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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎151r] (301/513)

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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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From: IRAQ *
Sir B.
Newton . (Bagdad)*
2nd January, 1941.
12.50 4t*h January, 1941.

8.45 5th January, 1941.
No. 4.
Using the opportunity given by the Regent s account
of Taha’s proposal 'for dealing with the present political
situation, I told,His Royal Highness that I ielt that no
Cabinet would for long be satisfactory with Taha either as
Prime Minister [? or] [? groups omitted: as Minister of J
Defence. I recalled that Rashid All had himself attributed
to Taha's influence the hostile attitude from cime to time
adopted by the press, and said though Taha might oe less
reckless than Rashid Ali, he seemed to me tohola similarly
foolish and for Iraq dangerous views on foreign policy. At
the same time I said that I quite realised tha1 ; 3 . ht
inclusion in the next Cabinet as Minister of- Deience might
be unavoidable. I emphasised that I ex P ress 1 ed ..r®J!°^®° ing
frank opinion solely for the Regent s personal information
(excluding even Nuri Pasha) as it would obviously add to the
difficulties of the situation if Taha th ° ught + ^Q 0 We 56S S sent ea
his loyalty and good faith (see also my despatch No. 563 sent
by air mail December 17th)*
2 From Taha our talk turned to Rashid Ali. In
+ i tpq !. confidence I disclosed in quite a general way to
the Regent, that His Majesty's Government were well aware that
Rashid Ali had been intriguing with ld
said that while his lips had oeen Qd revelled
now tell me in similar secrecy that Rashid All had reveal
earlier intrigues with the Italian Minisi-ei to him
Taha must have been privy xo chese activities.
5 Regent then asked me whether I had heard of
any attacks on him lately or that he had been accusea of
being the tool of the British.
4 I mentioned that I had heard that there
been sot local criticism of his divorce.. This had seemed
to me artificial and likely to have been inspired

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' [‎151r] (301/513), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2862, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 February 2020]

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