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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎496v] (587/664)

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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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evacuated from the Caucasus, but this would take a long time.
He reminded the Conference that any appealance on our part of
withholding the support asked for by King Hussein might antagonise
Feisal, and increase our difficulties in Syria. He mentioned that
aeroplanes had been of great effect at Nejef, even though no bombs
had actually been dropped, and he urged strongly that the
co-operation of the flight which had been sent to Jeddah at
Hussein’s request should not be withheld in deference to the views
of the Government of India.
Miss Bell, replying to a question by the Chairman, said that it
was difficult to say what would be the effect in Mesopotamia of a
complete defeat of Hussein and Abaulla by Ibn Saud, and a Wkhabi
occupation of the Holy Cities ; the inhabitants of Koweit and Zobeir,
who lived on the fringe ot the Nejd and had been in contact with the
Wahabis, cordially disliked them, and their views would probably be
reflected in other parts of Mesopotamia. It should be remembered
that to the Wahabis Medina was not a Holy City, and the Sunnis of
Iraq would certainly be unfavourably affected if the pilgrimage to
Mecca were restrained by Wahabis from proceeding to Medina.
The Chairman said it appeared that Ibn Saud had lost control
of his own men and that no further steps on our part, whether from
the lied Sea or 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. side, were likely to have any effect
in restraining the Wahabis. We were expecting Ibn Sauds reply
to our message in the course of a day or two, and beyond finding
out from the various authorities concerned what action was
considered practicable or desirable in the event of a Wahabi advance
on Jeddah, he did not think that anything could usefully be done.
King Hussein had never been diffident about asking for assistance,
and he thought that we should wait for an appeal from him before
considering either further financial assistance or the replacement of
the guns which had been lost by Abdulla.
The Conference decided —
(1.) That the Foreign Office should ascertain from the Ministry
of Shipping what, prospect there was of evacuating
refugees from Jeddah :
(2.) That the War Office should ask the General Officer Com
manding Egypt Force what Mahommedan troops,
whether Soudanese or Indian, would be available for
covering a possible withdrawal at short notice :
(3.) That the Secretary of State for India should consult the
Mahommedan member of the India Council and the
Government of India on the probable attitude of the
Indian Mahommednns in the event of an appeal being
made to them by King Hussein to co-operate in the
defence of the Holy Places against the Wahabis.
Foreign Office,
June 13, 1919.
C. of K.

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' [‎496v] (587/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 January 2020]

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