Monday, May 18, 2015


BRITISHRELAT10NSWITH 
TRANS-J0RDAN, 
1920 
- 
1930 
by 
NOEL 
JOSEPH 
GUCKIAN 
A 
thesis 
submitted 
in 
fulfilment 
for the 
requirement 
of 
the degree 
of 
Philosophiae 
Doctor, 
in 
the 
Department 
of 
International 
Politics, 
University 
College 
of 
Wales, 
Aberystwyth. 
May 
1985. 
V. 
j 
BRITISHRELAT10NSWITH 
TRANS-JORDAN, 
1920- 
1930 
by 
NOEL 
JOSEPH 
GUCKIAN 
A 
thesis 
submitted 
in 
fulfilment 
for the 
requirement 
of 
the 
degree 
of 
Philosophiae 
Doctor, 
in 
the 
Department 
of 
International 
Politics, 
University 
College 
of 
Wales, 
Aberystwyth. 
May 
1985. 
, 0. 
DECLARATION 
I hereby 
declare 
that 
this 
thesis 
has 
not 
been 
accepted 
in 
substance 
for 
any 
degree, 
and 
is 
not 
being 
currently 
submitted 
in 
candidature 
for 
any 
other 
degree. 
It 
is 
the 
result of my own 
independent 
work 
and 
all authorities 
and 
sources which 
have 
been 
consulted 
are 
acknowledged 
in 
the 
references 
and 
bibliography. 
.............. 
Noel 
J Guckian 
... 
.............. 
Dr 
Brian 
E 
Porter 
(Director 
of 
Studies) 
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, 
316V1 
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9r1T 
-.,, 
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-, 
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3 
PREFACE 
I 
should 
like 
to 
acknowledge 
the 
financial 
assistance 
of 
the Wilson 
Fund 
and 
the 
University 
of 
Wales Studentship 
for 
the 
period 
1978 
- 
1980 
without which 
this thesis 
could not 
have 
been 
completed. 
I 
have 
kept 
the transliteration 
of 
Arabic 
words and 
names as 
simple 
as possible, 
and 
as a rule 
I 
have 
used either 
the 
versions 
that 
appeared 
in 
League 
of 
Nations 
documents 
of 
the 
time 
or are 
in 
common 
English 
usage. 
Thus 
I 
have 
used 
'Amir' 
instead 
of 
'Emir' 
and 
'Trans-Jordan' 
instead 
of 
Transjordan' 
or 
'Trans-Jordania' (except 
where 
other 
variations 
have 
appeared 
in 
quotations). 
For Abdullah 
bin 
Hussein 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud, 
I 
have 
preferred 
the 
shortened 
form 
of 
Abdullah 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz 
respectively. 
I 
should 
like 
to 
express 
my 
gratitude 
to the 
following 
people: 
Dr 
Brian 
Porter 
- 
Director 
of 
Studies, 
Department 
of 
International 
Politics, 
University 
College 
of 
Wales, Aberystwyth. 
Professor 
I. 
G. John 
- 
former 
Professor 
of 
the 
Depart- 
ment 
of 
International 
Politics. 
Joanna 
Brook 
The 
Staff 
of 
the 
following libraries: 
University 
College 
of 
Wales, 
Aberystwyth 
The 
Public 
Records 
Office, 
London 
The 
Imperial 
War 
Museum 
The 
Middle 
East 
Centre, 
St 
Antony's 
College, 
Oxford 
The 
Sudan 
Archive 
of 
Durham 
University 
ii 
SUMMARY 
At 
the 
end of 
the 
First World 
War, the 
former 
provinces 
of 
the 
Ottoman 
Empire 
in 
the 
Levant 
were 
divided 
between 
Britain 
and 
France 
as 
Mandates 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations. 
Britain 
gained 
Palestine, 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq, 
while 
France 
gained 
Syria 
(including 
what 
is 
now 
Lebanon). 
This 
study 
examines 
British 
policy 
towards Trans-Jordan 
from 1920 
until 
the 
end of 
1930. 
It 
was 
during 
this 
formative 
period 
that 
the 
foundations 
of 
the 
present 
day 
Hashemite 
Kingdom 
of 
Jordan 
were 
laid. 
In 
1920, the territory 
to the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
though 
falling 
within 
the British 
sphere 
of 
influence, 
was of 
little 
significance. 
There 
was no central government, 
and 
such 
government 
as 
existed 
was confined 
to 
the 
main 
centres 
of 
population 
and 
among 
the 
tribes. Britain's 
main 
concern was 
the 
security 
of 
the 
eastern 
frontier 
of 
Palestine 
proper. 
However, 
Britain's 
desire 
to 
maintain 
the 
Arab 
nature 
of 
the 
territory 
led 
to 
the 
short-lived 
experiment of 
posting 
British 
officers 
to 
oversee 
local 
governments 
in 
the 
towns 
of al 
Salt, 
Irbid, 
Ajlun, 
Amman 
and 
Kerak. 
The 
Cairo 
Conference, 
the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah in 
Amman 
and 
Churchill's 
meeting with 
Abdullah 
at 
Jerusalem, 
all 
in 
March 
1921, 
led 
to 
a change 
in 
policy. 
Thus 
a 
separate 
Amirate 
under 
Abdullah 
centred 
in 
Amman, 
was 
born. 
The 
history 
of 
Trans-Jordan during 
the 
1920s in 
the 
story 
of 
the 
consolidation 
of 
Britain's 
position 
in 
the territory: 
the 
building 
up 
of 
an 
Arab 
government 
under 
Abdullah 
which 
was 
independent 
of 
Palestine 
(and 
therefore 
excluded 
from 
the 
area 
designated 
for 
Jewish 
settlement); 
the 
establishment 
of 
the 
frontiers 
of 
the territory 
especially 
in 
relation 
to the 
expansion 
of 
the 
power 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud 
in 
the Nejd 
and 
the Hejaz; 
the 
development 
of 
an 
Arab 
army 
under 
Bitish 
officers; 
the imposition 
of 
financial 
discipline 
on 
Abdullah's 
regime; 
and 
the development 
of 
a 
British 
controlled 
air 
and 
land 
route 
to 
Iraq 
and 
the 
Persian 
Gulf. 
Although 
at 
times 
Britain's 
relationship 
with 
Abdullah 
was 
fraught 
with 
difficulty, by 
1930 
the 
state 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
firmly 
established. 
iii 
TABLE 
OF 
CONTENTS 
Page 
SUMMARY 
CHAPTER 
ONE 
Introduction 
1 
CHAPTER 
TWO 
The 
formation 
of 
the State 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan: 
the 
Cairo 
and 
Jerusalem 
Con- 
ferences 
of 
March 
1921. 
6 
CHAPTER 
THREE 
Trans-Jordan 
during 
the 
'Six 
-Month 
Trial Period', April 
- 
November 
1921. 
23 
CHAPTER 
FOUR 
Trans-Jordan 
during 
the 
Philby 
era, 
November 
1921 
- 
April 
1924. 
62 
CHAPTER FIVE 
The 
consolidation of 
the 
British 
position 
in 
Trans-Jordan: 
the 
Resi- 
dency 
of 
Lt. Col. Henry 
Cox 
in 
the 
period 
1924-1930. 
109 
CHAPTER 
SIX Britain 
and 
the 
Frontier 
Question 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
142 
CHAPTER SEVEN 
The Defence 
of 
Trans-Jordan: 
British 
Defence Policy, 
the Formation 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion, 
"and 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force. 
205 
CHAPTER 
EIGHT 
The 
Control 
of 
Finance 
in 
British 
Trans-Jordanian 
Relations: 1921-1930. 
230 
CHAPTER 
NINE 
The 
Role 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
and 
the 
road 
to 
the 
Formalisation 
of 
the 
British 
Trans-Jordan 
Relationship. 
The 
Agreement 
of 
20 
February 
1928. 
248 
CHAPTER TEN 
Conclusion 
274 
iv 
APPENDICES 
A: 
Expenditures 
on 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
1921-30. 
B: 
Summary 
of 
Revenue 
and expenditure 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
1921 
to 
financial 
year 
1930-1 
(inc. 
grants-in-aid). 
C: 
Memorandum 
by 
the British 
government 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
23 
September 
1922. 
D: 
The 
Agreement 
between 
the 
United 
Kingdom 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
20 
February 
1928. 
E: 
Leading 
Personalities. 
F: 
Hashemite 
Family 
Tree. 
MAP: 
BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
278 
279 
280 
282 
287 
291 
292 
293 
V 
CHAPTER0NE 
INTR0DUCT10N 
At 
the 
end 
of 
the 
Great 
War, 
the 
former 
territories 
of 
the 
Ottoman 
Empire 
in 
the Levant 
were 
divided 
by 
the 
Allied 
Powers 
into 
three 
Occupied 
Enemy 
Territory 
Administrations, 
known 
as 
O. E. T. 
As. O. E. 
T. A. South 
consisted 
of 
Palestine 
and 
came 
under 
British 
military 
control, 
while 
O. E. T. 
A. 
West, 
what 
is 
now 
Lebanon 
and 
the 
Syrian 
coastline, 
came 
under 
French 
military 
control. 
O. 
E. 
T. 
A. 
East, 
having 
been 
liberated by 
the 
Arab 
army, 
was 
put 
under 
Feisal's 
jurisdiction 
from 
Damascus, 
British 
troops 
having 
been 
withdrawn 
from 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
in 
December 
1919. 
This 
comprised 
inland 
Syria, 
and 
what 
was 
to 
become 
Trans-Jordan, 
down 
as 
far 
as 
Aqaba. 
Therefore, 
in 
the 
period 
from 
31 
October 
1918, 
the 
date 
of 
the 
armistice 
with 
the Ottoman 
Empire, 
until 
Feisal's 
removal 
from 
Damascus 
by 
the French 
in 
July 
1920, 
Trans-Jordan 
formed 
part 
of 
the 
Kingdom 
of 
Syria 
and 
was ruled 
from 
Damascus. 
However, 
the 
expulsion 
of 
Feisal 
from 
Damascus 
left 
the 
question 
of 
what 
was 
to 
be 
done 
with 
Trans-Jordan, 
separated 
as 
it 
was 
from 
French 
controlled 
Syria 
to 
the 
north. 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
left in 
an 
ambiguous 
position. 
It 
clearly 
fell 
into 
the 
sphere 
of 
influence 
of 
the British 
in 
Palestine, 
and 
by 
the 
Sykes-Picot 
agreement the 
French 
were 
barred 
from 
expanding 
south. 
From 
the 
British 
point 
of 
view, 
it 
was 
an 
area 
which, 
under 
the 
terms 
of 
the 
Hussein-McMahon 
correspondence 
was 
reserved 
for 
Arab 
administration, 
and 
thus 
outside 
the 
area 
1 
!? 
ERy? 
a 
for 
the 
implementation 
of 
the Balfour 
Declaration 
of 
1917. 
At 
the 
start of 
the 
period 
under study, 
this 
was 
the 
situation 
which prevailed, 
with 
the territory 
coming 
under 
Sir Herbert 
Samuel 
as 
High Commissioner 
for 
Palestine, 
but largely 
left 
to 
itself, 
with 
the tribal 
sheikhs 
being 
a 
law 
unto 
themselves. 
It 
is 
not within 
the 
scope of 
this 
study 
to 
dwell 
on 
controversies which arose 
from 
the 
conflicting 
promises 
and 
agreements affecting 
the Middle 
East 
during 
the First 
World 
War, 
all 
of which 
are 
the 
subject of 
considerable study 
and 
debate 
elsewhere. 
Nevertheless, 
in 
order 
to 
help 
set 
the 
scene, and 
to 
help 
explain 
why 
Trans-Jordan 
developed 
as 
it 
did in 
the 
years 
immediately 
following 
the 
war, a 
brief 
mention must 
be 
made 
here 
of 
the three 
agreements 
which 
directly 
affected 
the 
territory, 
namely: 
the 
Hussein McMahon 
Correspondence, 
the 
Sykes-Picot 
Agreement 
and 
the Balfour 
Declaration. 
In 
the 
case 
of 
the 
Hussein-McMahon 
Correspon- 
dence 
of 
1915-6, 
the 
establishment 
of 
the 
Amir?te 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan in 
1921 
was 
seen as 
a partial 
fulfilment 
by 
Britain 
of 
her 
ambiguous 
promises 
to 
promote 
Arab 
independence 
in 
the 
region. 
This 
was 
the 
view 
taken 
by 
T. 
E. Lawrence 
and 
other 
officials 
in 
the 
Colonial 
Office. 
Certainly 
this 
is 
one 
interpretation 
after 
the 
event 
which 
can 
be 
placed on 
the 
establishment 
of 
an 
Arab 
government 
in 
Amman. 
As 
for 
the 
Sykes-Picot 
Agreement 
of 
1916 
to 
partition 
the 
ottoman 
Empire 
between 
Britain 
and 
France 
(the 
Russians having 
repudiated 
their 
claims 
in 
1917), 
the 
importance 
of 
this 
agreement 
in 
establishing 
the 
northern 
boundary 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
only 
came 
2 
to 
the 
fore 
with 
the 
expuls 
1920. 
The 
Sykes-Picot line 
spheres 
of 
influence 
of 
the 
constantly 
in 
the 
period up 
Amman 
in 
1921 
to 
thwart the 
into 
Trans-Jordan 
at a 
time 
ion 
of 
Feisal 
from 
Damascas 
in 
July 
which 
divided 
the 
respective 
British 
and 
the French, 
was used 
to the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah 
in 
possibility of 
French 
intervention 
when 
there 
was no 
effective 
admin- 
istration 
in 
the territory. Finally, 
there 
was 
the Balfour 
Declaration 
and 
its declaration 
of 
sympathy 
for 
the 
establish- 
ment 
of a 
national 
home for 
the 
Jews 
in 
Palestine. 
The 
ques- 
tion 
after 
the 
war 
was 
how 
far 
to 
the 
east was 
this to 
apply. 
It 
was 
a problem 
which 
was 
to 
recur 
frequently in 
the 
early 
days 
of 
the 
mandate, 
despite 
the 
formal 
exclusion, 
in 
1922, 
of 
Jewish 
settlement 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
It 
is 
a 
theme 
which 
has 
resurfaced 
in 
recent 
years 
with 
the 
Israeli 
campaign 
that 
'Trans-Jordan 
is 
Palestine'. 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1920 
was 
small and 
insignificant, 
with 
a 
population 
of 
around 
200,000. 
Amman 
was a 
Circassion 
village 
of 
no 
great 
importance, 
whose 
only 
claim 
to 
fame 
was 
that 
it 
was 
the 
site of 
Roman 
Philadelphia. 
Al Salt, 
on 
the 
road 
(if 
you 
could 
call 
it 
that) 
to Jerusalem 
was 
the 
main 
economic 
and 
administrative 
centre 
in 
the 
time 
of 
the ottoman 
Empire. 
Geographically, 
it 
can 
be 
split 
into 
the 
north 
west area 
where 
the 
majority 
of 
the 
population 
lived, 
this 
being 
the 
only 
economically 
viable 
land 
in 
the 
territory. 
To the 
south 
and 
east 
the 
land 
was 
principally 
desert. 
Of 
its 
population, 
the 
majority 
were 
nomadic 
or semi-nomadic. 
Adjoining 
Palestine 
proper, 
as 
it 
did, 
it 
was 
of concern 
3 
to 
the 
British 
administration 
in 
Jerusalem, 
as 
the 
situation 
to the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
affected 
the 
stability 
of 
the 
eastern 
boundary 
of 
Palestine. 
Clearly, 
it 
was 
of concern 
to 
the British 
officials 
in 
Jerusalem 
that 
security 
should 
pre 
vail 
in 
that 
area, 
to 
which 
in 
the 
immediate 
post-war 
years, 
no 
British 
troops 
could 
be 
committed. 
For Sir Herbert 
Samuel, 
who 
was appointed 
High 
Commissioner 
at 
the 
head 
of a civil 
administration 
in 
Jerusalem 
on 
30 
June 1920, 
the 
safest 
course 
of 
action 
was 
to 
occupy 
the 
area militarily, 
something 
which 
London, 
and 
especially 
the War Office 
was not 
prepared 
to 
sanction. 
Confusion 
reigned 
both locally 
and 
in 
London 
about'what 
to 
do 
with 
the 
area 
following 
the French 
occupation 
of 
Syria. 
It 
was at 
about 
this 
time 
that 
control 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
middle 
East 
was' 
transferred 
from 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
to the 
Colonial 
office, 
though the two 
government 
departments 
worked closely 
together 
on 
the 
formulation 
of 
Middle 
Eastern 
policy. 
At 
the 
time 
of 
the Cairo Conference 
of 
March 1921, 
the 
Colonial office, 
under 
Winston 
Churchill, 
was 
the 
department 
chiefly 
concerned'with 
Trans-Jordan, 
a position 
it 
retained 
throughout 
the 
period under 
study. 
The 
chain 
of 
command, 
once 
it 
was 
established 
in 
1921, 
was 
from 
Abdullah 
to 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
in 
Amman 
to 
the High 
Commis- 
sioner 
in 
Jerusalem 
and 
then 
to the 
Colonial 
office 
and 
the 
/ 
* 
With 
his 
arrival 
in 
Jerusalem, 
the 
O. 
E. 
T. 
A. 
South 
dis- 
appeared. 
4 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies 
in 
London 
and 
then 
back 
down 
the 
same channels 
to Abdullah. In 
Jerusalem, 
the 
High 
Commissioner's 
responsibilities 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
were sepa- 
rated 
from 
those 
he had for 
the 
administration 
of 
Palestine, 
which, 
despite 
the 
mandate, was effectively a 
colonial 
administration 
similar 
to 
any 
that 
existed 
in 
other 
British 
Crown 
Colonies 
at 
that time. 
The 
Chief Secretary, 
as 
the 
principal executive 
officer 
after 
the 
High 
Commissioner, 
also 
played 
an 
important 
role 
in 
the 
supervision of 
Trans-Jordan 
affairs, 
especially 
on 
occasions 
when 
the High commissioner 
was 
absent 
from 
Jerusalem. 
The 
rest 
of 
the 
Jerusalem 
administration, 
though 
not 
directly 
responsible 
for 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
obviously 
played 
a 
supporting 
role 
to 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
for 
Trans-Jordan. 
It 
should 
be 
noted 
that, 
in 
the 
period 
under 
study, 
from 
1920 
until 
1928 
there 
was 
only one 
High 
Commissionership for 
both 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan. 
In 
1928, 
a 
separate 
commission 
for, 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
established, 
though 
the High 
Commissioner 
for both 
Palestine 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was 
always 
one official, 
residing 
in 
Jerusalem. 
5 
CHAPTERTW0 
THE FORMATION OF THE 
STATE OF TRANS-JORDAN, 
THE 
CAIRO 
AND 
JERUSALEM 
CONFERENCES OF MARCH 
1921 
INTRODUCTION 
The 
Cairo 
Conference 
of 
March 
1921 
was 
an attempt 
by 
Winston 
Churchill, 
the 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies, 
to 
unravel 
the 
complicated 
strands 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
Middle 
East, 
and 
to 
make 
urgent economies 
in 
expenditure 
throughout 
the 
region. 
Although Iraq, 
following 
the 
rebellion 
which 
broke 
out 
in 
July 1920, 
was 
the 
most 
important 
problem 
to 
be 
examined 
in 
Cairo, 
the 
situation 
to the 
east 
of 
Palestine 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
- 
was a serious cause 
for 
concern. 
The 
problem of 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
further 
complicated 
when 
news 
arrived 
during 
the 
conference 
that 
Abdullah 
bin 
Hussein, 
the 
second 
son 
of 
King 
Hussein 
of 
the Hejaz, 
had 
advanced 
from 
Ma'an 
to 
Amman 
where 
he had 
proceeded 
to 
establish 
himself 
at 
the 
head 
of 
a 
primitive administration. 
For 
the 
British, 
the 
territory 
was 
important from 
the 
strategic 
point of 
view. 
as 
a 
land bridge 
from 
Palestine to Mesopotamia, 
and 
was a 
cause 
of 
friction 
with 
the French 
authorities 
in 
Damascus 
following the 
removal of 
Abdullah's 
younger 
brother, 
King 
Feisal 
on 
28 
July 
1920. 
Another 
factor 
was 
the 
expansionist 
tendencies 
of 
the 
Wahhabis 
under 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud. 
This 
fragile 
state 
of 
affairs 
necessitated 
serious 
British 
thinking 
on 
the 
problem 
and 
contingency 
plans 
were 
made at 
Cairo 
for 
military 
inter 
vention to 
the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
which 
were 
only over 
6 
turned 
when 
Churchill 
met 
Abdullah 
in 
Jerusalem 
at 
the 
end 
of 
March. 
The 
result of 
this 
personal meeting 
was 
the 
establish 
went 
of 
the 
state 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
under 
Hashemite 
rule. 
In 
the 
immediate 
post war years, 
the Mandate 
for 
Palestine 
presented 
Britain 
with 
a number of problems 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
situation which 
was 
to 
be 
examined 
at 
Cairo, 
arose 
directly 
from 
the 
decisions 
of 
the 
Supreme 
Council 
of 
Allied 
Powers 
at 
San Remo 
on 
25 
April 
1920 
to 
parcel 
off 
the 
former 
northern 
Ottoman 
territories 
between 
Britain 
and 
France. 
With 
the 
appointment 
of 
France 
as 
Mandatory 
Power 
for 
Syria, 
and 
Feisal's 
subsequent 
removal 
from 
Damascus in 
July 
1920, 
and with 
Britain 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Mesopotamia 
the 
idea 
of 
Arab 
independence for 
these 
terri- 
tories, 
was 
a 
dead 
letter. 
The Arab 
reaction 
was 
swift. 
Increased 
concern 
over 
Zionist 
plans 
led 
to 
the 
first 
eruption 
in 
Jerusalem 
over 
Easter 
1920. 
This 
was 
closely 
followed 
by 
disorders 
in 
Syria, 
especially 
in 
the 
region of 
Aleppo, 
while 
the 
most 
serious 
and costly 
outbreak was 
against 
the British 
in 
Mesopotamia. 
As George 
Antonius 
commented, 
In 
the 
eyes 
of 
the 
Arabs, the San 
Remo 
decisions 
were nothing short 
of 
a 
betrayal, 
and 
the 
fact 
that they 
violated 
a compact 
sealed 
in 
blood 
made 
th7 
betrayal 
more 
hateful 
and 
despicable. 
TRANS-JORDAN: 
THE 
VIEW FROM PALESTINE 
In 
the 
case of 
Trans-Jordan, 
Britain 
was 
too 
preoccupied 
with 
the 
setting 
up of 
an 
administration 
in 
Palestine, 
and 
was 
7 
therefore 
content 
to 
virtually 
ignore 
the territory. 
Until 
July 
1920, 
the British 
were content 
to 
leave 
the 
territory 
as 
a whole, as 
O. 
E. T. A. 
East, 
under 
Feisal's 
military 
jurisdic- 
tion 
from 
Damascus. The 
vacuum 
created 
by 
Feisal's 
removal, 
and 
the threat that 
this 
posed 
for both 
Palestine, 
as well as 
for 
Syria, 
were 
causes 
of concern 
for 
the British 
High 
Commis- 
sioner 
in 
Jerusalem 
Sir Herbert 
Samuel. 
With the French 
established 
in 
Damascus, 
the 
Possibility 
of 
French 
interven- 
tion 
south 
of 
the Sykes-Picot line 
was a possibility 
which 
had 
to 
be 
considered 
by 
the 
British 
administration 
in 
Jerusalem. 
