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File 3443/1914 Pt 2 'German War: German emissaries to Afghanistan' [‎8r] (22/490)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (238 folios). It was created in 1 Jun 1915-21 Nov 1915. It was written in English and French. 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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3 04
Telegram P., 2' o. 72-D. S. ; dated the 2lst November 19i5.
Prom—The Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign and Political
Department, Delhi.
To—The General Officer Commanding, Force “ D,” Basrah.
Persia. PollowiDg telegram from Secretary of State dated 19th instant
is repeated for your information :— Begins. Please refer to your telegrams of
hth ***** are the above
Telegram P., No. 472-F., dated the 21st (received 22nd) November 1915,
From —Ilis Britannic Majesty’s Minister, Tehran,
To—The Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign and Political
Department, Delhi.
At present moment both Persian Government and Shah are genuinely
alarmed at situation to w hich their German intrigues have brought country
and they feel that Persia must adopt an attitude which is more definite neu
trality, even the benevolent neutrality they profess themselves ready to
practise, will always leave the door open to complaints from one party or other
and they woyld like to put end to all ambiguity and to declare that Persia
commits(herself)to one side or other definitely, Government and Shah prefer
to go to country)anif questions of alliance were raised I think that they
w T ould vote iovlen tente) Of course, for their alliance they w r ould demand more
than six points reported in my telegram No. 442 and first of all they will
require assurances of protection against Turkish aggression.
His Majesty’s Government aie of course much better able than myself
to gauge consequences to ourselves if Persia entered into war against us, but
I feel that they far outweigh any disadvantages, present (or^future, attendant
on conclusion of a Persian alliance.
If Persia willingly or otherwise joins Germany, German aims of immobiliz
ing force in India that are required elsewhere, of making insecure our
military position in Mesopotamia and of stirring trouble in Caucasus may
well be realized.
If Persia, on the other hand, becomes our ally German plans here fail
assuredly. In the event of Persia joining them they are promising Persia
that in two or three months a Turco-German army corps will be sent from
Constantinople. I do not suppose that they ever intend to do more than
send a small force as nucleus of an army for use against us in Mesopotamia
and Afghanistan, recruited, formed and organized under German and Turkish
officers. This scheme would be certainly abandoned if no response could be
expected in this country. Moreover, propaganda here would soon collapse
with Persian Government openly hostile to Germans; they would keep
certain number of small tribes with them, but all the greater ones would stand
by Persian Government. Prom military point of view our responsibilities
would therefore not be great. Persian demands as price of her alliance may
be grouped under two heads—financial and political. She will w^ant money in
some form but certainly nothing at all commensurate with cost of prolongation
of war for single w r eek.
As to political demands they may be comprised under six points above
mentioned or others might be added. Whatever they are they w T ill certainly
be aimed at freeing Persia from the hold two Powers have in various direc
tions over her. Apart from purely geographical conditions our hold has mainly
been established in recent past through Persia’s financial dependence on two
Powers and such is chaos reigning here it may be safely assumed that if all
Persia’s debt were extinguished to-morrow and large sum given to her to start
afresh with, her financial embarrassments will in very few years again reduce
her to depend on us so that to re-establish our present hold we shall again have
requisite lever in our hands.

About this item


The volume contains correspondence regarding the Persian Campaign of the First World War and the movements and activities of the Central Powers in Persia [Iran] between June and November 1915. The correspondence is particularly concerned with German and Ottoman attempts to infiltrate Afghanistan from Persia, and of ensuring the continued neutrality of both Afghanistan and Persia.

The primary correspondents are the British Legation, Tehran; the British Embassy, Petrograd [Saint Petersburg]; the Government of India; and the Foreign Office.

The volume contains a single folio in French (f 184), a communication from the Russian Ambassador in London.

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject number, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (238 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 238; 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.

A previous foliation sequence between ff 121-127, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3443/1914 Pt 2 'German War: German emissaries to Afghanistan' [‎8r] (22/490), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/473, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 June 2019]

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