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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎137r] (273/513)

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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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No. 805.
From: IRaQ .
Sir B. Newton, (Bagdad).
24th December, 1940.
6.00 p.m.
■ 6.10 p.m.
24th December, 1940.
25th December, 1940.
Your telep’rams Nos. 665 an d 664 must have crossed my telegram
No.18th reporting certain progress made by Nuri
Pasha and still more by Regent.
Prime Minister has also now made declaration repprted in
my telegram No. 801. In various (?way]s declaration is ambiguous,
but conceivably Tb can be used to facilitate the departure of
Prime Minister which, as I have pointed out, remains as urgently
necessary as ' ,; L?everJ^' in the interests of Anglo-Iraqi relations.
2. In reoly to the message of advice to Prime Minister to
resign Rashid Ali accompanied by Taha and Naji Suwaidi called to
inform Regent of their decision to remain in office and Taha hinted
that message had not been constitutional,
5. Today I discussed means of resolving this deadlock with
Regent and with Nuri Pasha: who seemed to be rather at a loss. I
did not encourage recourse to Parliamentary mediation. ^ (All
Jaudat also has informed me of his, belief that a vote of no.
confidence could be obtained after due preparation). I pointed
out to the Regent that Parliament was -very- subject to undue
influence of Government in power and that secure
majority would make matters worse. I suggested in the first place,
at any rate, more direct methods, and as upshot oi a long discussion,
the plan evolved which they seemed to favour was the following.
.n 0
Minister for Foreign Affairs as well as an ex-Prime Minister. He
should obtain from them written expression of opinion in iayour 01
change of government. Regent should then confront Prime Minister
with this advice making **L?it]- clear that he was in
accordance with the Cabinet’s own wish and.expressing, ii ^his
were constitutional, his concurrence in this advice. It was
realised that Prime Minister would probably still.decline to resign
but his position would have weakened and Regent might und it
easier to persuade some of *minor- members of Cabinet suchas
Raouf Bahrani and Sidiq Bassam to resign with Nun Pasha.
Meanwhile Regent would do whatever he properly could to
embarrass the present Cabinet. . ^ ^

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' [‎137r] (273/513), 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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