On 
29 
July 
1920, 
Samuel informed 
the Foreign 
Office 
that this 
was 
a 
favourable 
opportunity 
to 
send 
British troops 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan 
and 
occupy 
an area 
up 
to 
a 
few 
miles 
west 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
railway. 
We 
are 
unanimous 
[Samuel 
and 
his 
staff] 
in 
view 
that 
this 
is 
the 
right moment 
to 
occupy 
the 
country 
from 
Beisan 
to 
Deraa 
and 
that 
it 
can 
be done 
in 
two 
days 
with 
hoops 
at our 
disposal 
without 
any 
fighting. 
This 
view 
was 
backed 
up 
from 
General 
Headquarters, 
Egypt, 
on. 
3 
August, 
whose 
stand was 
that 
the 
occupation 
of 
Deraa 
and 
al 
Salt 
would 
prevent 
raids 
into 
Palestine. 
3 
The 
War 
office 
did 
not 
share 
this 
view, and 
on 
the 
same 
day informed 
G. 
H. 
Q. 
Egypt that, 
It 
must 
be 
clearly 
understood 
that 
without 
orders 
from 
the War Office 
no 
advance 
beyond 
present 
boundaries 
of 
Palestine 
[the 
river4 
Jordan] 
into 
O. 
E. 
T. A. 
East 
should 
be 
made. 
Nevertheless, 
Samuel 
was concerned 
about 
the 
possibility 
of' 
8 
the 
situation 
getting 
out of 
hand 
and pressed, 
in 
a 
personal 
appeal 
to 
Lord Curzon 
on 
7 
August 
that 
he 
be 
given 
permission 
to 
send 
troops 
across. 
5 
Lord Curzon 
replied on 
11 
August that 
not only was 
the 
Foreign office 
opposed 
to 
sending 
troops 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
the War Office 
was not 
prepared 
to 
commit 
troops to 
undertake 
the 
necessary 
action. 
6 
However, 
Lord 
Curzon 
went 
on 
to 
propose 
that, 
The 
first 
step 
should 
be 
to 
send 
a 
few 
suitable 
political 
officers 
to 
such places 
as 
Salt 
and 
Kerak, 
provided 
that 
no military 
escorts 
are 
necessary 
to 
ensure 
their 
safety 
... 
The 
duties 
of 
these 
officers 
should 
be 
confined 
to 
encouraging 
local 
self-govern- 
ment 
and 
to 
giving 
such 
advice 
as 
is 
asked 
for 
by 
the 
people. 
They 
should 
assist 
in 
the 
formation 
of 
municipal 
and 
district 
self-governing 
bodies 
and 
lose 
no oppor- 
tunity 
of 
encouraging 
trade 
with 
Palestine 
and 
of 
emphasising 
the 
fact 
that 
Palestin, 
is 
the 
natural 
outlet 
for 
Trans-Jordania. 
This 
suggestion, 
first 
suggested 
by 
Major 
Hubert Young 
on 
9 
August 
as 
a way 
to 
avoid 
following 
the French 
example 
of a 
full 
blown 
military 
occupation, 
was 
the 
start of 
the 
implementation 
of 
an experiment 
of 
local 
administration 
without 
military 
occupation 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Thus, 
even 
before 
the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah, 
the Arab 
nature 
of 
the 
territory 
was 
preserved. 
SAMUEL'S 
MEETING 
IN 
AL SALT 
To 
allay 
the fears 
of 
the Arab 
population 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
that 
the 
area 
may 
be included 
in 
the 
Balfour 
Declaration, 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel 
travelled 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan 
to 
al 
Salt 
on 
9 
20 
August 
1920. 
There 
he 
addressed a gathering of 
about 
600 
Trans-Jordanian 
notables 
and 
declared 
that 
the territory 
would 
not 
be 
incorporated 
with 
Palestine 
and 
that 
local 
Arab 
auto 
nomy would 
be 
encouraged. 
Samuel, 
informing 
Curzon 
on 
22 
August 
1920 
of 
the 
outcome of 
his 
visit, 
stated 
that 
it 
was 
'impossible 
that 
desire 
for 
British 
administration could 
be 
more 
definite 
and unanimously expressed'. 
9 
Samuel 
also 
made 
an 
interesting 
comment 
on 
the 
possibility 
of a 
Sherifian 
solution 
in 
the 
area: 
One 
almost 
unknown 
Saltese 
asked 
for 
son of 
King Hussein 
as 
King. 
No 
support 
from 
meeting. 
Leading 
sheikhs 
had 
meti8revious 
evening 
and 
decided 
against 
that. 
Lord 
Curzon, 
restating the Foreign 
office's 
desire 
to 
avoid 
increased 
commitments, 
replied 
on 
26 
August 
sanctioning 
the 
sending 
of 
four 
or 
five 
political 
officers 
to 
the 
area. 
11 
In 
total, 
seven 
Arabic 
speaking 
British 
officers 
were 
sent 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan: 
Major the 
Hon. 
F. R. Somerset 
and 
Captain 
R. F. P. 
Monckton 
in 
Irbid, 
Major 
I. N. Camp 
and 
Captain 
Alan 
S. 
Kirkbride 
in 
al 
Salt, 
Captain 
C. D. 
Brunton 
in 
Amman, 
Captain 
Alec 
S. Kirkbride 
in 
Kerak 
and 
Captain 
F. 
G. 
Peake 
to 
organise 
the 
gendarmerie. 
The task 
of 
these 
Arabic 
speaking 
officers 
was 
to 
set up 
local 
administrations 
in 
their 
respec- 
tive 
localities, 
without 
the 
assistance 
of 
British troops. 
This 
particular 
experiment 
was not 
very 
successful. 
Alec 
Kirkbride, for 
example, 
was 
instrumental 
in 
setting 
up 
the 
'National 
Government 
of 
Moab' 
in 
Kerak, but 
his 
authority 
never 
extended 
much 
beyond 
the 
town. 
As 
one 
authority 
stated, 
10 
these 
local 
administrations 
were 
'... 
marked 
by 
strong 
paro- 
chialism, 
tribal 
conflict 
and widespread 
factionalism'. 
12 
Short 
of 
sending across 
British 
forces 
and setting 
up a 
full 
British 
administration, 
Jerusalem 
had 
to 
be 
content 
with 
the 
handful 
of officers 
in 
the 
territory. 
r 
ABDULLAH'S ARRIVAL 
ON 
THE 
SCENE 
The 
days 
of 
this 
experiment 
were numbered, 
when 
Abdullah, 
resigning 
his 
post as 
Foreign 
Minister 
in 
his 
father's 
government 
in 
the 
Hejaz 
and with 
2000 
armed 
tribesmen, 
marched 
north 
from 
Jedda 
along 
the Hejaz 
railway, 
arriving at 
Ma'an 
on 
23 
November 
1920. 
His declared 
aim 
was 
the 
reconquest of 
Syria 
and 
the 
restoration 
of 
the 
Hashemites 
in 
Damascus, 
but 
once 
in 
Ma'an 
he 
seemed content 
to 
wait 
for 
any 
reaction 
from 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
Jerusalem. 
Abdullah's 
inertia 
was 
only 
matched 
by 
British 
inactivity 
as 
at 
that time 
they 
considered 
Ma'an 
to 
be 
part of 
the Kingdom 
of 
the Hejaz. 
Indeed, in 
October 1920, 
the 
Foreign 
office 
had 
warned 
Samuel 
off 
giving 
permission 
for 
British 
officers 
to 
visit 
both 
Tafile 
(south 
of 
Kerak) 
and 
Ma'an 
for 
fear 
of 
upsetting 
King 
Hussein. 
13 
On 
29 
November, 
Samuel 
informed 
London 
that 
Abdullah 
arrived 
by 
train 
in 
Ma'an 
on 
23 
November 
1920.14 
Fear 
of 
the 
affect 
that Abdullah's intention 
of attacking 
Syria 
would 
have 
on 
the Arabs 
in 
the 
territory, 
led 
to 
Samuel 
publishing 
a notice 
which read: 
Reports 
now 
current 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
that 
Arab 
army 
is 
advancing 
north 
against 
French 
and 
that 
movement 
has 
British 
approval 
is 
11 
false. 
Any 
such 
movement would on 
the 
contrary 
by 
strongly ygndemned 
by 
His 
Majesty's 
government. 
Captain Alec Kirkbride, 
who 
in 
Kerak, 
was 
the 
first 
territory 
with a 
British 
presence 
which 
Abdullah 
would 
have 
to 
cross 
if 
he 
marched north, 
asked 
Jerusalem for 
instructions in 
such an eventuality. 
The 
answer 
he 
received 
was 
that 
Jerusalem 
considered 
it 
unlikely 
that Abdullah 
would advance 
north. 
16 
Two 
days later 
Abdullah 
entered 
Moab 
on 
his 
way 
to 
Amman, 
where 
he 
arrived 
on 
2 
March 
1921, 
and where 
he 
pro- 
ceeded 
to 
bring 
the 
rest 
of 
the 
territory 
under 
his 
juris- 
diction. 
Abdullah 
had 
engineered 
a 
fait 
accompli, and 
the 
British 
experiment 
in 
local 
administrations 
was 
dead. 
it 
was 
now 
up 
to Churchill, 
who 
was 
in 
Cairo 
by 
this time, 
presiding 
over 
the 
conference on 
British 
Middle 
Eastern 
policy, 
to 
face 
the 
reality 
of 
the 
situation and 
to 
come 
to 
some sort 
of 
arrangement 
which would 
avoid an 
Anglo-French-Hashemite 
crisis 
in 
the 
area. 
THE 
CAIRO CONFERENCE 
OF 
MARCH 
1921 
The Cairo 
Conference 
got 
underway 
on 
12 
March 
1921 
and 
, 
was 
made 
up 
of 
forty 
experts concerned 
with 
every 
facet 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
Middle East. 
Although 
the 
question 
of 
who 
was 
the 
acceptable 
ruler 
of 
Iraq 
was 
one 
of 
" 
the 
most 
important 
decisions 
to 
be 
taken, 
it 
was 
the 
question 
of 
the 
status 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
which 
was 
to 
dominate 
the 
deliberations 
of 
the Palestine 
Political 
and 
Military 
Committee, 
12 
The 
first 
question 
was whether 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
a part 
of 
Palestine 
or not, 
and 
whether 
there 
was any way 
to 
avoid 
the 
Zionist 
clauses 
of 
the Palestine 
mandate applying 
to the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
without 
impairing 
Britain's 
right of 
intervention 
in 
the 
area. 
Winston 
Churchill, 
at 
the 
beginning 
of 
the 
conference, 
recognised 
that 
Britain 
needed 
to 
reconcile 
two 
conflicting 
promises. 
On 
the 
one 
hand, 
His Majesty's 
Government 
was 
responsible 
for 
the 
establishment of 
a 
Jewish National 
Home. 
On the 
other 
hand, 
by 
the 
Hussein-McMahon Correspondence, 
Britain 
was pledged 
to 
support 
the 
independence 
of 
the 
Arabs 
in 
the 
Vilayet 
of 
Damascus, 
outside 
the 
area of 
French 
influence. 
At the 
same 
time 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
geographically and economically 
interdependent, 
and 
as 
Churchill 
told the 
conference: 
'the 
Mandate 
is 
the 
legal 
basis 
of our 
position 
in 
the 
country'*17 
Therefore there 
was 
a 
need 
to 
reconcile 
the 
mandate 
as applied 
to Trans-Jordan 
with 
the 
'recognition 
and 
support 
of 
the 
independence 
of 
the 
Arabs'. 
18 
By 
recognising 
the 
fact 
that the Zionist 
clauses 
of 
the 
mandate were 
inapplicable in 
Trans-Jordan, 
it 
was 
necessary 
to 
justify 
the 
implementation 
of 
a separate 
form 
of 
administra- 
tion. The 
mandate 
was 
very specific, 
yet 
Churchill 
pointed 
out 
that 
there 
were a number 
of 
loopholes. 
The 
preamable 
provided 
for 
the 
civil 
and 
religious 
rights of 
non-Jewish 
communities, and 
Article 
3 
called 
for 
self-government 
in 
localities 
where 
conditions 
were 
favourable. 
13 
We 
[i. 
e. 
the Colonial 
office] 
consider-that 
these 
two 
clauses, 
taken 
in 
conjunction, 
afford adequate. 
justification 
for 
setting up 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
a political system somewhat 
different from 
that 
in 
force 
on 
the 
other 
side of 
the 
river. 
If 
British 
promises 
are 
to 
stand, 
is 
system must 
be 
Arab 
in 
character. 
As 
for 
the 
foreign 
relations 
of 
the 
proposed state, 
it 
was 
considered 
desirable 
that the Arab 
ruler 
(at 
this 
stage 
it 
did 
not 
necessarily 
mean 
Abdullah) 
should 
conduct 
his 
own 
relations 
with 
his 
Arab 
neighbours. 
20 
Britain 
was unwilling 
to 
undertake 
the 
defence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Wahhabi 
attacks 
for 
financial 
and military considerations. 
The 
military 
occupation 
of 
the 
territory 
as 
an alter 
native 
had been 
discounted by 
the 
War office 
as 
being 
too 
expensive and 
too 
dangerous. 
The 
question came up again 
during 
the 
conference. 
Outright 
military occupation, 
raised 
by 
Col. 
T. E. Lawrence, 
was 
rejected. 
The 
only 
alternative 
left 
was 
to 
make 
satisfactory 
arrangements 
with 
Abdullah 
aimed 
at 
curbing 
his 
activities 
against 
the 
French, 
and 
pssibly 
against 
Zionist 
settlements. 
Nevertheless, 
a 
limited form 
of 
military 
occupation 
was 
recommended, 
and 
on 
18 
March, 
Churchill 
telegrammed 
Lloyd 
George 
supporting 
this 
course 
of 
action. 
22 
Churchill 
stated 
three 
reasons 
for 
the 
occupation 
of 
Trans-Jordan: 
1. 
To 
secure 
a 
settled 
government 
and 
to 
ensure 
that 
Palestine 
would 
not 
be 
raided. 
2. 
To 
stop 
intrigues 
against 
the 
French. 
1 
14 
3. 
To 
reopen 
the 
Hejaz 
railyy 
in 
order 
to 
re-establish 
the 
pilgrimage 
to Mecca. 
This 
occupation 
was only 
to 
be 
a 
temporary 
measure, 
to 
last 
at 
most 
six months, 
until 
local forces 
could 
be 
raised 
and 
trained. 
On the 
17 
March, 
it 
was 
decided 
that 
the 
minimum 
garrison 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
was: 
- 
1 
battalion 
of 
infantry, 
2 
squadrons 
of 
cavalry 
and 
1 
section 
of artillery, 
some 
2,000 
24 
Sir Herbert Samuel 
concurred, with 
this 
plan 
especially 
men. 
if it 
would curtail 
the 
development 
of 
an 
anti-Palestine 
movement 
there. 
25 
Samuel 
went on 
to 
approve 
Captain Frederick 
Peake's 
proposal 
for 
the 
formation 
of a 
local 
defence 
force, 
26 
the 
forerunner 
of 
the 
Arab Legion, 
though 
not quite 
on 
the 
scale 
that Peake 
saw necessary. 
As Lawrence 
was 
to 
inform 
Churchill 
three 
weeks 
later: 'A local 
force 
will 
be 
needed 
for 
many 
purposes even 
if 
British 
troops 
are 
ultimately 
stationed 
27 
at 
Amman. 
What then 
to 
do 
about 
Abdullah? 
T. 
E. Lawrence, 
Major 
Young 
and 
Wyndham Deedes 
voiced reservations 
about 
the 
appointment 
of 
Abdullah. Deedes, 
although 
against 
an 
agreement 
with 
Abdullah 
accepted 
the 
fact 
that 
there 
now 
seemed no 
alternative. 
As 
he 
pointed 
out: 
' 
... 
the 
issue 
was 
prejudiced 
by 
his 
presence 
in 
Amman, 
the 
only 
course was 
to 
accept 
his 
appointment 
as a 
fait 
accompli'. 
28 
it 
was 
Lawrence 
who proposed 
a 
compromise 
whereby 
Abdullah 
would appoint 
an 
Arab 
governor 
for 
the 
territory. 
29 
Churchill 
maintained 
his 
backing for 
Abdullah, but 
recognised 
the 
need 
for 
immediate 
military 
involvement: 
15 
Abdullah 
with 
best 
will 
in 
the 
world will 
not 
be 
able 
to 
restrain 
his 
people 
from 
disturbing 
the French 
and 
even making 
war 
upon 
them 
unless 
he 
is fortified 
and 
restrained at once 
by 
presence 
of 
a 
British 
force 
which35ust 
be 
strong enough 
for its 
own safety. 
CHURCHILL'S 
MEETING WITH ABDULLAH AT 
JERUSALEM 
ON 
28 
MARCH 
1921 
Military 
intervention 
was conditional 
on 
Churchill 
coming 
to 
an 
agreeable 
arrangement 
when 
he 
met 
Abdullah 
in 
Jerusalem 
on 
28 
March 
1921. 
The three 
conversations 
which 
Churchill 
had 
with 
Abdullah 
dealt 
not only 
with 
the 
narrow problem 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
but 
also with 
the 
more general 
question of 
British 
policy 
in 
the middle East. 
During 
the 
first 
conversation, after 
gaining 
Abdullah's 
support 
for 
the 
appointment 
of 
Feisal 
as 
King 
of 
Iraq, 
Churchill 
went on 
to 
define 
the British 
position 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
and 
announced 
the 
proposal which 
had been 
agreed 
at 
Cairo 
on 
18 
March. 
... 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
were respons- 
ible 
for 
this 
area 
under a mandate 
given 
them 
by 
the Allied Powers 
in 
the 
peace 
settlement 
with 
Turkey. 
They 
recognised 
its 
Arab 
character, 
but 
felt it 
was 
too 
small 
to 
stand 
alone. 
Economically 
and geographic- 
ally 
it 
should 
go with 
Palestine, 
and 
he 
proposed 
that 
it 
be 
constituted 
as 
an 
Arab 
province 
under 
an 
Arab 
governor 
respon5Ible 
to 
the High 
Commissioner 
in 
Palestine. 
Abdullah, 
for 
his 
part, was 
against 
the 
idea 
of an 
Arab 
governor 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
alone, 
and 
believed 
that 
a united 
amirate over 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
the 
best 
solution 
16 
of 
Jewish-Arab 
difficulties. On the 
Jewish 
question, 
Abdullah 
records 
in his 
memoirs 
that 
he 
told 
Churchill, 
As 
for 
the 
people 
of 
Palestine, 
they 
refuse 
the 
Balfour 
Declaration 
and 
insist 
on 
the 
retention 
of 
the 
Arab 
character 
of 
Pales- 
tine. 
We 
shall 
not agree 
to 
the 
annihila- 
tion 
sl 
the Arabs 
for 
the 
sake 
of 
the 
Jews. 
Nevertheless, 
Abdullah 
was 
not prepared 
to 
reject 
Churchill's 
proposal 
out 
of 
hand, 
only 
requesting 
time to 
consult 
with 
his 
father. 
At the 
second 
meeting, 
Abduullah 
promised 
to 
keep 
the 
peace 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
although 
he 
said 
that 
he 
would 
prefer 
to 
do 
this 
alone, 
without 
the 
necessity 
for 
a 
British 
military 
occupation. 
The 
Amir 
also 
explained 
why 
he 
had 
come 
to 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
the 
first 
place: 
it 
was 
to 
preserve 
the 
remnants 
of 
Feisal's Syrian 
kingdom, 
and not 
to 
instigate 
any anti-French 
intrigue. 
It 
was 
at 
the 
third 
and 
final 
meeting 
that Churchill 
proposed 
a package of 
proposals 
which 
formed 
the 
foundation 
stones 
of 
a separate 
Trans-Jordanian 
state. 
Abdullah 
was 
now 
asked 
to 
stay 
in 
the territory 
for 
six months, 
and 
this 
was 
to 
be followed 
by 
the 
appointment 
of an 
Arab 
governor. 
A 
British 
officer 
was 
to 
be 
appointed 
to 
help 
restore 
order and 
organize 
the 
financial 
side 
of 
the 
administration. 
Churchill 
also 
promised 
financial 
and military 
support. 
In 
return, 
the 
Amir 
was 
to 
guarantee 
that 
no 
anti-French or 
anti-Zionist 
agitation 
was 
to 
originate 
from 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
he 
was also 
to 
assist 
17 
in 
the 
opening of 
the Trans-desert 
route 
to 
Mesopotamia. 
33 
Thus 
the 
state 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
came 
into 
existence, 
without 
premeditation 
and without 
the 
normal 
basic 
infrastructure 
of 
a 
nation. 
This 
agreement went against 
the 
Cairo 
decisions 
in 
so 
far 
as 
there 
was 
now no need 
to 
send 
British troops 
and 
in 
that 
Abdullah 
and 
not an 
Arab 
governor appointed 
by 
him, 
was 
now 
to 
act 
for 
Britain. 
The 
agreement 
was 
only a 
temporary 
one 
to 
provide a 
breathing 
space so 
that 
a 
long-term 
solution 
could 
be 
worked out. 
Lawrence 
and 
Samuel 
were 
to 
visit 
Amman 
within 
three 
weeks 
in 
order 
to 
decide 
the 
form 
that British 
assis- 
tance 
was 
to 
take. 
Churchill 
had 
every 
reason 
to 
feel 
pleased 
with 
himself. 
He 
had found 
Abdullah 
to 
be 
'moderate, 
friendly 
and 
states- 
manlike... 
He 
[Abdullah] 
maintained an absolutely 
correct 
attitude, 
reproved 
the 
demonstrators 
[of 
an 
anti-Zionist 
nature], 
stated 
that 
the British 
were 
his friends, 
and 
that 
the British 
government 
would 
keep 
their 
promises 
to 
Jews 
and 
34 
A 
major 
attraction of 
the 
agreement 
was 
that 
Arabs 
alike. 
' 
the 
military 
occupation 
of 
the territory 
was 
now 
not 
neces- 
sary. 
As Churchill 
pointed out 
to 
the 
Cabinet, 
the 
plan 
'will 
cost very 
little 
and 
we 
Even 
if 
troops 
were 
nee 
Trans-Jordan 
would 
have 
men 
could 
probably 
have 
garrison. 
run 
no risk 
of 
an 
entanglement's 
35 
ded 
at 
a 
later 
date, 
the 
situation 
in 
become 
more 
stable, 
and 
the 
necessary 
been 
drawn 
from 
the 
existing 
Palestine 
18 
Nevertheless, 
Churchill 
recognised 
that Abdullah's 
position 
would 
be 
a 
difficult 
one. 
Having 
been 
hailed by 
the 
Arabs 
as 
their 
saviour 
against 
the French 
and 
the 
Zionists, 
he 
had 
now 
done 
a 
volte 
face 
and 
had 
agreed 
to 
work 
with 
the 
British 
and 
to 
curtail any anti-French 
and anti-Zionist 
agita- 
tion 
originating 
from 
within 
Trans-Jordan. 
CONCLUSIONS 
What then 
were 
the 
implications 
for 
the Middle 
East 
in 
the 
aftermath 
of 
the Cairo 
and 
Jerusalem 
decisions? 
From 
the 
British 
point 
of 
view, 
her 
interests in 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
preserved 
at 
little 
cost. 
Strategically, 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
important 
as 
a 
'link' in 
the 
overland route 
to Iraq, the 
Persian 
Gulf 
and 
India. 
Although 
the 
cross-desert 
railway 
project 
of 
the 
India 
office 
was still 
just 
about 
alive 
(of 
which 
more 
later), 
the 
territory 
received enhanced 
importance 
as 
a 
road 
and air-route. 
