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Coll 17/27 'Iraq. Medical services' [‎4v] (8/190)

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The record is made up of 1 file (41 folios). It was created in 5 Feb 1936-8 Jun 1936. 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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4. It is possible now too, to begin to think of the future
and though we cannot foresee what changes in international relations
and in British foreign and imperial policy may be brought about by
the defeat of the Axis, we may safely proceed on the assumption
that the political, strategical and economic importance of our
position in the Middle East will increase rather than diminish.
There are accordingly certain elements in our relations with Iraq
which we should without doubt develop and strengthen. We must
above all, continue to cultivate friendly feelings towards Great
Britain and the British people among all classes of Iraqis and to
be at its best this feeling should cover all points of view and
every aspect of the life of the country. Y/e want the Iraqis to
feel not only that a political alliance between Iraq and Great
Britain is advantageous but also that British help and co-operation
will be of solid value in every kind of legitimate national, and
indeed individual, endeavour. In short we want to convince the
greatest possible number of Iraqis, and especially the youth of
the country, that they can best get what they want through our help
and at the same time we have the task of persuading them to want
what is best for them.
5. You will not need me to tell you that this is a very big
task and one that will need the energies of all our different
6. We must bear in mind, however, that if we have influence
we cannot escape a measure of responsibility for the general state
of the country. We must therefore do all that we can (without
infringing on the sovereignty and independence of the Iraqi State,
the preservation of which is the basis of our policy) to help those
responsible for the work of administration to do it better and to
the increasing satisfaction of the people. Your own position brings
you into especially close contact with the officials and your
experience and the opportunities which you have for touring and
meeting the tribes and village people, give you an exceotional
knowledge of administrative problems. It is therefore the particular
duty of the Political Advisory Staff to do all that they can within
the above limits to improve the administration. There are, of course
many ways in which this can be done but it would be inexpedient to
attempt to lay down bard and fast rules. The guiding principle
should be to foster trust and confidence between the officia-ls and
the people and to encourage, wherever it can be seen, however dimly,
the ^pirit of public service. The best solvent for so many of
Iraq s problems would be to put the idea of co-operation in the
place of the age-old antipathy which still survives between the
Government and the oeople, and to this end to try and make the latter
grasp that they are ultimately responsible for the former. In this
connection you should never allow to oass uncontested suggestions
that His Majesty’s Government should take charge of administration
themselves. Apart from the fact that it is not -practical politics
to contemplate such an about turn in cur policy, it is necessary to
educate Iraqis to the realisation that having sought and secured
independence, they must live up to their responsibilities. It is
unnecessary for me to dilate more fully on this aspect of your
duties since I am well aware that you are already acting in
accordance with the principles laid down in this paragraph. I am,
indeed, inclined to reckon as the greatest achievement of the
Political Advisory Staff the remarkable manner in which by gaining
the confidence of officials they have been able to influence the '
local administration.
7. I should add something about Arab nationalism and the
attitude which you should adopt towards it. The Arabs of Iraq as a
• ♦ ; • whole/

About this item


The file contains papers relating to the desire of the Government of Iraq to engage an expert for a few months to reorganise the health service of Iraq (and the subsequent decision of the Iraqi Government not to proceed with the recruitment of this expert).

The papers mostly consist of 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. internal correspondence, correspondence between 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. and the Foreign Office, copy correspondence between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Governor of Ceylon [Sri Lanka], and copy correspondence between the Foreign Office and the following: HM Embassy at Baghdad, HM Representative at Cairo, and the Colonial Office.

The file includes a divider, which gives lists of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 file (41 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 44; 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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 17/27 'Iraq. Medical services' [‎4v] (8/190), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2889, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 April 2019]

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