'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.' [55v] (115/136)
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.
To bold this line and Seistan is to deny to an adversary in the north the
w hole of southern Persia. To allow Russia to occupy the south-west of Persia is
to nlace ourselves at such a disadvantage that it would appear to be better for us
to Pave up all idea of holding Bunder Abbas or any other point on the mainland
of Persia and to content ourselves with Seistan and our present fiontier to Lie
•south of it • while bv occupying and fortifying Kas Musandim and possibly some
of the islands in the Gulf, we might do our best to neutralise the value of the
latter to Russia. It is also to definitely isolate India from all hope of future land
communication with Europe or any of our foreign possessions except through
If then we are to keep Russia out 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. , it is of the greatest
importance that we should prevent her from obtaining a foothold in south
western Persia : and in the absence either of troops which could, m case of war,
he spared to hold it, or of an ally who would be prepared to defend this part of
the country against Bussian aggression, the only other course open to us is to
endeavour, if'possible, to organi 26 such assistance among the people of the
country, as would render the task of occupying Isfahan and the territory to the
south of it as difficult for our enemies as possible.
The only tribes in southern Persia which appeal capable of offering any
resistance to a civilised power are the Lurs, Rakhtiaris, Kashkais and Arab tribes
of Arabistan. All of these, and especially the first three, are described as hardy,
courageous and warlike races, possessing a large number of modem weapons,
and trained in their use. Of these, the Bakhtiaris, who occupy the country
immediately to the west of' Isfahan, are perhaps the most important. The
numbers which they could put into the field have been vaiiously estimated, hut
according to Mr. Preece, who probably knows more about them than any other
European in Persia, their chief could gather a following of 20,000 men in a
month. Our own experience among the Afridis and otner tribes of the north*
west frontier of India has shown us how formidable an opponent any deter
mined body of men, armed with good weapons and skilled in their use, can he ;
especially in a mountainous country with which they are thoroughly familiar.
It is not contended that these tribesmen could stand up to Russian troops
in the open, nor would it be vise for tnem to do so, even if tney could oe
induced to attempt it. Their r61e would oe rather to carry on a guerilla warfare,
to utilise their position to harass the flanks of any force advancing towards
Isfahan from the north, and in case of occupation 01 the latter town by the
enemy, by repeated and persistent attacks on ois line of communications to
render his tenure as unsafe as possible. At the same time they would be
prepared to resist to the utmost any attempt to enter their country either for the
purpose of reducing them to subjection or of reaching the Karun from this
Similarly in case of occupation by Russia of Kermanshah and Hamadan,
the Lur tribes which inhabit the hills between the Bakhtiaris and the Turkish
frontier could by repeated raids into the country round these towns, compel
the Russians to keep there a much larger body of troops than they would
otherwise require, and could offer a formidable resistance to any attempt to
reach the lower Karun from the north. The Kashkais and Arab tribes further
to the south might also be utilised to oppose any advance towards the country
All these would of course require assistance from us, in the way of
officers to organise and lead them, money, arms, and ammunition ; and above
all it will be necessary to gain their confidence beforehand so as to induce them
to act with us.
It will doubtless be argued that it is absurd to expect a horde of undis
ciplined tribesmen to offer any serious resistance to a great power, and there
is no doubt that Russia could in time bring against them sufficient, force to
crush their opposition and reduce them to complete subjection. Whether in
case of war with England she would be prepared to do so is at least doubtful.
Whether acting alone or in conjunction, with France, all. land operations in
Asia would be conducted by Russia only. Under present circumstances her
mun efforts would in all probability be directed against India, which is the
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.' [55v] (115/136), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F111/535, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100083163671.0x000074> [accessed 23 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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