In 
fact, 
the 
Cairo 
Conference 
on 
16 
March, 
had 
stressed 
the 
importance 
of 
an 
'all-red' 
strip 
of 
territory 
from 
Palestine 
to 
Iraq 
via 
Amman 
and 
Azrak. 
36 
This 
route, 
over 
the 
other, 
more southerly, alternative 
was 
preferable 
for 
a number of reasons. 
Not 
only 
was 
it 
shorter, 
and 
the 
simpler 
tribal 
situation presented 
less 
problems, 
but 
also 
because 
the 
more southerly 
route 
would 
have 
entailed 
an 
extension 
of 
British 
commitments 
down 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
into 
central 
Arabia. 
A 
second 
consideration 
was 
that 
the 
territory 
would act 
as 
a 
buffer 
state 
between 
the 
advancing 
Wahhabis 
and 
the 
rest 
19 
of 
the 
Levant. A 
final 
consideration was 
that 
it 
set a 
limit 
to the 
eastward 
expansion of 
the 
Jewish 
national 
home, 
and as such 
could 
be 
used as a 
bargaining 
point 
with 
inter- 
national 
Zionism. 
Although 
the 
state 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
came 
into 
existence 
as 
a 
direct 
result 
of 
Churchill's 
conversations with 
Abdullah 
at 
Jerusalem, 
it 
was 
faced 
with 
many problems. 
The 
artificiality 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
as noted 
by 
Nassear Aruri, 
cannot 
be denied: 
' 
As 
a nation-state, 
Jordan 
was 
an 
artificial 
creation 
to 
accommodate 
the 
interests 
of 
a 
foreign 
power and an 
itinerant 
warrior 
in 
search 
of a 
throne. For Britain, 
the 
principality 
(Amirate) 
of 
Transjordan 
was 
a 
fulfilment 
of 
wartime 
obligations 
to the 
Arab 
people; 
for 
Abdullah, 
a satisfaction 
of 
dynastic 
ambition. 
Abdullah, 
who 
grafted 
his 
dynasty 
on a reluctant 
population 
had 
to 
face 
the task 
of 
state-building, 
a struc- 
tural 
problem relating 
to 
penetration and 
integration. 
New 
institutions had 
to 
be 
found 
where none 
had 
existed, and attitudes 
of obedience 
had 
to 
be developed 
among 
people 
3Inaccustomed 
to 
abide 
by law 
and 
order. 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
it 
was 
a 
land, 
with no 
delimited 
frontiers. 
Britain 
imposed 
the 
frontier between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
1921, 
but it 
was not 
until 
1925 
and 
1927 
that 
the 
eastern 
and 
southern 
frontiers 
were eventually 
defined. 
N 
20 
CHAPTER 
TWO 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. 
Antonius 
G. 
The 
Arab 
Awakening 
(London, 
1945), 
p. 
305. 
2. 
FO 
371/5121 
Samuel 
to 
Curzon, 
29 
July 
1920. 
3. 
FO 
371/5121 
G. 
H. Q. 
Egypt 
to War 
Office, 
-3 
August 
1920. 
4. 
FO 
371/5121 
W. 
O. 
to 
G. 
H. Q. 
Egypt, 
3 
August 
1920. 
5. 
FO 
371/51.21 
Samuel 
to Curzon, 
7 
August 
1920. 
6. 
FO 
371/5121 
Curzon 
to 
Samuel, 
11 
August 
1920. 
7. 
Ibid. 
8. 
FO 
371/5121 
Young 
Minute 
with 
Samuel 
to 
Curzon, 
7 
August 
1920. 
9. 
FO 
371/5122 
Samuel 
to 
Curzon, 
22 
August 
1920. 
10. 
Ibid. 
11. 
FO 
371/5122 
Curzon 
to Samuel, 
26 
August 1920. 
12. 
Vatikiotis, 
P. J. 
Politics 
and 
the 
Military 
in 
Jordan 
(London, 
1967), 
p. 
39. 
13. 
FO 
371/5124 
Curzon 
to Samuel, 
26 
October 
1920. 
14. 
FO 
371/5290 
Samuel 
to 
Curzon, 
29 
November 
1920. 
15. 
FO 
371/5290 
Samuel 
to Curzon, 
9 
December 
1920. 
16. 
Kirkbride, 
A. S. 
A Crackle 
of 
Thorns 
(London, 
1962), 
p. 
29. 
17. 
FO 
371/6343, 
Report 
on 
Middle 
East Conference 
held 
in 
Cairo 
and 
Jerusalem, 
March 
12-30,1921, 
p. 
31. 
18. 
Ibid. 
p. 
30. 
19. 
Ibid. 
p. 
31. 
20. 
Ibid. 
loc. 
cit. 
21. 
Klieman, 
A. S. 
Foundations 
of 
British 
Policy 
in 
the Arab 
World: 
The 
Cairo 
Conference 
of 
1921 
(London, 
1970), 
p. 
116. 
22. 
FO 
371/6342 
Churchill 
to Lloyd 
George, 18 
March 
1921. 
23. 
Ibid. 
24. 
FO 
371/6343 
op. cit. 
p. 
103. 
21 
25. 
Ibid. 
pp. 
101-2. 
26. 
Ibid. 
p. 
106. 
27. CO 
733/2 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
2 
1 
April 
1921. 
28. 
FO 
371/6343 
op. 
cit. p. 
99. 
29. Ibid. 
pp. 
98-9. 
30. 
FO 
371/6342 
Churchill 
to 
Lloyd 
George, 
18 
March 
1921. 
31. 
FO 
371/6343 
op. 
cit. p. 
109. 
32. 
Graves, 
P. 
(ed. 
) 
Memoirs 
of 
King Abdullah 
(London 
1950) 
p. 
204. 
33. 
FO 
371/6343 
op. 
cit. p. 
113. 
34. 
CAB 
24/122, Cabinet Memorandum, 
2 
April 
1921. 
35. 
Ibid. 
36. 
FO 
371/6343 
op. cit. pp. 
194-5. 
37. 
Aruri, 
N. 
M. 
Jordan, 
a 
Study 
in 
Political 
Development 
(The 
Hague, 
1972) P. 
3. 
22 
CHAPTERTHREE 
TRANS-JORDAN DURING 
THE 
'TRIAL 
PERIOD': 
FROM THE 
JERUSALEM 
CONFERENCE UNTIL 
THE ARRIVAL 
OF 
PHILBY, 
MARCH 
- 
NOVEMBER 
1921 
INTRODUCTION 
The 
six 
months 
following 
the Jerusalem 
agreement 
of 
28 
March 
1921 
was 
a 
period 
during 
which 
Abdullah 
and 
the 
British 
attempted 
to 
centralize 
the 
administration 
and 
to 
secure 
the 
state. 
The 
Jerusalem decisions 
were, 
however, 
only 
of a 
temporary 
nature, 
to 
run 
for 
six months 
until 
a more permanent 
plan could 
be devised 
and 
implemented. 
Although 
the 
principle 
of 
a 
Trans-Jordan 
independent 
of 
Palestine 
was recognised 
as 
the 
only viable 
solution 
for 
the territory, 
the 
problems 
of 
organising 
the 
state under 
Abdullah 
were 
immense. 
At the 
time 
British 
policy 
with regard 
to the 
territory 
was 
that 
it 
should 
not 
be 
a 
nuisance 
to 
its 
neighbours. 
The 
possibility 
of 
two 
of 
Hussein's 
sons 
using 
British 
established 
and protected 
kingdoms 
to 
mount attacks 
against 
the French 
in 
Syria 
was 
to 
be discouraged 
at 
all costs. 
In 
fact, 
the 
main 
aim of 
Churchill's 
policy, 
as 
devised 
at 
Jerusalem, 
was 
to 
ensure 
that 
Abdullah 
would 
not 
go 
through 
with 
his 
declared 
aim 
of 
attacking 
the French 
in 
Syria. Churchill had, 
even 
before 
leaving 
London 
for 
the Middle 
East, 
devised 
a policy 
whereby 
Britain 
would 
be 
in 
a position 
to 
promise 
'the 
French 
[that) 
no 
attacks 
through 
Trans-Jordania 
[would 
take 
place] 
on 
them 
in 
consequence 
of 
the 
friendly 
relations 
we are 
establishing 
23 
with 
Hussein & 
SonsLtd'. 
1 
To 
achieve 
this 
goal 
Britain 
had 
to 
pay 
Abdullah 
liberally 
to 
keep 
quiet 
and 
to 
maintain 
a certain 
degree 
of 
control over 
his 
Syrian 
entourage. 
However 
it 
was 
not only 
a 
question 
of paying a subsidy 
to 
Abdullah 
in 
order 
to 
keep him 
quiet, 
and 
to 
let him 
get on 
with 
it, 
as 
was 
the 
pattern 
of 
British 
relations 
with 
the 
sheikhs 
of 
the Arabian 
coast. 
Abdullah 
was 
faced 
with 
almost 
insurmountable 
problems, 
and 
if 
the territory 
was 
to 
survive 
at 
all, 
it 
would 
require 
active 
British 
support, protection 
and 
advice. 
In 
the 
period under study 
these three 
essen- 
tial 
ingredients 
were 
kept 
to the, 
absolute 
minimum. 
' 
The 
'trial 
period', 
as 
a result, 
almost ended 
in 
disaster 
as 
British 
policy 
rebounded on 
itself, 
with potentially 
disasterous 
consequences 
for 
the 
British 
position 
in 
Palestine, Iraq 
and 
the Middle East 
generally. 
In 
particular, 
Anglo-French 
relations 
were 
adversely affected. 
In 
fact, 
no 
matter 
which 
way 
British 
officials 
turned, Abdullah turned 
out 
to 
be 
an obstacle 
to 
more 
harmoneous 
relations 
in 
the 
region. 
The 
proposals worked 
out 
by 
Winston Churchill 
at 
Cairo 
and 
Jerusalem 
were 
on 
the 
spot 
decisions 
to 
a specific 
problem. 
He 
now 
had 
the task 
of convincing 
the Cabinet 
that 
his 
agreement, on 
the 
whole, 
presented 
the 
best 
solution 
to 
the 
problems 
of 
the 
area. 
THE 
IMPLEMENTATION 
OF 
THE 
JERUSALEM 
AGREEMENT 
Although, 
as 
Colonial 
Secretary, Churchill 
was aware of 
24 
the 
problems 
in 
the territory, 
he 
was 
fully 
aware 
of 
the 
prospect 
that 
events 
could 
get out of 
hand. 
As 
soon 
as 
he 
returned 
to 
London 
pressure of work 
ensured 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
did 
not 
receive 
the 
attention 
that 
it 
had 
received 
during 
the 
first 
three 
months 
of 
1921. 
Even 
on 
the 
spot, 
the 
British 
administrators 
with 
direct 
responsibility 
for 
the 
territory, 
such 
as 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
for 
Palestine, Sir Herbert 
Samuel, 
could 
not spare 
the 
time to 
ensure 
Trans-Jordan 
received 
the 
supervision 
it 
required. 
More 
pressing 
issues, 
particularly 
the 
planning and 
implementation 
of 
the Mandate 
for 
Palestine 
required almost all 
their 
time. 
The 
appointment 
of 
Albert 
Abramson, 
an 
official 
from 
the 
government 
of 
Palestine, 
as 
Chief British 
Representative, 
and a number 
of 
British 
assistants 
throughout the territory, 
provided 
the 
small 
British 
administrative 
infrastructure 
in 
the 
state. 
Otherwise 
Abdullah 
was 
left largely 
to 
his 
own 
devices. 
The 
Trans-Jordan 
that Abdullah 
and 
the 
British 
inherited 
in 
1921 
was 
not 
a 
very 
attractive proposition. 
It 
was, 
in 
fact, 
virtually 
a 
valueless 
piece of real-estate. 
Trans- 
Jordan 
as an economic 
and geographic unit 
just 
did 
not 
make 
sense. 
Agriculturally 
it 
did 
not produce much, 
and 
exports 
were 
very 
limited. 
As 
one writer 
noted: 
Its 
principal 
town 
was 
the 
one 
horse 
Amman. 
Its 
most 
famous 
places 
(Jerash, 
Petra, 
Kerak) 
were 
all 
ruins. 
Its 
forests 
had 
disappeared 
into 
the 
stores of 
the Hejaz 
railway, 
for fuel 
or railway 
sleepers. 
It 
had 
hardly 
any 
roads, 
only 
one 
railway 
line, 
virtually 
no 
schools, 
?o police 
and 
no very 
logical 
raison 
d'etre. 
25 
The 
territory 
was not a 
very 
inviting 
prospect 
for 
an 
Amir 
who 
aspired 
to 
the 
kingship 
of 
Syria. 
However, 
it 
was 
better 
than 
nothing. 
Abdullah, 
in 
the 
months 
following 
his 
agreemen with 
Churchill, 
was 
faced 
with 
a multitude 
of 
problems, 
ich only 
British 
assistance and 
generosity 
could 
solve. 
His 
difficulties 
covered 
all aspects 
relating 
to the 
setting up of a 
foreign 
administration 
in 
a somewhat 
reluctant 
territory. Financing 
the 
administration 
and 
developing 
a 
local 
security 
force 
were 
the two 
most pressing 
problems, 
and 
only 
British 
assistance 
in 
the 
form 
of grants-in-aid 
and 
advice could 
help him. 
Once 
these 
had been 
achieved, 
the 
pacification 
of 
the 
whole 
territory 
could 
follow. 
In 
the 
next 
few 
months 
British 
views 
on 
the 
experiment 
ranged 
from 
support 
to 
outright 
hostility; 
while 
Abdullah's 
attitude 
varied 
from 
a 
desire 
to 
stay, 
to 
a 
longing 
to 
return 
to the 
Hejaz. 
Abdullah 
himself 
was placed 
in 
a somewhat 
difficult 
position. 
Having 
arrived 
in 
Amman 
with 
the 
declared 
intention 
of attacking 
the French, 
his 
agreement 
with 
Churchill 
at 
Jerusalem 
was a 
complete reversal, 
As 
Churchill 
pointed 
out 
somewhat 
apprehensively 
to 
Curzon: 
Abdullah 
turned 
around completely 
under 
our 
treatment 
of 
the Arab 
problem. 
I 
hope 
he 
won't get 
his 
throat 
cut 
by his 
own 
followers. 
He 
is 
I most polished 
and 
agreeable 
person. 
From the British 
point of 
view, 
Abdullah 
was 
the 
only 
person 
with 
enough 
status 
and 
prestige 
through 
which 
they 
could 
work. 
it 
was a view 
shared 
by 
Curzon 
who, 
two 
days 
later, 
replied 
to 
26 
W 
Churchill: 
I 
entirely 
approve 
of 
all 
that 
you 
have 
done. 
Your 
chances 
of success 
... 
are 
enhanced 
by 
the 
fact 
that 
Abdullah 
himself 
appears4both 
to 
have 
common 
sense 
and 
humour. 
Having 
successfully'reached 
an 
agreement, 
British 
administration 
in 
the 
early 
years 
lacked 
the 
tight 
supervisory 
control 
which 
was 
essential 
in 
order 
to 
make 
Abdullah's 
government 
a 
viable proposition. 
The 
agreement 
was 
only 
an 
interim 
measure; 
and 
while providing 
him 
with 
a 
subsidy 
and 
the 
assistance 
of a 
number 
of advisers, 
the 
Colonial 
office 
concentrated 
their 
attention 
elsewhere. 
However, 
its 
geographical 
position, 
adjoining 
Palestine 
proper, 
ensured 
that the 
territory 
could 
not 
for 
long 
be 
ignored. 
Its 
continuing 
instability 
was 
a 
constant 
threat 
to the 
peace 
and 
security 
of 
Palestine. 
The 
six 
month 
trial 
period 
started 
off 
quite 
optimistic 
ally. 
On 
leaving 
Palestine, 
Churchill 
informed 
General 
Gouraud, 
the 
French 
High 
Commissioner 
for 
Syria, 
of 
the 
basic 
aims 
of 
British 
policy: 
As 
regards 
Trans-Jordania, 
I 
am 
most 
anxious 
to 
give 
you effective 
security 
from 
raids 
and 
annoyance 
of 
all 
kinds. 
I 
have 
made an 
agreement 
with 
Abdulla 
of an 
informal 
and 
temporary 
character 
whereby 
he 
is 
to 
use 
his 
whole 
influence 
to 
prevent any 
disturbances 
in 
the 
French 
zone 
arising 
out 
of 
Trans- 
Jordania. 
He 
will 
promote 
the 
organisation 
of 
local 
levies 
under 
the 
command 
of 
British 
officers 
and 
will 
develop 
the 
local 
administration 
now 
existing. 
I 
shall 
not 
send 
a 
British 
garrison 
into 
Trans-Jordania 
at present, 
but 
air 
forces 
will 
be 
employed 
27 
in 
support of 
the 
local levies. 
5 
Churchill 
recognised 
that Abdullah 
was 
in 
a 
very 
vulnerable 
position 
and would 
require 
immediate 
British 
assistance. 
In 
fact 
Abdullah 
had 
the 
power 
to 
create considerable 
difficulties 
not 
only 
to the French 
in 
Syria, 
but 
also 
to the 
British 
in 
Palestine. In 
this 
respect, 
British 
assistance 
- 
would 
have 
the two-fold 
objective of 
first 
securing 
the 
Amir's 
regime 
while 
also restraining 
him 
from 
outright acts 
of 
aggression. 
By this 
process, 
the 
position of 
the 
British 
authorities 
could 
be 
strengthened 
and, should 
the 
need 
arise 
for 
his 
replacement, 
this 
could 
be 
achieved 
without 
too 
much 
difficulty. 
The 
main 
stumbling 
block 
to 
achieving 
these 
aims 
was 
the 
violently anti-French 
Syrian 
exiles 
who 
were 
grouped 
around 
Abdullah 
in 
Amman. 
As 
Churchill 
went 
on 
to 
point 
out 
to 
Gouraud, 
'His 
principal 
difficulty 
will 
be 
the 
Syrian 
exiles 
who 
are roaming 
about 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
homeless 
and 
6 
angry. 
' 
From 
the British 
point 
of 
view, 
the 
removal 
of 
this 
Syrian 
element was 
the 
first 
priority 
in 
order 
to 
bring 
discipline 
to 
the 
administration, 
and 
a 
French 
amnesty 
in 
Syria 
would 
be 
an 
enormous 
help. 
What 
Churchill 
wanted 
was 
that 
if 
a 
French 
amnesty could 
be 
synchronized 
with 
a 
British 
one 
that 
was planned 
for 
April 
it 
would effectively 
solve 
the 
problem. 
It 
would 
'have 
the 
advantage of 
... 
appearing 
to 
be 
an 
act 
taken 
in 
common 
by 
our 
two 
nations and 
would 
give 
the 
impression 
to 
the 
Arab 
world 
that 
we were 
working 
hand 
in 
handle 
7 
Unfortunately, 
the 
French 
were unwilling 
to 
play 
the 
game. 
28 
Having 
established a scheme 
of 
policy, 
and 
informed 
the 
French 
of 
British 
plans 
for 
Trans-Jordan, 
Churchill 
now 
had 
to 
convince 
the 
Cabinet 
of 
the 
benefits 
for 
Britain's 
position 
in 
the 
area 
and of 
the 
viability 
of 
the 
project. 
Churchill's 
policy 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was approved 
at 
two 
Cabinet 
conferences 
held 
on 
11 
and 
19 
April 
1921. Prior to 
his 
return, 
he had 
prepared a memorandum 
for 
the 
Cabinet 
which 
spelt 
out 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
and especially 
its 
implications 
for 
Anglo-French 
relations 
in 
the 
area. 
The 
central 
point 
of 
the 
settlement was 
that 
Abdullah 
would 
restrain 
his 
followers 
from 
attacks on 
the French. 
From the 
French 
point of view 
this 
was not 
as 
satisfactory 
as 
an 
outright 
British 
occupation of 
the 
territory, 
but 
that 
if 
Abdullah 
was 
able 
to 
maintain 
order, 
'all 
would 
be forgotten 
and 
forgiven 
[by 
the 
French] 
in 
six months'. 
8 
At 
the 
Cabinet 
conference 
of 
11 
April, 
Churchill 
defended 
his 
Trans-Jordan 
proposals. 
Despite 
Cabinet 
opposition, 
he 
was able 
to 
convince 
them that 
'his 
proposals 
really 
involved 
a 
diminution 
rather 
than 
an 
increase 
of our responsibility 
respecting 
Trans-Jordania'. 
9 
However, Abdullah 
must, 
he 
insisted, 
be 
given 
the 
limited 
support 
which 
he had 
been 
promised. 
In 
particular 
he 
would require 
the 
support 
of 
British 
air 
power: 
If 
he 
(Abdullah) 
failed 
to 
get 
support 
he 
might 
fall 
at 
any 
time, 
in 
which case 
Trans- 
Jordania 
would 
be 
the 
scene of anarchy 
? 8d 
a 
military 
occupation might 
be 
necessary. 
29 
Air Marshall 
Trenchard, 
who 
was 
present 
at 
the 
conference, 
spelt 
out 
how 
British 
support, 
in 
the 
form 
of air 
cover, 
was 
to 
be 
provided. 
He 
' 
... 
explained 
that 
the 
aeroplanes 
should 
land 
at 
the 
aerodromes 
two 
or 
three times 
a week 
... 
In 
addition, 
it 
was 
proposed 
that 
the 
aeroplanes 
should 
survey 
the 
"desert 
route" 
to Mesopotamia'. 
11 
Trenchard 
went 
on 
to 
point 
out 
the 
advantages of 
deploying 
aeroplanes 
in 
this 
way: 
'Once 
an aeroplane 
service on 
the 
desert 
route was 
established 
it 
would 
have 
a 
very 
salutary 
effect upon 
the Arabs'. 
12 
In 
summing up, 
Churchill 
emphasized 
the 
two 
main 
issues. 
One 
was 
that 
he 
had 
promised 
Abdullah that Zionists 
would 
be 
excluded 
from 
Trans-Jordan, 
a 
necessary 
pre-condition 
in 
order 
t 
to 
ensure 
Arab 
co-operation. 
The 
second point 
was 
that 
Churchill 
was 
convinced 
of 
the 
importance 
of 
the 
cross-desert 
route 
and 
the 
benefits 
that 
it 
would accrue 
for 
Britain's 
position 
in 
the 
area. 
The 
establishment of 
the 
'desert 
route' 
between 
Mesopotamia 
and 
Egypt 
offered 
important 
strategical and political-advant- 
ages, and 
besides 
very materially shortening 
the 
journey 
to Mesopotamia, 
would 
tend1io 
keep 
the 
desert 
tribes 
friendly 
to 
us. 
*See 
map. 
If 
the 
British 
had 
capitulated 
to 
Jewish 
demands, 
it 
would 
have 
made 
a 
mockery 
of 
British 
promises 
to 
encourage 
Arab 
independence 
in 
the 
area east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
30 
The Cabinet 
agreed 
to 
regular 
air patrols 
from 
Palestine 
into 
Trans-Jordan. 
Permission 
to 
go ahead 
was 
telegrammed 
on 
14 
April to 
General Allenby: 
Proposal 
made 
by 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies 
that 
we 
should 
maintain 
touch 
with 
Amir 
Abdullah 
at 
Amman 
and 
Trans-Jordania 
by 
means 
of 
air craft 
from 
Ludd 
has 
been 
appro- 
ved 
by 
the 
Cabinet. 
Therefore 
provided you 
consider 
the 
situation 
allows of 
it 
RAF 
now 
under 
your 
command 
should 
be 
allowed 
to 
make 
preparations 
towards this 
end. 
You 
will 
not, 
however, 
allow 
any1Zroops other 
than 
RAF East 
of 
the 
Jordan. 
