Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [78v] (157/220)
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.
Hie authorities at Kuwait had failed to realise this aspect of the matter
or the necessity of keeping me informed of their action, with the result that,
while complaints poured in to I bn Saud and were duly passed on to me, I
was not in a position to att'ord an explanation of the action taken or of the
It was clear to me, however, that some mistake had occurred and, in
view of the risk of disturbance inherent in delay, I felt that no course was
open to me but to give certain guarantees regarding the future on behalf of
the Kuwait authorities.
I accordingly arranged with Ibn Saud that all Najd caravans should
be accompanied by special envoys on his behalf, that his Kuwait Agent,
Abdulla al Aafisi, should be appointed his special representative in respect
of tribal parties, who were not in a position to come in to procure special
envoys, c.//., the eastern tribes such as Mutair and Subai, and, finally, that
all regular town caravans should carry passes signed by the local Amirs.
These arrangements I at once communicated to 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 Kuwait,
assuring Ibn Saud, at the same time, that the caravans already turned away
could now return to bring up supplies, which would not be refused provided
the arrangements as regards passes and envoys were duly observed. At the
■same time I pointed out to 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. , firstly, that it was not altogether
reasonable to restrict exports into the interior from Kuwait on the basis of
pre-war trade, because, in those days, the interior used to draw supplies from
Mecca, Damascus and Basrah among other places, whereas, under existing
conditions and with the restriction of shipping to the Hasa ports, Kuwait
had come to be the sole source of supply to Najd and, secondly, that, in view
of the arrangements made by the Mission with Ibn Saud in consultation with
Colonel Hamilton, the responsibility of the Kuwait authorities was restricted
to the prevention of illicit and unauthorised export only, while Ibn Saud
was responsible that no goods, exported to Najd under proper authority, should
leave his territories for an enemy destination.
Suffice it here to say that the arrangements now proposed bv me were
promptly accepted, and the due clearance of the Najd caravans previously
turned away created a satisfactory revulsion of feeling throughout Ibn Saud’s
territories, and an episode, which had caused so much ill feediim served very
well to remind the people of Najd of what the British Government could and
would do m the event of their abusing the privileges extended to them.
M hi e on this subject. I should mention that the Kuwait debacle was
universally attributed m Najd to the machinations of Shaikh Salim, who was
at the time, undoubtedly piqued by the establishment of effective British
control of the blockade and could not have found a better weapon, wherewith
to oppose it, than to make the arrangements weigh heavily on the people of
JNajd, who could be trusted not to remain silent under such provocation. The
proclamation issued by him—apparently at the request of the British
autnonties—and the unsympathetic manner, in which it was enforced, lent
colour to the accusations made by the Najdis.
K ^ ma y> tlle acceptance of my proposals restored confidence in
A ajd, Ibn Saud promptly set to work to ensure the effective stoppage of smug-
\mir of 0 7 ilfi he 9 aslm ~°^ e ? f hl j first act .! was the summary dismissal of the
Amir of Zilfi, who was notorious for complicity m the smuggling business and
timB range COmci . d T%° Which Shaikh Salim was not unaware, had been
^ PerSOn priVlleg f d to / x Port supplies from Kuwait, when the rest of
uh iNajd caravans vere turned awav—and evervthino' bade* fm’v 0 + r 4-1
establishment of an effective blockade all round. " 1 1 lor * le
ine only person, who was not satisfied, was Shaikh Salim, regarding whos
machinations for the reversal of the arrangements above described this is no
the place to speak. On the 28th June I was able to report that Ibn Sand wa
com p letelv satisfied that the interests of his people in the matter of the block
cMe vore liemg duly safeguarded and, at the same tiAe, I expressed the hop*
oat 1 he official blockade would be maintained as affording the only hope o
cutting oft supplies from enemy elements. In short, everything seemed to b<
1.1 a fan way to a sufficiently satisfactory solution of flip 1 11
W],™ about the middle of duly, I reeenVdlhe Jws ttt G™Sf
decided once more to place their trust in Shaikh Salim and to leave thi prose
cut,on of the blockade entirely in his hands, on the condition of hfs accentim
tne services of a British Officer to assist his own blockade staff. At the s mi
ime it was decided that imports into Kuwait from India and elsewhere shouT
be regulated on the basis of the reasonable monthly requirements Tr
ail d its dependent tribes. The Political Wnt at ir„i , s 1 , "■'Y
addressed a letter to Shaikh Salim on behalf of H A! ’s Government ' U ’’ -
eating the sanction of the Government to Hiese a»an„ts Uni
The neus of this development of the situation was naturally extremely un
palatable to Ibn Saud who saw Shaikh Salim once more given a fr^ hand ?
promote smuggling to the enemy and to make the blockade such as it ren nined
irksome to the people of Najd. I reported that at the very moment JCn thesi
arrangements were being made, certain enemy caravans were actuaUv presen
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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