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Coll 17/10(3) 'Internal: political situation; relations with HMG' [‎223r] (445/513)

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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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Decypher. Sir B. Newton, (Bagdad).
7th November, 1940.
7th November, 1940.
9th November, 1940.
D. 10.00 p.m.
R. 12.28 a.m.
No. 661 .
My telegram No. 655.
Following points about Mufti*s position may be of use
in considering action to check his intrigues.
2. He seems to be well supplied with money and through
his direction of committees and similar organisations contain
ing Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian members he exertedmuch^
influence over all matters of importance to Arab nationalism.
In addition through his 300 Palestinian followers now in Iraq
with whom are joined a number of Syrian extremists he carries
on a formidable and persistent whispering campaign in his own
3. He is in close touch with Cabinet, especially Taha
Hashimi, and in times of crisis such as that vfnich followed
General Nuri’s resignation last March he seems to be consulted
by most of those concerned.
A. He makes an ostentatious appearance on all public
occasions and is usually given a place in the Cabinet enclosure.
He is also careful to appear frequently at public prayers at
the principal mosques of the capital.
5. My American colleague who has recently returned from
leave in Syria and Palestine is impressed by the stren^n of the
Mufti's position there as well as in Iraq and by the possibility
that he might prove to be a leader who could really unite the
6 . By contrast with the tarnished reputation of Iraqi
politicians the Mufti appears here as one with an unblemished
record of devoted service to the Arab.cause. Moreover by
reputation he combines religious learning with political-
acumen and patriotism and thereby appears to be endowed with
qualities most respected by the /trabs.
7 . It must be expected that action against him will meet
with resistance from his own organisations backed by consider
able popular support.
Repeated to Jerusalem telegram No. 108, Cairo telegram
No. 179 copy to M.E. I.C.

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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' [‎223r] (445/513), 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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