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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎47r] (93/513)

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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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4 •«,.,»
pb) PW
0 /iOST
^ Decypher. Sir B, Newton (Bagdad)..
26th March, 1941.
D. 10.01 p.m. 26th March, 1941.
R. 10.20 27th March, 1941.
*v C)
No. 240.
Your telegram No. 214.
Minister for Foreign Affairs whim I visited this
morning claims to he making some progress hut said that
General Taha did not wish to break off relations with Italy
until the situation was clearer in the Balkans. Minister for
Foreign Affairs thought, hut was not sure that, Taha felt
strong enough to carry out any eventual decision to break,
I pointed out that the present Government were [4-Hf*€dtuctaTrtr}-^
to sacrifice their relations with Great Britain to the retention /
of enemy Legation hut in view of your telegram I did not feel
justified in pressing Minister for Foreign Affairs for an early
2. Since it was decided in far less favourable
circumstances and in the face of much greater risks to force
the pace with Rashid Ali, our position and that of our friends
in Iraq has been ftuch strengthened. As always, it is really
a choice of risks which is involved and if we now blow hot
and cold and hesitate to pursue to an effective conclusion the
policy steadily followed now for some months, our influence will
suffer and our enemies will be correspondingly encouraged.
Whenever they feel strong enough, they will instigate "violent
! reactions" but Rashid Ali failed to promote such reactions and
since then his influence, that of the military clique, and even
that of the Mufti seems to have been weakening partly owing to
I our firm policy. These elements may recover strength if we
now change or suspend this policy. Its maintenance, no
doubt, involves risks to which I have been careful throughout
to draw attention, but the worst that might happen would seem ■
to be temporary control of Bagdad by the military clique who
would find it difficult to maintain their illegal control.
No such mutiny is in fact anticipated.
Although Regent does not believe military clique
to be strong, if he did decide to absent himself from Bagdad,
he would take that decision because he considered that he would
be playing into his enemies hands if he failed to remove
himself from area in which the clique exercised military
authority, and if he failed to take such opportunities as he
could for depriving them of power.,

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' [‎47r] (93/513), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2862, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 February 2020]

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