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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎14r] (27/513)

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The record is made up of 1 file (256 folios). It was created in 29 Apr 1940-24 Oct 1941. 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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1 7 59, |
From; IRAQ..
Sir K* Cornwalliso
No: 285.
6th April, 1941,
Repeated to Cairo No: 190c
Tehran No: 54*
Jedda No: 55o
D: 3.35 p.m. 6th April, 1941.
R: 1.35 a.m. 7th April, 1941.
*6 X A
My telegram No: 23 1
Taufiq Suwaidi met Oriental Secretary this morning.^B
He said Rashid Ali and his associates were much encouraged
by rapidity and ease with which they had established control
over the whole country and were now determined to go full
steam ahead. He had learnt that their plan was to summon
the *Parliament*(if necessary securing the attendance of a
quorum by threat and bribe) to dooose the Regent and
to set up Regency Council of three under the presidency
of Sherrif Sharaf (a minor member of Sherrefian family
who acted as Regent during the late King Feisal s absence
and who has since then been living in Bagdad in the palace).
Both Taha and Naii Suwaidi were already Being pressed to
join this Council but had so far refused. Rashid All
was also trying to form a Cabinet. He had < not yet
persuaded any of reputable parties to join it but he would
fill it with second rate extremists if better men could not
be found. Taufiq Suwaidi said that the army leaders were
convinced that Germany would win and that it was therefore
necessary to follow a policy with a steady inclination
towards the AxiSo
Taufiq gave it as his opinion that boycotting of
Government of National Defence by leading politicians
would not defeat Rashid Ali and he took the line that only
force could now do this. He said that he and.otner ex
colleagues ve s anxious to know whether His Majesty s
Government intended to come to an understanding with .
Rashid Ali regime or to support the Regent with lorce. ineir
own attitude must depend largely on reply to this question.
Following events show Rashid Ali’s activities. Strict
military supervision of all trains leaving Bagdad for Basra.
A cavalry regiment arrived in Bagdad from ^Qaraghan’J 5 this,
morning. Anti-aircraft guns have been placed on.civil air
port Bagdad, All civilisn cars were made to register this
morning and it is expected that they will commandeered
for troop movements to the south, Abdul Mahdi (Minister.^or
Social Affairs in *Taha's Government) was arresued last night.

About this item


This file is a continuation of IOR/L/PS/12/2861. It contains correspondence and memoranda regarding relations between HMG Her or His Majesty’s Government in London. and the Government of Iraq, and documents the reaction of 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 Foreign Office to political developments within Iraq. The papers primarily consist of communications between HM Ambassador to Iraq and HM Foreign Secretary, regarding the cabinet of Rashid Ali al-Gaylani, his resignation in January 1941 and the formation of a new cabinet under Taha al-Hashimi, and the resumption of power by Rashid Ali backed by the military in April 1941. The file concludes with papers detailing the escape of the Regent 'Abd al-Ilah, and initial negotiations with Rashid Ali's Government of National Defence.

The papers include detailed discussion of the relations between Iraq and the Axis Powers, and attempts by the British to persuade the Government of Iraq to sever diplomatic ties with Italy. They also discuss British concerns over the growing anti-British sentiment in Iraq, as a result of British interference in Iraqi internal affairs and British policy towards Palestine and Syria. Amongst the papers are intelligence reports on the 'Golden Square' Generals (folios 58-59), and a copy of British plans to undermine the Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini (folios 194-195). The file also contains a small number of communications from the Government of Iraq, and from HM Ambassadors to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the USSR.

Folios 4-8 concern the affairs of the family of the late Khan Sahib Badruddin Khan, and appear to have come from a different file.

Extent and format
1 file (256 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 256; 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. Two additional foliation sequences are also present in parallel between ff 2-256, and ff 206-225; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎14r] (27/513), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2862, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 May 2019]

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