'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.' [51v] (107/136)
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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Sir W. Nicholson stated that the military forces available at the outset in
the contingency referred to would be three Army Corps, and that the necessary
reinforcements of the Indian army for the defence of India would practically
absorb the whole of this force. No troops would, therefore, be available for
operations in Persia. The attitude of Afghanistan was uncertain. Persia was
not in a position to offer any resistance to the use of her territory in the north
as a route for a Russian advance. The distance to be traversed and the difficult
nature of the intervening country rendered it unlikely that any effective attack
could be organised against the flank of the Russian advance by means of the
tribes round Mohammerah and in other parts of Southern Persia.
As regards naval considerations, Prince Rouis of Rattenberg stated that
no naval base or station was required in the Gulf, and that a Russian naval
station there would not be formidable unless fortified, and, above all, with its
communications by land fully established. He also stated that the Admiralty
view was fully set forth in the Memorandum, dated 12th November 1902.
In these circumstances, it was held that, in the event of war, our action
in the direction of Persia should be limited to (1) the occupation of Seistan,
or to holding a force ready for the purpose within striking distance; (2) the
seizure and occupation by Indian troops of Bunder Abbas, with the adjoining
islands of Kishm, Hen jam, and Ormuz; (3) the exclusion of any foreign
Power from the isthmus of Maklab to Mosandim Point, and along the El
Batineh coast between Khor Khalba and Dibba, as far as circumstances would
admit; and (4) the protection of British subjects and trades at Bushire so long
as no serious operations on land were required at that port. The visits of
British ships to other islands and ports in the Gulf would otherwise suffice to
maintain our influence there as far as circumstances would allow.
2. The second question propounded was: <£ What action would it be
expedient that Great Britain should take in the event of disorders occurring in
Persia, and occasioning a Russian occupation in the north—or in anticipation
of such disorder—it being understood that occupation by Great Britain of
Persian territory would not be directed against Russia, but would be under
taken in the interests of peace and order, and as an assertion of the posi
tion of Great Britain as jointly interested with Russia in the maintenance of
the Persian Kingdom ”.
The extent of action open to us was held to be limited by the following
(i) We have no troops available for the effective occupation of Persian
territory, or even of any large number of Persian ports; and it is by troops
and not by ships that positions on the sea-coast must be held.
(ii) We should run the risk of creating a most unfavourable impression
upon India if we occupied any ports or districts from which we might probably
be forced to retire, either in view of an impending collision with Russia, or
subsequently to an outbreak of hostilities.
(iii) Whatever steps we might take should be such as to involve as little
as possible the risk of further complications by the intervention of other
foreign Powers in any temporary measures taken to preserve order in Persia.
The conclusion arrived at was that, in the contingency above mentioned
of a Russian occupation in the north, we should at once occupy Bunder Abbas,
and the three islands of Ormuz, Kishm, and Henjam; that w 7 e should protect
and watch British interests at Bushire; that we should occupy, or be prepared
to occupy, Seistan, with an adequate force of troops from India, and that our
ships of war should pay visits to other ports and islands in the Gulf. But it
was held that no other occupation of territory or operations inland should be
3. The third question was : “ In what particular portions of Persia and
by what methods can the extension of British influence be most successfully
prosecuted and to the best advantage for general purposes, and for the contin
gencies mentioned in questions (1) and (2) ”.
The answer to this question was determined by what had been settled on
the preceding questions. We should, it was thought, steadily prepare for an
occupation of Seistan by extending the railway beyond Nushki, and pushing
About this item
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)
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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'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.' [51v] (107/136), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F111/535, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100083163671.0x00006c> [accessed 21 August 2019]
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- Mss Eur F111/535
- '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.'
- Curzon, George Nathaniel, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
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