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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎15v] (31/220)

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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“ I am one of the greatest helpers to the Government of Great Britain, and
she will, God willing, obtain satisfactory results, as we have mentioned to our
mutual friend, Captain Shakespear. As to the Ottoman soldiers, we did not allow
a single one of them to remain (in these parts) after our occupation, and have
turned them all out.
“ But as to the following three matters mentioned by you, namely, the promise
of the exalted Government to protect and safeguard us against the Ottoman
Government by affording us her assistance and her future protection (to us) against
any attack and hostility which may be made by sea, her recognition of the
independence of my chiefship on all the parts of Nejd, al-Hasa, and Qatif, and the
conclusion of treaties between us, (these) will depend on our arrival at Koweit. I
am leaving my headquarters on this date and am bound for Koweit, and we will
make the necessary verbal negotiations, in order that we may earn^the approval of
our friend, the Government of Great Britain.”
No further steps were taken on the British side till Captain Shakespear, travelling
via Bahrein and Koweit, reached Bin Baud’s camp on the 31st December, 1914
(30472/1385/15 : No. 2).
During the next few days he discussed exhaustively with Bin Baud the latter’s
relations with Great Britain and Turkey since their previous meeting a year before.
Bin Baud referred to the various messages he had received from representatives of Great
Britain during the past three months, and dwelt especially upon the letter of the
3rd November, 1914, from the Officiating Resident in the Gulf. He cited the three
assurances contained in it, but remarked that—
“ the document was a vague letter, did not specify whether the assurances were
limited merely to the present war or also included the future, gave no hint
whether other conditions would be required of himself later, and could not be
regarded as a binding instrument between the two parties fqp the future.”
Captain Shakespear concluded from these conversations that Bin Baud—
“ had no intention of abandoning his neutral position, with freedom to make his
own arrangements with the Turks (and he was confident that he could secure from
them a very good ‘ second best ’) until he held a signed and sealed treaty with the
British Government ; nor would he move a step further towards making matters
either easier for us or more difficult for the Turks so far as the present war was
concerned, until he obtained in that treaty some very solid guarantee of his position,
with Great Britain practically as his suzerain.”
Captain Shakespear therefore asked Bin Baud to draw up “a preliminary draft,
containing what he was prepared to accept and what he desired,” which he (Captain
Shakespear) might then forward to His Majesty’s Government for their consideration.
This suggestion was promptly carried out by Bin Baud, and in a report, dated the
4th January, 1915, to Sir P. Cox (in which the foregoing conversations were also put on
record) Captain Shakespear submitted a rough translation of Bin Baud’s desiderata :—
“ The clauses which will be reasons for a binding agreement between myself
(‘ Bin Baud ’) and the Great British Government:—
“ 1. That the British Government will acknowledge and admit that Nejd,
al-Hasa, Qatif, their surroundings and the ports appertaining to them
on the shores of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. are to me and (are) the territory of
my fathers and forefathers ; that I am the independent ruler of them,
and after me my sons and their descendants by inheritance; and that
the above-mentioned territory is an independent territory in which
there is no (right of) interference to any foreign Power.
“ 2. That they (the British Government) will declare its (the territory’s)
boundaries north, south, east, and west, by land and by sea, and that
(regarding) the nomads who wander between neighbouring towns,
which are either under British protection or (directly) under British
Government, if there should arise difierences between me and the
chiefs of the said towns and complaints be made in (these) matters,
they should be decided according to the ownership of fathers and

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 [‎15v] (31/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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