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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎94r] (188/220)

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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Basrah Ibn Sand made a passing remark about the Sharif’s calling himself
Sultan , but his mind seemed to be set completely at rest on hearing that his
rights were safeguarded by us and that the Sharif had explicitly denied any
design on the independence of himself or his compeers.
Itm Saud ha\ing expressed to the Chief Political Officer at their meeting
at 0]air his inclination to pay a brief visit to Shaikh Jabir of Kuwait before
returning home, the project was cordially encouraged as appearing eminently
Pe ? 1 n 11 T -S nd Sir Percy Cox recommended that he should be presented with
the K.C.I.E., at a majhs which was to be held at Kuwait where the Shaikh
was to be invested with the C.S.I. When he intimated to Ibn Saud that this
honour was to be accorded to him, the Chief Political Officer was authorised to
inform at the same time that his rights had been carefully reserved in all
dealings which the British Government had held with the Sharif, and Ibn
Saud m his reply said that he was entirely satisfied on this point.
I be majlis took place on Xovember 20th. The Shaikh of Muhammerah
had come to Kuwait for the occasion and many Beduin were present, including
the friendly headmen of the Shammar Aslam, and Dhafir, and Shaikhs of the
ilutair. I he Chief Political Officer, in presenting the decorations, alluded
to our satisfaction in feeling that the great Arab chiefs were bent with us
upon a common purpose. The Shaikh of Muhammerah followed him with
words which were warmly pro-British, and Ibn Saud struck the key-note of
t 16 meeting in a speech which was as spontaneous as it was unexpected. He
said that the Turks had placed themselves outside the pale of Islam by the
iniquities which they had committed on other Moslems. He contrasted'their
policy with that of Great Britain, pointing out that the Turks had sought to
weaken the Arabs by fomenting their differences, whereas the British Govern-
ment encouraged them to unite in their own interest. He praised the action of
the bhanf and urged the obligation of all true Arabs to co-operate with him
in forwarding the Arab cause. When he had brought his speech to an eloquent
close, the three chiefs, Kuwait, Muhammerah "and Ibn Saud, swore together
that they would work with us for the achievement of a common end.
u j This » c ™ made a dee P impression on the local notables and on the
Beduin Shaikhs present, who will no doubt carry the tale far and wide.
During the receptions at Kuwait, Ibn Saud showed in all his utterances how
•clearly he had grasped the principle whch guides our relations with Arabia.
He quoted as an example of our benevolent policy towards the Arab cause the
fact that we were ready even to promote a reconciliation between himself and
Ibn Kaslnd if the latter would abandon his attitude of hostility. The arrival
of Ibn Fara’un’s 700 camels, each branded with the wasm of that well-known
dealer, gave a dramatic completeness to the Kuwait gathering.
I rom Kuwait Ibn Saud went to Muhammerah as the guest of Shaikh
Khazal who co-operated most heartily in the endeavour to make Ibn Saud’s
visit profitable to him. The two chiefs arrived at Basrah on the evening of
A o\ ember 2G. Early next morning the Chief Political Officer accompanied
by two chief military representatives of the Army Commander present in
Basrah vent on board the Shaikh s launch and presented Ibn Saud with a sword
of honour and message of welcome from the Army Commander. The day was
spent in exhibiting to him the Base Camps and organisation and the latest
machinery of warfare including the aircraft in which he took an eager interest.
Dhari Ibn Iwalah and Humud al Suwait, Shaikhs of the Shammar Aslam
and the Dhafir, were present, while Shaikh Ibrahim of Zubair and several
^ unni notables of Basrah and refugees from Baghdad had an audience with
Ibn Saud on the launch.
. dhe Kuwait Durbar A public or private audience held by a high-ranking British colonial representative (e.g. Viceroy, Governor-General, or member of the British royal family). and Ibn Saud s visit to Basrah have placed us in a
singularly strong position. Three powerful chiefs have made public protesta
tion of their friendship with each other and their confidence in the British
Goyernment. A telegram received from the Sharif, congratulating them upon
their zeal in the Arab cause and regretting that he had not had time to send a
representative to Kuwait, confirmed the identity of his aims with their own,
and in a further message he apologised for any deficiencies in his previous
letters on the ground that while he was in the throes of war he might un
intentionally fall short as a correspondent. The dream of Arab unity which
engaged the imagination of the Liberals of Damascus during the year before
the war, has been brought nearer fulfilment than dreams' are wont to come,
but the role of presiding genius has been recast. Instead of the brilliant!
unscrupulous Saiyid Talib, gyrating in the blast of his own ambition, the
chiefs of Eastern and Western Arabia have united at the instance of the British
Besides this knitting together of Arab leaders, the meeting at Kuwait has
produced certain immediate results. In the first place the extent and nature
of Ibn Saud’s share in future hostilities with Ibn Rashid, if such should occur,
was agreed upon. He undertook to maintain 4,000 men under arms: if
Ibn Rashid moved in force towards the Iraq he would move up parallel with
him towards Zubair and join the friendly tribes and a contingent from Kuwait.
He informed the friendly Shaikhs that'he would support them if Ibn Rashid
threatened to attack them in strength. If, however, Ibn Rashid should re

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 [‎94r] (188/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 July 2024]

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