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Shakespear noted. and that Turkish prestige had plummeted as a result of military defeats in Libya and in the Balkans. in June 1914 Captain William Shakespear. Since his seizure of Riyadh in 1902. and the Imam Yahya of the Yemen. Moreover. before 1914 Ibn Saud had made numerous efforts to open relations with Britain in an attempt to bolster his position against the Turks. all would combine for resistance and mutual help. not included. according to Shakespear. reported that dissatisfaction with the Ottoman government was widespread in Najd.1 Notwithstanding this agreement. Consequently the prospect of . because his newly acquired ports on the Persian Gulf coast were vulnerable to British bombardment. the Turks reversed this policy by attempting to integrate the rival chiefs into the Ottoman war effort. the Ottoman government made strenuous efforts to reconcile Ibn Saud and Ibn Rashid. a former British political agent at Kuwait who had travelled widely in Arabia. it is clear that in 1914 Ibn Saud's prestige was great and his position in Arabia was strong. and an Ottoman victory would only strengthen their hold on Arabia. the Idrisi of Asir. including the Sharif Husayn of the Hijaz. Ibn Saud had recently become head of a loose anti-Ottoman confederation or alliance of most of the major rulers in the Arabian peninsula. Indeed. Ibn Saud had no intention of actively supporting the Turks in the conflict. he had consolidated his authority in Najd in central Arabia and successfully defended his territory in numerous encounters with the forces of his hereditary enemy to the north. In May 1913 Ibn Saud had ousted the Turks from the valuable coastal province of Hasa. the amir of Jabal Shammar. And in May 1914 he had concluded a treaty with the Ottoman government in which the latter recognized his position in Najd and in Hasa in exchange for a nominal Turkish suzerainty. But the enmity between the two rulers was too deep to permit their collaboration. thereby gaining direct access to the Persian Gulf. however. Ibn Saud viewed the Turks as the most important threat to his independence. When Turkey entered the war at the end of October 1914. Ibn Saud's stature was illustrated by the fact that 'The other sheikhs of the Arab alliance refer all kinds of matters to Bin Saud for his advice. either in the Egyptian or in the Mesopotamian campaign. was probably the most powerful ruler in the Arabian peninsula. was the understanding that the chiefs would settle their own differences peaceably and that. After years of trying to control Arabia through divide-and-rule tactics. Ibn Saud. Ibn Rashid was. Besides. in the event of an Ottoman attack against any one of them. Ibn Rashid. Indeed.'2 Although Shakespear undoubtedly exaggerated the closeness of the ties binding the various Arab rulers. more especially those affecting their relations with the Porte. The basis of the alliance.The Anglo-Najd Treaty of December 1915 Daniel Silverfarb On the eve of the First World War. founder of the present kingdom of Saudi Arabia. as he was linked tightly with the Turks.
sell. who. The British treaties with the various Arab shaykhdoms of the Persian Gulf were different. was consistently concerned more with relations with the Ottoman government than with local conditions in the Persian Gulf. by implication. had been in treaty relationship with the British government since 1899. unlike the government of India. Also worrying . The agreements were also motivated by Britain's desire to suppress the slave trade and curb the arms traffic in this region. These agreements developed originally from British efforts in the early nineteenth century to combat the piracy in the Persian Gulf which was hampering British commerce with Persia and Turkish Iraq. but the agreements usually obligated the rulers to maintain a perpetual truce at sea. generally to uphold their independence. In the prewar period the government of India and its officials in the Persian Gulf had wanted to respond favorably to Ibn Saud's overtures. In return for these commitments. In the latter part of the century the treaty system was extended in order to curb the political and military influence of other powers in the Gulf and thereby protect the western approaches to India. to have no negotiations or diplomatic relations with any foreign power other than the British government. the ruler of Kuwait. and they certainly did not want to alienate the Porte or to facilitate the disintegration of the Ottoman empire.168 MIDDLE EASTERNSTUDIES fighting Britain on behalf of the Ottoman empire was unappealing. Britain feared that Turkish entry into the conflict might endanger Shaykh Mubarak. and to suppress the slave trade and prohibit the arms traffic in their territories. By the end of September 1914 the British government believed that the Ottoman empire soon would enter the war on the side of Germany. however. The Indian authorities believed. It believed that this policy would help secure and protect the western approaches to India and also remove a possibly serious cause