Although 
approval 
had 
been 
given 
for 
this 
initial 
involvement 
of 
the Royal 
Air Force, 
the Cabinet 
was a 
bit 
more 
sceptical about 
the trans-desert 
air route 
idea. 
Nevertheless, 
Churchill 
kept 
the 
idea 
alive. 
If 
the 
cross 
desert 
route 
was 
accepted 
as a 
viable 
proposition, 
then 
the 
strategic 
importance 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as a 
link between 
Palestine 
and 
Iraq 
would 
be 
enhanced. 
Austen 
Chamberlain, 
for 
one, 
voiced 
disquiet 
about 
the 
idea 
and wanted 
the 
whole 
issue 
cleared 
up. 
15 
At 
the Cabinet 
conference on 
19 
April, 
Chamberlain 
reiterated 
his 
misgivings 
at 
the 
risks 
involved. 
Flights 
beyond 
Amman, 
would, 
he 
warned, 
lead 
to 
precisely 
the 
complications 
which 
they 
had 
feared: 
greater 
involvements, 
the 
risk 
of 
loca16unrest 
and 
the 
call 
for 
military 
action. 
Curzon, 
as 
well, 
was 
against 
the 
scheme, reasoning 
that 
it 
might not 
be 
possible 
to 
ensure 
the 
peaceful nature 
of 
the 
bedouin 
tribes 
along 
the 
projected 
route. 
However, 
Air 
Marshall 
Trenchard 
and 
Major Hubert 
Young 
of 
the 
Middle 
East 
31 
Department 
of 
the 
Colonial office 
pressed 
views 
that 
were 
favourable 
to 
Churchill's, 
pointing 
out 
that 
the tribes 
were 
peaceful 
and 
that 
the 
only place 
where 
they 
could 
be difficult 
was nearer 
Palestine 
where 
Abdullah 
had 
given an undertaking 
to 
keep 
the 
peace. 
Likewise 
'... both 
Sir Percy 
Cox 
and 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel, 
the two 
High Commissioners 
involved, 
favoured 
the 
immediate 
inauguration 
of 
the 
scheme 
and anticipated 
no 
danger'. 
17 
Under 
these 
arguments, 
and 
the 
greater 
convenience 
that 
it 
would 
provide 
for 
communications 
in 
the 
area, 
both 
Curzon 
and 
Chamberlain 
gave way, and 
the 
scheme was 
approved. 
While the 
Trans-Jordan 
scheme was 
under 
discussion 
in 
London, 
and 
the 
Churchill 
proposals 
were 
receiving 
the 
seal of 
approval, 
British 
officials 
on 
the 
spot 
were 
attempting 
to 
implement 
them. 
On 
a purely 
superficial 
level, 
to the 
regimented 
eyes 
of 
Palestinian 
administrators, 
the territory 
was 
in 
a 
chaotic 
state. 
However, to 
T. 
E. Lawrence, 
who 
had 
remained 
in 
the 
area after 
Churchill's 
departure, 
the 
situation 
was not 
altogether 
unsatisfactory. 
In 
particular 
the 
position 
of 
Abdullah 
among 
the 
bedouin 
tribes 
was 
strong. 
Present 
state 
of country under 
temporary 
scheme 
does 
not 
I 
consider call 
for 
garrison 
of 
British 
infantry 
or 
cavalry; 
but 
this 
does 
not apply 
to 
aeroplanes 
and armoured 
cars 
which are asked 
foj8by 
Abdullah 
and 
by 
nearly 
everybody 
I 
met. 
While 
it 
was 
certainly 
the 
case 
that 
a 
British 
occupation 
was 
not 
immediately 
required, 
there 
were 
two 
problems 
in 
particular 
which 
needed 
solutions. 
One 
was 
the 
size 
of 
the 
local 
levies, 
while 
the 
second 
was 
the 
financial 
aid 
to 
be 
32 
1 
I! 
1 
}' 
[ 
?. 
F 
k 
i 
h 
F 
}$ 
?? 
i' 
. 
?< 
given 
to 
the territory. 
Before 
the 
end 
of 
April, Sir Herbert 
Samuel 
with 
T. 
E. 
Lawrence, 
Wyndham 
Deedes, 
the Chief Secretary 
of 
the Palestine 
government, 
and 
A. Abramson, 
the 
Chief 
Resident 
in 
the 
Amman, 
held discussions 
with 
Abdullah 
which centred 
around 
the 
formation 
of a 
local 
security 
force. 
On the 
whole, 
the 
visit, 
which 
lasted 
from 17 
to 
19 
April 
was satisfactory. 
Samuel 
found 
that the, 
attitude 
of cordial 
friendship he 
adopted 
at 
Jerusalem 
is 
maintained 
by 
Abdullah. 
In 
his 
abandonment 
of attacks against 
French 
he 
is 
sincere 
and 
has 
impressed 
this 
policy 
upon 
his followT5s 
to 
many 
of 
whom 
it is 
unwelcome. 
The 
most 
pressing 
question, 
both 
from 
Samuel's 
and 
Abdull?h's 
points of view, was 
the 
size and control 
of 
the 
local 
military 
force. 
Samuel 
rejected 
the 
inflated 
demands 
of 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
Syrian 
advisers 
for 
a 
large' force 
of 
4,000 
men. 
As Samuel 
informed 
Churchill: 
A 
large 
force is 
desired 
to 
deal if 
neces- 
sary with powerful 
tribes 
to 
maintain 
Abdullah's 
prestige 
to 
employ 
their 
officers 
and 
men 
and 
to 
convince 
Arab 
world 
that 
there 
is being 
created 
a strong 
Arab 
state 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
... 
They 
[Abdullah 
and 
his 
advisors) 
suggest 
4,000 
mean, 
c9 
at 
to 
be 
defrayed 
by 
British 
Government. 
Samuel, 
however, 
pointed 
out 
that the 
British 
government 
would 
not 
be 
prepared 
to 
bear 
the 
cost of such a 
large 
unwieldy, 
and 
uncontrollable 
force. 
He 
did 
realize, 
though, 
that 
an 
ade- 
quate 
force 
was 
needed 
for 
a number of purposes, 
including 
the 
33 
collection 
of 
taxes. 
His 
recommendations 
were 
that: 
Abdullah 
be 
authorised 
to 
recruit 
Defence 
Force 
at once 
up 
to 
750 
all 
ranks 
approxi- 
mate 
cost 
to 
be defrayed 
by 
British 
government 
?75,000 
annual 
plus 
?25,099 
initial 
expenditure 
first 
year 
only. 
Churchill 
quickly 
approved a 
force 
of 
this 
size, 
and 
rejected 
The 
formation 
of 
the 
Abdullah's 
wish 
for 
a 
larger 
force. 
22 
Reserve 
Force, 
the 
forerunner 
of 
the 
Arab 
legion, 
was 
given 
the 
seal 
of 
approval 
by 
the 
Colonial Office 
and 
became 
one 
of 
the 
corner 
stones 
of 
British 
support 
for 
the Amir's 
regime. 
In 
support 
of 
the 
local 
defence 
force, 
Lawrence's 
recommen- 
dation 
that 
four 
armoured cars 
(initially 
only 
two 
were 
went) 
be 
permanently 
stationed 
at 
Amman 
was 
also accepted. 
On 
more 
than 
one 
occasion 
it 
was 
the 
presence 
of 
these 
vehi- 
cles, 
especially 
when 
the Reserve Force 
was 
in 
its formative 
stage, 
which 
saved 
Abdullah 
and ensured 
the 
survival 
of 
his 
regime. 
While 
the 
defence 
force 
was 
footing, 
another 
problem 
came 
to 
fragility 
of 
Abdullah's 
position 
Although 
the 
Jerusalem 
agreement 
subsidy, 
Abdullah 
was 
in 
serious 
had 
not 
been 
immediately 
evident 
Jerusalem, 
though it 
was 
hardly 
immediate 
advisers, Abdullah 
had 
being 
put on a satisfactory 
light 
which made 
the 
immediately 
apparent. 
included 
the 
promise 
of a 
financial trouble. 
This 
fact 
to 
government 
circles 
in 
surprising. 
Besides 
his 
brough 
to 
Amman 
with 
him 
an 
entourage 
of 
about 
500 
men, 
all 
of whom 
were 
in 
arrears 
of 
pay. 
His 
debts 
for 
the 
month 
of 
March 
were, 
as 
Lawrence 
had 
34 
informed 
Samuel 
a 
week 
earlier, 
in 
the 
region 
of 
?10,000.23 
Samuel's 
proposal 
that 
Abdullah 
be 
granted 
a 
personal 
allowance 
of 
?5,000 
a month 
during 
his 
'temporary 
stay' 
in 
Amman 
was 
granted 
on 
the 
understanding 
that 
his 
sojourn 
in 
Amman 
'is 
not 
likely 
to 
be 
prolonged'. 
24 
The 
British 
Treasury 
also 
picked 
up 
all 
his 
outstanding 
debts. 
Before 
he 
left 
Amman, 
Samuel, 
in 
a 
speech 
on 
18 
April, 
stated 
British 
policy. 
The 
main emphasis 
was 
on 
law 
and 
order. 
On 
the 
Reserve 
Force, 
he 
said: 
It 
is 
hoped 
to 
maintain 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
at 
a 
higher 
standard 
of efficiency 
and 
strength. 
That 
force 
and 
the 
Gendarmerie 
will 
be 
used 
to 
maintain 
the 
authority 
of 
Emir 
Abdullah 
and 
of 
his 
local 
government. 
The 
continued 
cooperation of 
Abdullah 
was recognised 
as 
being 
crucial to 
the 
success 
of 
British 
policy, 
and 
he 
went 
on 
to 
say: 
It 
is 
the 
determination 
of 
the 
British 
Government 
that 
Trans-Jordania 
shall not 
become 
a centre 
of 
hostility 
either 
to 
Palestine 
or 
to 
Syria, 
and 
in 
carrying 
this 
resolve 
into 
effect 
they 
are glad 
to 
know 
that 
they 
can 
rely 
upon 
the 
coo$gration of 
His 
Highness the 
Emir 
Abdullah. 
On 
the 
whole, 
British 
policy 
was 
to 
work 
through 
Abdullah 
to 
achieve the 
twin 
aims 
of establishing 
authority 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan 
at 
little 
cost, 
and 
ensuring 
that 
the territory 
did 
not 
become 
a 
base 
for intrigue 
against 
her 
neighbours. 
And 
although 
Abdullah's 
presence 
in 
Amman 
was 
intended 
to 
be 
short 
lived, 
it 
had, 
by 
the 
end of 
April, 
taken 
on an 
air 
of 
semi- 
35 
permanence. 
The 
British, 
by 
agreeing 
to 
finance his 
stay 
and 
to 
form 
the Reserve 
Force, 
had 
taken 
the 
initial 
steps which 
ensured 
that Abdullah 
could 
not 
be 
removed, even 
if 
they 
wanted 
to 
remove 
him. 
TRANS-JORDAN AND THE FRENCH 
IN 
SYRIA 
Although 
the 
Colonial 
office 
had decided 
that the 
best 
plan was 
to 
work 
through Abdullah, 
he 
was not 
altogether 
reliable. 
He 
was 
independently 
minded, 
and although 
he 
seemed 
to 
believe 
that 
'a 
bird in 
the 
hand 
was worth 
two 
in 
the 
bush', 
he did 
not 
give 
up 
his 
aspiration 
for 
the two 
he 
could 
not reach 
(in 
this 
case 
the 
kingship 
of 
Palestine 
and 
Syria). 
In 
particular, 
he 
still 
looked 
north 
to Syria 
for 
the 
eventual 
fulfilment 
of 
his 
aspirations. 
For 
the time 
being 
at 
least, 
he 
shelved 
any 
desire 
for 
Palestine 
proper. 
Abramson 
saw 
that 
although 
Abdullah 
linked 
'his 
destiny 
with 
Britain, 
rather 
than 
with 
France', 
26 
in 
so 
far 
as 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
concerned, 
he 
still 
had 
his 
eye on 
the Syrian 
throne. 
In 
this 
respect, 
Abramson 
advised 
that 
a rapprochment 
with 
the 
French, 
when 
the 
opportunity arose, 
would 
be beneficial 
from 
both 
the 
British 
and 
Abdullah's 
point of view 
in 
that 
it 
would 
lead 
to 
a 
greater 
degree 
of 
stability 
in 
the 
area. 
However, 
as 
he 
pointed 
out 
to Samuel, 
there 
was 
the 
danger 
of 
increased 
French 
influence 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
if 
Abdullah 
was 
allowed, 
after 
all, 
to 
proceed 
to Damascus: 
I 
[Abramson] 
have 
no 
doubt 
however 
that 
if 
H. H. 
goes 
eventually 
to 
Damascus, he 
intends 
to 
keep 
Trans-Jordania 
as 
well, 
in 
which 
27 
case 
it 
will 
come 
under 
French influence. 
36 
Abramson 
went 
on 
to 
give 
an 
insight 
into 
Abdullah's 
desires, 
especially 
in 
respect 
of setting 
himself 
up as 
the 
king 
of a 
large 
unified 
Arab 
state: 
I 
believe 
that, 
while pushing 
the 
policy 
of 
a 
large 
Arab 
power, 
H. 
H. 
intends 
that 
he 
shall 
be 
the 
chief 
person 
in 
that 
power. 
He 
had 
intended 
to 
make 
a 
bid for 
Mesopotamia 
but 
he 
looks 
forward 
now 
instead 
to 
a 
Kingdom 
including 
Syria, 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
later 
on 
the 
Hedjaz, 
and 
hopes 
that 
Great 
Britain 
will no 
8find 
that 
inconsistent 
with 
her 
own policy. 
In the 
short 
term, 
Abdullah 
realized 
that 
it 
was 
not 
in 
his interest 
to 
antagonize 
the 
French 
in 
Syria. 
However, 
any 
hope 
that 
such a 
policy would 
lead 
to 
a 
Franco-Sherifian 
understanding was 
out 
of 
the 
question. 
The 
only 
time 
when 
this 
had 
seemed a real 
possibility 
was 
in 
January 
1921, 
when 
it 
was 
reported 
that 
the French 
were 
seriously 
considering 
a 
withdrawal 
to Lebanon 
because 
of 
the 
increased 
cost, 
in 
manpower and 
finance, 
of 
the French 
army 
in 
Syria. 
2 
Abdullah 
was 
in 
no position 
to take 
advantage 
of 
this 
opportunity even 
if 
he 
had 
wanted 
to, 
as 
he 
was still 
only 
at 
Ma'an. British 
policy, 
at 
that 
stage, 
had 
also not 
been 
decided, 
and 
therefore 
the 
opportunity 
however 
small 
was 
lost. 
By 
May 
of 
that 
year, 
General Gouraud 
had 
managed 
to 
impose 
a 
degree 
of control, 
and 
in 
the temporary 
peace, 
he 
was 
not 
* 
For 
example, 
the 
cost 
in 
men 
of 
maintaining 
the 
French 
army 
in 
Syria for 
the 
period 
January 
1919 
to 
April 
1920 
was 
150 
officers 
and 
3432 
men 
killed 
and 
2400 
wounded. 
The 
financial 
cost 
for 
1922 
was 
383 
million 
francs. 
- 
see 
Tibawi, 
A. L. A 
Modern 
History 
of 
Syria, 
p. 
341. 
37 
prepared 
to 
jeopardise 
French 
gains. 
When 
Samuel 
visited 
Gouraud 
in 
Beirut 
on 
2 
June 
1921, 
the French 
High 
Commissioner 
completely 
ruled out any 
compromise with 
Abdullah. 
General 
Gouraud 
spoke 
to 
me at great 
length 
about 
Trans-Jordania. 
He 
made 
it 
quite 
clear 
that the French 
had 
no 
intention 
whatever 
of admitting 
Abdullah to 
any 
position 
of authority 
in 
Damascus. 
He 
stated 
this, 
not only as 
his 
own 
determi- 
nation, 
but 
also 
that 
of 
Monsieur Briand. 
Their 
experience 
with 
Feisal 
had 
made 
it 
impossible for 
them 
to 
wo5b with 
the 
princes 
of 
the 
Shereefian 
family. 
While the French 
were 
committed 
to 
the 
exclusion 
of 
the 
Sherifians 
from 
Syria, 
the 
position 
of 
the British 
was 
more 
ambiguous. 
On 
the 
one 
hand 
they 
were 
forced 
to 
recognise 
French 
interests 
in 
the 
area, 
even 
if 
they 
did 
not 
approve 
of 
them. On the 
other 
hand, 
the 
British 
authorities 
had 
an 
obligation 
to 
state 
and 
stand 
by 
Britain's 
wartime 
promises 
to 
the 
Arabs. And Abramson, 
for 
one, 
was 
in 
favour 
of 
giving 
Abdullah 
the 
opportunity 
to 
plead 
his 
own case: 
If the 
policy of 
the Colonial Office 
aims at 
the 
re-entry 
of 
the Hedjaz 
Royal 
Family 
into 
Syria 
it 
might 
be 
possible 
perhaps 
for 
representations 
to 
be 
made 
to 
Paris 
to 
arrange 
for 
Abdullah 
tglmeet 
General Gouraud 
to 
plead 
his 
own case. 
However, 
in 
this 
respect 
the British 
were 
unable 
to 
arrange 
such 
a 
meeting, 
and 
therefore 
the 
settlement 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
seen 
by 
some 
as 
the 
implementation 
of 
the 
British 
side 
of 
the 
McMahon 
promises. 
And 
since 
nothing 
comparable 
could 
be 
achieved 
north 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
Britain 
was 
not 
in 
a 
position 
to 
give 
outright 
support 
to Abdullah's 
claims 
on 
Syria, 
only 
38 
giving a commitment 
of 
diplomatic 
pressure 
at a 
later 
date. 
In the 
meantime, 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
use 
his 
influence 
to 
stop 
cross 
border 
raiding 
and anti-French 
intrigue. 
By May 
1921 
it 
was patently 
obvious 
to the 
Colonial office 
that 
the French 
were 
in 
Syria to 
stay 
and 
that 
they 
would resist 
any pressure 
to 
impose 
a 
Sherifian 
solution 
in 
Syria. 
With the 
formation 
of a 
central 
administration 
under 
Abdullah 
in 
Amman, 
the 
French 
started 
to 
use 
it 
as 
a scapegoat 
for 
their 
own problems 
in 
Syria. When 
Samuel 
was-in 
Beirut, 
Gouraud 
cited 
the Amir's 
advisers 
as 
a 
reason 
for 
the 
problems 
in 
Syria 
itself: 
General 
Gouraud 
expressed 
the 
view 
that 
the 
character of 
the 
advisers with whom 
Abdullah 
had 
surrounded 
himself 
did 
not 
inspire 
him 
with 
confidence. 
Headed 
by 
Ali Kulki 
and 
Rashid Bey 
Talieh 
they 
had 
all 
been 
leaders 
of 
the 
ex eme anti-French party at 
Damascus. 
To 
a certain 
extent 
the French 
complaints 
were 
true, 
in 
so 
far 
as 
Amman 
had become 
a 
centre 
for 
exiled 
Syrians 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
party under 
Feisal. 
But 
continually 
to 
blame 
their 
problems 
on 
the 
situation south of 
the 
Syrian 
border 
was 
to 
deny 
the 
injustices 
of 
French 
policy 
in 
Syria 
itself. 
In 
the 
next 
few 
years, 
whenever 
unrest 
boiled 
over 
in 
Syria 
(such 
as 
during 
the 
Druze 
Rebellion 
of 
1925) 
it 
became 
a 
convenient 
French 
excuse 
to 
blame 
Abdullah's 
administration, 
and 
by 
implication 
Britain, 
for 
not 
controlling 
the 
Syrian 
exiles 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
fermenting 
rebelliion 
in 
Syria. 
The 
most 
important 
incident during 
the 
summer 
of 
1921 
was 
39 
the 
attempted assassination of 
General Gouraud 
near 
Kuneitra 
on 
23 
June. 
He 
was returning 
from 
a visit 
to 
Hahmud 
al-Fu'ur, 
who 
had 
led 
an 
uprising 
against 
the 
French 
in 
southern 
Syria 
near 
the Palestine 
border, 
and 
by 
whose submission 
the French 
were 
able 
to 
gain 
the 
upper 
hand in 
the 
area. 
In the 
attack, 
although 
Gouraud 
himself 
excaped 
injury, 
his 
aide-de-camp 
was 
killed 
and 
the Syrian Prime Minister, 
Haqqi 
Bel 
al-'Azm, 
a 
French 
puppet, 
was wounded. 
Announcing 
the 
details 
of 
the 
attack, 
Samuel 
also 
informed 
Churchill 
that 
'it is 
on 
the 
Trans-Jordanians that 
suspicion 
falls'. 
33 
There 
was 
no 
denying 
the 
fact 
that Gouraud 
had been 
extremely provocative 
ever since 
he had 
arrived 
in 
Beirut 
on 
14 
January 
1920. On 
his 
first 
visit 
to Damascus 
after 
the 
removal 
of 
Feisal, 
he 
is 
said 
to 
have 
stated, over 
the tomb 
of 
Saladin 
that: 
'Ma 
presence 
ici 
consacre 
la 
victoire 
de la 
croix 
sur 
le 
croissant'. 
34 
By 
treating 
Syria 
like 
a conquered 
territory 
rather 
than 
a mandate 
as a 
'sacred 
trust 
of civilisation', 
it 
is 
not 
surprising 
that 
the 
attack 
on 
him 
took 
place. 
And 
naturally 
it 
was 
to 
the 
south 
that 
the French 
sought 
Gouraud's 
assailants. 
This 
event, 
and 
especially 
Britain 
and 
Abdullah's 
inability 
to 
extradite 
Sedek Hamza 
and 
Mohammed 
Mureiwed 
as 
the two 
named 
assailants 
whom 
the 
French 
sought 
from 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
35 
put 
a 
severe 
strain on 
Anglo-French 
relations 
in 
the 
area, 
and 
acted 
as 
a 
stumbling 
block 
to 
Trans-Jordan's 
constitutional 
development 
until 
May 1923. 
Any 
British 
hope 
of 
an 
Abdullah-Gouraud 
reconciliation 
disappeared 
with 
this 
* 
The 
relationship 
of 
this 
incident 
to 
the 
independence 
issue 
of 
may 
1923 
will 
be 
examined 
in 
the 
next 
chapter. 
40 
ambush. 
This 
incident, 
more 
than 
anything else, 
convinced 
Churchill 
that the 
Syrian 
exiles were 
the 
root of 
many of 
the 
problems 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
had 
to 
be 
removed. 
36 
BRITISH 
VIEWS OF 
EARLY EVENTS 
IN 
TRANS-JORDAN 
Despite 
early 
hopes 
that 
British 
policy of working 
through 
Abdullah 
would 
be 
a success, 
after 
April 
it became 
obvious 
that, 
from 
the 
administrative point of view, 
all 
was 
not 
well. 
As Samuel 
was 
to 
report 
to Churchill: 
'Generally 
g. 
peaking 
the 
situation 
had 
grown 
steadily worse 
during 
the 
month 
of 
June'. 
37 
The Colonial 
Office's 
appraisal was 
even 
more 
final, 
especially 
from 
the 
financial 
point 
of view: 
During 
the 
six 
months 
probation 
the 
money 
voted 
for 
Trans-Jordania 
is 
more 
in 
the 
nature 
of 
a subsidy 
than 
anything 
else. 
The 
Sherifian 
regime, starting 
as3?t 
did from 
chaos, 
has 
proved a 
failure'. 
