My Right Word
24 October '10
I came across this resource and quickly reading through, realized that it contains a ramification on exactly what "country" the Arabs were demanding prior to World War I and before.
First, we have this letter:
Lord Kitchener to Sir Edward Grey.
(No. 22.) Secret.
Cairo, D. February 6, 1914.
R. February 14, 1914.
The Sherif Abdullah, son of the Sherif of Mecca, is now staying in Cairo on a short visit called upon me yesterday.
He begged me to convey to you his father's compliments, and said that affairs in the Hedjaz not going on as well as could be wished owing to the recent appointment of a new Turkish Vali who combined civil and military functions and who is not in sympathy with the people and does not act harmoniously with his father in the conduct of the internal affairs of the holy places as well as for the comfort and security of the Moslem pilgrims from all parts of the world which his father as Sherif has been so long responsible.
He wished me to ask you whether in case this friction became acute and an attempt was made by the Turkish Government to dismiss his father from the hereditary office of Sherif of the holy places, you would use your good offices with the Sublime Porte to prevent any such attempt. He pointed out that his father had always done his best to assist Indian Moslem pilgrims amongst whom he had many friends. He stated very decidedly that in case the Turkish Government dismissed his father the Arab tribes of the Hedjaz would fight for the Sherif and a state of war against the Turkish troops would ensue. He hoped in such circumstances that the British Government would not allow reinforcements to be sent by sea for the purpose of preventing the Arabs from exercising the rights which they have enjoyed from time immemorial in their own country round the holy places.
He wished his remarks to be kept very secret and on no account to be known in Constantinople, and he also asked me whether you would send his father some message. I said I thought would be improbable that you would do so.
I have, & c.
In my reading, the country he desired liberated with British help from the Turkish Ottoman rule did not inlcude "Palestine" but was restricted to the Saudi Arabain Peninsula.
Nevertheless, you might presume that "holy places" still would include Jerusalem, yes?
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