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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎66r] (132/220)

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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and that “ the Syrian question will be discussed ex
haustively at the Peace Conference ” ? And, indeed, if
the 1916 Agreement between Great Britain and France
is to be the basis for the settlement of that part of the
Middle East which it covers, how is that compatible with
the joint declaration of the 8th November, 1918, in
which the two Powers propose to hase the settlement on
the self-determination of the inhabitants?
12. It is further to be noted that the French fire not
merely taking up self-determination platonically, but
have approached the Armenian National Delegation with
a view to obtaining from Nubar Pasha An Ottoman title used after the names of certain provincial governors, high-ranking officials and military commanders. a request for
French assistance for the future Independent Armenian
State, which, in virtue of the principle of self-determina
tion, is to include not merely the Armenian territories of
Turkey, which were assigned to France under the 1916
Agreement, but also the Turkish Armenian territories at
that time assigned to Russia, the Turkish Armenian
territories which were to he left to Turkey, and, above
all, the Armenian territories hitherto included in the
Russian Empire, though in 1916 there was, of course, no
idea of Russia giving them up.
13. Thus the French are now attempting, on the
principle of self-determination, to secure priority of
political assistance for themselves in three large territories
in which they have no footing under the Agreement,
while they maintain that the Agreement is immutable
in the cases of Syria and Northern Mesopotamia, where
the application of self-determination would probably work
out to their disadvantage.
14. This claim is of course monstrous, and we shall
be on very strong ground if we take the line that they
must proceed consistently either on the one basis or the
15. We can point out that the three Armenian areas
which the French hope, on the principle of self-determina
tion, to bring within their sphere, are exceedingly rich in
minerals ; that they contain valuable ports and railways
already constructed, and still more promising prospects
of future construction ; and that the effect will be to
carry French influence to the Black Sea and establish it
along an important section of its southern littoral, adjoin
ing that area in northern Anatolia Peninsula that forms most of modern-day Turkey. in. which the French
have already secured railway and harbour concessions in
return for their loan to the Ottoman Government in 1914.
16. If self-determination is to bring the French such
vast unexpected gains, they will have little to complain
of if in Syria and Northern Mesopotamia it causes them
certain losses. But if they refuse to accept these losses,
and insist here on the 1916 Agreement being carried out,
then that Agreement must be taken as the basis every
where, and on this basis it is inadmissible that the French
should, acquire the whole of the former Russian sphere in
Asiatic Turkey and much more besides, while Great
Britain acquires nothing. On this basis, either the
Russian sphere must be partitioned between the two
Powers, or it must he assigned to some third Power, to
preserve a balance.
17. Obviously, however, the last two suggestions
are a reductio ad absurdum, for the partition of Armenia
on such a principle is out of the question at this stage
of the war, would never be consented to by the American
Government, and would raise a storm of indignation
among all the Allied and Associated peoples, against
which no Government could stand.

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 [‎66r] (132/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 July 2024]

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