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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎64r] (128/220)

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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[This Document Is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]
(A.).— ‘The Value of the Sherifial Arab Movement for
British Policy.
1. Our commitments to King Husein look formid
able on the map ; they limit, at least in appearance, our
freedom of action in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and in
Syria cause difficulties with the French. It is easy to
point out that th^ Arabs have given us little military
help in return for all this, and it is a legitimate and
necessary question to ask, why we should look upon the
Arab movement with favour, or at least why, in cuses
where our commitments to King Husein clash with those
to France or other Arab rulers, we should not let the
latter take precedence ?
2. The answer is that the permanent political
advantages of the Arab movement for British policy
outweigh its comparative military ineffectiveness and
the diplomatic embarrassment which it may cause. In
the following paragraphs considerations are put forward
which indicate that the rise of the Arab movement has
been a fortunate development for the British Empire at
a crucial period of its history, and that it offers for
our Moslem policy and our Middle Eastern policy a way
out of serious dilemmas which were created by the
situation before the war and have been accentuated by
the war itself.
3. Before the war we were faced with the unpleasant
choice of conciliating and supporting a hostile Turkey,
because Turkey was the sole surviving Moslem great
Power, and it was believed that our Moslem subjects
would not tolerate her being weakened or destroyed, or
else of opposing Turkey as a confederate of our arch
opponent, Germany, and incurring, in consequence, the
hostility of the Moslem world. The outbreak of war
with Turkey brought this difficulty to a head, but the
overtures from King Husein a few months later showed
that, with diplomatic skill, we might escape from it by
fostering an anti-Turkish Moslem Power friendly to
ourselves and not unacceptable to the rest of the Moslem
4. King Husein s attitude towards ourselves and
Islam fits in admirably with our interests. He needs our
financial and political support because he has broken with
the Turks and cannot be self-sufficing; he will therefore
look to us, and will let us have what we want in Meso
potamia, in return for an annuity out of the Mesopotamian
revenues. On the other hand, he is bound to draw a veil
over this relationship with us in order to justify himself
in the eyes of the Moslem world, and must, therefore,
keep up an appearance of independence, both for the
[990—291 B

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 [‎64r] (128/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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