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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎154r] (307/513)

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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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'Hi 5
”Df Decypher.
No. 314.
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Mr. Stonehewer Bird, (Jedda). ^
29th December, 1940.
Do 10 o 00 a t ,m 0 30th December, 1940,
R 0 12.15 p.m, 31st December, 1940,
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.-^3^ Your telegram No„ 199 0
Ibn Saud has sent very long reply in which following are
the salient points.
2. He is most grateful for His Majesty's Government’s
message. He wishes to re-assert that his sole aim is furtherance
of British and Arab interests. He himself has had to exercise
great patience in his dealings with Iraq in order to avoid grave
misunderstandingSo His policy in this respect has been largely
dictated by his desire not to embarrass His Majesty’s Government.
Small measure of agreement has been reached though propaganda
against him still continues in Iraq.
3. Hie Majesty’s Government will thus understand what he
has said about Iraq was not dictated by love of Iraq or of
Rashid Ali but in our common interest. Ibn Saud believes
Rashid Ali to have confidence and devotion of Iraqi people and
army and that it would therefore be best to win him over to
British side as alternative would create situation which Foreign
propaganda would not be slow to exploit.
4. He has constantly advisee both Nuri Pasha and Rashid
Ali to work with British. Former as is known misinterpreted
his action and used his statement to lessen his, Ibn Saud s
prestige in Arab eyes. Rashid Ali replied he would not work
against His Majesty's Government and would carry out strictly
terms of treaty but unfortunately his acts and mptives were
misrepresented by his political opponents. He is now faced with
choice of two evils; to go beyond terms of treaty in his
co-operation with His Majesty's Government and incur hostility
of Iraqi people and armv or to adhere strictly to terms of treaty
and be thought by British to be adopting a hostile attitude.
5. Ibn Saud has made a final appeal to Rashid Ali in a
letter which I summarise in my immediately following telegram.
If His Majesty’s Government are determined not to trust Rashid AH
Ibn Saud will let matter drop though he will always be ready to
give Iraq such advice as he may feel to be useful. If noweyer
His Majesty’s Government thinks cooperation with Rashid All is
still possible he will exert himself to promption of full under
standing. Understanding must be on the basis of mutual trust
and it must hot appear to the Iraqi people that Rashid All is
working in British interests to the detriment to those of Iraq.
Rashid Ali must on his side exert himself to put a stop to all
anti-British propaganda^
6. Ibn Saud ends by expressing hone that His Majesty’s
Government will give full consideration lohis views which he
* expresses in conviction that he is acting in interests of His
Majesty’s Government Iraq and Arab cause generally.
Repeated to [grp.undec. ? Cairo] telegram No. 102. Please
repeat to Bagdad No. 74 Jerusalem No, 82.

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' [‎154r] (307/513), 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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