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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎169r] (337/513)

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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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J 6 fh'<<
,r a mUh
' Cypher telegram to Sir B. (^a
Foreign Office/December 21 st^ 19A-0.
No. 663. t ^
‘Ycnr. telegrams Nos / 7^ an ^- 772 [of December
political situation in Iraq].
I approve your action.
2. Since it is most unlikely that Rashid Ali would
agree himself to carry through the severance of relations
with Italy, I doubt whether General Nuri’s argument need
deter us from pressing this issue. There is, however,
another argument which has hitherto caused me to hesitate
toirstmctyou definitely to press Iraqi Government to choose
this moment to break with Italy, namely, that such a
request might provide the Prime Minister with better
platform for rallying support than his present line that
we are interfering in internal affairs of Iraq* Italian
reverses should have weakened opposition to rupture with
Italy, but I leave it to your discretion to decide whether
it is preferable to make definite issue out of matter
before Rashid Ali resigns, or to get rid of him first
and then let it be known that His Majesty* s Government
regard rupture with Italy as essential prerequisite of the
establishment of normal relations with us. In any case, if
challenged on the point, you should, I thin&, certainly
make it clear that His Majesty's Government will regard
this step as essential.
3. As stated in my telegram No^ 641.. [of Decenffcer U-th],
I think that we must press hard for immediate change of
government. I am not at all attracted by complicated
scheme evolved by General Nuri (your telegram Na*-_Z£6jof
December 12th]) and note that there has already been delay
in getting ahead even with first stages of it. Unlcsa he
has made definite progress by the time you receive this
telegram, I think that you should press him as strongly
as possible to adopt what seems the much sinrpler course
of making public his resignation and leaving Rashid Ali, with
what support he can find to cope with the diff iculties
caused by his unwise provocation of His Majesty 1 Government
and their friends. You may tell him that I find it
increasingly hard to understand that, when he has' made it
plain in his whole past career that he appreciates the
fundamental importance for Iraq of a policy of close

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' [‎169r] (337/513), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2862, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 February 2020]

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