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File 2764/1904 Pt 3 'Baghdad Railway: general negotiations 1910-1912.' [‎114r] (236/544)

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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 Docnroeni ia the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.!
[January 16.]
Section 4.
No. 1 .
Sir V. Corbett to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received January 16.)
Munich, January 12 , 1911
(No. 3.)
YOU have doubtless been informed from other sources of the commotion that has
been occasioned in the G-erman press by the Chancellor’s speech in the Reichstag on
the 10 th December with reference to the “Potsdam interview” and the comments
thereon in the French and English newspapers.
The subject was worn almost threadbare before I arrived in Munich, and I have
therefore not thought it worth while hitherto to trouble you with any remarks upon it.
To-day’s issue, however, of the “Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten ” contains a communi
cation from its correspondent at Berlin which bears indication of being officially
inspired, and may be fairly taken to indicate the view which the German Government
would wish the public to take of the results of the now famous interview, especially as
regards its effect on their relations with Great Britain.
After some disobliging remarks respecting the attitude of the English, French,
and Russian papers, and favourably comparing M. Sazonow’s character as a statesman
with that of his predecessor M. Isvolsky, the writer of the article goes on to say that it
is not to be wondered at that the standpoint of Russia in these negotiations has not
been fully grasped by Russian diplomatists abroad or by the Chanceries of London
and Paris. The latter have sought to prove that the results of the Potsdam interview
were. exaggerated, and that both the Franco-Russian alliance and the Triple Entente
remained unshaken. On the part of Germany these facts have never been contested,
but it is indeed true that Germany and Russia have come to an understanding on
various questions, with the firm determination on both sides that neither Power shall
enter into any combination which is aimed against the other. If, however, out of a
long list of questions the affairs of Persia and the Bagdad Railway contract have been
singled out for special comment hy the foreign press it can only be because the idea
that Russia should come to an independent understanding with Germany on these
points is disliked in London, notwithstanding that not so long ago a united advance of
the three Powers was planned. Russia is dealing at this juncture solely in the interest
of her own commercial and political plans, and these interests happen to correspond
exactly with those of Germany. But Germany is naturally also always ready to come
to an understanding with England in regard to the Bagdad Railway, though obviously
not on the basis of the pretensions categorically put forward by the “ Daily Telegraph.”
To begin with, it may be observed that they would never be accepted by Turkey, for it
must not be forgotten that the Bagdad Railway is a Turkish enterprise, carried out for
the most part with German money, and that the Turkish Government, conscious of its
own interests, will never hand over the important final section of the line to English
control (“ Oberhoheit ”). Many other possibilities are, however, conceivable, and since
the Governments of London and Berlin have agreed—according to the statement of the
Imperial Chancellor on the 10 th December—forthwith to enter on an amicable
discussion of their respective interests, it may be hoped that here too a way may
be found to bring about a solution satisfactory to all parties.
I have, &c.
[1852 q —4]

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.' [‎114r] (236/544), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/58, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 September 2019]

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