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were discountenanced and the death of the Shaikh al Shari'ah in December, together with the absence of any individual who commanded the reverence which had been accorded to him, left the Shi'ah Vatican without a recognized head. It had not gained in popular estimation by the active participation of some of its members in the events of the summer, and when the failure of the resort to arms had been placed beyond doubt, men called to mind and openly expressed the maxim that doctors of divinity should properly be precluded from taking part in the politics of this world by their pre-occupation with matters appertaining to the next.

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Formation of the

While it was clear that some time must elapse before conditions would permit of full development along the lines determined by His Majesty's Cabinet. Government, I found myself confronted with questions of policy, affecting the future of the 'Iraq, with which I did not feel myself justified in dealing without consultation with representatives of the people of the country. As an immediate expedient I judged it necessary to institute a Provisional Government which. under my guidance and control, should be responsible for administration until further progress could be made in the irection of national institutions. The high religious and social position of the Naqib, coupled with the universal respect which he inspired, pointed to him as the most suitable person to form and preside over a provisional Council of State. Age and ill-health might well have excused him from emerging from the studious seclusion of a Darwish in which he had spent the latter years of his life, but when, on October 23, I asked him to undertake the formation of a Cabinet, in the interests of his country he courageously responded to the call, though with some hesitation, and consented to my request.

The post of Minister of Interior was accepted with alacrity by Saiyid Talib Pasha, eldest son of the Naqib of Basrah. He had been in Baghdad since the previous July, when, in company with all other ex-deputies of the Turkish Chamber, he had been invited by my predecessor to form part of a Committee charged with the revision of the Turkish electoral law. Possessed of a remarkable force of character, he had been chosen to preside over this Committee, and it was clear that a man of his prominence could not be excluded from high place in the Provisional Government. Nevertheless his appointment gave rise to difficulties. His unscrupulous ambition was regarded with grave apprehension by men of integrity, who remembered the application to which he had put his talents in the past, and their reluctance to serve with him could only be overcome by assurances that it was not the intention of His Majesty's Government to force him or any one else as a ruler upon the 'Iraq.

The Council was ultimately composed as follows:

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Sasun Effendi, a leading representative of the Jewish community of Baghdad, commands universal respect and confidence. He had been a member of the Turkish Chamber since the Constitution of 1908 and had also occupied the post of President of the Finance Committee. Mustafa Effendi Alusi belongs to a family of well-known 'alims and had himself filled responsible positions as Qadhi. Ja'far Pasha had made a name as a soldier during the war and had served as Governor of Aleppo under the Amir Faisal. 'Izzat Pasha is an ex-Turkish General of Kirkuk origin; Saiyid Muhammad Mahdi, a Shi'ah of Karbala; 'Abdul Latif Pasha is one of the best known citizens of Basrah Muhammad 'Ali Effendi an ex-deputy and a citizen of Mosul. Nine Ministers without portfolios. portfolios were also given seats on the Council, including the Mayor of Baghdad, 'Abdul Majid Beg Shawi, two paramount shaikhs of large Shi'ah tribal confederations. Christians from Mosul and Baghdad and Moslem notables of Baghdad and Basrah, one of whom was a Shi'ah. At a later period two more Shi'ahs, one a tribal shaikh, the other at citizen of 'Amarah, were added, together with a member of the Sunni family of the Sa'dun. Thus composed the Council represented very comprehensively the various interests and communities of the people.

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(a) The return of political deportees.

(b) Repatriation of

A British Adviser was attached to each Ministry; the following officers have served in this capacity:

Interior. Mr. H. St. J. B. Philby, C.I.E.; handed over to Mr. J. S. Thomson, I.C.S., who acted until the appointment of Mr. K. Cornwallis, C.B.E., D.S.O.

Finance.-Lt. Colonel S. H. Slater, C.I.E.

Justice. Sir Edgar Bonham Carter, K.C.M.G. On his retirement, in
April, Mr. E. M. Drower acted until Mr. N. G. Davidson took up
his duties in October.

Defence.-Major J. I. Eadie, D.S.O., acted until the appointment of
Lt.-Col. P. C. Joyce, C.B.E., D.S.O., in April.

