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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎82r] (163/513)

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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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I if INDE ^ ^ Compliment*
^ of the
tlfltder Secretary of StAt®
f#F Forei^ft Affaif**
?Si — KJAtf.
'■G 'S- j <y ^ e ^ u f 1 ^
i -A-
O "7 i
_ o / j
’'jJuL -djLCStyOLS^ r/*
~&l / 9djL fry Q+^olta,
From: IRAQ
i<e ' rt ° n iBaB ' i,d 6 th
D. "l0ol7» o»m. 6th February, 1941.
R. 5.20- u.m= 7th February, 1941.
No. 115 .
B b b b b B
In the following survey I have tried to set out developments
leading to the overthrow of Rashid Ali in their due^propor ion
and perspective and to give estimate of political prospects.
Time of greatest danger in Iraq was probably in the summer
following the collapse of France with its grave consequences for
our position in the'Middle Fast. Riskwas mpt excessive
then and could at any time have been met haa it been possible
to spare British troops even if only for passage m transi .
Iraq desired both to re-insure against Axis success and to
exploit our weakness while there was yet time and our explici
refusal at the end of August to make concessions in Pales in
or promises in regard to Syria no doubt strongly influenced ?
Rashid Ali in his decision to define^uhe policy of the axis.
LscSAfous and reckleas in his efforts to renain an
unscrupulous and recKiess m ms
rJsrflft ^Since^the death of
t^lin!?hIrr?nlALfion was afso U r^ifi^: *‘'Since°the death of
1 King Faisal in 1955 crises military intervention and coup
d'etat have been the normal accompaniment of all changes ol
Government with the exception of change of last nui
Administration* Previous record of Rashid is pamcuiaiiy
bfd and his recent efforts to.cling to power were made more ^
than usually desecrate by [? intensely] strong I ores sure j.
T^ decSo^ to ?orce thl pace with him was no Joubt well
iusthfied hut in the above circumstances it is not a marrer
surprise or undue pessimism that the struggle has been long
and^ devere 0 0
The struggle may not be oyer and the danger of military^
coup though less.menacing is still presen . which were to P
Vippn fippnirvnl t shed cinQ worst difiicii-L di
someex?ent C thlafterm“h of the above-mentioned events in the
summer, have probably been overcome. P^gr^ss towamls sou ^
political conditions will no aoubu continue to be 17.
times uncertain and will probably necessitate thc^contin^^d^^^
exercise of strong, though I hope now nor + rnl] -Ki g’-ph .he is
Rashid Ali will of course still try to make trouble Du^n^^
much less dangerous than when in office ana h P .

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' [‎82r] (163/513), 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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