of dissension among the European powers. and its view prevailed within the councils of the British government. Furthermore the Foreign Office feared that British support of secessionist elements in the Ottoman empire might irretrievably damage Britain's chances of moving Turkey away from its pro-German orientation. not to cede.3 In the prewar period the British Foreign Office. or mortgage any part of their territory except to the British government. a Turkish vassal. because in the early twentieth century there was substantial evidence that many of the arms imported for sale and distribution in the Persian Gulf moved eastward and ultimately produced instability and unrest among the tribes on the north-west frontier of India. The latter consideration was especially important. Britain pledged to protect the shaykhdoms from aggression by sea and. although nominally an Ottoman vassal. and it is doubtful whether Ibn Saud seriously considered it. They recognized that he was. The Foreign Office did not want to do anything which might jeopardize the territorial integrity of Asiatic Turkey. formally. Consequently the Foreign Office refused to sanction any activity which might give the appearance of treating Ibn Saud as an independent ruler rather than as an Ottoman subject. that the dominant British position in the Persian Gulf would be insecure and unstable as long as Ibn Saud were not integrated into the network of treaties which Britain had concluded with the rulers of the other Arab principalities on the western shore of the Gulf.
the general officer commanding. Persian oil was important to the British navy because of the recent conversion of its ships from coal to oil as a source of fuel. about 45 miles up the Shatt al-Arab in Persian territory and dangerously near the Ottoman border. G. S. while Ibn Rashid loomed menacingly on his flank. Another alarming consideration was the fact that by 1914 the Britishcontrolled Anglo-Persian Oil Company produced 25. Shakespear was then in London. although he had long sought close ties with the British government. immediately after the outbreak of hostilities. leaving his home territory unprotected. the chief political officer for the Indian expeditionary force and the political resident in the Persian Gulf. But Ibn Saud did not move against Basra. and he enjoyed good personal relations with the Najd ruler. Hostilities with the Ottoman empire commenced on 31 October. This force departed from Bombay on 16 October and arrived at Bahrain on 23 October. might have an undesirable effect on the Muslim rulers in Persia and Afghanistan.000 tons of oil per month from a large field at Masjid Sulaiman in south-west Persia. on 22 November. In return for this assistance. In view of these factors. Delamain. Knox assured Ibn Saud that the British government would guarantee him: (1) against all reprisals by the Turks in consequence of these measures. the officiating political resident in the Persian Gulf. On 3 November.THE ANGLO-NAJD TREATY 169 was the possibility that a Turkish declaration of war. he was -now unwilling to commit himself without careful deliberation. The seizure of Basra on 22 November altered the nature of the assistance which Britain wanted from Ibn Saud. He was chosen for the mission because he had met Ibn Saud several times before the war during his tenure as political agent at Kuwait. it would have been difficult for Ibn Saud to move a substantial force as far north as Basra. 75 miles from the sea. that Ibn Saud should move northwards in case .4 On 2 October 1914 the British government decided to send Captain Shakespear to Najd for the purpose of securing Ibn Saud's goodwill and influencing him not to side with the Ottoman empire in the event of hostilities. (2) against any attack by sea. He realized that the outbreak of war had enhanced his bargaining position. thereby jeopardising the security of India. and (3) that it would recognize him as the independent ruler of Najd and Hasa and enter into treaty relations with him. This fundamental alteration of policy was due to the rapid approach of war with the Ottoman empire. dispatched a letter to Ibn Saud requesting him to cooperate with the shaykhs of Kuwait and Muhammarah in the capture of Basra from the Turks. Knox. Still it was the opinion of Sir Percy Cox. Besides. and. especially if accompanied by military success. at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab. on 2 October 1914 the British government authorized the dispatch of a brigade of troops from the Indian army to the Persian Gulf to guard the oil refinery and pipeline and to protect Britain's friends in the region. The British force thereupon pushed quickly up the river and entered Basra. and on 6 November British troops captured Fao. and Brigadier-General W. The decision to send Shakespear to Najd represented a complete reversal of prewar British policy which had considered Ibn Saud to be in the Turkish sphere of influence and therefore had abstained from contact with him as much as possible. The oil was piped 130 miles south to a refinery on Abadan Island. Major S.