Public Works.-Major General E. V. de V. Atkinson, C.B., C.M.G.,
C.I.E., C.B.E. Left in April to take up an appointment in India,
since when Major H. H. Wheatley, O.B.E., M.C., has acted.
Education and Health.-Mr. E. L. Norton, I.C.S. Left for England
on leave in May when Mr. A. L. Smith, M.V.O., and Lt. Colonel
J. D. Graham, C.I.E., I.M.S., acted for their respective depart-
ments. In August, this Ministry was divided. Mr. A. L. Smith
became Adviser to Education until he went on leave in November
when Mr. W. J. Farrell, M.C., acted for him. Mr. Farrell went
on leave in March 1922 and Mr. J. Glen is at present acting Adviser.
Colonel Graham became Adviser to the new Ministry of Public

Commerce.-Lt.-Col. S. H. Slater, C.I.E., (acting)..
Augaf.-Mr. R. H. Cooke,

I met the assembled Council on November 10th when the draft instructions, as finally approved by myself and the Naqib, were accepted. The formation and functions of the Council of State were formally announced by proclamation on November 11th. (Appendix 2).

The Provisional Council continued to exercise its functions until the coronation of the Amir Faisal in August 1921. I wish to express my lively appreciation of its services to the Iraq State. Under the wise and dignified presidency of H. E. the Naqib, it performed important constructive work and during the whole period of its existence I relied on its loyal co-operation in seeking a solution for the problems which confronted us.

The principal questions towards which it directed immediate attention


(a) The return of persons interned at Henjam on account of their participation in the disturbances of the previous summer.

(b) The repatriation of Arab officers who had served in Syria.

(c) The organization of Civil Government under Arab officials throughout the 'Iraq.

(d) Consideration of the electoral law.

(e) Formation of the 'Iraq Army.

The return of political deportees was broached by the Council at the preliminary meeting on November 10. November 10. After a careful scrutiny of dossiers the Council recommended and I acceded to the immediate release of 15 out of the 45 persons at Henjam, on suitable guarantees. The remainder returned under the general amnesty proclaimed in May, 1921.

Such of the Arab officers and officials remaining in Syria as were Arab Officers in Syrin in a position to pay their own expenses obtained individually permission to return on application to myself. Arrangements were completed in February for the return by sea at the charge of the 'Iraq Government of officers with their families to the number of 396 persons. The case of those who were unable to avail themselves of the opportunity thus provided was finally regulated by a resolution passed by the Council in December, 1921, by which Government assistance was extended to all ex-officers and their families remaining in Syria who were not in a position to pay their own expenses. It was also decided that 'Iraqis in other countries whose services were required by the Government might similarly be repatriated. It may be noted with satisfaction that, apart from those who have availed themselves of Government assistance, there has been an uninterrupted flow from Constantinople and other parts of Turkey of Iraqis whose return is of advantage to the State. Men of experience and education who held civil or military appointments under the Turks, as well as private individuals, have come back to take office in the Iraq Government, to practise their professions, or to devote themselves to the management of their estates.

(Organization of Civil Govt. under Arab officials.

As order was restored in the areas of of disturbance, temporary arrangements had been made for administration, but the appointment of Arab officials to replace British Political Officers was one of the most urgent duties incumbent on the Council. A scheme for the division of the 'Iraq into 10 Liwas, 35 Qadhas and 85 Nahiyahs, closely following the lines of

