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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎65r] (130/220)

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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heart of the Arabian tribal country. r lhe tribes down to
this point buy and sell at Damascus and at e economically
dependent upon the Power in control there. Whatever
the 1916 agreement may provide, the French, if they
establish themselves at Damascus, will make their
influence felt over a great part of the Arabian peninsula.
It is no exaggeration to say that the presence of the
biench lieie would be at least as detnmenial to British
interests as ihe presence of the Russians was in the zone
of Persia which they held before the war; and Miss
Gertrude Bell’s suggestion that we should make the
Ruweilah Anazeh country a neutral zone, and compete
with the French for influence there, would have a
disastrous effect upon Anglo-French relations.
7. General Clayton, who has suggested a settlement
of Syria practically identical with that proposed in
the Foreign Office memorandum and the Eastern
Commi tees recent resolutions, condemns the division
between areas “ A and “ B ” on grounds of experience.
“ The arrangement for a division of the indepen
dent Arab area into an (A) and (B) sphere, the one
controlled by France and the other by Great Biitain,
presents almost insuperable practical difficulties from
an administmtive point of view. If an Arab Govern
ment is to function with any degree of efficiency,
it must have a system of administration applying
equally to all areas under its control and operating
from one central body, which in this case must be
It is impracticable to divide the territories into
two parts (one of which contains the capital) and to
lav down that advice and assistance must come from
Fiance in the one*half and from Great Britain m the
“ for many years to come advice and assistance
to the newly-formed Arab State must, entail a con
siderable measure of actual administration. French
and British methods of administration are widely
different, and confusion and inefficiency must result.
Worst of all, such an arrangement contains the seeds
of future friction between France and Great Britain
. in a region where the policies of the two countries
have been in opposition for many years.
It is all-important that any settlement arrived
at now should preclude all chance of future friction
and clashing of interests."
8. It may be argued, indeed, that all considerations
in favour of the Arab movement are illusory, because
the Moslem world looks towards the Caliph at Con
stantinople and not towards the Sherif at Mecca; but
this is surely an anachronistic view which ignores the
changes produced by the war. Moslems looked to the
Ottoman lurks, not because they had any special liking
for them as a nation (Indian Moslems, for example, had
little personal contact with Turkey), but because ’they
were the strongest existing Moslem Bower, and therefore
seemed the most effective champions of general Moslem
interests. As a result of the war, however, Turkey will
be left without power, and alumst without independence
Moslems may not like this, but they have already
accepted the accomplished fact, and the defeat of Turkey
has been so crushing that their acquiescence is likelv to
e final. In these circumstances the Moslem world will
[yyo—au] B 2

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 [‎65r] (130/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 July 2024]

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