However Ibn Saud explained that he would not commit himself to the British side without a firm treaty of alliance and protection providing him with long-term security against Ottoman reprisals. would give Britain the following advantages: (1) complete control of the Arabian littoral of the Persian Gulf. despite their constant exhortations to him to join in a holy war against the infidel British. From his headquarters in Basra. The main provisions of Ibn Saud's draft stipulated that: (1) Britain recognize Ibn Saud as the completely independent ruler of Najd and Hasa. Shakespear emphasized that the outbreak of war had not altered Ibn Saud's friendly attitude towards Britain. He was not replaced for several years because of a shortage of suitable British personnel in Iraq. who reached Kuwait on 7 December. Sir Percy Cox continued negotiations with Ibn Saud through messengers. (2) complete control of the arms traffic in the region. Cox noted in his dispatch that 'Bin Saud's weight in .170 MIDDLE EASTERNSTUDIES his support were required to suppress hostile activities from tribes in the region between Basra and Baghdad. and his proposals were submitted to Cox in Shakespear's dispatch of 4 January. Shakespear suggested that Ibn Saud draw up a preliminary draft of what he desired and what he was prepared to accept in a treaty with Britain. (4) Ibn Saud not have any dealings with foreign powers other than the British government. (3) the practical exclusion of foreign powers and influence in central Arabia. (4) increased trade through the Persian Gulf ports. about 150 miles north-west of Riyadh.6 Shakespear died on 24 January 1915 while directing the fire for one of Ibn Saud's guns during the course of a desert battle against the forces of Ibn Rashid. (2) Britain delimit and recognize the borders of Najd.5 On 31 December 1914 Shakespear arrived at Ibn Saud's camp between Majmaa and Zilfi. because the responsibilities which it would incur thereby would not be onerous and in any case would be outweighed greatly by the benefits. should carry out his mission to Ibn Saud and endeavour to bring him northwards to cooperate with the British forces. Shakespear calculated that a treaty with Ibn Saud. Cox had long advocated bringing Ibn Saud into the system of British agreements with the Gulf rulers. in addition to bringing him into the war against Turkey. Ibn Saud responded promptly. Consequently Cox decided that Shakespear. After extensive discussions with Ibn Saud. The Najd ruler apparently had lost none of his former antipathy to the Turks and had no desire to side with them in the present hostilities. Now that this consideration was no longer a factor. to be succeeded by his sons and their descendants by lawful inheritance. (3) Britain defend and protect Najd from aggression from any source by land or sea. and (5) Ibn Saud prohibit the arms traffic and protect all British subjects in his territory. and (5) increased influence over the bedouin tribes in Arabia. On 16 January 1915 he requested authorization from the government of India to submit a formal treaty to the Najd ruler. Cox was on the verge of achieving his objective. on 4 January 1915 Shakespear sent a long letter to Cox containing his appraisal of the political situation in Najd together with recommendations for the future course of British policy. Shakespear believed that the British government should accommodate Ibn Saud on this question. but he had been frustrated constantly by the Foreign Office's regard for Turkish sensibilities.
