'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.' [53r] (110/136)
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.
Received on the 2oth July 1903, under cover of a letter from His Britannic Majesty’s Minister,
at Tehran, Ho. 23, dated the 27th June 1903.
No. 88 (Secret), dated f ula 1 iek, the 17th June 1903.
From— Sm A.. H. Hardings, K.C.M.Gr., C.B., His Britannic Majesty’s Minister at
To—The Marquess of Lansdowne, K.G.
I had the honour to receive some months ago the papers enclosed in Your
Military Attache No. 2 . Iiordsliijrs dGspjttctli No. 3 Secret of Jan-
uary 13th, 1903, respecting the nature and
the limits of the action to he taken hy His Majesty’s Government should Rus
sia send troops into Persia.
The conclusion to which these papers arrived seemed to he that our reply
to a Russian invasion of northern Persia, whether undertaken as a result of war
with England, or with the object of repressing internal disturbances, must, un
fortunately, in view of present conditions, be limited to the occupation of
Seistan and Bunder Abbas, and to preventing the seizure of any other southern
From a political point of view such a conclusion appeared to me almost
tantamount to an abdication of our position in this country, but I did not feel
qualified to put forward any counter suggestions without first discussing their
practicability with a military expert.
My own ideas had always been that a British force, not necessarily large,
with Mohammerah or Ahwaz as its base, might, in concert with the Arab tribes
under the Sheikh of Mohammerah and with the Bakhtiari Chiefs, secure the
south-western corner of Persia and perhaps even hold Isfahan.
I discussed this idea with Major Douglas on his arrival here, and he has
now drawn up a memorandum on the subject, which he sends in the enclosed
The question is one of somewhat more practical interest than it was when
I first talked it over last summer with Your Lordship, for there are indications
that the growing discontent throughout Persia is being brought to a head by a
variety of causes, one of the chief of them being the new tariff. The clerical
agitation, which I warned Your Lordship might ere long break out, is showing
symptoms of being more serious than seemed likely to be the case a year
ago, and is rendered increasingly formidable by the palpable weakness of the
Government and by the fact that it is apparently blending with, or at least
being used as a cloak by, the anti-dynastic and pan-Islamic forces originally set
in motion by the late Seyed Jemaleddin.
Even if it subsides, as I am personally inclined to think it will for the
present, a new loan or a new Royal journey to Europe may re*inflame it, and
should it result in widespread disturbances which the Persian Government is
powerless to quell, we may find ourselves at any moment face to face with the
armed intervention of Russia. The Russian Minister has indeed already inti
mated to the Grand Vizier, though this is perhaps just now a piece of bluff
and not a serious threat, that if the helplessness of the Persian Government
should occasion more serious troubles at Tabriz and in other parts of Azerbaijan,
Russian troops may be obliged to cross the frontier.
It is thi§ latter contingency which I regard as most worthy of consideration
from the point of view of British interests in Persia. Supposing that we were
involved in war with Russia on some question unconnected with Persian
affairs, say China or Afghanistan or the near East, the main arena of the conflict
would, I imagine, lie outside this country, although both belligerents would, no
doubt, make use of Persian soil, if necessary, to carry on their respective
operations without much regard for the rights or interests of the Shah. The
Russians w T ould treat Khorassan as if it were their own, we and they might
both deal in the same way with Seistan or wuth any Gulf port which we
happened to be able, if only for a time, to occupy, and the protests of Persia,
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.' [53r] (110/136), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F111/535, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100083163671.0x00006f> [accessed 18 August 2019]
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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.'
- Curzon, George Nathaniel, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
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