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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎13r] (26/220)

The record is made up of 1 file (110 folios). It was created in 27 Aug 1893-19 Dec 1918. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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ooiiJbTus^wH’ t0 ^ d ° Wn °? U ' * ns jf tence on strict national control (i.e.,
Statel bv allowino- S le 'l’ r ^ sent ' a,;lves °i tbe sell-determined Mesopotamian
km d' of the o hL T eS T ltn f ° f ea t section ot the 11116 to Slt 011 ‘hi railway
sertions uoW ed hf * f h ’ S plan would mvolve dividing the line into several
explicitly for ihSf managements under a joint traffic agreement, providing
such stmu^,m<,f ln , °l , rateS aild ^nd’t'ons over the railway as a whole, or
S aH tWu^7jffi,f qU d ® tranS,t ( es I >6ciall y fo r the unrestricted interchange
may deem desirable p'”'^ ag aln st any discrimination, direct or indirect, as we
iects of terHtorinl . Pl ' ovlslons <lt . th *8 kind have, in fact, figured in all the pro-
nven n-ufm i t <1 i V1S , IOn ln Asia Mmor Idtherto discussed with our Allies,
tion nf a r l eontl ' ol > tlle question of through traffic would tecome a pure ques-
the frontier-.rn a L a r? , ' eem ! nt f'T” th f 0Wners of the line 611 ‘l 16 td s.des of
on the bothard p'" '' iact - similar to that which regulates through traffic
hL shouM run I/ ''™/ l } ' oeem s essential in our interest that our section of the
rewhitTon on , 1 ? St rf u ar f ¥ osul ' J his wil1 not be obtained without great
AhvandrpPn v! •f!' 1 , Tt f has - also been held to be essential, as above indicated, that
i •i a ?f^ etta S A 0U ( ^ a ^ ree P ort - ^he Board of Trade view, however, is that
W H ‘ h' 0111 ? n ° d °i lbt haVe certam advantages for the purpose of working the
d( ? not ^g ard as essential. If so, our policy should be to try for this
1 ut making it a sine qua non, as there might be objection to making a free
P ; Basia winch would be the logical counterpart of our demand for a free
port at Alexandretta (Our historic position and record in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. might
gn.e ,”' s S0T11 f S !r 1 ° J und far resistlT1 ^ fhe application to the Gulf terminus of the control
which we should try for at Alexaudretta; but this line of argument would hardly
he icid valid by foreign Powers.) Tt might, however, be wise to provide in the
settlement that no undue preference shall be shown by the French to railway traffic
using the port. J
Ti we obtain these desiderata w r e should not need to trouble ourselves too greatlv
about the management of the other sections, as practically all our trade would go
either by the Gulf or by Alexandretta. We need not, therefore, object if the French
obtain m .the northern sectors this they would have to settle with the Italians—a
mandate similar to that which we shall obtain in the southern. We could make this
declaration of dosintei ossevient with a lighter heart, as the French would probably
be unable in practice to obtain such a mandate.
Such an attitude on our part would, however, give us material for dealing with
them, even if they refuse to be lured into Armenia; and we shall probably, after
much bargaining, be able to offer them a sufficient inducement to leave us in control
of the line as far north as Mosul, provided w^e are quite clear in our own minds
before w^e meet them that no other solution will be satisfactory to us.
The formula of self-determination should cover us from President Wilson.
The French are the real people with whom we have to settle. As already indicated,
their interests in the line have hitherto been mainly financial; they cannot pretend
to political interest in the Gulf end. If necessary, w r e can transiger on the financial
aspect, though it may be better to keep this suggestion in reserve. The Board of
Trade point out that any French or other friendly interests entitled at present to a
share in the concession must be properly compensated for expropriation. This is, of
course, incontestable. The debatable point is whether the French financiers are to
look for compensation from us or to the Germans wffiose interests they subserved.
If, then, national control is our proper aim, it is suggested that' the following
method might conciliate all parties in the attainment of it:—
1. Turkey to expropriate all the shareholdings in private hands.
2. Germany to find the money for this operation.
3. Turkey then to cede, with Germany’s assent, the wffiole concession to the
Inter-Allied Pool.
4. The Inter-Allied Pool then to sell to the Government of each State through
which the line passes so much of the line as lies within the boundaries of
that State.
The advantages of this method would be as follows:—
1. The countries ravaged by the war would get some benefit by the transfer of
the concession, as they would share the price obtained by the Pool, and
would not depend on getting the territory in Asia Minor in order to
benefit by the cession of the railway. This would help Belgium, who
is not wholly disinterested. The Baghdad Railway Company had an

About this item


The file contains correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to Middle Eastern affairs and a few other miscellaneous matters. The majority of the file concerns discussions of and proposals for the post-war settlement of Near Eastern territories, including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula. The basis of these discussions was the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.

Other matters covered by the papers include events in Siam [Thailand] and Burmah [Myanmar] and the colonial rivalry in the region between France and Britain, the Baghdad Railway, and relations with Ibn Saud in Arabia, including a report on the 1917-18 mission to Najd by Harry St John Philby (folios 67-98).

Folios 99-110 are six maps with accompanying notes that show the various proposed territorial settlements and spheres of influence in the Near East and one showing Britain's global colonial possessions.

Memoranda and correspondence comes from officials at the Foreign Office and 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. . Other correspondents include French and Italian government officials.

Extent and format
1 file (110 folios)

The file is arranged in roughly chronological order, from the front to the back.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front of the envelope with 1, and terminates at the inside back last page with 110, 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 file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎13r] (26/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 July 2024]

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