For the 
first 
time, Samuel 
also 
started 
to 
question 
the 
popularity of 
the 
regime, a 
problem 
which 
placed 
Abramson 
in 
a 
somewhat 
difficult 
position: 
It 
now 
appears 
that the 
people 
are 
far 
from 
content 
under 
the 
new regime, 
that tax 
collecting 
is 
subject 
to 
much 
the 
same 
difficulties 
as 
before, 
and 
that 
public 
security 
leaves 
much 
to 
be 
desired. 
... 
The 
Emir's 
Syrian 
entourage 
is 
a cause 
of 
embarrassment 
to the British 
represent- 
atives. 
They 
are 
disliked 
by 
Trans- 
Jordanians 
and regarded 
as expensive 
and 
incompetnent. 
The British 
representatives 
find 
their 
position 
more 
difficult 
owing 
to 
the 
grog; 
ng 
unpopularity 
of 
the 
present 
regime. 
41 
Although 
the 
Amir's 
presence 
in 
Amman 
was 
beneficial in 
that 
it 
largely 
helped 
to 
put a 
stop 
to tribal 
feuding, 
and 
restrained 
the 
Syrians 
from 
being 
too 
aggressive 
towards the 
French, 
it 
was 
recognised 
that 
they 
were 
a 
problem 
which 
could 
not 
be 
ignored. 
The 
fact 
that Abdullah 
was 
unable 
to 
control events 
was 
brought 
home 
to 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
when 
a 
raiding 
party 
from 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
attacked 
the 
Jewish 
settlement 
of 
Manahimiya 
and 
looted it 
of all 
its 
livestock. 
The 
Sherifian 
solution 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
had 
been designed 
to 
ensure 
that 
such 
incidents 
did 
not 
occur. 
The third 
incident 
was 
when 
it 
became 
obvious 
that 
the Reserve Force 
could 
not 
yet 
cope 
with 
its 
appointed 
task 
of 
pacifying 
the territory 
and 
establishing 
the 
authority 
of 
Abdullah throughout the 
settled 
areas. 
While 
on 
a punitive 
expedition 
in 
the Kura 
district 
a 
detachment 
was 
ambushed 
and severely mauled 
by local 
tribesmen. 
And 
finally 
a 
Syrian 
nationalist, 
Ibrahim Hanano, 
who was wanted 
by 
the 
French, 
was arrested 
in 
Jerusalem 
and 
handed 
over 
to 
the 
French 
authorities 
in 
Syria. 
This 
even caused 
serious 
unrest 
in 
Amman 
during 
which 
Peake, 
the 
commander 
of 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
kidnapped by 
a mob'and 
almost 
lynched. 
These 
events 
did 
not 
augur 
well 
for 
the 
stability 
of 
the 
area. 
In 
par- 
ticular, 
the 
bedouin 
raid on 
the Jewish 
settlement 
of 
Manahimiya 
in 
Palestine 
brought 
into 
question 
the 
very 
raison 
d'etre 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
under 
Abdullah: 
that 
of 
a 
buffer 
state 
which 
would 
act 
as 
a 
shield 
to 
protect 
Palestine. 
Abdullah 
was 
also 
finding 
some 
difficulty 
in 
stamping 
his 
42 
authority 
on 
the 
Kura tribes 
of 
the 
north, 
near 
Irbid, 
who 
under 
Sheikh 
Kulayb 
al-Sharida 
had 
refused 
to 
be 
integrated 
into 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
was 
the 
first 
serious 
rebellion which 
Abdullah 
had 
to 
face 
since 
arriving 
in 
Amman, 
and 
a 
detachment 
of 
the 
newly 
formed 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
sent 
to 
suppress 
it in 
May 
1921. 
This 
detachment 
was 
ill 
organised, 
hardly 
trained 
and 
badly 
equipped, 
and, 
it 
is 
not surprising 
that 
Kulayb 
al- 
Sharida 
was 
able 
to 
surround 
this 
force 
of 
125 
men, 
killing 
15 
and 
taking the 
rest prisoner. 
40 
This 
set-back 
caused 
a 
great 
deal 
of concern 
among 
the 
British 
authorities and 
undermined 
the 
claim 
that 
the 
locally 
recruited 
force 
would 
be 
able 
to 
secure 
the territory. 
In the 
case of 
this 
rebellion 
at 
least, 
the 
Amir 
proved 
his 
worth 
because 
'as 
it 
turned 
out, 
Abdullah 
eventually 
resolved 
this 
and 
subseqeunt 
incidents 
of 
rebellion 
elsewhere 
in 
the 
territory 
by 
resorting 
to the 
politics 
of 
conciliation and amnesty 
for 
tribal 
leaders'. 
41 
The 
fourth 
and 
final 
incident 
which convinced 
the 
Colonial office that 
a 
fresh 
approach 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
required was 
the 
unrest 
in 
Amman 
following 
the 
extradition 
to 
Syria 
of 
Ibrahim Hanano, 
during 
which 
Peake 
was almost 
killed. 
42 
A 
leader 
of 
an anti-French 
band 
in 
northern 
Syria, 
he 
had 
escaped 
'to 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
July 1921, 
where 
his 
extradition was 
demanded 
by 
the French. 
Hanano 
was 
arrested 
in 
Jerusalem 
while 
in 
possession 
of 
a 
letter 
of 
introduction 
from 
Abramson. 
Abramson 
had 
not, 
it 
would 
seem, realized 
Hanano's 
record, 
and 
when 
he 
was arrested, 
his 
fellow 
Syrian 
exiles 
saw 
it 
as a 
breach 
of a safe 
conduct 
pass. 
As 
St. John 
t 
43 
i 
Philby 
pointed 
out: 
'it 
was 
lucky for 
Abrahamson 
(sic), 
the 
Chief 
British Representative, 
that 
he 
was not at 
Amman 
when 
the 
news arrived. 
An 
infuriated 
crowd, 
seeking somebody 
to 
devour, lighted 
on 
Peake Bey 
sauntering 
innocently 
through 
the 
bazaar, 
and 
Peake 
Bey 
had 
to 
undergo 
a 
period 
of 
unpleasant 
incarceration, listening 
at 
intervals 
to 
rival suggestions as 
43 
to 
the 
best 
method 
of 
disposing 
of 
him'. 
COLONIAL 
OFFICE 
MISSION 
LED BY LAWRENCE 
By 
this 
stage, 
it 
was patently 
obvious 
that 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
have 
the 
sort 
of 
control 
over 
the 
territory 
that the 
Colonial 
Office 
desired. 
And 
at 
the 
same 
time, 
it 
was 
recognised 
that Abramson 
was not 
the 
right 
person 
to 
fulfil 
the 
twin 
tasks 
of controlling 
Abdullah, 
while 
at 
the 
same 
time 
giving 
him 
as 
free 
a 
rein 
as possible. 
44 
It 
was 
in 
this 
context 
that Churchill 
sent 
a 
mission 
to 
Trans-Jordan 
led by 
of 
T. 
E. Lawrence, 
along with 
Roland 
Vernon 
and 
Hubert 
Young 
(both 
Assistant Secretaries, 
Middle 
East Department 
of 
the 
Colonial 
Office) 
to try to 
clean up 
the 
mess. 
It 
was 
only 
the 
arrival 
of 
this 
'rescue 
mission' 
that 
saved 
Abdullah 
from 
an 
ignominious 
departure back 
to 
the Hejaz. 
By July, 
regardless 
of 
the 
deteriorating 
situation, 
it 
had 
become 
necessary 
to 
consider 
a 
more 
permanent 
settlement 
when 
the 
six 
month 
trial 
period 
ended 
in 
September. 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel first 
considered 
the 
question 
in 
July 
1921 
when 
he 
indicated 
possible 
lines 
of 
a settlement. 
Pointing 
out 
that the 
union 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
Hejaz 
was 
44 
seriously 
being 
considered 
by 
Abdullah, 
Samuel 
went on 
to 
suggest 
a solution. 
True to the 
decisions 
taken 
at 
the Cairo 
Conference, 
as amended 
at 
Jerusalem, 
he 
pressed 
for 
the 
appointment 
of an 
Arab 
governor 
which would ensure 
that 
real 
control would 
remain 
in 
the 
hands 
of 
British 
officers. 
The 
Reserve 
Force 
under 
British 
command 
would 
remain as 
would 
the 
armoured 
cars of 
the R. 
A. F. A 
small 
British 
garrison 
would 
also 
be 
stationed near 
Amman 
to 
ensure 
Imperial 
control; 
while 
as 
a concession 
to Arab 
nationalism, 
Jewish 
immigration 
would 
be 
publically 
prohibited 
from 
Trans-Jordan. 
45 
As 
for 
the 
continued 
presence of 
Abdullah, 
this 
seems 
to 
have 
been 
solved 
by 
the 
fact 
that 
he 
now wanted 
to 
leave. 
The 
best 
mechanism 
whereby 
this 
would 
be 
achieved was a visit 
to London 
and 
Europe. 
As Samuel 
informed 
Churchill, 
It 
does 
not appear probable 
that 
he 
will 
renew 
the 
agreement. 
His 
administration 
has 
not 
been 
a 
success. 
He 
will 
soon realise, 
if 
he 
does 
not, 
realise'already 
that 
there 
is 
no 
future for 
him in 
the French 
zone. 
He 
certainly 
does 
not49ish 
to 
devote his life 
to 
Trans-Jordania. 
Once 
his 
removal 
had 
been 
achieved: 
We 
[i. 
e. 
the British] 
could 
then 
establish 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
a 
better 
administration, 
with 
a 
larger 
measure 
of 
British 
control 
combined 
with 
some 
form 
of 
Sherifian 
influence, 
which would 
help 
to 
keep 
the 
Bedu 
in 
order. 
A Sherifian 
government, 
pure 
and 
simple, 
now 
has 
little 
attraction 
for 
any 
part 
of 
the 
population 
after 
the47 
experience 
of 
the 
last 
three 
months. 
Before 
the 
mission 
to Trans-Jordan 
had 
got 
under 
way, 
Major 
Young had 
also come 
to the 
same 
conclusion that 
Abdullah 
45 
should 
be 
removed. 
'We 
must 
try 
to 
remove 
Abdullah' Young 
minuted 
on yet another 
report 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
describing 
the 
unsatisfactory 
state 
of affairs 
in 
the territory. 
48 
As 
for 
the 
mechanism 
whereby 
this 
would 
be 
achieved, 
Abbdullah 
saw a 
visit 
to 
London 
as 
the 
least 
undignified method. 
He 
[Abdullah] 
considers 
that 
visit 
to 
, 
London, 
which 
he 
hopes 
may 
be 
early offers 
him least 
undignified 
mode 
of 
retreat 
from 
Trans-Jordania 
personal 
connexion 
with which 
he 
wishes 
to 
sever. 
I 
presume 
however 
that 
until 
Young 
and 
Lilrence 
arrived 
nothing 
will 
be decided. 
Lawrence, 
who stopped 
over 
in 
Jerusalem 
in 
July 
while 
on 
his 
way 
to 
see 
King Hussein 
in 
the Hejaz, 
made 
a number 
of 
observations 
on 
the 
status 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as proposed 
by 
Samuel 
on 
12 
July. In 
it, he 
ruled out any question 
of 
union 
with 
the 
Hejaz. 
'Union 
with 
Palestine', 
Lawrence 
observed, 
'is 
its 
best future: 
in 
fact 
the 
only 
one 
we 
can 
reasonably 
work 
for'. 
50 
However, 
Lawrence 
desired 
a continuation 
of 
the 
present 
set-up of 
indirect 
rule, observing 
correctly 
that 
law 
and 
order 
would require more 
troops than 
Samuel 
anticipated. 
51 
From 
the Colonial 
Office's 
point 
of 
view, 
the 
success 
of 
the 
experiment 
lay 
not 
in 
the 
fact 
that 
public security 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was virtually non-existent, 
but 
rather 
that 
no 
British 
troops 
had been 
required 
in 
the territory 
and 
therefore 
there 
had been 
no extension 
of 
Imperial 
commitments. 
However, 
despite 
a growing 
antipathy 
towards 
the 
Syrian 
exiles 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
on 
the 
part 
of 
Abdullah 
in 
the 
hope 
that 
an 
agreement with 
the 
French 
could 
be 
reached 
at 
the 
end of 
the 
46 
six months, 
52 
a 
change 
for 
the 
better 
as 
far 
as 
London 
was 
concerned, members 
of 
the Colonial 
office 
were not optimis- 
tic. In the 
face 
of a 
continual 
stream 
of uncomplimentary 
monthly reports 
of 
the 
situation prepared 
by 
Abramson, that 
part of 
the 
Colonial office 
responsible 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
turning 
against 
the 
settlement: 
It 
[Report 
for 
September] 
shows 
how 
chaotic 
the 
state 
of 
affairs, 
has 
become, 
and 
how 
complete 
Abdullah's 
failure 
has been. 
It 
remains 
to 
be 
seen 
whether 
Colonel 
Lawrence, 
who 
has 
been 
instructed 
to 
assume 
temporary 
charge of 
Trans-Jordan?j 
will 
be 
able 
to 
effect an 
improvement. 
By 
this 
stage 
it 
was a 
recognised 
fact 
that 
something 
had 
to 
be 
done before 
the 
situation got 
completely 
out 
of 
hand, 
and 
became 
a risk 
to 
the 
peace and 
security of 
Palestine 
proper. 
The 
urgent 
despatch 
of 
Lawrence, 
Vernon 
and 
Young 
was 
a 
direct 
result of 
the 
reported 
chaos 
which 
reached 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
from 
the 
High 
Commissioner's 
office 
in 
Jerusalem. 
In 
the 
words of 
Elizabeth 
Monroe: 
Lawrence 
found 
Abdullah feeling 
his 
way 
sometimes 
threatening to 
quit, sometimes 
flirting 
with 
the French, 
and 
sometimes 
contemplating coalescence 
with 
the Hijaz 
in 
order 
ultimately 
to 
establish 
a5ingdom 
comparable 
to 
Feisal's 
in 
Iraq. 
Abdullah's 
indecisiveness 
and 
fence-sitting 
tactics 
had 
been 
made 
clear 
to 
the Colonial office 
by 
all 
the 
correspondence 
it 
received 
through 
the 
summer. 
And 
with 
Abdullah 
aspiring 
for 
something 
greater 
than the Amirate 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
the 
territory 
around 
him 
remained 
in 
a very 
unstable 
condition. 
47 
This 
state 
of affairs 
was 
a 
threat to 
Palestine 
and 
other 
British 
strategic 
interests 
in 
the 
area. 
And 
after 
the 
attack 
on 
Gouraud 
on 
23 
June 
and 
especially 
Abramson's 
inability 
to 
effect 
the 
arrest 
of 
the 
assailants 
who 
had 
taken 
refuge 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
a 
deterioration 
of 
Anglo-French 
relations 
in 
the 
area 
threatened the 
basic 
principles whereby 
Britain 
and 
France 
had 
imposed 
their 
influence. 
The 
obvious move 
in 
this 
situation 
would 
have 
been 
to 
remove 
Abdullah, 
in 
fact 
Lawrence 
had 
gone 
out 
convinced 
that 
it 
was 
the 
only 
practical 
solution. 
But 
when 
the 
mission 
arrived 
in 
Palestine 
in 
September 
1921 
this 
solution 
was no 
longer 
practical. 
Hubert Young 
informed 
Churchill 
of 
this 
fact in 
October 
when 
he 
recommended 
H. 
St. J. 
B. 
Philby 
for 
the 
post of 
Chief 
British 
Representative. 
There 
is 
no 
local 
man with 
sufficient 
prestige 
to 
replace 
Abdullah 
for 
both 
purposes 
(i. 
e. 
local 
and 
Sherifian) 
and 
there 
is 
no 
Sherifian 
available 
at 
present 
who 
could 
be 
relied 
on 
to 
ensure 
efficient 
civil 
administration 
a99 
consequent 
financial 
restoration. 
Having decided 
that 
Abdullah 
could 
not 
be 
removed, 
Lawrence 
proceeded 
to 
remove 
all 
the British 
staff 
in 
Amman with 
the 
exception 
of 
Peake 
. 
Young 
saw 
the 
need 
for 
somebody 
to 
replace 
Abramson 
who would 
on 
the 
one 
hand 
advance 
the 
Arab 
cause, 
while 
at 
the 
same 
time 
keep 
Abdullah in line 
and 
firmly 
aligned 
to Britain. 
'What is 
required', 
Young 
informed 
* 
With 
Lawrence's 
arrival 
in 
Amman 
on 
12 
October 
1921, 
Abramson 
returned 
to 
the 
Palestine 
administration. 
48 
Churchill, 
'is 
someone 
of 
the 
calibre 
of 
Philby'. 
56 
A 
person 
like 
Philby, 
who 
had 
a 
reputation 
as 
a 
friend 
of 
the 
Arabs, 
was an 
ideal 
choice 
in 
the 
circumstances. 
As Miss 
Monroe 
noted, 
Everyone 
agreed 
Englishman' 
who 
dence 
but 
stand 
his 
[Abdullah's 
show 
him 
how 
to 
would 
stop 
spen 
that 
... 
'some 
good 
strong 
would 
promote 
Arab 
indepen- 
no 
nonsense 
was needed 
at 
] 
elbow 
- 
someone 
who 
would 
build 
up 
adm?gistration 
and 
ding 
sprees. 
However 
the 
main 
finding 
of 
the 
Lawrence/Vernon/Young 
mission 
was 
that 
all 
the 
blame 
for 
the 
chaotic 
state 
of 
things 
could 
not 
be 
put 
at 
Abdullah's 
door. 
The 
British 
government 
was 
also 
largely 
to 
blame. 
For 
example, 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
not 
even 
armed. 
As 
Young 
informed 
Shuckburgh 
on 
15 
October: 
The 
guns 
which 
were 
to 
have 
been 
added 
to 
the 
Reserve Force 
have 
not materialised. 
The 
political side 
you 
know 
- 
Abdullah's 
prestige 
has 
almost 
vanished. 
What 
we 
did 
not 
perhaps quite 
realize 
was 
that 
this 
was 
largely 
due 
to 
our 
being 
unable 
to 
give 
him 
even 
the 
limited 
support 
we 
had 
intended 
to 
give. 
When the 
Kura 
Sheikhs 
made 
trouble 
Abramson 
asked 
for 
guns. 
Abdullah 
was 
at 
that 
time 
not only 
ready 
but 
eager 
to take 
action. 
But the 
Reserve 
Force 
was not 
ready 
or 
armed, 
the 
guns 
were 
n36 
there 
and 
the 
whole 
thing 
fell 
through. 
This 
was 
the 
first 
indication 
the 
Colonial 
office 
received 
that they 
were 
to 
blame for 
not 
providing 
the 
minimum 
support 
required 
to 
ensure 
that 
law 
and 
order 
was restored 
to 
the territory. 
The Lawrence 
report, 
based 
on 
his 
findings 
when 
he 
went 
to Amman 
on 
12 
October, 
was 
damning, 
especially 
for 
the 
49 
military 
authorities 
in 
Egypt 
who 
were 
responsible 
for 
the 
maintenance 
of 
the 
armoured 
cars 
in 
Amman. 
Lawrence 
found 
that 
the British 
units 
in 
Amman 
were 
nothing 
short 
of 
a 
disgrace. 
The 
two 
armoured 
cars 
were not 
in 
a 
roadworthy 
condition, 
they 
had 
no 
ammunition, 
their 
crews were 
inade- 
quately 
trained 
and 
there 
were 
no reserve crews. 
In 
fact 
one 
of 
the 
drivers 
could not 
even 
reverse 
his 
armoured 
car! 
The 
state 
of 
the 
Arab 
units 
also 
left 
a 
lot 
to 
be desired, 
though 
Lawrence 
did 
go 
out of 
his 
way 
to 
praise 
Peake 
for 
his 
work 
in 
raising 
the 
Reserve 
Force. 
However, the 
local 
inhabitants 
(not 
the 
Syrian 
exiles) were 
very 
suspicious 
of 
true 
British 
intentions. 
British 
motives 
and 
intentions, 
Lawrence 
found, 
5 
were not 
understood and were 
the 
subject of suspicion9. 
The 
main 
fear 
was 
the 
spread 
of 
Zionism 
and 
it 
was 
felt 
that 
this 
could easily 
be 
put 
to 
rest. 
So 
besides 
the 
normal 
recommen- 
dations 
of 
getting 
the 
armoured 
cars 
in 
working 
order, 
a 
move 
to 
improve 
the 
al-Salt 
to Amman 
road, 
and 
a move 
to 
subdue 
Kerak 
(where 
the 
inhabitants 
were 
holding 
out 
against 
central 
control), 
Lawrence 
felt 
that 
a 
declaration 
recognising 
Trans- 
Jordan's 
independence 
from 
Palestine 
would 
be 
in 
order: 
The 
last 
considerations 
are 
political. 
I 
find 
an 
increased distrust 
of 
the 
honesty 
of 
our 
motives 
in 
Trans-Jordania, 
and 
I 
think 
that 
some 
declaration 
on our part 
(simul- 
taneously 
or 
successively 
in 
London 
and 
Jerusalem) 
would 
be 
in 
good effect. 
The 
fear is 
of 
ZionW 
and 
it 
should 
be 
possible 
to 
put 
it 
away. 
However, 
Lawrence's 
recommendations 
did 
meet 
opposition, 
especially 
in 
relation 
to the 
possible 
separation 
of 
the two 
0 
50 
territories. 
A Palestine 
government memorandum 
viewed with 
disfavour 
any 
plan which 
would allow 
Abdullah to 
remain as 
Amir 
in 
Amman. 
Rather 
unfairly, 
it 
cited 
as 
a reason 
the 
fact 
that 
Lawrence 
had 
only 
a one-sided 
view of 
the 
problem: 
It 
must 
be 
remembered 
that 
at 
the time 
of 
writing 
the 
Report, 
Colonel 
Lawrence 
had 
been 
nowhere 
except 
in 
Amman 
and 
where 
he 
was 
inevitably 
subject 
to 
if 
not 
indeed 
swayed 
by 
the 
Syrip 
influences 
that 
surround 
the 
Emir. 
However, 
the 
main 
complaint of 
Jerusalem 
was 
the 
separation 
of 
the two territories: 
It 
cannot 
be 
doubted 
that 
we are 
drifting 
further 
and 
further 
in 
the 
direction 
of 
complete 
political 
separation 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordania. If 
this 
separation 
should 
be 
achieved 
it 
can 
hardly 
have 
other 
than 
a most unfavourable reaction 
on 
the 
economic and 
possibl92on 
the 
politi- 
cal situation 
in 
Palestine. 
The 
main 
theme 
of 
the Lawrence 
report 
was 
that 
a 
Trans-Jordan 
which was 
independent 
of 
Palestine 
was 
the 
only way 
that 
a 
success of 
the 
territory 
could 
be 
made. 
Although 
Samuel 
agreed 
with 
the 
principle 
that 
the 
territory 
should 
be 
administered 
separately, 
he 
did 
not 
seem 
favourably 
disposed 
towards 
Abdullah 
remaining 
as 
Amir. A 
month 
after 
Lawrence's 
report, 
Samuel 
sent 
the Colonial 
office 
his 
own 
views 
of 
the 
situation. 
The 
Emir 
Abdullah, 
although 
an 
attractive 
personality 
and 
of 
honourable 
character, 
is 
not 
a competent 
administrator. There 
is 
a 
general 
consensus 
of 
opinion 
that 
the 
machinery 
of. 9overnment 
would 
work 
better 
without 
him. 