which he will follow unreservedly. which necessarily would require a considerable period to negotiate. It was precisely these points that proved the most intractable in the subsequent negotiations between Cox and Ibn Saud. which made it imperative to pay an immediate price for his friendship. but also from the general situation that probably would exist in the Persian Gulf at the conclusion of the war. Holderness. and questions of legal jurisdiction. the British government will aid Ibn Saud to such extent and in such manner as the situation may require. and (7) allow the construction of post office and telegraph services at his ports at an appropriate time in the future. the permanent undersecretaryof state for India. (2) in the event of unprovoked aggression on his territories by any foreign power. and (4) the British government and Ibn Saud agree to conclude a detailed treaty in regard to other matters of concern to them as soon as circumstances permit. On 30 January 1915 Sir Thomas W. However the viceroy. arms traffic. it made recognition of Ibn Saud's successors contingent upon British approval.THE ANGLO-NAJD TREATY 171 scale would be no mean asset to joint cause of us all.8 Hardinge's draft differed in significant respects from that of Ibn Saud. Hardinge greatly weakened Britain's commitment to aid Ibn Saud in the event of aggression against his territories. For example. In addition. (4) protect the pilgrim traffic passing through his territory. The India Office concurred with the views of the government of India on this question. explained to the Foreign Office that the desirability of concluding a treaty with Ibn Saud came not merely from the exigencies of the present moment. (3) in return. Specifically Cox wanted Ibn Saud to undertake the following obligations: (1) receive a representative of the British government either at his capital or seaport or both. also should be contained in this agreement. Lord Hardinge. which generally were included in the treaties with the rulers of the Trucial Coast.7 The government of India agreed with Shakespear and Cox on the desirability of concluding a treaty with Ibn Saud. However he felt that a number of additional points. Ibn Saud agrees to have no dealings with any foreign power or grant concessions to the subjects of any foreign nation except on the advice of the British government. believed that it would be advisable first to sign a preliminary agreement covering the main issues while eliminating many complicated matters of detail. (2) give extra-territoriality to non-Muslim British subjects. The viceroy then suggested restricting the treaty to the following four points: (1) Britain recognizes Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of Najd and Hasa and guarantees the hereditary succession to his dynasty subject to the approval of his successors by the British government. The viceroy also inserted a clause obligating Ibn Saud to follow British advice. (3) abstain from waging war by sea without British consent and cooperate in the suppression of piracy in the Persian Gulf. Holderness anticipated that the expulsion of the Turks from the region . (5) levy custom duties at reasonable rates having regard to rates prevailing at Bahrain and Kuwait. such as boundaries.' Cox believed that Ibn Saud's draft could serve as a basis for further negotiations. (6) allow British merchant vessels to visit his ports. and it eliminated the provision requiring the British government to delimit the borders of Najd.
and (7) a more detailed treaty will be concluded later. (5) Ibn Saud will keep open the pilgrimage routes through his territory to the holy places and will protect the pilgrims.' The India Office also suggested that Ibn Saud should agree to refrain from interference in the affairs of Kuwait. However the treaty returned by Ibn Saud was not identical to Cox's original draft. (2) 'In the event of unprovoked aggression by any Foreign Power .. 'whose advice he will unreservedly follow'. but there were some meaningful alterations.' Several of Ibn Saud's modifications of Cox's draft treaty were of only minor significance. On 24 April Ibn Saud returned a signed copy of the treaty together with a letter to Cox. and any other tribes and chiefs under British protection. Bahrain. necessitated by local conditions. As Ibn Saud explained in his letter. or mortgage his territory or grant concessions to any foreign power or its subjects without the consent of the British government. Its seven articles. no longer objected to negotiations with the Najd ruler. if he were permanently estranged. which became the basis for the Anglo-Najd treaty. and the Trucial Coast. the need to reassure the inhabitants and the governing family. Qatar.172 MIDDLE EASTERNSTUDIES would leave Ibn Saud in firm control of central Arabia and of a long strip of the coast and that. (6) Ibn Saud will refrain from interference with Kuwait. However the India Office made its approval contingent upon the provision that the British guarantee 'against unprovoked aggression should be so worded as to make His Majesty's Government sole judges of nature and extent of assistance. In article one Ibn Saud omitted the words 'subject to . it would be essential for Britain to have a working arrangement with him. . Therefore the extent to which the British government should meet Ibn Saud's claims should be measured not only by the immediate services which he was expected to render in the struggle against the Turks. the British Government will aid Ibn Saud to such extent and in such manner as the situation may seem to them to require'. Bahrain. but also by the serious harm which he could do to British interests in the Persian Gulf. Trucial Oman. may be summarized as follows: (1) Britain recognizes Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of Najd and Hasa and his descendants after him. Qatar. both now and in the future. in the interest of peace and order in the Gulf. 'but the selection of the individual shall be subject to the approval of the British Government'. Accordingly Cox drafted an agreement for submission to Ibn Saud. (3) Ibn Saud renounces diplomatic relations or correspondence with any foreign power other than Britain. which before the war had opposed British contacts with Ibn Saud because they constituted a threat to the integrity of the Ottoman empire. (4) Ibn Saud will not cede. The Foreign Office. sell. Consequently on 1 February the India Office informed Hardinge that his proposals for the conclusion of a preliminary treaty with Ibn Saud had been approved. on 6 February 1915 the government of India informed Cox that he could begin negotiations for the conclusion of a preliminary treaty with Ibn Saud along the lines of the viceroy's proposals and the India Office's suggestions.9 Upon receipt of this message from London.10 At the end of February 1915 Cox dispatched an Arabic copy of his draft treaty to Ibn Saud together with a letter urging him to sign the agreement without delay. 'Certain modifications (which are not important) were found necessary for cogent reasons.
