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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎152r] (303/513)

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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 .
Decypher. Sir B. Newton (Bagdad)
2na January, 1941.
D. 12.50 a.m. 3rd Januar 1941.
R. 8.20 a^m, 5th January, 1941,
No. 3
My telegrams Nos„ 1 and 803^
Regent told me today that before he had taken any
action on the lines -discussed at our last meeting on
December 24th, Taha had approached him with proposals for
change in the Government."
2. First was for Naji Showkat, Naji Suwaidi and
Nuri Pasha to resign and be replaced, in Suwaidi’s case,
by his brother *Taufiq* presumably as Foreign Minister.
Rashid Ali would remain P.M. Second proposal was that (
Naji Suwaidi should become P.M. *Taha* : had indicated his
preference for the first alternative. The Regent had
thought it wiser to refrain from making the obvious
objection that it would not remove originating cause
of the whole trouble so far as His Majesty's Government
were concerned, because he did not wish to make the British
attitude more of an issue than could be helped. After, therefore,
taking time for reflection, he had intimated his own preference
for the second alternative, pointing out that he could not work
satisfactorily with Rashid Ali as P.M. The Regent had then
sounded Naji Suwaidi who was thinking the matter over.
first plan might be useful to eliminate Rashid All since
there were already two vacancies in the Cabinet and if the
three resignations now took place, the number remaining would
be insufficient to form a constitutional Government. I
pointed out that others had doubtless realisea this also, an
that it might be dangerous to rely on tricky methods xor
getting rid of a man who is himself a skilled and unscrupulous
4 Nuri Pasha, whose relations with ^Taha^have always
been obscure, had told me something of the foregoing yesterday
but he did not then reveal the leading part played by -‘iaha*
nor in particular*Taha's*preforence for a plan which would
leave Rashid Ali in power. Nuri Pasha remarked yesterday that
if *Naii* Suwaidi formed a Government, it would only be
transitional and that he himself might prefer to be oat of
the country during the transition.
Repeated to Cairo telegram No. 2.

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' [‎152r] (303/513), 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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