Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [19r] (38/220)
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. .
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
“ In article 4, he adds that he will follow the advice of His Majesty’s Govern
ment ‘ where his interests require it.’ Cox suggests ‘ where his interests are not
injured thereby,’ and this seems unobjectionable.
“ Cox proposes to arrange a meeting shortly with Bin Saud to adjust differences.
We think he should be authorised to do so, and to negotiate a treaty on lines above
indicated, subject to ratification by Government of India.’’
On the 11th August, 1915, the 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. communicated to the Foreign Office
copies of this telegram and of the documents received from Sir P. Cox, and submitted
a draft telegram of instructions to the Viceroy.
In their covering letter explaining the grounds of the instructions proposed in this
draft, the 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. laid particular stress upon Bin Sand’s omission of the words
“subject to the approval of His Majesty’s Government,” at the end of article 1 :—
“ It is ordinarily the policy of His Majesty’s Government to recognise only the
♦ * de facto ruler, and to avoid giving dynastic guarantees; and the rare exceptions
which they have made have been in cases—such as that of Mohammerah—where
their relations with the ruler have been of long standing, and where the responsi
bilities undertaken are limited. Neither of these conditions is present in the case
of Bin Saud, and Mr. Chamberlain therefore hopes that Sir P. Cox may be able to
obtain the restoration of the words. Those which Bin Saud proposes to substitute
are apparently intended to provide for the constitutional election of a successor in
a case where the ruler has failed to designate during his lifetime. There seems to
be no objection to such a provision, so long as the method of election is practicable,
but it does not appear how in such a case His Majesty’s Government are to ensure
that only a person agreeable to themselves shall be elected. Since, however, a
person elected by a tribal majority would probably have no difficulty in maintaining
himself as de facto ruler, if the election had been conducted by a method recognised
by the tribes themselves to be valid, undesirable complications are perhaps unlikely
The draft was concurred in by the Foreign Office, and the following telegram was
accordingly despatched by the 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. to the Viceroy on the 16th August, 19 L 5
(111069/15 and 116544/15):—
“ Article 1 of treaty. Cox, after suitable explanation, should press for resto
ration of original words, to which His Majesty’s Government attach great
importance. There seems no objection to election* in default of designation, pro
vided method of election is practicable and recognised as valid according to Arab
custom by all tribes concerned. Otherwise we may become involved in inter-tribal
“ Article 2. ‘ Unprovoked ’ should be restored. His Majesty’s Government do
not like leaving ambiguity as to their aid, and if Bin Saud will not agree to
original words they would prefer ‘ to such extent and in such manner as British
Government after consultation with Bin Saud may consider most effective for
protecting his interests.’
% “ Article 4. Cox should secure omission of Bin Sand’s addition if possible ; if
not, substitution of his own proposal.
“ As regards other alterations he should exercise his discretion.”
On the 18th August, 1915, the Government of India communicated the telegraphic
correspondence that had passed between the Viceroy and the 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. to Sir P. Cox,
and authorised him (141285/15) to arrange a meeting with Bin Saud, as he might
think advisable, and negotiate further on these lines, on the understanding that a
treaty, if concluded, would be subject to ratification by the Government of India.
Accordingly, Sir P. Cox resumed negotiations, and concluded a definite treaty with
Bin Saud, on the 26th December, 1915 (201630/15).
In a letter dated the 3rd January, 1916 (38086/4650/16), he forwarded to the
Government of India a translation of the treaty as signed, and also set out the text of
this and of the original British draft (both in translation) in parallel columns, with the
alterations marked, and with comments on each alteration, explaining how it arose and
* For the words in the British draft of article 1 which the Viceroy quoted in his telegram of the 7th
July, 1916, Bin Saud had substituted “ by the living- ruler or by calling for the votes of the subjects
inhabiting those countries.”
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 View the complete information for this record
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- Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East
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