51 
Samuel 
seems 
to 
have been 
under some pressure, 
both 
from 
administrators 
in 
the Palestine 
government 
and 
from 
Zionist 
sources 
in 
Palestine 
to take 
stronger control 
of 
the territory 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
Therefore 
by 
encouraging 
Abdullah 
to 
withdraw, 
with 
Samuel 
suggesting 
that 
his 
younger 
brother 
Zeyd 
should 
take 
his 
place, a person-whom 
he 
considered 
would 
be 
easier 
to 
control, 
the 
British 
position 
would 
be 
strengthened 
without compromising 
the 
ideal 
of a 
Sherifian 
prince 
control 
ling 
the 
autonomous 
territory. 
However, 
besides 
this 
adminis- 
trative 
change, 
the 
other recommendations 
conformed 
to 
the 
Cairo 
decisions. 
A 
statement of 
British 
policy, excluding 
direct 
British 
administration 
in 
the 
territory, 
plus 
a 
ban 
on 
Zionist 
encroachments, 
was 
seen 
as 
the 
best 
way 
to 
appease 
the 
local 
population. 
Cut-backs 
in 
the 
grant-in-aid, 
the 
return 
of 
British 
representatives 
to Ajlun 
and 
Kerak, 
and 
British 
officers 
controlling 
the 
Gendarmerie 
as 
well 
as 
the 
Reserve 
Force, 
ensured 
that 
a greater 
degree 
of control 
would 
be 
enforced. 
Samuel's 
other recommendation, 
of 
interest 
for 
the 
1925/6 
period, 
was 
that 
Ma'an 
and 
Tafile, 
including 
Aqaba, 
which 
were 
then 
administered 
by 
the 
Hejaz, 
should 
be 
recog- 
nised 
as 
part of 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
main 
problem 
remained, 
however, 
whether 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
remain 
or 
whether 
he 
would 
be 
forced 
to 
leave. 
In 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
there 
was 
some 
doubt: 
Do 
we or 
do 
we not 
wish 
to 
see 
Abdullah 
settle 
himself in 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
saddle, 
and come 
to 
be 
regarded 
as 
the 
permanent 
sovereign of 
the 
country? 
If 
we 
allow 
this 
to 
happen, 
it 
is 
certain 
that 
he 
52 
will 
develop 
ambitions 
in 
the 
direction 
of 
Palestine 
and 
it 
is far 
from 
improbable 
that 
a movement 
will 
grow 
up 
among 
Palestinian64 
Arabs 
in 
favour 
of 
making 
him 
their 
King. 
Samuel's 
view 
in favour 
of 
the 
removal 
of 
Abdullah 
was 
largely 
influenced 
by 
the 
fact 
that 
Abdullah 
himself 
had 
wanted 
to 
withdraw. 
By 
December 
this 
had 
changed, 
and 
following 
a 
visit 
to 
Jerusalem, 
he 
let 
it be 
known 
that 
he 
now 
wanted 
to 
stay. 
65 
At 
this 
stage, 
the 
question 
of 
assimilating 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
out 
of 
the 
question. 
As 
Churchill 
pointed 
Out: 
In 
the 
circumstances 
it 
seems 
undesirable 
that 
any 
attempt 
should 
be 
made 
at 
the 
present 
juncture 
to 
alter 
the 
status 
quo 
in 
the 
directign 
of 
a 
closer 
assimilation 
to 
Palestine. 
In 
any case, 
Lawrence's 
recommendations 
had 
been 
accepted 
as 
the 
basis for 
a solution, 
and 
Philby 
had 
taken 
over 
as 
Chief 
British 
Representative. 
As 
Philby 
was 
to 
point 
out 
in 
1924: 
The 
important 
point 
[of 
Lawrence's 
findings] 
was 
that 
the 
principle 
of 
the 
independence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
its 
divorce 
from 
the 
Palestine 
administration 
was 
admitted 
to 
afford 
the 
on?y 
hope 
of 
making 
a success 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Certainly the Lawrence-Vernon-Young 
mission was 
of 
great 
assistance 
in 
formulating 
British 
policy 
towards 
Abdullah. 
Samuel, 
writing 
privately 
to Churchill 
in 
December, 
acknowledged 
an 
improvement 
in 
the 
state of affairs 
since 
October. 
It 
is 
a great advantage 
to 
us 
that 
you 
have 
53 
been 
able 
to 
spare 
Lawrence, 
Young 
and 
Vernon 
to 
visit 
this 
part 
of 
the 
world. 
Lawrence 
has 
effected 
a 
great 
deal 
of 
good 
in 
Trans-Jordania, 
and 
the 
situation 
there 
shows 
I6ghink, 
a 
great 
improvement, thanks 
to 
him. 
By 
December, 
the 
whole 
of 
the 
administrative 
arrangements 
had 
been 
changed, 
and 
even 
Abdullah 
seemed 
more 
aware 
of 
his 
responsibilities. 
Philby 
had 
taken 
over, 
replacing 
Abramson 
and 
Lawrence; 
and 
with 
the 
country's 
definite 
exclusion 
from 
the 
Jewish National 
Home, 
the 
territory 
embarked 
on 
an 
experi- 
ment whereby 
British 
direct 
control 
was 
kept 
to 
a minimum 
while 
the 
maximum 
amount 
of 
independence 
was 
retained 
by 
Abdullah. The 
only 
group 
to 
object 
was 
a number 
of 
extreme 
Zionists 
who 
regretted 
the 
fact 
that 
it 
had 
now passed 
out 
of 
the 
area allocated 
for 
Jewish 
settlement. 
CONCLUSIONS 
In 
attempting 
to 
make 
an 
assessment 
of 
the 
success 
or 
failure 
of 
the 
'trial 
period' 
a number 
of 
factors 
have 
to 
be 
taken 
into 
consideration. 
On the 
one 
hand 
there 
was 
the 
Amir 
Abdullah 
with 
his 
aspirations 
for 
the 
kingship 
of 
Syria, 
but 
having 
to 
'mark 
time' 
in 
Amman. 
On the 
other 
hand 
there 
were 
the 
British 
with 
their 
demands 
for 
good 
government, 
economic 
stringency and 
concern 
for 
the 
strategic 
importance 
of 
the 
territory. 
Besides 
British 
interests 
there 
were also 
British 
obligations, 
and 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
Britain 
sought 
to 
fulfil 
her 
wartime obligations 
to 
the 
Arabs, 
and 
so 
hopefully help 
to 
restore 
her 
prestige 
in 
the 
Middle 
East 
as a 
whole. 
54 
To 
understand 
Abdullah's 
position, 
one 
has 
to 
understand 
his 
position 
in 
the 
Arab 
world. 
Of 
all of 
Hussein's 
sons, 
Abdullah 
was 
probably 
the 
best 
suited 
to 
protect 
British 
interests. 
As 
the 
elder 
of 
Feisal, 
he 
held 
a great 
deal 
of 
prestige 
in 
the 
area, 
despite 
his 
not 
too 
successful 
war-time 
record. 
And 
especially among 
the 
bedouin 
he held 
a powerful 
position, a 
fact 
which 
held 
innumerable 
advantages 
for 
Britain. 
In the 
words of 
an 
Intelligence 
report: 
He 
is 
much admired 
and 
loved 
by 
the Chiefs 
of 
the 
Bedouin tribes 
of 
Syria 
and 
whole 
of 
Iraq 
and 
the 
Gezeereh 
el 
Arab 
... 
His 
influence 
among 
the 
bedouin is 
great. 
Till today 
the 
name 
of 
Abd6la 
is 
the 
most 
respected 
among 
the 
Arabs. 
However, 
Abdullah's 
position 
in 
Amman 
was 
a peculiar 
one. 
Denied 
the throne 
of 
Iraq 
because 
of 
the 
French 
occupation 
of 
Syria, 
and 
because 
it 
was 
more 
in 
Britain's 
interest 
to 
offer 
it 
to 
Feisal, 
Abdullah 
had had 
to 
act on 
his 
own 
initiative. 
His 
arrival 
in 
Amman 
in 
March 
1921 
was 
expedient 
from 
his 
own 
point of 
view, 
as otherwise 
he 
would probably 
have been 
ignored 
by 
Britain's 
policy makers 
in 
Cairo 
and elsewhere. 
After 
Churchill's 
meetings 
with 
Abdullah 
in 
Jerusalem 
it 
became 
British 
policy 
to 
work 
through 
him 
in 
order 
to-achieve 
the 
aims 
of 
pacifying 
the territory 
and 
ensuring 
that 
anti- 
French 
activities 
were 
curtailed. 
As Churchill 
pointed 
out 
to 
Samuel, 
when 
he 
was on 
his 
way 
back 
to 
England: 
The Emir 
has 
promised 
to 
work 
with 
us 
and 
for 
us, 
to 
do his 
best 
to 
restrain the 
people 
from 
anti-French 
action 
and 
to 
form, 
with 
our 
assistance, 
a 
local 
administration 
which 
can 
later 
on 
be handed 
over 
to 
a 
55 
?l 
native 
Governor 
of 
less 
consequence 
to 
himself 
... 
He 
must 
be 
given 
a 
free 
hand, 
a90he 
has 
a 
most 
difficult task 
to 
perform. 
Unfortunately 
it 
was 
this 
policy 
which was 
to 
cause a 
lot 
of 
problems 
which 
culminated 
in 
the 
necessity 
to 
send 
out 
Lawrence. 
Even 
as early 
as 
the 
end 
of 
April, 
Abdullah 
was 
the 
victim 
of not 
knowing 
quite 
what 
British 
policy. 
was. 
As 
the 
previously 
quoted 
Intelligence 
Report 
noted: 
He 
is 
at present, 
25 
April 
1921, 
according 
to 
a messenger 
that 
has 
just 
come 
from him, 
in 
great 
despair 
at 
the 
want of order 
or 
fixed 
plan 
on 
the 
part 
of 
the British 
Government. 
If 
Abdulla 
saw 
a 
fixed 
plan 
on 
the 
part 
of 
the English to 
give 
the Arabs their 
independence he 
would 
be 
an 
important 
factor 
in 
reassuring 
them 
and 
in 
VIving 
them 
confidence 
in 
the 
British. 
However 
until 
the 
Lawrence 
report and 
the 
appointment 
of 
Philby 
in 
place 
of 
Abramson, 
this 
was not 
the 
case. 
It 
is 
no 
wonder 
that Abdullah 
fluctuated 
from flirting 
with 
the 
French 
to turning 
a 
blind 
eye 
to 
anti-French 
intrigue; 
and 
from 
wanting 
to 
leave 
the 
territory 
and 
to 
return 
to the 
Hejaz, to 
wanting 
to 
stay. 
All 
the 
same 
there 
is 
no 
denying 
the 
fact 
that 
he 
was 
very 
ambitious, and 
his 
purely outward stand 
did 
not 
necessarily 
reflect 
his 
private 
views. 
His 
ambitions 
towards 
Syria 
were probably 
the 
most 
obvious. 
Here 
he 
seemed 
to 
be 
open 
to 
the 
influence 
of 
his 
Syrian 
entourage. 
Churchill 
came 
to the 
conclusion 
that 
this 
was 
the 
root 
of 
the 
problem. 
Remove 
the 
anti-French 
influence, 
and 
the 
problem 
would 
largely 
be 
solved, 
leaving 
a 
contented 
and 
loyal 
56 
Abdullah 
through 
which 
the 
British 
could 
work. 
Taken 
to 
its lowest 
common 
denominator, 
British 
policy 
in 
the territory 
was 
to 
ensure 
that 
it 
was not a nuisance 
to 
its 
neighbours. 
How 
this 
was 
to 
be 
achieved 
did 
not really matter 
so 
long 
as 
it 
did 
not 
cost 
the British 
exchequer 
too 
much. 
If 
this 
could 
be 
achieved while satisfying 
part 
of 
British 
wartime promises 
to the 
Arabs, 
so much 
the 
better. 
In the 
British 
decision 
making 
circles 
there 
were 
two 
schools 
of 
thought. On 
the 
one 
hand 
there 
were 
those 
who saw 
the 
fortunes 
of 
the 
territory 
tied 
in 
with 
the 
expedient 
promises 
of 
Arab 
independence, 
made 
during 
the 
war. 
British 
influence 
was 
to 
be 
maintained 
through 
the 
'indirect 
rule' 
idea, 
in 
this 
case 
Abdullah. It 
was 
very 
much 
a 
Sherifiari 
solution, 
and 
barring 
the 
impossibility 
of controlling 
the 
situation, 
'any 
son of 
Sherif'Hussein 
would 
do. 
This 
school 
of 
thought 
included 
Churchill, 
and-had 
the 
support of 
Lawrence, 
Shuckburgh, 
Young 
and 
Philby. 
'The 
other 
group 
saw 
the 
for 
tunes 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
tied 
in 
more 
firmly 
in 
Palestine's 
orbit. 
They 
were, 
however, 
aware of 
the 
need 
for 
a 
more 
flexible 
administration 
in 
the territory, 
though 
this 
would 
have 
meant 
the 
eventual 
exclusion 
of 
Abdullah. 
Firmer 
British 
control 
did 
not 
exclude 
the 
possibility 
of 
allowing 
Jewish 
settlement 
of 
certain 
areas 
of 
the 
territory 
at a 
later 
date. 
Among 
this 
group 
can 
be 
counted 
Samuel 
and 
Wyndham Deedes, 
his 
Chief 
Secretary. 
In 
the 
end 
it 
was 
the Churchill 
group 
which 
won 
the 
day. 
57 
In 
the 
long 
term 
it 
was 
just 
as well, 
for 
any other 
solution 
canvassed at 
the time 
would almost 
certainly 
have 
led 
to 
disaster. 
The 
success 
or 
failure 
of 
the 
six month 
experiment 
is 
best 
summed 
up 
by 
Abramson 
in 
his last 
report on 
6 
October 
1921 
as 
Chief British Representative: 
The 
policy 
adopted six months 
ago 
had 
had 
more 
than 
one 
result. 
It 
was successful 
in 
the 
main 
in 
keeping 
Emir Abdullah 
from 
open 
anti-French 
intrigue 
and 
action 
although 
there 
is 
reason 
to 
believe 
that 
latterly 
his 
secret 
conduct 
has 
not 
been 
quite 
so 
H 
exemplary. 
His 
inability 
to 
govern 
and 
the 
activities of 
his 
Syrian 
advisors 
have 
succeeded 
in 
alienating 
the 
sympathy 
of 
the 
majority of 
the 
people 
of 
Trans-Jordania 
who 
state 
that 
they 
want 
to 
have 
nothing 
more 
to 
do 
with 
the Sherifians 
or 
Syrians 
and 
the 
events 
of 
the 
past six months 
if 
kept 
in 
mind 
will 
be 
useful 
in 
determining 
future 
policy and 
the 
setting up of 
an efficient 
local 
government 
in 
keeping 
with 
the 
broad 
lines 
of12Great 
Britain's 
general 
Arab 
policy. 
I', 
' 
58 
CHAPTER 
THREE 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. 
Gilbert, Martin 
Winston S. Churchill 
(London 
1975) 
Vol 
IV 
p. 
524 
quoting 
Cabinet 
document 
of 
10 
February 
1921. 
2. 
Morris, 
James, 
The 
Hashemite Kings 
(London 
1959) 
p. 
110. 
3. 
Gilbert, 
M. 
op. 
cit 
IV 
part 
3 
p. 
1432 
quoting 
Churchill to 
Curzon, 
5 
April 
1921. 
4. 
Gilbert, 
M. 
op. cit 
IV 
part 
3 
p. 
1433 
quoting 
Curzon 
to 
Churchill, April 
1921. 
5. 
F. 
O. 
371/6343 31 
March 
1921 
(en 
route 
to 
Alexandria) 
Churchill 
to Gouraud. 
Ibid. 
7. 
Ibid. 
8. 
FO 
371/6343 
Churchill Cabinet 
Memorandum, 
2 
April 
1921 
(at 
sea). 
9. 
CAB 
23/25 
11 
April 
1921. 
10. 
Ibid. 
11. 
Ibid. 
12. 
Ibid. 
13. 
Ibid. 
14. 
WO 
32/5237 
WO to 
General 
Allenby, 
14 
April 
1921. 
15. 
Chamberlain 
to Churchill, 16 
April 
1921. 
16. 
Gilbert, 
Martin. Churchill 
IV, 
p. 
580. 
17. 
Ibid. 
18. 
CO 
733/2 
Lawrence 
to Churchill, 
10 
April 
1921. 
19. 
CO 
733/2 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
21 
April 
1921. 
20. 
Ibid. 
21. 
Ibid. 
22. 
CO 
733/2 
Churchill 
minute 
on 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
21 
April 
1921. 
23. 
CO 
733/2 
Lawrence 
to 
Samuel, 
10 
April 1921. 
59 
24. 
CO 
733/2 Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
21 
April 
1921. 
25. 
Ibid. 
26. 
CO 
733/3 
Abramson 
to 
Samuel, 
15 
May 
1921. 
27. 
Ibid. 
The 
ramification 
of 
French 
control 
over 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was 
that 
the 
'all-red' 
desert 
air 
route 
to 
Iraq 
would 
be 
broken. 
28. 
Ibid. 
29. 
FO 
371/6453 
25 
January 
1921. 
30. 
CO 
733/3 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
2 
June 
1921. 
31.733/3 
Abramson 
to Samuel, 
14 
June 
1921. 
32. 
CO 
733/3 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
2 
June 
1921. 
33. 
CO 
733/4 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
25 
June 
1921. 
34. 
Hocking, W. 
E. The 
Spirit 
of 
World 
Politics 
p. 
287. 
35. 
CO 
733/5 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
2 
August 
1921. 
36. 
CO 
733/3 
Churchill to 
Samuel, 
13 June 
1921. 
37. 
CO 
733/4 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
11 
July 
1921. 
38. 
CO 
733/4 
CO Minute to 
Confidential 
despatch, 
11 
July 
1921. 
39. 
CO 
733/3 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
13 June 
1921. 
40. 
Peake, 
F. 
'Trans-Jordan 
in 
Journal 
of 
Central Asian 
Society, 
Vol. 
XI, 
1924, 
p. 
300. 
41. 
Vatikiotis, Politics 
and 
the Military 
in 
Jordan 
(London, 
1967), 
p. 
61. 
42. 
CO 
733/6 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
5 
September 
1921. 
43. 
Philby, 
H. 
St. 
J. 
'Trans-Jordan' 
1924 
J. C. A. S. 
p. 
302. 
44. 
CO 
733/5 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
9 
August 1921. 
45. 
CO 
733/4 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
12 
July 1921. 
46. 
CO 
733/4 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
4. 
July 
1921. 
47. 
Ibid. 
48. 
CO 
733/5 
Abramson 
to 
Samuuel, 
6 
August 1921. 
60 
49. 
CO 
733/6 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
1 
September 
1921. 
50. 
CO 
733/4 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
25 
July 
1921. 
51. 
Ibid. 
52. 
Ibid. 
53. 
CO 
733/6 
CO Minute, 
6 
October 
1921. 
54. 
Monroe, 
E. 
Philby 
of 
Arabia 
(London, 
1973) 
p. 
115. 
55. 
CO 
733/6 
via 
Jerusalem 
Young 
to 
Churchill, 
7 
October 
1921. 
56. 
Ibid. 
57. 
Monroe 
op. cit. p. 
116. 
58. 
CO 
733/7 
Young 
to Shuckburgh, 
15 
October 
1921. 
59. 
CO 
733/7 
Lawrence 
Report, 
24 
October 1921. 
60. 
Ibid. 
61. 
Ibid. 
memo appended 
to 
the 
Lawrence 
report. 
62. 
Ibid. 
63. 
CO 
733/7 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
24 
November 
1921. 
64. 
CO 
733/7 
CO 
Minute, 19 
December 
1921. 
65. 
CO 
733/7 
19 
December 1921. 
66. 
CO 
733/7 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
7 
February 
1922. 
67. 
Philby 
op. cit. 
p. 
302. 
68. 
Samuel 
to Churchill, 11 
December 
1921 
(Gilbert 
M. 
Churchill 
IV 
part 
3 
p. 
1689). 
69. 
FO 
371/6239 
Secret 
Intelligence 
Service, 20 
May 
1921. 
70. 
CO 
733/13 
Private 
letter, 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
2 
April 
1921. 
71, 
FO 
371/6239 
20 
May 
1921. 
72. 
CO 
733/6 
Report 
No. 
8 
Abramson 
to 
Samuel 
6 
October 
1921. 
61 
CHAPTERF0UR 
TRANS-JORDAN 
DURING 
THE 
PHILBY 
ERA: 
NOVEMBER 
1921 
- 
APRIL 
1924 
INTRODUCTION 
The 
Lawrence 
Report, 
and 
the 
appointment 
of 
Harry 
S. 
John 
Philby 
as 
Chief 
British 
Representative, 
heralded 
a 
greater 
degree 
of 
British 
involvement 
in 
the 
problems 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
while 
presenting 
a picture 
of substantial 
Hashemite 
indepen- 
dence 
from 
Palestine. 
The 
policies 
followed 
by 
Abramson, 
characteristic 
more 
of 
an 
observer 
than 
of an 
adviser 
with 
powers 
to 
control 
the 
excesses 
of 
Abdullah, 
were 
over. 
Philby, though 
guided 
by 
a 
personal 
desire 
to 
give 
the 
terri- 
tory 
the 
maximum 
amount 
of 
independence, 
had 
to 
attempt 
to 
enforce 
policies 
which would 
improve 
Abdullah's 
financial 
and 
administrative position, 
pacify 
the territory, 
and 
ameliorate 
the 
Hashemite 
position 
in 
the 
territory 
as 
a 
whole. 
An 
improvement 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
- 
Syrian 
relations was 
a 
priority, 
as 
the then 
state 
of affairs 
complicated 
the 
prevailing 
ten- 
tion 
in 
the Middle East. 
And the 
establishment of 
a 
cross- 
desert 
route 
was considered an 
important 
Imperial 
strategic 
interest. 
INTERNAL FORCES 
AT WORK 
IN TRANS-JORDAN 
To 
understand 
the 
political 
situation 
during 
the 
early 
period, 
a word 
has 
to 
be 
said 
of 
the 
various 
forces 
which 
were 
62 
at work within 
this 
society. 
During 
the 
period under 
study 
there 
were 
four 
dominating 
forces 
at 
work. 
The 
first 
was 
the 
Amir 
and 
his 
immediate 
advisers, 
i. 
e. 
'the 
Palace'. 
The 
second 
was 
the 
bureaucracy 
dominated 
by 
Syrian 
exiles of 
the 
Istiglal 
party 
who 
filled 
the 
high 
posts 
of 
the 
Council 
of 
Advisers. 
This 
group 
was 
the 
object 
of continuous 
French 
protests. 
The 
third 
factor 
was 
the British 
in 
the 
person 
of 
the Chief British Representative, 
the 
local 
detachment 
of 
the 
Royal Air Force, 
and 
the Reserve 
Force 
commanded 
by 
Frederick 
G. 
Peake. 
And 
finally 
there 
were 
the tribes, 
both 
nomadic 
and 
sedentary. 
1 
Generally 
speaking 
these 
forces 
can 
be 
paired 
off: 
the Palace 
and 
the British, 
and 
the Syrians 
and 
the 
tribes. 
Britain 
and 
Abdullah 
were 
interdependent, 
the 
one 
could 
not 
do 
without 
the 
other; 
while 
the Istiqlal 
and 
tribal 
factionalism 
were, 
in 
different 
ways, 
the two 
main 
threats 
to 
the 
survival 
of 
British 
and 
Sherifian 
interests. 
* 
ISTIQLAL 
- 
Arabic 
for 
independence 
- 
was 
founded 
as 
a 
political 
party 
immediately 
after 
World 
War one 
and 
had 
close 
connections 
with 
Amir 
Feisal 
during 
his brief 
reign 
in 
Damascus, 
and 
with 
the 
plan 
for 
an 
Arab 
Federation. 