the former Turkish organization, was passed on December 12th and received my approval, with certain reservations regarding the Kurdish districts, which the Council, unmindful of restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Sèvres, had treated on the same basis as the rest of Iraq. Meantime it had been possible to proceed at once to appointments in Baghdad and its vicinity, while towards the end of December, Ja'far Pasha al 'Askari visited the Euphrates area to study the problem of civil reorganization. On January 10th a number of appointments were submitted to the Council by the Ministry of Interior. They were on the whole very reasonable. In the Karbala, Hillah and Muntafiq Liwas administrative posts were not filled until after the withdrawal of troops, but in the case of Hillah the individual selected, a notable of Kirkuk, having refused to serve, the position of Mutasarrif was left vacant until after the coronation of the Amir Faisal. As regards Mosul there was a delay occasioned by the brutal murder, under circumstances which have never been elucidated, of the first nominee two days after his arrival at his post. A not unnatural reluctance withheld others from accepting an office so ill-omened, nor did an Arab Mutasarrif take up his duties until after the triumphal reception accorded to King Faisal in October, 1921. As the Arab administrative officials took over, the Political Officer became the Adviser to the Mutasarrif with one, or in the larger Liwas, two British Assistant Divisional Advisers. On the whole this system has worked smoothly, but as was only to be expected in so new a venture, not all the native appointments have proved successful, and the Council of State, learning from experience, passed in September 1921, a resolution that in future administrative officials should be appointed on probation for a definite period before receiving confirmation in their office.

Some changes in the administrative divisions have also been made, the Bost important of which was the creation of an additional Liwa with headquarters at Kut in January 1922. The table given in Appendix 3 shows the principal administrative appointments up-to-date.

electoral law.

The electoral law was the subject of debate during December. The (4) Revision of the Council had before it the revision of the Turkish law which had been prepared by the Committee of ex-deputies. Apart from certain modifications necessitated by changed conditions, such as the obligation of all candidates to possess a knowledge of Turkish, special provisions had been introduced to ensure the representation of the tribes. The Council demurred to this article until I pointed out that as the Congress would be called upon to pronounce decisions vital to the future of the 'Iraq, it was essential that it should be truly representative of all communities, including the tribes, which under the Ottoman law had virtually been excluded from taking part in the elections. Special representation was therefore accorded to the tribes, as well as to the Jewish and Christian communities, and the law was referred to the Ministry of Interior. But my British Legal Adviser has assured me that the form in which in the spring it was ultimately printed by that Ministry was so full of omissions and incongruities that it could not have been applied as it stood. Neither did it contain any recognition of the safeguards to which under the Treaty of Sèvres the Kurdish communities of the 'Iraq were entitled. It was this latter point which was under discussion with the Council when I left for the Cairo Conference in February. Pending a decision it was, however, open to the Provisional Government to proceed with the preliminaries essential to the holding of general elections, notably the creation of elective municipalities, on which falls the task of carrying out in the townships the provisions of the electoral law. Such action could have been initiated by the Ministry of Interior; it was not taken because the Minister, Saivid Talib Pasha, was not disposed to hasten the general elections until he had instituted an extensive propaganda in his own interests throughout the country. He repeatedly gave private expression to the opinion that a general election should be delayed, and the law lay dormant in the files of the Ministry of Interior. The circumstances which led to recourse to a referendum for the purpose of choosing a ruler will be dealt with in their place. After the coronation of the Amir Faisal the electoral law, in common with all other laws, required his consent. Owing to its inherent defects, a considerable amount of revision was necessary, but in the meantime the Ministry of Interior took those steps which had previously been neglected and municipal elections were completed throughout the country by the end of March.

Shortly after the Council had entered on its duties I called the attention of the Ministers to the urgent need for the creation of a National Army and by January 1921 the nucleus of an 'Iraq General Staff was engaged in working cat a scheme. One of the difficulties with which the Ministry of Defence was confronted was the number of 'Iraqi ex-officers of the Turkish army who sought employment. Pending their absorption in the 'Iraq Army, the most liberal allowances compatible with the financial position of the country were barely sufficient to afford them a livelihood, and until they could be given occupation on full pay they formed a hungry and therefore discontented section of the community which was a heavy preoccupation to the Ministry of Defence.

(e) Creation of National Army.

Status of the


The Cairo Conference.

The question of a ruler; ambitions of

Their existence played a decisive part in determining the position of that Ministry with regard to the Levies, a locally recruited force under the ultimate command of British officers. Ja'far Pasha contended that if the Levies, at that time about 2,000 strong, were put under his charge he must find place for a proportion of those Arab officers who were waiting for employment. On the other hand it was feared that the introduction of this new element might dislocate the existing formation at a time when it was the sole resource for the preservation of order and the protection of the railway after British troops had been withdrawn from the Middle Euphrates. As this withdrawal was imminent, settlement of the question could not be postponed and the Council resolved early in February to place the Levies under the Ministry of Interior. Though the decision presented certain grave objections, inasmuch as it involved division of control over the armed forces of the country and reduplication of staff, I accepted it as the best means available to meet the urgent practical needs of the moment.

