Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [87r] (174/220)
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.
Harrat Khaibar to Hanakiya (which would, it seems to me, form a convenient
meeting place of the boundaries of the Hijaz, Najd, Jabal and Shammar),
thence straight across the steppe to Marran, thence to the point on the Shaib
Shaba, where the Ataiba, Subai and Buqum boundaries meet and thence up
the course of that Shaib to its point of departure from Wadi A seasonal or intermittent watercourse, or the valley in which it flows. Subai, whence
the line would follow the Wadi A seasonal or intermittent watercourse, or the valley in which it flows. to Turaba. Whether from Turaba to Bisha
the line would run east or west of the Banya tract is a question, on which I
am not in a position to express an opinion and which could be left to be decided
The one point, which cannot, in my opinion—and you have already given
expression to the same view—be taken into consideration in determining the
respective spheres of jurisdiction of the Sharif and Ibn Saud is the incom
parably greater military service rendered by the former to the allied cause in
the course of the war. The wishes of the people to be affected by the decision
and the desirability of leaving no loophole for the occurrence of religious fric
tion in the future are practical considerations of cardinal importance, to wdiich
the historical and geographical aspects of the case would serve as important,
but subordinate, adjuncts.
When to these considerations is added the reflexion that, whatever the
abstract merits of the dispute between the Sharif and Ibn Saud over their
boundaries may be, the actions of the Sharif during the past year have so
alienated the sympathies of the people of Khurma that they will not submit
to his rule in any circumstances whatever, the delicacy of the task confronting
H.M.’s Government in the near future can be readily imagined. On the other
hand, if they decline the heavy responsibility of deciding and enforcing their
decision of the dispute, they "will find themselves on the other horn of the
dilemma in determining the attitude to adopt in the event of the outbreak of
hostilities between the Sharif and Ibn Saud, which, to me, seems inevitable
and to be fraught with far-reaching consequences.*
16. Ibn Saud and the Turks.
From time to time, and notably on one occasion, when a consignment of
money appears undoubtedly to have got through from Madina to the Turkish
forces in Yaman, I think in the summer of 1917, it was stated that Ibn Saud
was not altogether innocent of connivance with the Turks, and on this point
the Sharif never tired of laying especial emphasis. Whatever may have been
the facts regarding the consignment of money referred to, I am convinced
that, if it got through, it did so without the knowledge of Ibn Saud, as it
might well do by passing down through the great Ataiba steppe, and the sug
gestion that Ibn Saud gave the party safe conduct, etc., I have no hesitation
in dismissing as unfounded and absurd. It has never perhaps been sufficient
ly realised that, whatever the intricacies of Central Arabian politics, the Turk
is Ibn Sand’s natural enemy, not only because he is accounted an infidel by
the Wahhabi, but because it is impossible that he should acquiesce in the
permanent loss of Hasa, if he remains after the war in a position to contest
the arbitrament of fate.
When I was at Jidda, the Sharif asserted with much vehemence, as a
fact of which he had incontestable proof, that Ibn Saud had long been in
secret correspondence with Fakhri Pasha An Ottoman title used after the names of certain provincial governors, high-ranking officials and military commanders. , the Turkish Commandant of the
Madina garrison. As a matter of fact, when I was at Riyadh, Ibn Saud had
not onlv informed me of the receipt of letters by himself from Fakhri Pasha An Ottoman title used after the names of certain provincial governors, high-ranking officials and military commanders. ,
but had handed me three original letters, one of which, at any rate, shewed
conclusively that Ibn Saud had never vouchsafed a reply to the others. The
Sharif having made his accusation and offered to produce his evidence^—I
think a human witness—I duly informed him of the nature of the proofs I
held that his statement was unfounded and, on the following day, when I
produced the letters themselves and proceeded to read them out for his in
formation, he obstinately refused to listen and declared that he was justified
in his view of Ibn Saud—but said nothing more about producing his
I mention the matter here both as shewing the attitude of the Sharif
towards Ibn Saud and as sufficiently satisfactory proof that, though the Tur
kish authorities were fully alive to the advantages of detaching Ibn Saud
from our cause, he himself never gave them the slightest encouragement.
Fakhri Pasha An Ottoman title used after the names of certain provincial governors, high-ranking officials and military commanders. was, at any rate, discouraged by his experiences and ceased
addressing letters to Ibn Saud, until matters became really acute between
the latter and the Sharif over the Khurma affair, when, in September, 1918,
he took the opportunity of writing, ostensibly to give Ibn Saud the somewhat
belated news of the demise of the late Sultan but, more particularly, to con
gratulate him on the victories of the Akhwan of Khurma over the Sharifian
expeditions and, incidentally, to offer to supply him with anything he might
require in the matter of arms, ammunition and funds to prosecute a campaign
against the Sharif. These letters, also, Ibn Saud made over to me in original
and, though the offer of arms, etc., came at a critical moment, when his rela
tions with the Sharif are extremely strained and H.M.’s Government had
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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