do everything in reason to keep Hussein in his present
position, in any case until the Turkish treaty is signed, and the effects of its provisions
can be more clearly seen.
... # # # * *
He has always implicitly trusted His Majesty’s Government but his belief in our
oood intentions has been severely strained owing to the way m which we have hitherto
dealt with the Khurma question. If we take a sympathetic line with him now, do
him as well as we can, and give him confidence, we retain his trust, and need have no
fear that he will not carry on relations with foreign countries exclusively through us.
If you can spare thi time I should much like to have a talk with you regarding
the above any day this week, as you will doubtless be able to give me H,s Majesty s
Owing to my intimate and extremely cordial personal relations with Hussein I
should like to—and, indeed, think it advisable that I should—be in a position to give
him some crumbs of comfort and encouragement on my return, and thus S?* th e ide
out of his head that His Majesty’s Government proposes to discard him like a soiled
glove after getting invaluable assistance from him during the war, at a critical peno
of which he revolted and risked his all with us. . „ •
I must apologise for inflicting this long screed on you; my excuse is that Hussein
in my opinion, has an influence as leader of the revolt, father of Feisal, E
Mecca, &c., which appears underrated, and that he can be made as useful to us m peace
as he was the last three years of the war.
Sincerely yours,

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.

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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' [‎289v] (170/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 July 2019]

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