A programme for the progressive reduction of the British garrison in the Iraq and its replacement by native forces was one of the main questions which occupied the attention of the Cairo Conference. It was agreed that in order to facilitate the withdrawal of Imperial troops from Kirkuk and other frontier districts the Levies should be expanded by the addition of Kurdish and Assyrian recruits to a maximum of 5,000 men, but that no recruiting for Levies was to be carried out among the townsmen and settled villages of Arab 'Iraq. It was further laid down that the Levies should be withdrawn from the Ministry of Interior and placed under my control, with the proviso that in time of war all local forces should come under the command of the G.O.C. so as to avoid dual control. As the Levies would be run and. commanded by British officers it was considered that the National Government could not be called on to maintain them and their budget was therefore transferred to the Imperial exchequer.

The decision of His Majesty's Government to create a separate department in the Colonial Office in order to co-ordinate our interests and responsibilities in the Near East called for a comprehensive revision of the situation, with a view to diminishing at the earliest possible moment the burden incurred by the British tax-payer, as well as to decide on broad issues of policy. The Secretary of State determined to summon a conference at Cairo and I left the Iraq in February 1922, in company with the Commander-in-Chief, taking with me Sasun Effendi, Minister of Finance and Ja'far Pasha, Minister of Defence. I was accompanied by the following members of the British Staff: Major General E. H. de V. Atkinson, C.B., C.M.G., C.I.E., Adviser to Ministry of Works; Lt.-Col. S. H. Slater, C.I.E., Financial Adviser; Miss Gertrude Bell, C.B.E., Oriental Secretary. The Judicial Adviser, Sir Edgar Bonham Carter, K.C.M.G., acted for me during my absence.

It was incumbent upon the Secretary of State to place before the Cabinet the conclusions reached at the conference, but on April 11th, a few days after my return to Baghdad, I was able to gratify public expectation by publishing a communication of a general nature (see Appendix 4) which was followed on May 30th by the proclamation of an amnesty to political offenders (see Appendix 5).

During the six weeks of my absence the internal situation had undergone some change. Saiyid Talib Pasha had toured the country south of Saiyid Talib Pasha, Baghdad, carrying on a strong campaign of propaganda, ostensibly in favour of the candidature of the Naqib as future ruler of the country, but really with an eye to his own reversionary interest. In private conversation he had been perfectly frank as to his ultimate intention of becoming Amir and in many quarters his ambitions had roused alarm. I was greeted at Basrah by the Shaikh of Muhammarah who pressed his own desire to come forward as a candidate, as well as by leading members of the Basrah community who begged that the province might be placed under direct British control, thereby avoiding the disturbances and jealousies which in their opinion must inevitably accompany the setting up of an Arab State, and enabling Basrah to stand apart from the controversies of the coming election. On the other hand the number of those whose hopes centred in the Sharifian pey on bed, or to a de q party up served under the Amir Faisal in Syria. In the course of the next weeks they despatched telegrams to H. M. King Husain begging him to send one of his sons as a candidate for the throne of the 'Iraq. The main anxiety of the Naqib, who showed himself, as ever, devoid of personal ambition, was that no ruler should be imposed upon the country contrary to the wish of the people. I was able to satisfy him that such was not the intention of His Majesty's Government, but Saiyid Talib Pasha, no doubt realizing that if a son of the Sharifian house were acknowledged to be a suitable aspirant to the position he coveted, his chance of success would be dangerously jeopardized, continued to spread abroad rumours of an unjustifiable character to the effect that undue influence was being exerted against himself or, as he chose to word it, the Naqib. Finally, on April 14, at a dinner party in his own

