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File 2764/1904 Pt 3 'Baghdad Railway: general negotiations 1910-1912.' [‎242r] (494/544)

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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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[July 11 .]
Section 1,
No. 1.
Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received July 11.)
(No. 191.
§i r
I HAVE the honour to report that the Imperial Chancellor lefrBerlm^sterday
for his summer holiday. At his request I called upon him before his departure and
had a short conversation with him on general topics. His Excellency said that with
the exception of the ever recurring Cretan question, there appeared to he a g^eval
Ml m European politics M. Isvolsky, who, when passing through Berlin, had given
it to be understood that he would shortly send an answer to the Gerrnan-Persbm
railway proposals of four years ago, had made no sign, nor had His Maiestv’s
Government, he added with a smile, showed any particular anxiety to continue thn
conversation with Germany on Persian affairs. This was all his Excellency said
respecting foreign politics. He then turned to German internal politics and the
recent changes m the Prussian Cabinet. He passed lightly over the retirement of the
Ministers of the Interior and Agriculture, but expressed the greatest regret at the
loss of Herr von Rheinbaben, whose exceptional gifts and great financial experience
would be greatly missed. He added, that I had doubtless noticed the reasons given
m the press for Herr von Rheinbaben’s retirement, that, for instance he & (the
Chancellor) had got rid of him for reasons of jealousy, and that he had fallen into
disfavour with the Emperor because he had obstructed His Majesty’s views respectim-
the Royal Opera House, or something of the sort. He need hardly tell me that these
rumours were both malevolent and untrue. As a matter of fact, he had used every
effort to dissuade Herr von Rheinbaben from retiring, and on three separate occasions
had begged him to reconsider his decision. The Emperor had also done his best to
keep him, and had for some time refused to accept his resignation. His Majesty
however, had M last said, “Well! as Herr von Rheinbaben is so set upon having the
Coblenz appointment, I suppose we must let him go.”
Notices in the sense of the Chancellor’s statements to me have been inserted in
several of the semi-official papers, but they are treated with derision by the greater
part of the press, who stoutly maintain that Herr von Rheinbaben was dismissed
owing to differences of opinion with the Chancellor on many political subjects
notably that of electoral reform. As a matter of fact, it would seem as if the
Chancellor, while being accused by the Liberals and Radicals of being reactionary in
that question, has fallen under the suspicion of the Conservatives and Centre as
having a tendency to coquet with the National Liberals, or, at all events, to surround
himself with men of no very decided opinions, so as to render himself not absolutely
dependent on the goodwill of the Conservative side of the Reichstag.
The Chancellor then spoke of Herr von Kdderlen Waechter, and expressed the
hope that I would have the same pleasant relations with him as I had had with
Herr von Schoen. I said that I should miss the latter very much, as we were friends
and colleagues of many years’ standing. I had always found him very friendly and
well disposed towards my country, and I hoped that Herr von Kiderlen entertained
the same sentiments. The Chancellor replied that Herr von Kiderlen had somehow
or other got the reputation of being somewhat brusque and overbearing in his
manner. He did not think that this reputation was deserved, and he was sure that I
would find him very pleasant to deal with. “ As for his sentiments,” his Excellency
added, “ it is I who direct the foreign affairs of the Empire, and as long as I hold my
present office those under my orders will have to adopt their sentiments to mine.”
The Chancellor said this very stiffly, and his words were almost identical with
these which he had used to my Erench colleague a few days before. Personally, I f
think that the language held by the press in writing upon Herr von Kiderlen
[2825 /—l]

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.' [‎242r] (494/544), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/58, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 August 2019]

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