although perhaps unpalatable to the tribes. and it was incorporated into the treaty. He also inserted a provision requiring Britain to delimit the boundaries of his territories. Cox pointed out that in the absence of such a clause Britain conceivably might be committed to support an incompetent son designated merely because he was his father's favourite. regarding the circumstances in which Britain would aid him. thus omitting from Cox's draft the key word 'unprovoked' and entirely replacing the important qualification 'to such extent and in such manner as the situation may seem to them to require'. . El Hassa. as modified by Ibn Saud. and their ports on the shores of the Persian Gulf are the countries of Bin Saud'. in regard to the terms mentioned in this treaty'. read 'In the event of aggression by any Foreign Power . such as. He agreed to Ibn Saud's request that Britain at some time in the future would delimit the boundaries of his territories. Cox thereupon proposed an alternative wording of the article which stated that Britain would recognize the individual nominated by the living ruler as his successor.THE ANGLO-NAJD TREATY 173 the approval of the British Government' in regard to the selection of his successors. 'but with the proviso that he shall not be a person antagonistic to the British Government in any respect.13In article one he was unable to persuade Ibn Saud to agree that the selection of his successors should be 'subject to the approval of the British Government'. the British Government will aid Ibn Saud in all circumstances and in any place'." The India Office was reluctant to accept these modifications. The precise wording used was 'The British Government do acknowledge and admit that Najd. Three years later the British Government found it decidedly awkward to fulfill this commitment to Ibn Saud. although it said it would agree to a somewhat altered wording of the disputed articles as long as thneir original meaning prevailed. for example. and their dependencies and territories.12 In the discussions over the disputed articles. that essentially he had yielded very little. Cox made another concession in article one. He replied that in practice it would not be possible for a ruler to appoint an individual or for the latter to make good his succession unless he enjoyed the confidence of the tribes and was capable of controlling them. In article two. Especially in regard to article two. Cox felt. the full significance of which possibly he was unaware. which will be discussed and determined hereafter. Accordingly Cox resumed negotiations and on 26 December 1915 concluded a treaty with Ibn Saud after a meeting in the island town of Darin near Qatif on the Persian Gulf coast. article four of Ibn Saud's draft obligated him to follow British advice only 'where his interests require it'. Qatif and Jubail. Cox was forced to accept compromise solutions. because 'there being no third party to this Treaty the interpretation of it rests with us and we should not in practice accord recognition to anyone whom we did disapprove'. Ibn Saud accepted this version. In addition. On 18 August the government of India informed Cox of the India Office views and authorized him to arrange a personal meeting with Ibn Saud to talk further along these lines. But Ibn Saud was unmoved by this argument. however. And article two. the India Office told Hardinge that 'His Majesty's Government do not like leaving ambiguity as to their aid'. . Ibn Saud adamantly refused to accept the concept of 'unprovoked' aggres- .