house given to the correspondent of a leading London journal, at which the
French and Persian Consuls were present, together with the Manager of
the Mesopotamian Persian Corporation, the Amir Rabi'ah, Shaikh Salim
al Khaiyun and other guests, Saiyid Talib Pasha in an after dinner speech,
looking towards the two tribal chiefs above mentioned, threatened the armed
resistance of their 20,000 tribesmen if the declared policy of His Majesty's
Government were not carried out, with the obvious implication that it was not
being adhered to. On receiving a well-substantiated report of this speech on
April 16, I considered it necessary to take immediate action and asked the
G. O). C.-in-Chief to arrange for Saiyid Talib's instant removal.
He was
arrested on the afternoon of the same day in a public thoroughfare and con-
veyed by river to Basrah, whence he was deported to Ceylon. The circums-
tances were made known to the public in a communication issued on April 18
(see Appendix 6) and throughout the country satisfaction was undisguised.
The messages of congratulation and thanks which I received revealed the
singular mistrust and fear with which Saiyid Talib was regarded and I have
no hesitation in saying that his departure relieved a grave popular anxiety.
Saiyid Talib Pasha remained in Ceylon, where his family was permitted
to join him, till February 1922, when he was allowed to proceed to an Italian
Spa for the benefit of his health.

In accordance with the policy agreed upon at the Cairo Conference, The Kurdish shortly after my return I proceeded to ascertain the wishes of the Kurdish Districts. districts which lay within the area of the British mandate, with regard to inclusion in the 'Iraq State, and on May 6th a communication on the subject was circulated by the Advisers in the Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaimani Divisions, (see Appendix 7). I pointed out that from such information as had reached me it would appear that opinion in the Kurdish districts was divided between fear lest their interests should suffer by subordination to the National Government at Baghdad and a desire to maintain with the 'Iraq economic and industrial ties which it would be inconvenient to sever. In these circumstances I suggested a solution which would avoid either evil and by providing adequate safeguards admit of political union.

In the Liwa of Kirkuk where the population is mixed Turcoman, Kurdish and Arab, a Mutasarrif had been exercising his functions since February, but Arbil with a population mainly Turcoman and Kurdish had objected strongly to the decision of the Council of State to combine that Division with Kirkuk, according to Turkish precedent, placing the headquarters at Kirkuk. The proposal that Arbil should be formed as a sub-Division of Kirkuk Division, under a sub-Mutasarrif and Qaimmaqams appointed directly by the High Commissioner, was favourably received and was thereupon adopted. The sub-Mutasarrif exercises the full powers of a Mutasarrif except in respect of matters connected with finance and revenue, the Army and Levies, external politics and relations with tribes in other Liwas, on all of which he must consult the Mutasarrif of Kirkuk.

The Kurdish districts of Mosul Division likewise agreed to the proposals, but as, for reasons above mentioned, a Mutasarrif had not yet resumed control, the existing administrative system was continued until after the coronation of the Amir Faisal and the creation of a Sub-Liwa proved then to be unnecessary.

Sulaimani Division rejected, almost unanimously, any form of inclusion under the 'Iraq Government. It has remained at its express wish under direct British control, exercised through a British Political Officer. Every effort has been made to develop native administration along normal lines. Except for the presence of six British Political Officers, whose position is largely advisory, all administrative and revenue officials are local Kurds. In November 1921, a Council of 12 members, 8 of whom were elected, while the Political Officer and 3 Kurdish officials occupy the remaining four seats, met under the presidency of the Political Officer, there being no local President agreeable to all. It has exhibited a lively and wholesome determination to take its part in the political life of the province.


Owing to the pre-occupation of His Majesty's Government in matters Arrival of the of grave importance at home, the announcement by the Secretary of State of Amir Faisal. the conclusions reached in Cairo was delayed till June. Meantime the vernacular press in Iraq had been eagerly debating the question of the future ruler, with a marked inclination towards the selection of the Amir Faisal, and on June 13th the news was published, with favourable comments, on the strength of private telegrams received by 'Iraqis from King Husain, that his son Faisal had left the Hijaz for the 'Iraq.

At a meeting of the Council of State on June 16th, the Naqib proposed that the National Government should make proper provision for his reception and a committee was appointed for the purpose. The report of the Secretary of State's speech in the House of Commons touching the policy of

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