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File 2764/1904 Pt 3 'Baghdad Railway: general negotiations 1910-1912.' [‎180r] (370/544)

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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 Docnment is the Property of His Britannic Majesty’s Government.!
= 29 DEC 1910
[November 21.J
Section 1.
No. L.
Mr. O’Beirne to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received November 21.)
(No. 457.)
Sir, St. Petersburgh, November 16, 1910.
I HAVE the honour to report that the “ Novoe Vremya ” to-day publishes an
article in which reference is again made to the alleged agreement arrived at during
the Potsdam conversations between M. Sazonow and the German negotiators respecting
Russian railway construction in Persia and the Bagdad Railway scheme. The article
declares that the agreement by which friction in Persia injurious to Russian interests
has been removed has been reached at the cost of a Russian promise to link up the
future Persian system of railways with the Bagdad line. The writer, whilst fully
recognising the value of any agreement securing tranquillity in Persia, considers it
superfluous to state to whom this particular agreement is the more advantageous—
Russia or Germany. He quotes figures to show that at present more than half of
Persia’s foreign trade is in Russian hands, a fact which the “Novoe Vremya”
attributes principally to the geographical position of the two countries. This
advantage will be lost with the opening of railway communication from the centre of
Persia westward to the Mediterranean Sea. The “Novoe Vremya” therefore urges
immediate reorganisation and improvement of the existing waterways connecting the
central industrial regions of Russia with the Caspian Sea and Persian ports, which, in
the opinion of this paper, will materially lessen the harmful effect to Russian trade of
the invasion of Persia, which seems inevitable in the future, by cheap European goods.
The article then discusses the scheme for a new “world-route” from Baku across
Persia to the nearest railway station on the Indian system—Nushki—and declares that
since the question of linking up Russian railways in Persia with lines of other countries
has arisen the matter should be carried out to its logical conclusion. An extension of
the Russian railway system from Baku to Nushki would give a continuous line from
Calais to Bombay of 8,250 versts, which would reduce the length of the journey
between these two ports by seven to seven and a half days. This would be sufficient
to convert the new route to India into a “ world ” route by which all the mails would
travel and the majority of first and second class passengers. It would involve the
construction of about 2,300 versts—1,800 versts from Baku vifi Tehran to the Perso-
Indian frontier and 500 versts farther to Nushki.
The “Novoe Vremya” admits that such an enormous undertaking of general
European importance could not be carried out by Russia alone nor solely by Russian
enterprise. A similar idea was considered in Russia in the eighties, and has now been
restored to life, and is being placed on a practical footing. Something in the nature of
a preliminary committee has been formed in Russia for the consideration of a general
plan for its realisation. Einanciers and engineers from France, England, and Germany
will be invited to take part in the deliberations, so that the matter immediately becomes
invested with an international character.
I have, &c.
[2991 w—1]

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.' [‎180r] (370/544), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/58, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 September 2019]

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