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File 2764/1904 Pt 3 'Baghdad Railway: general negotiations 1910-1912.' [‎5r] (18/544)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (268 folios). It was created in 1910-1912. 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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[This Document is the Property of Eis Britannic Majesty’s Goveri-.nw,t i
Section 5.
No. 1.
Extract from the “Daily TelegrapJP’ of May 25, 1912
Bagdad Railway : German Activity.
General Review.
(By Perceval Landon.)
MATTERS have at last come to a crisis in the vexed problem of the Bagdad
Railway.. The presence of Baron Marschall von Bieberstein as German Ambassador in
London is admittedly connected with the immediate need of some international
agreement.. The exact price which the two countries will agree to pay for a mutual
understanding—which will, of course, embrace other points at issue besides this trans
continental line—remains still uncertain. The high contracting parties themselves have
probably formed no very clear idea of the shape that the accord will ultimately take.
But it is as well that a clear idea should be formed of the present state of the
forwardness of the German enterprise and of the probable effect of the completed scheme
upon British interests. Unless the whole facts are known, it is quite likely that the
importance of an understanding with Germany in this matter may be underrated by the
English public. If that be the case, it is probable that no small amount of criticism
will be heard of the terms of the new bargain about to be concluded by the Foreign
The Bagdad Railway was first mooted shortly after the visit of the German
Emperor to Constantinople and Syria in 1898. Not to wearv the reader with aspects
of the matter which are no longer of cardinal importance, it may roughly be said that
the concessions obtained from the Turkish Government in P)03, 1908, and 1911
contemplate the extension of the Anatolian Railway already existing at the earliest of
these dates.
This line extended from Haidar Pasha, a port on the Bosphorus immediately facing
Constantinople, through Afium Hissar to Konia, the ancient Seljuk capital of Anatolia.
From Konia the Bagdad Railway proper may be said to begin. A clause was included
definitely granting to the concessionnaires the right to extend the line from Bagdad to
a point upon 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. . The point itself was not named.
_ This concession was made to a company which, though officially Turkish, was in
reality a German enterprise from the outset. The line was to be constructed and
managed by a German company.. On her side Turkey undertakes to protect the line—
a matter which is of some little importance at the present moment. In return for the
services thus rendered by the German company, Turkey agreed to pay the famous
kilometric guarantee which figures so largely in>11 discussions about this railway. It
may be as well to have the exact terms of this guarantee :—
“ Le Gouvernement Imperial garantit au concessionnaire par kilometre construit et
exploite.une annuite de 11,000 fr., ainsi qu’une somme forfaitaire de 4,500 fr. parannee
et par kilometre exploite pour frais dexploitation.”
This means that under any circumstances a sum of 11,000 fr. will be paid by the
Turkish Government annually for each kilometre of the line over which the Germans
are actually running trains. In addition to this, Turkey agrees to pay a contingent
sum, not amounting to more than 4,500 fr. a-year, in order, when necessary, to make up
the gross receipts of each kilometre to the sum of 4,500 fr. a-year. The terms seem
generous. It is to be noted that a newly sanctioned section of the railway connecting
the port of Alexandretta with the main line near Kalakeui is to be constructed by the
Germans without any guarantee from the Turkish Government at all. This, too, will
be seen to be a matter of some importance.
[2485 bb—5]
21 JUN 1912

About this item


The volume comprises telegrams, despatches, correspondence, memoranda, newspaper cuttings, maps and notes, relating to negotiations over the proposed Berlin to Baghdad Railway in the period 1910-1912.

The discussion in the volume relates to the economic, commercial, political and military considerations impinging on British strategy for the international negotiations over the development of a railway to Baghdad.

Further discussion surrounds the motivations and strategies of British competitors in the area; included in the volume is a copy of the Russo-German agreement.

The principal correspondents in the volume include Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Sir Gerard Augustus Lowther, Ambassador to Constantinople.

Extent and format
1 volume (268 folios)

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

The subject 2764 (Bagdad Railway) consists of five volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/56-60. The volumes are divided into five parts with each part comprising one volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 269; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of 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. Pagination: a pagination sequence in red crayon is present between ff 244-252.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 2764/1904 Pt 3 'Baghdad Railway: general negotiations 1910-1912.' [‎5r] (18/544), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/58, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 June 2019]

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