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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎92v] (185/220)

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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mostly in Kuwait territory and the Ataibah and Harb come for the greater *
part under the Sharif.
After Captain Shakespear’s death Ibn Sand sent an immediate request
that another officer should be accredited to him or, failing this, that negotia
tions should continue through his agent in Basrah, Abdul Latif Mandil. ]No
suitable officer w r as available, but Ibn Saud was advised to sign a preliminary
agreement on the lines of Captain Shakespear’s draft and leave all details to
be settled later. He signed and returned the new draft which had been sent
to him but with some important modifications concerning which it seemed
better to postpone further discussion till a meeting with the Chief Political
Officer could be arranged. For the time therefore the conclusion of the
treaty was suspended, Ibn Saud being wholly engaged with internal affairs.
His position at home at this epoch was the reverse of secure. His reputation
among the tribes had suffered from the unsuccessful operations against Ibn
Eashid during which he had incurred much loss in material and equipments,
and during the greater part of 1915 he was engaged with a dangerous rising-
in the Hasa on the part of the Ajman. He himself believed that the revolt
was instigated by the Turks and Ibn Eashid, but it is doubtful whether his
view was correct. Mubarak of Kuwait was convinced that there was no
evidence to support it, but Mubarak, during the last few years of his reign,
was not a lenient critic of Ibn Saud’s difficulties.
His opinion is so far borne out that the troubles with the Ajman seem
to haVe begun with the occupation of the Hasa by the Amir in 1913. Up to
that time the tribe had been on good terms with him and had generally recog
nised him as suzerain, but the extension of his direct authority to the Hasa,
which is their headquarters, had strained their allegiance. He attempted to
impose a poll tax upon them and stopped them from taking dues from caravans
passing through the country, a toll which they had been accustomed to exact
in the days of the Turks. The discontent of the Ajman was fanned by mem
bers of Ibn Saud’s family who had long been at enmity with him, the Araif,
grandsons of his uncle Saud. Two of the Araif cousins, Fahad Ibn Saud.and
Salman Ibn Muhammad, had taken refuge with the Shaikh of Bahrain. The
Shaikh made a half-hearted attempt to patch up a reconciliation in 1914, but
the Araif refused his mediation and sought the protection of the Shaikh of
Abu Dhabi, from whom they received some countenance when hostilities were
renewed with Ibn Saud in 1915. The, rebellion now assumed serious propor
tions. Ibn Saud sent for more troops from Eiyadh and asked help from
Kuwait, but before the arrival of either reinforcement he attacked the Ajman
by night near Hofuf and met with a reverse, due partly to the cowardice of
the Hofuf town levies. His brother Saud was killed and he himself wounded.
For a time his fortunes were at a very low ebb. He was in want of money
and arms, and for all practical purposes was besieged in Hofuf. Ibn Eashid,
oblivious of the agreement recently signed, seized the opportunity to raid the
Qasim, but his advance was easily stopped, and the arrival of a force from
Kuwait under the Shaikh’s son, Salim, turned the balance in the Hasa. The
Ajman were routed in September, harried on their retreat northwards by the
Bani Khalid and forced to take refuge in Kuwait territory, where they re
mained until Shaikh Mubarak’s death in December. Fahad Ibn Saud was
killed in the retreat: Salman made his peace with Ibn Saud at the end of
the year. During the struggle we had facilitated the despatch of ammunition
to Ibn Saud from Bahrain and done what we could to restrain Abu Dhabi: in
October we presented Ibn Saud with 1,000 rifles and gave him a loan of
U 20,.000. I he lurks had not yet abandoned all hope of winning him over,
and in July, previous to Ibn Eashid’s raid, a Turkish emissary, Salih al Sharif
al Hasm, commumcoted vith him and proposed a meeting! but his request
was refused, and on December 26th Ibn Saud met Sir Percy Cox at Qatif and
the long-delayed treaty was completed and signed. Subject to certain safe
guards it provided Ibn Saud with a dvnastic guarantee in the dominions now
m his possession and promised him the support of Great Britain in case of
unprovoked aggression from foreign Powers. On his side Ibn Saud engaged'
to hold no correspondence with any foreign Power and to grant no concessions
to foreigners, to keep open the roads to the Holy Places and to commit no
6 act on other Shaikhs under our protection.
. Ibn Saud vas unaware of the exceedingly confidential correspondence
imo V'*! i ^ ee I 1 carrying- on with the Sharif during the winter of 1915-
1 Jib, but the results to which it led could not leave him indifferent. Eela-
lonsbetveen the Hijaz and Najd had been dictated bv conflicting sentiments.
I he Sharif had even more reason than Ibn Saud to fear the Turks, but he
was jealous of Ibn Saud’s position as an Arab Chief, and the feeling was
reciprocated m Eiyadh. > The fluctuating allegiance of the tribes is a rich
source of discord in Arabia, and the absence of any defined frontiers enhances
the uncertainty of claims and obligations. In 1910 the Sharif Abdullah
asser mg that he acted on behalf of the Ottoman Government, marched to the
icrders of the Qasim for the purpose of reasserting an authority which was
probably a thing of the past and must at the best have been shadowy. The
angi ile results of the raid do not seem to have been more than a reinsistence
on the Sharif s suzerainty over the distant sections of the Ataibah, a tribe-

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 [‎92v] (185/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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