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Coll 54/1(S) 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Reconstruction' [‎5r] (14/940)

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The record is made up of 1 file (468 folios). It was created in 20 Mar 1949-13 Dec 1949. It was written in English. 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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Completion of W-adi Tharthar Project
Stage 1.
£ 7 , 000,000
Construction of Gibraltar Dam on the
Drainage in old areas
at a rote of £300,000 per annum.
Irrigation Development
"T Canals etc. )
Euphrates, 625,000 acres
Diyala and Nahr Wan Canals
437,500 acres.
Gharraf. 312,500 acres
£ 2 , 580,000
£ 3 , 000,000
£ 2 , 500,000
£ 1 , 450,000
£ 1 , 250,000
Total £19,780,000
or say £20,000,000
An approximate break-down of this expenditure into
dollars, sterling and dinars would work out thus:-
# 19 , 368,000
£ 4,423,000
Wadi Tharthar
Project; a
opinion .
11. The Iraqi Government’s Consulting
Engineers, Coode, Vaughan-Lee, Prank and Gwyther,
consider that there are technical objections to the
use of the Wadi Tharthar depression for irrigation
storage, since the high water levels involved would
impose a heavy strain on the long length of
embankment required and constitute a danger to
Baghdad. They have therefore recommended that the
Wadi Tharthar project should be carried out for
flood control only, at an estimated cost of
£6,500,000, and that a plan rejected by the Haigh
Commission for a dam on the Greater Zab at Bekhme
should be undertaken for irrigation storage, at
an estimated cost of £9,000,000 Mr. Haigh does
not agree with Coode, Vaughan-Lee, Prank and
Gwyther * s objections. The Iraqi government have-
not yet come to a decision, but the technical
experts have come to a compromise understanding.
Coode, Vaughan-Lee, Prank and Gwyther have now
agreed that they would see no objection to stage
one of the Wadi Tharthar project being developed
along the lines recommended by Haigh: later on
experience will show whether the further development
of the project.for irrigation purposes is or is not
a practical proposition.

About this item


The file contains papers relating to the Middle East (Official) Committee. It consists of: papers circulated to members of the Committee, received by the External Department of the Commonwealth Relations Office (CRO); a few items of CRO correspondence with the Foreign Office, the Cabinet Office, and Commonwealth governments; and a register of papers received or sent by the CRO relating to the Committee, with internal CRO correspondence (at the back of the file).

The file includes agendas for meetings of the Committee, and minutes of the meetings on 28 April, 5 May, 5 July and 19 July 1949. Matters discussed and recorded in the minutes include: the reconstitution of the Committee; the re-settlement of Arab refugees from Palestine; the report on Economic and Social Development in the Middle East by the Working Party of the Committee; the future work of the Committee; the Conference of HM Representatives in the Middle East to be held in London from 26 to 29 July 1949; United States President Truman’s ‘Fourth Point’ (Truman’s message of 24 June 1949 to the United States House of Representatives, communicating a ‘Recommendation for the Enactment of Legislation to Authorise an Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance for Underdeveloped Areas of the World’); and further studies of the Working Party.

The file also includes the following papers prepared by (or approved by) the Working Party of the Committee: draft, revised and interim versions of the report on Economic and Social Development in the Middle East; papers relating to the economic and social development of Iraq, Syria, Greater Transjordan, Egypt, the Lebannon, Saudi Arabia, Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, Eritrea and Somalia, and the Colony of Aden and the Aden Protectorate; and a paper on Middle East oil.

In addition, the file includes other papers relating to matters discussed at the meetings, and the following subjects: Transjordan; irrigation development in Iraq; Persia’s [Iran’s] Seven Year Plan for development; informal conversations on social and economic affairs in the Middle East between representatives of the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the British Embassy in Washington, and the United States State Department; the work of the Development Division of British Middle East Office; a survey of the oil resources of the Middle East; and economic development in Cyprus in relation to the Middle East.

Extent and format
1 file (468 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate reverse chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.

Numbers in red pen on the top right hand corner of items in the file refer to entries in the register of papers received and sent by the Commonwealth Relations Office at the back of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 468; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 54/1(S) 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Reconstruction' [‎5r] (14/940), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/4756, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 February 2020]

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