As 
both 
proved 
abortive, and 
the 
Fertile 
Crescent 
was 
partitioned, 
Istiqlal 
remained 
as 
a 
loose 
group 
rather 
than 
an 
organized 
political 
party. 
Syrian 
exponents 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
moved 
to 
Amman 
to 
avoid 
French 
suppression 
(and 
therefore 
pre-date 
Abdullah), 
though 
the 
group 
had 
no 
clear 
organizational 
structure. 
63 
The 
developing 
position 
and 
role 
of 
Abdullah 
have 
already 
been 
described 
in 
the 
last 
two 
chapters. 
The 
indecision 
of 
the 
early 
period, 
where 
it 
seemed 
that 
even 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
know 
what 
he 
wanted, 
gave 
way 
to 
a willingness 
to 
accept 
his 
position 
of 
almost 
total 
dependence 
on 
the 
British. 
In 
turn, 
the 
British 
realised 
that 
without 
Abdullah, 
they 
would 
have 
been 
in 
an 
untenable 
position, 
and were 
therefore 
prepared 
to 
allow 
Abdullah 
as 
long 
a 
leash 
as possible. 
The 
institution 
of 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
gave 
its 
holder 
a 
large 
degree 
of 
independence 
of 
British 
bureaucracy 
in how 
the 
country 
was 
run, 
though 
he 
was 
under 
the 
supervisory 
control 
of 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
for Palestine. 
The 
Syrians, 
on 
the 
other 
hand, 
were 
a 
direct threat 
to 
the 
implementation 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the territory. 
Because they 
were 
the 
only 
educated 
group 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
they 
dominated 
every 
part 
of 
the 
administration 
and 
the 
army. 
The 
Colonial 
Office 
in 
London 
largely 
blamed 
the 
troubles 
of 
Abdullah 
during 
the 
'trial 
period' 
on 
the 
Syrians. 
As 
Major 
C. 
S. 
Jarvis, 
in his 
biography 
of 
Peake 
noted: 
Every 
important 
post 
in 
the 
government 
at 
that time 
was 
filled 
by 
a 
Syrian 
or a 
Damascus 
Arab 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
party, whose 
one 
aim 
was 
to 
extract 
as much money 
as 
possible 
from 
Transjordan 
to 
carry on 
the 
war against. 
the 
French 
and 
to 
use 
the 
country as a 
base 
for 
operations 
in 
Syria. 
2 
The 
aims 
and actions 
of 
the Istiglal 
party were 
incompatible 
with 
British 
interests in 
the 
Middle 
East. 
Since 
one of 
the 
foundations 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
1920s 
was 
the 
64 
recognition 
of 
the 
French 
mandate 
of 
Syria, there 
was 
bound 
to 
be 
a clash over 
Istiglal's 
encouragement 
of anti-French 
action. 
The 
attempted 
assassination 
of 
General Gouraud, 
and 
the 
fact 
that 
the 
assailants 
had 
managed 
to take 
refuge 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
brought 
this 
problem 
to 
a 
head. 
The 
various 
tribes 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
presented 
another 
stumbling 
block 
to the 
pacification 
of 
the 
territory, 
as 
rivalry 
and 
factionalism 
proved 
a 
major 
threat to the 
survival 
of 
the 
state 
throughout the 
1920s. 
This 
menace was not 
limited 
to the 
bedouin 
tribes 
of 
the 
east 
and 
the 
south, nor 
to 
Wahhabi 
expansionism 
from 
the Nejd. 
In the 
early years, 
in 
fact, it 
was 
in 
the 
settled 
areas of 
the 
north-west 
that 
most 
of 
the 
trouble 
occurred. 
The 
Kura 
revolt 
in 
Ajlun 
which 
broke 
out 
in 
May 
1921 
took 
a year 
to 
suppress, while 
the Amir's 
policy of 
tribal 
favouritism 
and playing 
one 
tribe 
off 
against 
the 
next 
led 
to the 
Adwan 
revolt of 
1923. 
The 
latter 
was 
a 
more 
serious 
revolt, 
which 
at 
one stage 
threatened to 
cut 
off 
the 
road 
from 
Amman 
to 
Jerusalem, 
It 
was only at a 
later 
stage 
that the 
tribes 
became 
Abdullah's 
natural ally, 
and so 
one 
of 
the 
main 
pillars of 
the 
developing 
state. 
PHILBY 
AS 
CHIEF 
BRITISH 
REPRESENTATIVE 
Harry 
St. 
John 
Philby 
took 
up 
his 
appointment 
as 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
on 
28 
November 
1921 despite 
some 
mis- 
givings 
on 
the 
part of 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel. 
Philby 
inherited 
from 
Lawrence 
an 
improvement 
in 
the 
overall 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
As 
he 
noted 
in 
his 
diary 
on 
8 
December 1921: 
65 
He 
[Lawrence] 
has 
turned 
a pessimistic 
outlook 
into 
one which 
is 
certainly 
the 
reverse, 
the 
administration 
which 
he has 
encouraged 
to 
function 
is 
working 
smoothly; 
Abdullah 
apparently 
[has] 
b5come 
resigned 
to 
being 
a 
puppet 
figure-head. 
However, Philby 
still 
had 
three 
important 
problems 
which 
had 
to 
be dealt 
with 
as 
soon 
as 
he had 
arrived 
in 
Amman. 
The 
most 
urgent 
was 
the 
need 
to 
tidy 
up 
Abdullah's 
financial 
affairs. 
The 
second 
problems 
was 
the 
strained 
relations with 
the 
French 
in 
Syria. The 
third 
was 
the 
need 
to 
delimit 
the Amirate's 
frontiers, 
a necessary precondition 
to 
bringing 
order 
to the 
tribes. In 
attempting 
to 
put 
the 
Anglo-Hashemite 
relationship 
on a 
firmer footing, 
Philby 
was 
guided 
by 
the 
ideal 
that 
whatever 
form 
the 
administration 
eventually 
took, 
it had 
to 
be 
independent 
of 
Jerusalem. 
The 
financial 
administration 
of 
the territory 
was 
probably 
the 
most 
important 
problem. 
From 
the 
start, 
the 
administration 
was 
too 
sophisticated 
for 
the 
nature 
of 
the 
territory. Since the 
Syrian 
exiles were about 
the 
only 
educated 
group 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
they 
formed 
a ruling 
class 
which 
dominated 
the 
administrative structure. 
As 
a result, 
I 
the 
government 
cost 
more 
than 
could 
be 
raised 
in local 
revenue, 
the 
deficit being 
made 
up 
by 
British 
grants-in-aid. 
However, 
the Syrian 
presence 
was 
not 
the 
only 
factor 
which 
brought 
about 
this 
state of affairs. 
There 
were 
other 
contributing 
factors, 
not 
least being 
British demands 
for 
law, 
order 
and 
security, 
combined with 
responsibilities to the 
League 
of 
Nations 
to 
ensure 
good 
government. Abdullah's 
66 
general 
extravagance 
also played 
a part. 
And 
finally 
the 
nature of 
the 
territory 
itself, for 
Trans-Jordan 
had 
no 
history 
of a 
separate, 
self-contained, 
independent 
government; 
virtually 
everything 
had 
to 
be built from 
scratch. 
As 
a 
result, 
an annual 
grant-in-aid 
was necessary make 
up 
the 
deficit 
in 
the 
budget. 
For 
the 
period 
under 
study, 
British 
grants-in-aid 
were: 
1921-22 
- 
L180,000 
1922-23 
-? 
90,000 
4 
1923-24 
- 
L150,000 
However, 
because 
of 
lack 
of 
control over 
how 
this 
money was 
spent, 
Abdullah's 
extravagance 
had 
to 
be 
curtailed. 
Most 
of 
the 
money 
from 
the 
grants-in-aid 
was 
going on entertainment 
and 
presents 
to Syrian 
refugees 
and 
the 
bedouin 
tribes. 
Although 
this 
was 
the traditional 
Arab 
method of controlling 
the 
population, 
the 
British 
were not prepared 
to 
sanction 
spending 
in 
this 
way 
when 
the 
purpose of 
the 
grants 
was 
to 
pay 
for 
the 
additional 
costs on 
the 
administration of 
Trans-Jordan 
of 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative's 
staff. 
Therefore 
one 
of 
Philby's 
first 
moves 
was 
to 
gain 
control 
from 
Abdullah 
of 
the 
grant-in-aid. 
With 
Colonial 
Office 
approval, 
Philby's 
hand in 
Amman 
was 
immediately 
strengthened. 
The 
change 
took 
effect 
from 
1 
January 
1922 
.5 
Ever 
since 
the 
attack 
on 
Gouraud 
in 
June 
1921, 
relations 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
had 
been 
strained. 
The 
problem 
centred 
on 
the 
fact 
that 
his 
attackers 
had 
taken 
refuge 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
where 
Abdullah 
and 
the British 
were 
powerless 
to 
67 
i 
have 
them 
arrested 
and 
extradited 
back 
to Syria. As 
a 
result, 
Philby 
in 
February 
1922, 
sought 
for, 
and was 
reluctantly 
given, 
permission 
to 
visit 
Syria 
and 
hold discussions 
with 
the 
French 
authorities, 
reasoning 
that 
only 
direct 
contact 
would 
improve 
the 
situation. 
6 
This 
move met 
some opposition 
in 
the 
Colonial 
office, 
because, 
as 
Hubert 
Young 
reasoned, 
'such 
a 
visit 
however 
unofficially 
will 
lend 
colour 
to the 
idea 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
is independent 
of 
Palestine'. 
7 
On the 
other 
hand, 
the Foriegn 
office 
were 
willing 
to 
sanction 
it, 
so 
long 
as 
his 
conversations 
with 
the 
French 
were of an 
informal 
nature. 
8 
The 
visit, 
from 
Philby's 
point 
of view, was 
a 
diplomatic 
success. 
Philby 
visited 
Syria 
from 
3 
to 
16 
April 
and 
held 
discussions 
with 
French 
mandate authorities, 
including 
Robert 
de 
Caix, the 
French 
acting 
High 
Commissioner 
in 
Beirut. 
Although 
he 
was met with 
friendship, 
the 
success 
of 
his 
trip 
lay 
only 
in 
the 
improved 
understanding 
which 
developed 
between 
British 
and 
French 
administrators on 
the 
spot. 
Franco-Hashemite 
relations 
remained 
strained, 
because 
Abdullah 
was 
still 
not 
prepared 
to 
give 
up 
his 
patronage 
of 
Syrian 
exiles 
or 
his 
support 
for 
Syrian tribes 
to 
the 
north 
of 
the 
border. 
As Philby 
was 
to 
point out 
in 
his 
report 
to 
Samuel, 
French 
'friendliness 
and 
politeness 
was addressed 
to 
me 
personally 
as 
a representative of 
Great 
Britain 
and 
never 
indicated 
any 
genuine 
desire 
to 
arrive 
through 
me 
at 
a 
friendly 
understanding 
with 
High 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
and 
his 
Government'. 
9 
As 
Philby 
recorded 
in 
his 
diary 
that, 
He 
[de 
Caix] 
stated 
that 
in 
their 
turn, 
the 
French 
were equally 
desirous 
of 
the 
estab- 
68 
lishment 
of 
good 
relations 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans-Jordania 
but 
that 
such a 
result 
was 
impossible 
so 
long 
as 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
adherents 
entertained 
any 
hopes 
of 
securing 
a position 
in 
Syria 
and 
he 
indicated 
that 
some 
pronouncement 
on 
the 
part 
of 
Abdullah 
to 
the 
effect 
that 
he 
had 
given 
up all 
designs 
on 
Syria 
would 
be 
welcome 
and would 
be 
a necessary 
prelimiz 
ry 
to 
the 
reopening 
of 
friendly 
relations. 
For 
the 
time 
being, 
Abdullah 
was not 
prepared, 
nor was 
he 
in 
any position, 
to 
give 
such 
an 
undertaking. 
While 
Abdullah's 
financial 
extravagance 
and 
relations 
with 
Syria 
were 
being dealt 
with 
by 
Philby, 
another 
matter 
was 
being 
considered 
seriously 
for 
the 
first 
time. 
In 
fact 
it 
was 
two 
closely 
inter-related 
problems: 
the 
perennial 
one of 
tribal 
factionalism, 
and 
the 
question 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontiers. 
Although 
these 
questions 
will 
be 
considered 
fully 
in 
a 
separate 
chapter, 
a 
brief 
examination 
of 
them 
is 
now 
required. 
The 
Kura 
rebellion 
of 
May 
1921 
and 
the 
Reserve 
Force's 
inability 
to 
suppress 
it 
had 
been 
an 
important 
factor 
in 
the 
reorganization 
of 
the 
security 
forces 
which 
had 
occurred 
in 
November 1921. 
The 
main 
result 
of 
the 
Kura 
troubles 
and 
the 
resultant 
reorganization 
was 
that 
greater 
importance 
was 
put 
on 
the 
efficiency 
of 
Peake's 
force. 
Peake's 
gendarmerie, 
with 
the 
active 
assistance of 
the 
R. A. F., 
was 
able, 
in 
February 
1922, 
to 
bring 
the 
Kerak 
district 
under 
central 
government 
control; 
and 
in 
July 1922 Kura 
was 
also 
finally 
reduced 
to 
submission. 
Most 
of 
the 
earlier 
incidents 
of 
unrest 
were 
the 
result 
of 
a policy of 
trying 
to 
integrate 
the 
tribes 
into 
69 
wider 
districts 
in 
order 
to 
gain greater central 
control 
over 
them. 
Tribal 
unwillingness 
was, 
however, 
overcome 
more 
by 
Abdullah's 
resorting 
to the 
politics 
of 
subsidy, conciliation 
and 
amnesty, 
than 
by 
military 
force. 
However, 
the 
need 
to 
have 
an effective 
force 
to 
underpin 
the 
Amir's 
authority, 
and 
to 
guarantee 
his 
ultimate 
safety, 
was 
recognized 
by 
all 
concerned 
as 
being 
absolutely 
essential. 
When Philby 
first 
arrived 
in 
Amman, 
Peake's 
force 
was still 
in 
training, 
but 
not 
yet armed. 
The 
other 
problem, 
the 
need 
to 
define 
what was 
in 
fact 
Abdullah's 
realm 
was 
a priority 
in 
order 
to 
ensure 
- 
greater 
public security 
within 
the territory 
itself. 
THE QUESTION 
OF JAUF 
AND 
THE 
WADI 
SIRHAN 
The 
frontiers 
mapped 
out 
for 
the Palestine 
mandate 
at 
the 
San 
Remo 
conference 
were, 
by 
and 
large, 
very 
rough 
and of an 
arbitrary 
nature. 
How 
far 
the 
territory 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
stretched 
to 
the 
east 
and 
the 
south was unknown, 
and 
there 
was 
the 
distinct 
danger 
that, 
inadvertently, 
Britain 
would 
extend 
its 
commitments too 
far 
into 
Arabia. 
The 
central 
question 
was, 
who 
was 
to 
control 
the Wadi Sirhan? 
The 
strategic 
significance 
of 
this 
valley 
was 
that 
it 
controlled 
communication 
between 
Arabia 
and 
Syria, 
and 
it 
was 
the 
central 
pivot 
for 
the 
control 
of 
the trans-desert 
route 
from 
the 
Mediterranean 
to 
the 
Persian Gulf. 
Historically, 
the Wadi 
had 
always 
been 
significant 
as 
a 
trade 
route, 
and 
retained 
its 
importance 
into 
the 
1920s before 
the 
development 
of 
the 
air 
route 
reduced 
its 
importance. 
Glubb 
noted 
its 
importance 
in 
70 
The 
Story 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion: 
The 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
a 
long depression 
containing 
great 
numbers 
of 
wells, 
opened a 
highway 
before 
him 
(Abdul 
Aziz] to 
Syria 
.... 
This 
was 
precisely 
the 
route always 
used 
by 
caravans 
and 
travellers 
and was 
cowman 
ft d 
at 
its 
northern 
end 
by 
Roman 
forts. 
The 
salt villages 
known 
as 
Qurayyat 
al-Milh, and 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
were 
controlled 
by 
Nuri 
Sha'lan, 
the 
sheikh 
of 
the 
Ruwalla tribe, 
who 
lived 
in 
Damascus 
and 
was 
therefore 
open 
to 
French 
influence. 
12 
If 
he 
could 
be 
induced 
to 
accept 
the 
suzerainty 
of 
Abdullah 
and so 
secure 
the 
territory 
for 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
then 
two 
objectives could 
be 
achieved: 
on 
the 
one 
hand 
it 
would 
block 
any 
further 
expansion 
southwards 
of 
French 
influence 
into 
Arabia, 
while 
on 
the 
other 
it 
would 
exclude 
the 
Wahhabis 
from 
the 
valley. 
If 
the Wahhabis 
expanded 
to the 
Syrian 
frontier, 
the 
long 
cherished 
'all-red 
route' 
to the 
Persian 
Gulf 
would 
have been 
cut. 
Churchill 
was prepared 
to 
support 
the 
expansion 
of 
British 
influence 
in 
the 
direction 
of 
Jauf. 
He 
informed 
Samuel 
that: 
'... 
Mr. 
Philby 
be 
instructed 
to 
regard 
the 
peaceful 
extension 
of 
British 
influence 
to 
Jauf 
as 
part 
of 
his 
duties 
as 
Chief 
British Officer 
in 
Trans- 
Jordania'. 
13 
However, 
Churchill 
wanted 
this 
to 
be 
achieved 
at 
little 
or 
no cost. 
'He 
[Philbyj 
should 
satisfy 
himself 
in 
the 
first 
instance 
that 
the 
journey 
can 
be 
undertaken 
without 
risk 
of 
extending 
our 
present 
commitments 
in 
Trans-Jordan' 
14 
_ 
an 
impossible 
task 
bearing 
in 
mind 
the 
distances 
involved 
(Jauf 
was over 
250 
miles 
from 
Amman) 
and 
the 
expansion 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud. 
Nevertheless, 
Churchill's 
instructions 
coincided 
71 
with 
Philby's 
own 
view, 
shared 
by 
Lawrence, 
that Abdullah 
should 
have 
possession 
of 
the 
whole 
of 
Wadi Sirhan. Indeed, 
Philby 
records 
in 
his 
diary 
that 
when 
he first 
arrived 
in 
Amman 
he 
gained 
the 
impression that 
Lawrence 
held 
the 
view 
that the 
southern 
frontier 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
should 
be 
along 
the 
edge of 
the Nafud 
desert. 
15 
The 
general 
justification 
for 
this 
claim 
was 
that 
since 
the 
wadi, 
in 
pre-war 
times, 
was nominally 
part of 
the 
vilayet 
of 
Syria, 
its 
administration 
must now 
pass 
to 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
the 
successor 
state 
of 
the 
southern part 
of 
Syria. And to 
Philby, 
a 
journey 
into 
the Wadi 
appealed 
to 
him 
as 
an explorer and 
he 
was 
'overjoyed' 
at 
the 
prospect of 
re- 
establishingcontact 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
16 
However the 
issue 
was 
not clear 
cut, 
for 
there 
were 
a 
number 
of complicating 
factors. 
On 
the 
one 
hand 
Nuri 
Sha'lan, 
as 
head 
of 
the Ruwalla 
at 
Jauf, 
was under 
French 
protection. 
Therefore the 
extension 
of 
British 
influence 
to the Wadi 
would 
cut 
the French 
off 
from 
the Ruwalla 
and, as 
Churchill 
pointed 
out 
to Samuel, 
it 
would 
prevent 
'the 
extension 
of 
French 
influence into 
Arabia 
proper 
beyond 
the 
limits 
of 
the French 
zone'. 
17 
In 
May, Philby, 
when 
he 
reported 
back 
on 
his 
visit 
to 
Jauf, 
informed 
Samuel 
that 
there 
was 
a 
French 
officer 
there. 
18 
Although 
there 
was 
some 
concern over 
French 
intentions 
in 
the 
area, 
the 
main 
threat to 
British 
interests 
came 
from 
the 
northward 
advance 
of 
the wahhabis 
from 
Hail, 
The 
Wahhabis 
were 
an 
ultra-conservative 
puritanical 
sect 
of 
Sunni 
Muslims, 
which 
originated 
in 
the Nejd 
in 
the 
second 
half 
of 
the 
18th 
72 
century, 
founded 
by 
Muhammad 
bin 
Abdul Wahhab. Their 
main 
belief 
was 
that 
Islam 
had 
been 
neglected, 
including 
faith 
in 
one 
God, 
and 
the 
tenets 
of 
Islam 
distorted 
by innovation. 
The 
adherents 
of 
Wahhabism, 
and 
in 
particular 
the 
order called 
the 
Ikhwan 
('Brethren') 
which 
was 
used 
by 
Abdul Aziz to 
spearhead 
his 
conquests 
in 
the 
Arabian 
Peninsula, 
considered 
that 
Muslims 
who 
did 
not 
accept 
Wahhabi 
beliefs 
were 
heretics, 
and 
if 
not converted, 
could 
be 
put 
to 
the 
sword. 
As 
long 
as 
they 
did 
not 
have 
to 
face 
modern 
armaments 
they 
were 
largely 
unbeatable. 
Although Churchill 
would 
have liked 
to 
see 
the 
Wadi Sirhan 
as 
far 
as 
Jauf 
under 
British 
control, 
he 
was not 
prepared 
to 
extend 
British 
commitments 
into 
Arabia 
and risk 
a 
confrontation 
with 
the Ikhwan 
to 
achieve 
this. Even 
before 
his journey 
to 
Jauf, Philby 
was 
to 
warn 
Samuel that 
'if 
he 
[Abdul 
Aziz] 
is intent 
on occupying 
Jauf, 
or any other 
desert 
centre 
in 
Arabia, 
nothing 
short 
of a costly 
British 
expedition 
will 
prevent 
him 
from 
so 
doing 
... 
'19 
In 
the 
spring of 
1922 
Philby 
set out 
with 
Major A. 
L. Holt 
of 
the 
Iraqi 
Railways 
to 
inspect 
the 
wadi Sirhan, 
The 
main 
purpose 
of 
the 
trip 
was 
to 
prospect a possible 
line 
for 
the 
cross-desert 
railway. 
This 
railway 
project 
dated 
from 
the 
Chesny 
expeditions 
of 
the 
1830s 
and was 
to 
meet 
the 
need 
for 
a quick 
route 
to 
India. 
It 
has 
to 
be 
remembered that 
even 
in 
the 1920s 
the 
idea 
still 
had its 
followers, 
and 
it had 
gained 
increased 
favour during 
the 
First 
World 
War. 
The 
plan 
had 
strong 
backing 
from 
the Indian 
government, though 
the 
possibility that 
the 
railway would 
ever 
be 
built 
in 
the 
post- 
73 
i 
war 
years 
was 
negligible. 
Besides 
geographical 
barriers, 
the 
French 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz 
were 
against 
the 
plan, 
and 
would 
probably 
have 
co-operated 
to 
ensure 
its failure. 
As 
Philby 
noted: 
The Trans-Desert 
Railway 
project 
is 
viewed 
askance 
by 
the 
French 
on 
the 
one 
hand 
as 
likely 
to 
interfere 
with 
their 
projects 
of 
an economic 
nature 
and 
by 
Ibn 
Saud 
on 
the 
other 
hand 
who 
cannot 
but 
realise 
that 
such 
a 
line 
must 
limit 
the 
area 
availabi8 
for 
his 
expansion 
under 
the 
Ikhwan 
banner. 
An 
initial 
attempt 
by 
Philby 
and 
Holt 
to 
reach 
Jauf 
in 
March 
had 
been 
unsuccessful 
because 
they 
were 
unable 
to 
obtain 
the 
necessary 
camels 
for 
their 
trip 
down 
the Wadi 
Sirhan. 
