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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎375r] (762/788)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (386 folios). It was created in 1 Jun 1921-27 Oct 1932. It was written in English and French. 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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JNo. C.O./120.
11 eaty ceases _to he an academic question and becomes a practical issue" and
1 consider it or the greatest imnortanee Him I, Hip rlpfppfa +r„ r e’,„„ j-„
(1) - I would first draw your attention to my telegram No. 40 dated 19th
April, 1921, wherein are summarised the reasons for the rectification of the
fiontiei, as delimitated by Hie Ireaty of Sevres, in such a way as to include
the district of Amadiyah and the Nestorian country within the confines of
‘Iraq. These reasons not only are still valid, but have increased in import
ance owing’ to the continued maintenance of administrative control over
the districts in question by the ‘Iraq Government, which has encouraged
large numbers of Christian Assyrians to return to their homes in this
( 2 ) . _ Moreover, further detailed examination of the whole question and
consultation with local experts has only served to strengthen my conviction
that some such rectification of the Treaty frontier is essential to the future
peace and security of the Mosul division." The Treaty frontier cuts across
ethnographical and geographical boundaries; it severs from Mosul large
numbers of Muslim Kurds who are economically dependent for that town;
and it hands over to Ottoman rule the homes of the Assyrian Christians who
have the strongest moral claims to our continued protection.
1 advised also that, on military grounds, the retention of the
Amadiyah district within the ‘Iraqian boundary is most desirable. The
high ground on which Amadiyah is situated overlooks the low-lying districts
of Dohuk and Aqra to the south and the valley running westwards to Zakho,
and it commands the roads which radiate to these places. With Amadivah
in the hands of a hostile power and with the facilities for hostile propaganda
which the frequent intercourse of the local tribesmen with Mosul would
provide, adequate military protection of the northern frontier would involve
insuperable difficulties. In any event Hie existence of Amadiyah as a supply
and road centre And so as a potential base of hostile operations, for which
the inevitable inter-tribal disturbances would offer a ready pretext, would be
a constant source of anxiety to the Government of ‘Iraq.
G). The circumstanneo i n which the Amadivah district was specifically
excluded from ‘Trap iu the Treaty of Sevres are unknown to me and I do not
doubt that they were sufficient at the time to justify the course adopted. In
this connection, however, I venturer to invite your attention to Foreign Office

About this item


Papers regarding negotiations to amend the borders between French-mandated Syria, and British-mandated Iraq and Trans-Jordan. The papers discuss the boundaries established by the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Treaty of Sèvres, the British push for the inclusion of Amadiyah within the Iraq mandated territories, and the issue of tribal groups crossing border regions. The papers primarily consist of communications between the Foreign Office, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and the High Commissioner for Iraq, with occasional commentary from 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. Political Department.

The file also contains copies of treaties, minutes and appendices from the Committee of Imperial Defence, Standing Sub-Committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East, and minutes and documents circulated by the Council of the League of Nations, including:

  • Memorandum by the High Commissioner for Iraq, stating objections to the frontiers established by the Treaty of Sèvres, including two maps, ff 375-380.
  • Minutes and appendices of the Foreign Office meeting of 13 July 1931, including copies of the Humphrys-Ponsot Draft for Combined Reference to the Council of the League of Nations, and a copy of the Agreement between HMG Her or His Majesty’s Government in London. and the French Government respecting the Boundary Lines between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hammé, Treaty Series No. 13 (1923), ff 315-349.
  • Papers circulated at the Committee of Imperial Defence Sub-Committee meeting of 8 September 1931, including correspondence with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the Beirut formula, ff 238-314.
  • Minutes of the Committee of Imperial Defence Sub-Committee meeting of 23 September 1931, including a sketch map of the Syria-Trans-Jordan frontier, and a report by the British Resident at Trans-Jordan, ff 141-209.
  • Second report by Sir Francis Humphrys on his negotiations in Paris regarding the Syrian frontier, and annexes comprising draft agreements, ff 67-75.
  • Excerpt minutes of the 65th Session of the Council of the League of Nations, 9 December 1931, including copies of the joint request for arbitration submitted by Britain and France, ff 48-66; plus minutes of the sessions on 31 October 1931, and 30 January 1932, ff 37-46.
  • Copy of the League of Nations Mandate, Report of the Commission entrusted by the Council with the Study of the Frontier between Syria and Iraq, Geneva, 10 September 1932 (Official reference: C. 578. M. 285. 1932. VI), ff 6-28, which includes four maps (IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (i), IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (ii), IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (iii) and IOR/W/L/PS/12/2848 (iv)).

The volume includes a divider giving a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the end of the correspondence (folio 4).

Extent and format
1 volume (386 folios)

The papers are arranged in rough chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 388; 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. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 4-385; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎375r] (762/788), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2848, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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