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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎82v] (165/220)

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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fied that Ibn Saud would be the first to recognize that II.M.’s Government’s
Orders were the inevitable outcome of their victories over the enemy and in no
way connoted any desire on their part for the termination of friendly rela
tions with him.
13. The Sharif and Ibn Saud.
In the previous section I have had occasion to refer briefly to the mutual
incompatibility of the ambitions of the Sharif and Ibn Saud. The subject
was not only of first-rate importance in relation to the work of the Najd Mis
sion during the period under report, but deserves very serious consideration
in relation to the plans of II.M.’s Government fcr the future of the Arab
A\ hen I arrived at Riyadh in December, 1917, it became immediately
evident that Ibn Saud was actuated by consuming jealousy of the Sharif and
genuine apprehension in respect of the latter’s unveiled pretension to be con
sidered the overlord, if not the actual ruler, of all Arab countries by virtue
ot his position as de facto supreme spiritual head of Sunni Islam. Concrete
expression had been given to his claims in this direction by the Sharif’s
assumption of the title of “ King of the Arab countries ” (Malik Diyar al
Arab). Ibn Saud made no secret of his suspicion that the assumption of this
title rested on some secret understanding with II.M.’s Government, of his
unwillingness to accept the position involved in such a claim and of his
anxiety lest II.M.’s Government’s commitments towards himself, as expressed
m the treaty signed by Sir P. Cox in 1916, should be prejudicially affected
tt i!f » ir ri irrangements Wlth the Kinff - 1 made haste to assure Ibn Saud that
H.M. s Government had no intention whatever of departing in any way from
their treaty obligations towards himself and that the Sharif’s assumption of
the title m question was unauthorised so far as H.M.’s Government was con
cerned. 1 he fact that I was again able to reassure Ibn Saud on these points
on my return from Egypt, where I had had ample opportunity of discussing
the matter, militated largely m disposing him to accept with resignation the
modification of H.M. s Government’s military proposals regarding which I
had orders to inform him. e ^ x
During the conversations with the Sharif, which took place at Jidda in
.I anua,i-v, 1 918, I was impressed by the fact that Ibn Saud’s jealousy and dis-
mst of the Sharif was only equalled by the latter’s uncompromising attitude
towards Ibn Saud whom he regarded as the chief obstacle to the realization
bf - ml "T 11 ambl -i 1 i°k of , su P r f n . iac y m Arabia. This in effect he was and
is and always vill be, but it is not without interest to speculate whether it
vou d not have been possible in the earlier stages of the war for the Sharif
to obtain at any rate a substantial recognition of his title bv Ibn Saud bv
the adoption of a more conciliatory policy.
j Sand was always in need of financial and material assistance in
return tor which it is not inconceivable that he would have been midv to
p ace his own resources at the disposal of the Sharif for the prosecution of
his operations against the common enemy, as he did or tried to do latpr wi+fi
us during the period of the Mission’s aetf^ities; the Shar™ however 00 ^
tWtt stiffs s—sttte
r*? ps&K s sn
Government recognition of his integrity and absolute independence wiU,^
li reeo 1 S ,0 subse <l uent delimitation of frontiers, was wise enough
cfosing’of (he^fijaz 6 marhetetcf Najd* commerce 3 Sett ' ed “ * he Hij ' aZ “ nd the
It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the Sharif in snite of the
advantages he has enioved in virtn* nf 1,^ o^- -i ? ’ pite 9 1 tne £ rea t
h^, d tvT dTn Ft*

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 [‎82v] (165/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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