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Coll 17/4 'Iraq-Syria & Syria-Transjordan frontier: delimitation' [‎376r] (764/788)

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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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inipiible h of A ^«i y ^n™ ^ r!ct ’ b l inK difflcult and - at “ rta! “ seasons, almost
gjfjg e m ' rr i ' can not be effectively controlled from that
Amadiv-h 1 cnoM ^ °5 h , ost , i , lities l l ,real ' l "K out as a result of tribal disturbances,
A^ra and IbhM J^tuaHy raoiated by forces operating from Dohuk and
qia and, with the additional possibility of an Assyrian rising the Turkish
position m that district would speedily be rendered untenable
5. Our only motive in proposing- a rectification of the Treaty Frontier is
and on the raisiinv fact a s * r “ 1 e . and , settled frontier, based on natural features
and on the existing facts of the local situation, which shall give promise of ner-
Sents 11065 ^ th6 mUtUal advanta g e ali ke of the Ottoman and ‘Iraq Govern-
ations ° f 0Ur / in( ; erit 7’ we are Prepared, if the above consider-
Sevres. ’ surrender territory allotted to ‘Iraq by the Treaty of
laroJl rv! 1 t0 ! he faC - t that the nature of our Proposals must depend
& ely on the circumstances m which negotiations with the Ottoman Govern-
ment are conducted and -that, in order to secure the inclusion of the Amadiyah
a ^ rA f^J' rian ^f lbal dlstri cts within the ‘Iraq boundary, it may be necessary to
surrender territory m exchange. I have therefore endeavoured to provide for
all eventualities by submitting four proposals of which, it is hoped one will
prove appropriate. These proposals are given, in the order of their desirability :
the first representing what would be from our point of view the best possible
frontier, and the fourth representing the furthest concessions which I am pre-
■ P arec recommend in order to secure the inclusion in ‘ Iraq of the
Amadiyah district. The frontier lines represented by each of the four pro
posals are indicated on the map enclosed with this despatch. I would
emphasise he fact that owing to the fluid character of tribal boundaries and to
the unreliability of the maps available, it is impossible at this stage to lay down
a detailed frontier. The frontier lines therefore, as described in this despatch
and as marked on the accompanying map, should be taken only as the most
geneial indications of the boundary subsequently to be defined in detail by a
Boundary Commission (as provided for in Article 29 of the Treaty).
(2. The frontier lines proposed in each case may be defined roughly as
First Proposal—The boundary as now administered with the addition of
an area bounded approximately on the North by lat.
Shewn on map thus 37° 30' and on the east and west by long. 44° and
* 43°, respectively. [Detailed descriptions of:— (i) the
boundary as now administered and (ii) the boundary of the area which it is pro
posed to include, will be found in Appendices I and II enclosed with this des
Second Proposal. —The boundary as now administered, with the addition
of the area described above under first proposal, from
Shewn on map thus + + + the Tigris to long. 44 ° 5 ' thence a line running in a
S.E. direction, crossing the Sukuchuk Su N. of Kolitha
and continuing S.E. to the western end of the watershed S. of Rudbar-i Barasgir;
thehee along the watershed eastwards to the Persian Frontier.
Third Proposal. —The boundary as described above under second proposal
except between longs. 43 ° 40 ' and 44 ° where the bound-
shewn on map thus .... ary line would follow the summits- of the Gurajar Dagh
and Shirindari Dagh.
Fourth Proposal. —The boundary as at present administered. This pro
posal may also be extended, if necessary, to include—
Shewn on map by green line — [i) The surrender of the area which it is proposed to
surrender under the second proposal.
{ii) The surrender of the area which it is proposed to surrender under
the third proposal.
First Proposal .—Taking as a basis the boundary as defined on the map
attached to the Treaty, this proposal involves the following alterations:
( 1 ) The surrender of a fertile strip of territory bounded by rivers Tigris,
Khabur and Hazil and by the Treaty boundary on the west, south, east and
north, respectively; and the inclusion of an area between the rivers Hazil and
Khabur and to the north of the Treaty boundary {see map) 1 .

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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' [‎376r] (764/788), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2848, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 October 2019]

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