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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎70r] (139/513)

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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 U o i
From: IRAQ.
Decyphero Sir B. Newton.
Do 10.46 p.m.
R 0 lo35 p,m 0
No: 148.
19th February, 1941.
19th February, l941o
20th February, 1941.
Your telegram No: 116.
Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
dined last night when I again spoke very
plainly about the recent political activities of certain
officers and the necessity for breaking off relations
with Italy. The two questions are interconnected and
when public opinion is invoked as an argument against
the latter, it is influential military clique which is
chiefly meant.
2. There may still be some dangerous trouble
from these officers as General Taha admitted after
trying'to suggest there was nothing of importance to
complain of m their activities 9 As regards both questions,
he made his usual plea for patience. He was^discqmfited when
I pinned on to him his responsibilities as Prime Minister,
pointing out that new Government seemed to have as
favourable an opportunity as could be expected for
remedying mistakes of their predecessors, and said I had
not as yet heard of anything effective being done to
prevent a general resumption by a few officers of
political activities v/hich had recently threatened
the stability of the State and prejudiced good relations
of Iraq with her Ally. As regards the rupture with
Italy, I observed that I had been instructed to press for
this very strongly and that I was going to speak to the
Minister for Foreign Affairs officially on the subject
the following morning.
3. The Prime Minister subsequently discussed
my remarks with the Minister for Foreign affairs who sent
for *&r©^r L s secretary early this morning to explain, before
my official interview took place, that the Government
thought it necessary to overcome certain difficulties in
Parliament and in the Army before they could break off
relations with Italy. At this interview I sppke in
the rense of your telegram and repeated the points I had
made last night. I suggested that in Parliament and
elsewhere new Government should not merely defend themselves
but take the line that they were there to retrieve great
blunders of Rashid Ali andcompany. I urged.too that one
better guidance recently given to public opinion by new
Prime Minister had been negative and insufficient and
should be replaced by positive explanations that ic was the
duty and clearly the interest of Iraq to collaborate

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' [‎70r] (139/513), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2862, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 February 2020]

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