. and I venture to think that we should incur little risk by giving the desired undertaking'. Cox. The term 'aggression by any foreign Power'."8 It is uncertain. In December 1918 . reluctant to see the negotiations break down over this issue. agreed to eliminate the word 'unprovoked'. article two stated that 'In the event of aggression by any foreign Power. We expected assistance in accordance with the text of our treaty. of whom there were several to which central Arabia was readily accessible. Central Arabia is practicallyinaccessible by land to any Power but ours. Ibn Saud argued that 'the High Government [Britain] agreed to render me necessary assistance against whosoever committing trespass against my territories'."4Again in July 1919 Ibn Saud maintained that 'the Sherif [Husayn] intruded on our soil. however.' In article four Cox was unable to persuade Ibn Saud to agree to the inclusion of a provision requiring him to follow British advice unreservedly. because his qualification might be regarded as almost cancelling his commitment. secretary of the political department at the India Office.'" In October 1918 John Shuckburgh. as used in article two to determine the circumstances in which Britain would aid Ibn Saud. In January 1915. was worded ambiguously so that the British government would have still additional opportunities for evasion. . whether this more restricted interpretation of the article was explained to Ibn Saud during the course of the negotiations or in the period immediately following. The India Office too was firm in its contention that 'we could not admit that Article 2 was binding on us as against other Arabs. was not given a more explicit definition and subsequently became the center of considerable controversy.' This wording was a definite victory for Ibn Saud. . reiterated that 'the guarantee given in Article 2 of the Treaty against "aggression by any Foreign Power" was not intended to cover attack by a rival Arab Chief. such as Turkey.. the British Government will aid Bin Saud to such extent and in such a manner as the British Government after consulting Bin Saud may consider most effective for protecting his interests and countries. and the final draft of this section of the article read 'he will follow her [Britain's] advice unreservedly provided that it be not damaging to his own interests. regarding the proposal in Ibn Saud's draft treaty for Britain to aid him in the event of aggression.. Ibn Saud also complained that Cox's draft of the rest of the article.174 MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES sion as the determining factor. Ibn Saud successfully insisted on limiting his obligation. Ibn Saud apparently understood the expression to include other Arab political entities. In June 1919 at the height of his quarrel with King Husayn of the Hijaz over the disputed territory of Khurma.'15But Cox always interpreted the phrase to include only non-Arab states. such as the Hijaz. Cox noted that 'Apart from Turks. As finally accepted by both parties. with reference to the manner in which Britain would assist him. The Najd ruler candidly told Cox that if he assented to this phrasing the British government would be able to take refuge behind it in order not to afford him assistance if it were inconvenient to do so."6 Cox thus seemed to exclude the possibility that the British government conceivably could be obligated to defend Ibn Saud's territory from attack by another Arab ruler. but he insured that the phrasing of the article was elastic enough to leave the British government considerable room for interpretation and manoeuvre.
even against another Arab ruler. 'If we delimit the spheres for the time being. In 1915 Ibn Saud's insistence on including a provision in the treaty requiring Britain to demarcate his boundaries indicates that he grasped this point. St. in September 1916 Ibn Saud sent a delegation to Damascus to discuss various questions with the Ottoman authorities. reports that during the war the Najd ruler was 'at intervals in friendly though guarded correspondence with Fakhri Pasha. John B. a distinguished Czech historian and geographer who was in Arabia during the war and who had good contacts on the Ottoman side. in 1922 and in 1925. remarked that 'when the collision occurred between his [Ibn Saud's] men and King Hussein's over Khurma [June 1918]. Later. according to Musil. Philby. it would then be under a strong moral obligation to aid him in upholding these frontiers. although the Foreign Office frankly admitted that article one of the Anglo-Najd treaty 'commits us to arbitrate on the territorial questions at issue between Bin Saud and King Husein. a noted British authority on Arabia who knew Ibn Saud well. the Turkish commandant at Madina'.19 The restricted interpretation which the British government placed on its obligation to assist Ibn Saud under article two implicitly contradicted its commitment in article one to demarcate the boundaries of Najd. and in the last resort to impose an effective sanction for our award. the aggrieved party will be sure to appeal to us to come to its assistance and vindicate our own award.22Britain's failure to delimit the Najd-Hijaz frontier in 