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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎375v] (763/788)

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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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letter to the Colonial Office No. S. 5070/43/93 dated 10th May 1921, in
which it is stated that the terms of the Treaty of Sevres regarding the northern
f boundary of ‘Iraq “were drawn ut> after full consultation with the British
authorities in Mesopotamia.” The views of the Acting Civil Commissioner
for Mesopotamia on this subject are contained in his telegram No. 10852
dated 8 th December 1918, to the Secretary of State for India, m reply to a
telegram ashing him to telegraph in words suitable for insertion in the draft
Treaty a definition of the frontiers of ‘Iraq. The relevant paragraph in the
Civil Commissioner’s telegram is as follows : —
“Amadiyah is a big Kurdish centre which it is essential to control if we
are to repatriate Assyrians, Armenians, etc. now on our hands. It cannot
be controlled from the north as roads are blocked in winter by snow and in
spring by the flooded state of the valleys. Proposed frontier brings Amadiyah
into ‘Iraq: also the Hakki (Harki?) tribe whom I imagine no one else
(2). I would also refer to Map No. 2 attached to the text of the Treaty
of Sevres. It will be seen that the former northern boundary of the Mosul
Wilayat is marked by a chain-dotted line and that this chain-dotted line has
been mainly adopted as the basis of the Treaty boundary, it being stated in
Part II, Article 27, Section II, Clause (3) of the Treaty that the frontier shall
follow “the northern boundary of the Mosul Wilayat,” The text contmues
“modrfied however, so as to pass south of Amadiyah.” It wall be observed
that the chain-dotted line on the map attached to the Treaty does in fact pass
°J Amadiyah and, if this line was accepted as correctly defining the
Wilayat boundary, the modification quoted above, as it appears in the text
seems meaningless. In view of the many considerations already cited which
emphasize the importance of retaining Amadiyah within the ‘Iraq boundarv
f ,’, 1 noti f d • ahove ’ 1 f<*l bound to draw your attention
’* lty °. f an e,TOr bavins; arisen in the text of the Treaty dnd to
. u r ,„e t that the clause m question should have read:—“The northern
of Antl/ah ” e ya ‘ ° f M0SUl - m ° dified ’ Wer, » as to pass iS
(3). A further complication arises from the fact that the chain-dotted
IttShyto tSfte^ttf ti ^ ° f the M ° SU1 Wil^tt^ie map
tWhuXisf WhSh 1 *^ a ” <1 ^ “aordigf/'Snceiied Vv
dS T Id ap n, r
bounda^ e of ll t.heM®urS -i, ™ aCtUal of the frontier. The
line in the iVtoie^ “ 5 "“
Z“i wZat ^ iS 0 P 08 e ible b ““^n, t h “S n Jt: “3
small corner between the Khabur'and 01 !! na m- e ' ■ *bat Faishkhabur and a
Jazirah The return of Faishtlmbu, where Wtiri ?7? ,naUy beloll 8 ed
during the war, is unthinkable It 4 ill i Christians were massacred
boundary line diffe^Sderahlv ^ T? ^ at ‘^correct Wilayat
red line marking the Treaty frontier ' It wonld 1 tl lm6 and from tlie
frontier as defined on the man attepbJ 1 ^ hr t fe erefore appear that the
correspond with the frontier aJ definprl ^n t J le /treaty does not in fact
therefore under Article 20 be ignored. n ^ 6Xt ° f tlie Treat y 5 and may
re-opened with°the Ottomalf Gtwm'nmen't^to 16 ’ if wIl ? n ^otiations are
tion as a whole with a view to remodeBino. tp the boun dary ques-
Treaty map (hereinafter referred to as tlie T,p / T t' 0n ^ 1 . er . as defined on the
:s -
government HE ottoman
marise the cLid^Sk^ th'rt TOVht’hTSSjd 1 vent «r 6 to sum-
Goveimnmh vt?!f° tlati0ns »” «>» “Wect being opeSTi^t^Soman*
^ruSrtbt th d
S«ted a Chr d '!“ ent t0 *be nSi'sh 8 frontier of b a ’, 11Creased by the presence
-hurr^rrtirss ^
cor r± y
a- constant source of

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' [‎375v] (763/788), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2848, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 October 2019]

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