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'PRINCIPAL DESPATCHES AND CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO PERSIA CONNECTED WITH THE SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND MEASURES OF VICEROYALTY OF HIS EXCELLENCY LORD CURZON OF KEDDLESTON IN THE FOREIGN DEPARTMENT. JANUARY 1899 TO NOVEMBER 1905. VOLUME IV-PART IV. PERSIA.' [‎46v] (97/136)

The record is made up of 1 volume (64 folios). It was created in 1908. 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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brush aside this consensus of authority, and if we assume that Great Britain
may in the past have placed her money on the wrong horse in Asia as well as
in Europe, let us see what there is in the present situation to help us to an
independent reply.
12. The subject is two-fold, commercial and political. By the efforts of
our traders during the past century we have built up a commerce (in the main
from India) with the ports of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and with the cities of Southern
and Central and even of Northern Persia, which possesses an annual value of
several millions sterling. It is not too much to say that we have created this
market, and that in the southern zone we still monopolise it. The political
absorption of Persia by Bussia means the certain proscription and the ultimate
extinction of this trade—at least in every article in which Bussia can compete
with India or Great Britain. Where now is the Indian or the British trade
with Tiflis, Bokhara, and Samarkand ? Persia would follow suit; and a system
of carefully differentiated tariffs would, in a short time, deprive India of one of
her best and most lucrative markets.
13. These considerations are sufficiently serious. The political ones are more
so. The Bussian railway to Kushk (where the materials are stored for the 70
miles prolongation to Herat) already places that fortress within the grasp of
Bussia, should she at any time care to run the risk of a casus belli with Great
Britain. But the Bussian railway about to be constructed to Meshed if
prolonged, as is the intention, to Seistan, and ultimately to the Gulf, will dispense
Bussia from the necessity of crossing the Afghan frontier on the Herat side.
Erom Persian territory she will menace the entire western flank of Afghanistan.
She will command the Herat-Kandahar road and will render insecure any
future British occupation of Kandahar. Lower down, in the unsettled tracts of
Baluchistan and Makran, which we have at present only imperfectly brought
under our control, there would be limitless scope for frontier disturbance and
local intrigue. We should be compelled, at the cost of a great expenditure
of money and of a serious addition to our responsibilities, to invest our authority
over those regions with a more concrete character, and to maintain posts and
garrisons to guard what would then have become a vulnerable, though it is
now a negligeable, section of the Indian border.
14. The Minute which I wrote on 4th September 1899, and sent home
to 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. with the Government of India’s despatch of 21st September
1899, sufficiently indicated the extreme strategical importance to India of
Seistan. The success that has attended the efforts which we have since made
to develop the trade route from India to that part of Persia—the value of the
trade having risen in two years from 7| to 15 lakhs—has tended to increase
both our interest and our influence in that portion of the Shah’s dominions,
and has encouraged us to project the early construction of a railway from
Quetta to Nushki, i.e., over the first 90 miles of the route. A Bussian rail
way through Seistan to the Gulf—followed as it must be by the political
absorption of Seistan—would not merely kill this promising enterprise, and
close the one remaining overland trade-route (that to Yarkand and Kashgar is
already nearly dead) that still remains open to Indian commerce, but it would
have the following further and even more serious consequences. It would place
Bussia in control of a district ethnographically connected with Baluchistan,
would profoundly affect our prestige both with Afghan and Baluch/and would
greatly enhance the difficulties that we already experience in managin 0 * the
cognate tribes on the Indian side of the border. If Great Britain is ever called
upon to advance to Kandahar, as she will probably one day be compelled to do,
an intolerable state of friction would arise between the Powers that would then
control the upper and tire lower waters of the Helmund. Moreover, while
Seistan, if it ever fell under British influence, could, owing to the protecting
floods, upon the north, be easily defended against Bussian attack from the
direction of Meshed, our present frontier (should Seistan pass into the hands of
Bussia), being entirely exposed, would enjoy no similar immunity. I might easily

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Content

Published by Superintendent Government Printing, India, Calcutta.

The volume consists of a draft Part IV to the Summary of the Principal Events and Measures of the Viceroyalty of His Excellency Lord Curzon of Keddleston, Viceroy and Governor-General of India in the Foreign Department. I. January 1899-April 1904. II. December 1904-November 1905. Volume IV. Persia and the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. (Parts I-III), published by GC [Government Central] Press, Simla, 1907 [Mss Eur F111/531-534].

The volume includes a letter from the Foreign Department, Government of India, to Lord Curzon, dated 27 August 1908, stating that an examination of their records had shown that these were the essential despatches, and hoping that the volume would answer Lord Curzon's purpose.

The despatches and correspondence cover the period 1899-1905, and include correspondence from the Secretary of State for India, and HBM's Minister at Tehran, and cover the question of the appointment of an additional consular officer in Persia, 1899 (with map); relations between Britain and Persia; the protection of British interests in Persia; British policy on Persia; the political and financial situation in Persia; and the threat of Russian encroachment.

Extent and format
1 volume (64 folios)
Arrangement

The despatches and correspondence are arranged in chronological order from the front to the rear of the volume. There is a list of contents on folio 6, giving details of name and date of paper, subject, and page number.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 66; 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. Pagination: the volume also contains an original manuscript pagination sequence.

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English in Latin script
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'PRINCIPAL DESPATCHES AND CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO PERSIA CONNECTED WITH THE SUMMARY OF EVENTS AND MEASURES OF VICEROYALTY OF HIS EXCELLENCY LORD CURZON OF KEDDLESTON IN THE FOREIGN DEPARTMENT. JANUARY 1899 TO NOVEMBER 1905. VOLUME IV-PART IV. PERSIA.' [‎46v] (97/136), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F111/535, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100083163671.0x000062> [accessed 18 September 2019]

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