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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎73v] (147/220)

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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(2) that Hamud should be left undisturbed at the task on which he wa&
then employed; and
(3) that Dhari’s allowance should be increased from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000
p.m. and that his services henceforth should be placed at the disposal of the^
Xajd Mission—the rifles withdrawn from Saud being handed over to him.
In view of the possibility of hostile action by Ajaimi against the Samawa-
Khamisiya line and of the fact that Saud al Salih was still regarded by the
enemy as a considerable asset on our side, Sir P. Cox was unable to accept
my recommendations regarding him and decided to defer consideration of the
matter to a more convenient season.
My other proposals were however approved and, before the Mission left
Basrah, I had several long interviews with Dhari ibn Tawala, with whom I
finally arranged that he should move down with his following in about a
month’s time to the neighbourhood of Hafar al Batin, whence he should send
a messenger to me, either at Riyadh or Buraida, to get further orders. In
issuing these instructions I was actuated by the desire that Dhari and his
tribesmen should be within easy reach of my headquarters in case it proved
feasible after full discussion with Ibn Saud to bring them into any general
scheme of action, which might be decided on. In the meantime he was to cut
off all communication between Hail and the East and to raid any caravan that
might try to slip through.
The subsequent course of events prevented my keeping touch with Dhari.
during the winter months but, on reaching Basrah again in March, 1918, I
found two messengers from him arrived in search of me and the arrears of
Dhari’s monthly allowance. Accompanying them back to Dhari’s camp I
found that the latter had duly carried out my orders in so far that he and,
so far as I could see, a very considerable following of the Shammar had for
some months past been encamped in the neighbourhood of the wells of Hafar.
I was unable to judge whether his blank record in the matter of captured or
raided caravans was due to want of reasonable opportunity or want of will.
I fear the latter, though up to this date (the.beginning of April) he is entitled
to receive the benefit of any doubt there may be in the absence of evidence of
any treachery on his part.
Indeed the favourable opinion I had already formed of him on first
acquaintance was enhanced by my short stay in his camp and during the
subsequent journey to Shaib Shauki, on which he accompanied me and during
which I had every opportunity of intimacy with him. I was a trifle disap”
pointed to find that he was not less avaricious than others of his kind, but I
thought to turn this failing to advantage.
Having paid him the arrears of some five months’ allowances due to him
I consented to p<iy him in advance for the following three months on his under
taking to remain at Hafar and to institute a vigorous campaign against
blockade running. In addition to this I distributed liberal presents to Dhari
himself, the '\anous C luefs of sections resident in his camp and to all members-
of the unnecessarily large escort, with which he thought necessary to accom
pany me.
Arrived at Shaib Shauki I consulted Ibn Saud regarding the employment
of Dhari to further the common cause and, though somewhat scepticarof his-
good faith, he agreed that the experiment was worth a trial and that Hafar
would be the most favourable base of operations for him to work from. During
tli6 few days that Dliari remained at Ibn Sand’s camp I took every opportunity
to impress upon him that the continuance of Government’s generous treatment
of him depended entirely on his own efforts to further our common cause and
Ibn Saud himself confided to him something of his plans for descending upon
the hostile Shammar in Ramdhan, in which case Dhari would be expected to
cut off the retreat of the enemy. Thus generously treated and carefully in
structed m the role he was to play, Dhari returned to Hafar loudly protesting
ns gratitude and bis intention of abiding loyally by the arrangement arrived
Mithm a month of his arriving at Hafar he abandoned his post and moved
down to Safwan, where be was apparently received with open arms and with-
out question Shortly afterwards, on a report by the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at
Jvnv ait that I was out of touch with him, he was removed from my jurisdiction
without reference to me and, in due course, some 500 camels, loaded with
goods from Zubair or Kuwait and franked through bv Dhari, arrived at Hail
—of tins the evidence m my possession leaves no room for doubt.
A or was this all for when Ibn Saud’s son, Turki, descended on the
Shammar in the neighbourhood of the wells of Ajibba according to the pre
arranged programme, the enemy withdrew unmolested to wells further afield,
the v e lIs of Hafar being at the time occupied ostensibly on behalf of Dhari,
I 1 !*'' i b sub-section of the Shammar, who were at enmity with Ibn Saud
and offered no opposition to their retreating brethren. *
It is perfectly clear that Dhari, now knowing that a conflict with his
Shammar brethren would be forced upon him by Ibn Saud’s contemplated

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 [‎73v] (147/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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