1918-19 in accordance with its treaty commitment placed Ibn Saud in a good moral position and partially accounted for the fact that the British government did not take strong measures against him during his conflict with Husayn over Khurma. The contradiction lay in the fact that after Britain had delimited Ibn Saud's borders.THE ANGLO-NAJD TREATY 175 Lord Curzon. according to Shuckburgh. Iraq. Article three specified that Ibn Saud would have no diplomatic relations or communication with any foreign power other than Britain. Britain did not demarcate the Najd-Hijaz border because Husayn adamantly refused to accept a British boundary commission unless he were guaranteed in advance that its decision would be favorable to him. also maintains that in the early summer of 1916 Ibn Saud established direct communication with the Turkish forces at Madina and supplied them with camels. chairman of the eastern committee of the war cabinet. but we did mean Turkey or a European Power. while the British government apparently did not. and Transjordan.'2'In addition to this factor. Britain demonstrated its good faith and its desire to adhere to this provision of the Anglo-Najd treaty by demarcating Ibn Saud's borders with Kuwait. we had to explain that by "foreign Power" we did not mean any Power differing from his own: in other words. Furthermore. However H.'" But Britain felt unable to honor this commitment because. too.' Ibn Saud probably was . was negligent in fulfilling a commitment under the terms of the treaty. Ibn Saud. In 1918-19 Britain rejected Ibn Saud's repeated request for a British commission to delimit the disputed border between Najd and the Hijaz. we did not mean an Arabian Power.23 Alois Musil. in future disputes which are bound to occur. shall we not incur responsibility for the permanent maintenance of the delimitation? At any rate.
Britain derived little direct military benefit from the treaty during the war. Britain adopted a strictly neutral position.176 MIDDLE EASTERNSTUDIES attempting to insure his interests in the event that the central powers triumphed and the Turkish position in Arabia remained strong after the war. pp. financial.000. recognized the British mandates in Iraq and in Palestine and refused to assist the Arab nationalist movements against British rule in those territories. Alois Musil. after January 1917 Ibn Saud received a valuable subsidy of L5. and it remains today under the rule of his descendants. Vol I. Husayn was defeated overwhelmingly and compelled to abdicate. The early years of Ibn Saud's reign and his relations with the Ottoman empire and with Great Britain are discussed best by J.Arabian Jubilee (London. Furthermore after the war Ibn Saud. The agreement of 1915 formally integrated Ibn Saud into the network of British protected shaykhdoms which. forced to rely solely on his own resources. because Ibn Saud did not take the field against the Turks. Still Britain gained significantly from the treaty. H. which made it difficult for the latter to aid the Turks either on the Egyptian or the Mesopotamian front.25 Finally. Northern Negd (New York. and diplomatic assistance. St. In 1918-19 the Sharif had survived his confrontation with Ibn Saud only because he had received strong British military. because his total annual income from all other sources during this period was only about L100. because it insured that Ibn Saud would not menace British interests along the shore of the Persian Gulf or seriously interfere with the Sharifs revolt against the Turks in the Hijaz. Still. 1141-61. 1952). NOTES 1. 1B (Calcutta. pp. however. Now. after the inclusion of Qatar in November 1916. John B. Pt. After 1915 the Najd ruler was weakened by tribal revolts. Philby. In addition. such as Ibn Rashid or the Turks. extended along the entire coast of the Arab side of the Persian Gulf. pp. unlike Husayn. whose threat appeared less immediate. He won British recognition of his position in Najd and in Hasa and an implicit pledge to uphold his rule in those territories against any challenger. This subsidy. since he was more powerful than Husayn. Also Ibn Saud occasionally engaged in indecisive skirmishes with Ibn Rashid. in 1924. Oman and CentralArabia. Ibn Saud also benefited from the treaty.000 per month from the British government plus considerable quantities of arms and ammunition. Consequently Ibn Saud was not inclined to dissipate his energies and resources in serious combat against other opponents. In 1926 Ibn Saud absorbed the Hijaz into his domains. The treaty of 1915 governed Anglo-Najd relations until it was superseded by the treaty of Jidda in 1927. . these activities constituted an important violation of both the spirit and the letter of the Anglo-Najd treaty. 1915). when Ibn Saud attacked the Hijaz. The treaty also established British paramountcy in the heart of central Arabia and for the first time led to a significant British involvement in the political affairs of that remote and inaccessible region. which continued until March 1924. Lorimer. 1928). G. and he was concerned about Husayn's expansionist ambitions. In reality this policy favored Ibn Saud. was important to Ibn Saud. 280-87. Gazetteerof the Persian Gulf.
57. The Persian Gulf: An Historical Sketch from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century (London. IS/18/113. 5 Public Records Office. 14. 15-16. 'An Account of the late Captain W. L/P&S/10/389. 17. J. 1968). 15. 10. 4. P. eastern committee. 1915 F. 1915. This document contains Cox's full account of his negotiations with Ibn Saud in Darin.StAnthony's Papers. Ravinder Kumar. Jan. 192-273. LIP&S/101387. p. 340-45. p. 2464/14. 16 Jan. Hardinge to India Office. Dec. LIP&S/10/936. 1918. pp. 18. 1915. 24. pp. and Busch already cited. 21. pp. P. Philby. India Office to viceroy. P. British Commitments'. Feb. P. Hurewitz. F. 0. P. 1918. L/P&S/101387. P. 1967). pp. p. 1921.. 16 Jan. N. 668/16. 13. pp. 12. 2. 1918. see Sir Arnold T. 882 /8. A complete text of the treaty is contained in this document on pp. memorandum by Sir Percy Cox. 6069/19. John Marlowe. Ibn Saud to Lieutenant-Colonel J. 1915. 975/15. Barker. R. 194-215 and Briton C. 1962). 10 Sept. 7. 3. to government of India. H. Arabian Jubilee. . 561b/15. Arabian Jubilee. 1916. Kumar. 9 June 1919. 9. C. pp. Kelly. Cabinet 27/24. 26 June 1914. Kelly. Shakespear to Sir Arthur Hirtzel (secretary of the political department at the India Office). 350/15. 29 Jan. 8-10. 4 (London. pp. J. 'King Hussein and Ibn Saud: the Khurma-Turabadispute'. The British position in the Persian Gulf region during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is discussed in a number of works. 288-89 25. Bassett (acting British agent at Jidda). J. Ibid. 882/9.THE ANGLO-NAJD TREATY 177 1-48. IS/15/1. The Campaign in Mesopotamia: 1914-1918 (London. Philby. Foreign Office. 3931/18. 19 Sept. The British campaign in Mesopotamia is described ably in a four-volume official history by Brigadier-General F. 'British Commitments'. P. 19. 17-18.O.. including those by Lorimer. 1923-27). Wilson. LIP&SI10/387. In addition. Shakespear's Mission to Ibn Saud: December 1914-January 1915'. LIP&S/101387. India Office Records. 4 Jan. p. No. T. 11. p. Moberley. pp. 20. 1967). Public Records Office. 6. 12. L/P&SI10/387. 1918 (hereafter cited as 'British Commitments'). The treaty was ratified by the government of India on 18 July 1916. 51. 18 July 1919. 119-40. 2-4. The Neglected War: Mesopotamia 1914-1918 (London. Wilson (officiating civil commissioner for Mesopotamia). 5435/19. pp. B. 1915. I. minute by Shuckburgh. 'The Legal and Historical Basis of the British Position in the Persian Gulf'. Ibid. Northern Negd. 13. 1958). A more recent account is A. L/P&S/101390.. P. 561b/15 Cox. 599/21. Musil. L/P&S/10/390. pp. It is reprinted in J. minute by Shuckburgh. Shakespear to Cox. Busch. contained in 'British Commitments'. Britain and the Persian Gulf: 1795-1880 (London. 1-41 and J.India and the Persian Gulf Region 1858-1907: A Study in British Imperial Policy (Bombay. B. 8. P. 23. P. p. Ibn Saud to Lieutenant-Colonel A. Cox to government of India. 1916. Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East: A Documentary Record 1914-1956 (Princeton. Britain and the Persian Gulf: 1894-1914 (Berkeley and Los Angeles. Ibid. 22. 47th minutes. 7-8. India Office memorandum. LIP & S/10/385. Cox to government of India. 4618/18. 1928).J. 26 Dec. 1965). 16. 'Memorandum on British Commitments To Bin Saud'. January 3. 11. 1956). 21 Oct. The Persian Gulf in the Twentieth Century (London. LIP&S/10/389.