The 
two 
set 
out 
once 
again on 
2 
May. 
21 
However, 
even 
though 
they 
managed 
to 
complete 
their trip 
to 
Iraq, 
they 
were 
lucky 
to 
get 
out 
alive, 
for 
their 
arrival 
in 
the Wadi 
coincided 
with 
that 
of 
the 
Wahhabis. 
When 
they 
reached 
Jauf 
on 
20 
May 
the 
Ruwalla 
were 
in 
fear 
of 
the 
maurauding 
Ikhwan 
and 
were willing 
to 
accept 
the 
authority of 
Abdullah 
if 
they 
could 
be 
guaranteed 
protection. 
Having 
virtually 
been 
compelled 
to 
sign an 
agreement, 
Philby 
and 
Holt 
made 
their 
escape 
towards 
Iraq, 
not 
realising 
that 
this 
action 
had 
created 
a 
storm 
in 
Jerusalem, 
Baghdad 
and 
London. 
The 
agreement 
was 
interpreted 
as 
an 
offensive/defensive 
treaty 
which, 
if honoured, 
could cause 
a 
British 
entanglement 
in 
central 
Arabia. 
This 
action was 
taken 
without 
reference 
to Samuel 
or 
to the Colonial 
office 
(time 
did 
not 
permit 
such niceties) 
and was 
therefore 
not 
considered 
binding. 
Informing 
the 
Foreign Office 
of 
Churchill's 
view, 
Sir 
John 
Shuckburgh, 
Assistant Under 
Secretary 
of 
State in 
the 
74 
Colonial 
Office, 
wrote: 
I 
am 
to 
say 
in 
the 
first 
place 
that 
the 
agreement 
signed 
on 
behalf 
of 
Mr. Philby 
and 
the Amir 
Abdullah 
on 
the 
one 
side and 
Mujhim 
ibn 
Sha'lan 
on 
the 
other was 
concluded 
without 
the 
authority 
of 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
who 
are 
therefore 
not 
bound by 
it. 
Instructions 
to 
this 
effect 
have been 
telegraphe12to 
the 
High Commissioner 
of 
Palestine. 
However, 
while 
repudiating 
the treaty, Shuckburgh 
noted 
that 
Article 
1 
stated 
that 
Jauf 
was 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
a 
fact 
which 
coincided 
with 
Colonial 
office 
thinking 
at-the 
time. 
The 
strategic 
importance 
of 
Jauf 
and 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
both 
from 
the 
point of 
view 
of 
the 
air route 
to Baghdad 
and 
the 
railway 
scheme, 
could 
not 
be 
denied, 
nevertheless 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
and 
Sir Herbert Samuel 
were not as yet 
prepared 
to, 
provoke 
a confrontation 
with 
Abdul Aziz. Philby 
had 
also 
realized 
when 
he 
visited 
the 
village 
that Jauf 
could 
not 
be 
held 
and 
pointed out 
the 
dangers 
'of 
having 
any considerable 
body 
of 
European 
troops 
or 
other 
personnel 
so 
far from 
their 
bases 
combine 
to 
make 
the 
alternative 
alignment 
in 
my 
opinion 
undesirable 
from 
the 
political and military 
point 
of 
view', 
23 
Following 
the 
visit 
to Jauf, 
he 
considered 
the 
trans-desert 
railway 
scheme 
as 
'Utopian' 
and 
that 
the 
best 
British 
policy 
possible 
was 
to 
'support 
the 
independence 
of 
Jauf 
as a 
buffer 
state 
between 
Nejd 
and 
Trans-Jordan', 
24 
But 
by 
the time 
that 
the 
Colonial 
office 
had 
consulted 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
in 
July, 
the Wahhabis had 
occupied 
Jauf. 
Philby 
had 
warned 
Samuel 
of 
this 
eventuality 
as early 
as 
January, 
and 
in 
August 
Samuel 
informed 
Churchill: 
'The 
Jauf 
problem 
has 
thus 
solved 
itself 
75 
25 
A 
definite 
and 
the 
Wahhabi 
menace 
is 
on 
our 
borders. 
' 
decision 
now 
had 
to 
be 
taken 
over 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontier 
before 
any confrontation 
with 
the 
Wahhabis 
jeopardized 
the 
British 
controlled 
land 
route 
to 
Iraq. 
This 
could not 
be done 
in 
time, 
for 
on 
15 
August 
1922 
an 
Ikhwan 
raiding 
party 
struck 
eleven miles 
south 
of 
Amman, 
an 
event 
which 
finally 
brought 
home 
to 
Jerusulem 
that 
the 
danger 
of 
Wahhabi 
expansionism 
was 
a 
direct 
threat 
not 
only 
to Trans- 
Jordan but 
to 
Palestine 
itself. 
Abdul Aziz's 
position 
is 
not 
difficult 
to 
appreciate: 
Although 
he 
was nominally 
on 
friendly 
terms 
with 
Great Britain, Ibn 
Saud 
felt 
confined 
on 
all 
sides 
by hostj?e 
puppet 
states 
that 
Britain 
had 
created. 
For 
Samuel 
the 
dangers 
were 
obvious. 
He 
could 
not 
tolerate 
the 
disintegration 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
which 
would 
occur 
if 
Abdullah 
was not given 
full 
backing. 
And 
likewise, 
if 
the 
desert 
was abandoned 
to 
the 
Nejdis, 
and 
Abdullah's 
Amirate 
restricted 
to 
the 
settled 
areas, 
the 
very 
raison 
d'etre 
of 
the 
territory 
would 
be 
destroyed. 
A 
stand, 
Samuel 
reasoned, 
had 
to 
be 
made, 
but 
where? 
Jauf 
and 
most 
of 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
had 
been 
lost 
to 
the 
Ikhwan, though 
the 
village of 
Kaf 
at 
the 
near 
end 
of 
the 
Wadi 
was still unoccupied. 
By 
assuming 
control of 
Kaf, 
Samuel 
informed 
Churchill, 
a stand 
could 
be 
made without 
requiring 
further 
finance. 
And 
unlike 
Jauf, 
Kaf 
was 
easy 
to 
defend. 
As 
Samuel 
informed 
Churchill: 
Excellent 
defence 
position 
is 
afforded 
by 
Kaf 
fort 
which 
would 
be 
tenable 
against 
any 
76 
raid. 
White 
flag 
was 
hoisted 
there 
as a 
result 
of 
air 
reconnaissance and no 
27 
resistence 
would probably 
be 
offered. 
Churchill 
gave 
his 
approval 
for 
the 
occupation 
of 
Kaf 
on 
9 
September, 
on 
the 
condition 
that 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
use 
the 
opportunity 
to 
attempt 
to 
gain 
control 
of 
Jauf 
and 
'that 
no 
military commitment 
is 
entered 
into 
or additional expense 
involved'. 
28 
The 
thinking 
behind 
the 
occupation 
of 
Kaf 
was 
that 
it 
would act as a 
trip 
wire 
for 
any 
further 
Wahhabi 
incursions, 
to 
ensure a continuous 
frontier 
with 
Iraq, 
and 
to 
act as 
a 
bargaining 
counter 
in future 
dealings 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
The 
occupation 
of 
Kaf 
was a 
direct 
response 
to 
the 
Wahhabi 
raid 
in 
August. 
Initially 
250 
men of 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
were sent, and 
it 
was 
held 
by fifty 
men until 
the 
autumn 
of 
1925 
when 
it 
was 
handed 
over 
to Abdul 
Aziz 
as part 
of 
the 
Haddad 
Agreement. 
29 
THE LEGAL 
SEPARATION 
OF 
TRANS-JORDAN 
FROM PALESTINE 
By 
the 
summer of 
1922 
the 
situation, except 
in 
the 
desert 
area, 
had 
largely 
been brought 
under 
control. 
Philby 
had, 
through 
concentrating 
financial 
control 
in 
his 
hands, 
brought 
a 
bit 
more 
discipline 
into 
the 
running 
of 
the 
state. 
In 
the 
settled 
areas 
at 
least, 
greater 
security 
had 
been 
achieved 
where 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
had been 
able 
to 
enforce 
the 
authority 
of 
Amman. 
Abdullah's 
administration 
was 
functioning 
better 
than 
before. 
As 
a 
result, 
it 
was 
necessary 
to 
formalize 
the 
arrangement 
by 
which 
Anglo-Hashemite 
relations 
had 
been 
conducted 
in 
Trans-Jordan for 
over 
a 
year 
and a 
half. 
Not 
77 
only was 
it 
necessary 
to 
formalise 
the 
principles 
of 
the 
Jerusalem 
conference 
for 
the 
benefit 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
but 
also 
to 
advance 
the 
constitutional 
development 
of 
the 
territory 
and 
to 
define 
the 
relationship 
between 
the 
British, 
Abdullah 
and 
Palestine. 
In 
July 
1922 
this 
problem was rather 
urgent 
as 
Samuel 
informed 
Churchill: 
It 
would appear 
to 
be 
very 
desirable 
that 
the 
political status 
of 
Trans-Jordania 
should 
be definitely 
settled 
... 
pending 
a 
settlement 
... 
it is 
not 
possible satis- 
factorily 
to 
deal 
with 
the 
many 
problems 
that 
arise concerning 
the 
relationshig0 
between 
Trans-Jordania 
and 
Palestine. 
The 
controversy 
between 
those, 
such as 
Wyndham 
Deedes, 
who 
wanted 
to 
see 
the 
integration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
with 
Palestine, 
and 
those, 
such as 
Philby, 
who 
wanted 
a complete separation 
between 
the 
two 
territories, 
was very 
much 
alive. 
Although 
Jewish 
settlement 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
had been 
prohibited, 
the 
issue 
had, 
not 
been 
permanently 
resolved. 
Trans-Jordan, 
at 
least 
to 
government circles 
in 
Jerusalem, 
was 
a satellite 
territory 
which 
was supposed 
to 
function 
in 
concert 
with 
Palestinian 
interests. 
As 
Philby 
noted, 
'it is 
essential 
that the 
existence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as a separate 
political 
entity 
independent 
of 
its 
neighbours and 
especially 
of 
Palestine 
should 
be 
formally 
recognised 
by 
His 
Majesty's 
Government. 
31 
From 
the League 
of 
Nations 
point 
of 
view, 
it 
was 
necessary 
to 
regularise 
the 
international 
position 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
relation 
to 
Palestine 
proper. 
Although 
Trans-Jordan 
78 
was part of 
the 
Mandate 
of 
Palestine, 
it 
had been 
recognized 
as a 
special 
case 
by 
virtue 
of 
the 
Churchill 
agreement 
of 
1921. 
Although 
it formed 
part 
of 
the 
'Mandate' 
of 
Palestine, 
its 
special status 
was protected 
by 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
mandate 
for 
Palestine 
which 
had 
been 
approved 
by 
the League 
of 
Nations 
on 
22 
July 
1922. 
It 
formed 
the 
basis 
of 
the 
separation of 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Palestine 
proper: 
In 
the 
territory 
lying between 
the Jordan 
and 
the 
eastern 
boundary 
of 
Palestine 
as 
ultimately 
determined, 
the 
Mandatory 
shall 
be 
entitled, 
with 
the 
consent 
of 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
to 
postpone 
or 
withhold 
application 
of such provisions 
of 
this 
mandate as 
he 
may 
consider 
inapplicable 
to 
the 
existing 
local 
conditions, 
and 
to 
make such 
provisions 
for 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
territories 
as 
he 
may 
consider 
suitable 
to those 
conditions, 
provided 
that 
no action shall 
be 
taken 
which 
is inconsis- 
tent 
wi?? 
the'provisions 
of 
Articles 
15,16 
and 
18. 
In 
other 
words, 
save 
for 
Article 
15,16,18 
and 
25 
itself, 
Trans-Jordan 
did 
not really 
have 
a mandate 
document 
as such, 
a 
position 
that 
was not altogether satisfactory 
from 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
point of view. 
The Colonial 
office 
view was 
that 
the 
Palestine 
mandate 
as 
it 
stood was not consistent 
with 
British 
wartime 
promises 
to 
the Arabs. 
Ever 
since 
the 
* 
To 
summarize: 
Articles 
15 
and 
166 
covered 
religious 
freedom 
in 
the 
mandate. 
By 
implication 
of 
the 
sentence 
in 
Article 
15: 
No 
person 
shall 
be 
excluded 
from 
Palestine 
[a 
definition 
which 
included 
Trans-Jordan) 
on 
the 
grounds 
of religious 
belief. ' 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
open 
to 
Jewish 
settlement. 
Article 
18 
covered 
free 
entry 
of 
trade 
and nationals 
of 
League 
of 
Nations 
member 
states, and 
therefore 
technically 
Britain 
could 
not 
exclude 
Jewish 
nationals 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations. 
see 
Cmd. 
1785 
79 
Jerusalem 
conference, 
Britain 
had 
gone 
out of 
its 
way 
to 
justify 
British 
policy 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
being 
consistent 
with 
McMahon's 
promises 
to 
Hussein. 
As 
Hubert 
Young 
was 
to 
point 
out 
to the 
Cabinet: 
The 
reason which 
has 
prompted 
Mr. Churchill 
to 
decide 
that 
the 
provisions 
of 
the 
man- 
date, 
relating 
to 
the 
Jewish 
national 
home, 
should not 
be 
applied 
to Trans-Jordan 
is 
that 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
are pledged 
by 
their 
promises 
to the 
Sherif 
of 
Mecca 
to 
recognise and 
support 
the 
iniSpendence 
of 
the Arabs 
in 
that 
territory. 
However, 
in 
September, 
it 
was 
decided 
that 
the 
Palestine 
mandate, 
with 
all references 
to 
the 
Jewish 
National 
Home 
excluded, 
should also 
be 
the 
mandate 
for 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
new 
decision, 
submitted 
in 
the 
form 
of a memorandum, was 
approved 
by 
the Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
nations 
on 
23 
September 
1922. 
The British 
memorandum ended 
with a 
declaration 
which effectively separated 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
the 
rest 
of 
Palestine: 
In 
the 
application 
of 
the 
mandate 
to Trans- 
Jordan, 
the 
action, 
which 
in 
Palestine 
is 
taken 
by 
the 
administration of 
the 
latter 
country 
will 
be 
taken 
by 
the 
administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
under 
th54general 
super- 
vision 
of 
the 
mandatory. 
This 
memorandum, 
specifically 
excluding 
Zionist 
settlement 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was essential 
in 
order 
to 
regulate 
a 
de 
facto 
situation. 
The 
conflict, 
between 
local 
hostility 
towards 
the Jews, 
and 
the 
legal 
position 
with 
regard 
to 
the 
mandate 
as 
it 
stood 
between 
22 
July 
and 
23 
September, 
had 
to 
be 
resolved. This 
anomaly 
became 
evident 
when 
Abdullah 
80 
granted 
a 
land 
concession 
to 
one 
Rashid 
Talia. 
Clause 
17 
of 
this 
land 
lease 
specifically 
excluded 
Jewish 
particjpation 
or 
settlement 
on 
the 
land. 
Philby 
pointed 
out 
the 
ramifications 
of 
this 
to Samuel 
in 
August: 
Your 
Excellency 
will 
fully 
understand 
that, 
so 
long 
as 
the 
Zionist 
clauses 
of 
the 
mandate 
now ratified 
by 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
apply, 
as 
they 
technically 
do 
at 
the 
present 
moment, 
to Trans-Jordan, 
our posi- 
tion 
here 
is 
quite anomalous and 
precarious 
and 
the 
terms 
of 
Clause 
I? 
of 
the Rashid 
Talia 
lease 
are 
illegal. 
ABDULLAH'S 
VISIT 
TO LONDON, OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 
1922, 
AND THE 
'ASSURANCE' 
OF 
25 
MAY 
1923 
The 
memorandum, 
from 
the 
League's 
point 
of 
view, 
regular 
ized 
the 
special 
position 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and protected 
Britain 
from 
Zionist 
pressure 
to 
open 
the 
land 
to 
Jewish 
settlement. Though 
it 
formalized 
Britain's 
position 
as 
a 
supervisor 
rather 
than 
a ruler, 
'the 
question 
of 
the 
relation 
ship 
between 
Britain 
and 
Abdull?h 
was 
still outstanding. 
For 
this 
purpose, 
a visit 
to London 
by 
Abdullah 
would settle 
this 
outstanding 
issue. 
The 
visit 
was 
necessary 
to 
cement 
Abdullah's 
loyalty 
to Britain: 
Abdullah 
greatly 
wishes 
to 
go 
to 
London 
and 
we 
should 
if 
possible 
meet 
his 
wishes 
in 
view 
of 
his 
attitude 
which 
has in 
every 
way 
lately 
been 
most 
helpful. 
His 
loyalty 
is 
a 
factor 
of 
importance 
as 
regards 
the 
situa- 
tion 
in 
Palestine 
and 
this 
action 
on 
our 
part 
would 
confirm 
it. 
Naturally 
also 
he 
is 
anxious 
to 
have 
an opportunity 
of 
discussing 
the 
jgture 
status 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
with 
you. 
81 
1 
Although Samuel 
recognied 
that, 
'in 
Trans-Jordan 
we are 
bound 
to 
recognize 
and 
to 
support 
Arab 
independence' 
37 
he 
reasoned 
that 
a 
trip to England 
was essential 
to 
ensure 
that 
Abdullah 
remained 
fixed 
to the 
Palestine 
orbit 
and 
loyal 
to British 
interests 
and obligations 
in 
the 
area. 
In 
all, 
Abdullah 
stayed 
in 
England 
for 
one 
month, 
arriving 
with 
his 
adviser 
Ali 
Rida' 
al-Rikabi 
Pasha 
on 
13 
October 
and 
returning 
to 
Trans-Jordan 
on 
14 
November 
1922. 
Rikabi 
remained 
on after 
Abdullah's 
departure 
in 
order 
to 
finalize 
talks 
with 
Sir Gilbert 
Clayton, 
the 
newly 
appointed 
Chief 
Secretary 
in 
Jerusalem. 
Unfortunately 
for 
Abdullah, 
he 
arrived 
as 
the 
political 
crisis 
reached 
a 
head 
which 
led 
to Lloyd 
George's 
and 
Churchill's 
removal 
from 
office. 
As 
a result, 
Abdullah 
had 
to 
deal 
with 
a 
new 
Secretary 
of 
State, 
the Duke 
of 
Devonshire, 
while 
the Colonial 
office 
lost 
in 
Churchill 
a 
firm 
supporter 
of 
the 
'Sherifian 
Solution' 
in 
the 
Middle 
East, 
and 
to the 
separate administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
particular. 
However 
the 
change 
in 
government 
did 
not 
signify 
any 
fundamental 
change 
in 
policy. 
Despite 
the 
government 
crisis, 
discussions 
opened 
at 
the 
Carlton 
Hotel 
on 
16 
October 
with 
Sir Gilbert 
Clayton 
representing the 
Colonial 
Office. 
The 
various 
meetings 
(they 
were not 
completed 
until 
18 
December) 
examined 
every 
aspect of 
the 
territory's 
administration 
and 
development. 
Besides 
the 
question 
of 
the 
future 
political 
status 
of 
the 
territory, 
the 
most 
urgent 
problems 
from 
the British 
point 
of view 
were 
those 
relating 
to 
the 
eastern 
frontiers 
and 
the 
prospect 
of 
the 
82 
extradition 
to 
Syria 
of 
Sultan 
Atrash 
and 
the 
assailants 
of 
General Gouraud. 
The 
most 
tangible 
result of 
the talks 
was 
the 
declaration, 
eventually 
published 
on 
25 
May 
1923, 
recognizing 
the 
independence 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
meetings 
with 
Clayton 
gave 
Abdullah 
his 
first 
oppor- 
tunity 
to 
present 
his 
demands 
for 
the 
administration 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
The 
most pressing 
issue 
was 
the 
confirmation of 
Article 
25 
by 
the 
British 
government. 
To 
summarize, 
Abdullah's 
demands 
were: 
1. 
'Complete 
independence' 
2. 
Balfour Declaration 
not 
to 
be 
applicable 
to Trans- 
Jordan 
3. 
Formulation 
of an 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
treaty 
4. 
British 
commitment 
to 
Arab 
unity 
and 
an alliance 
with 
Britain 
5. 
The 
demarcation, 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontiers 
giving 
her 
a seaport 
on 
the 
Mediterranean. 
6. 
The 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
to 
be 
directly 
responsibg 
to His majesty's 
government, 
and not 
to 
Jerusalem 
Commenting 
on 
Abdullah's 
demands, 
Clayton 
clarified 
the 
first 
point: 
I 
gather 
that 
the 
term 
'complete 
indepen- 
dence' 
referred 
more 
especially 
to 
complete 
independence 
from 
the 
administration 
of 
Palestine 
and 
did 
not 
necessarily 
indicate 
any 
objection 
to 
the 
manda?g of 
Great 
Britain 
over 
Trans-Jordan. 
83 
Of 
the, 
six 
demands, the 
first 
two 
were 
in line 
with 
British 
policy as 
stated 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
and 
the 
third 
was 
a 
goal 
which was 
going 
to 
occupy 
the 
time 
of 
the 
Colonial 
office 
until 
1928. 
However, 
the 
remainder were 
to 
cause 
difficulty. 
A 
public commitment 
to 
support 
Arab 
unity 
was out of 
the 
question 
because 
of 
British 
recognition of 
France's 
position 
in 
Syria. Likewise 
a seaport 
on 
the 
Mediterranean 
was 
not 
likely 
to 
be 
conceded. 
And 
although 
the 
Colonial 
office 
was 
not prepared 
to 
permit 
direct 
correspondence with 
the Chief 
British 
Representative, 
the 
distinction 
between 
the High 
Commissioner 
as 
head 
of 
the 
Palestine 
administration and as 
British 
Mandatory 
representative 
was 
acknowledged. 
From 
Abdullah's 
point 
of 
view, 
the 
most urgent matter was 
an assurance 
that Trans-Jordan 
would 
not 
in 
any way 
be 
under 
the 
administration 
of 
Palestine. 
And 
until 
he 
had 
received 
the 
required 
assurance, 
he 
was 
not prepared 
to 
go on 
to 
discuss 
more 
pressing matters, 
such as 
the 
status 
of 
the 
eastern 
frontier in 
the Wadi 
Sirhan. 
40 
While 
the 
required 
assurance was 
being 
drafted, 
the 
second 
meeting, 
on 
25 
October, 
went on 
to 
deal 
specifically 
with 
the 
frontier 
question. 
Initially, 
Abdullah 
'maintained 
that 
Jauf 
fell 
within 
the 
area of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
was 
necessary 
to 
the 
administration 
of 
that 
territory', 
41 
The 
question 
was 
complicated 
by 
two 
factors. 
One 
was 
Philby's 
trip 
to 
Jauf 
and 
his 
'treaty' 
which 
was 
later 
repudiated. 
The 
other 
was 
the 
northward 
expansion of 
Wahhabism 
towards 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
and 
the 
fall 
of 
Jauf 
to 
the 
Nejdis. 
Under 
further 
84 
discussion, 
Abdullah, 
accepting 
the 
de facto 
situation, 
was 
willing 
to 
concede 
a 
boundary 
that 
included 
Kaf 
but 
not 
Jauf. 
At 
the 
time Sir 
Percy 
Cox, 
the 
High Commissioner 
for 
Iraq, 
was 
on 
his 
way 
to 
negotiate 
a 
solution 
to Nejd-Iraqi 
and 
Trans- 
Jordanian 
border 
questions, 
and 
the 
inclusion 
of 
Kaf 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
would 
ensure 
a 
common 
frontier 
with 
Iraq 
and 
therefore 
a secure 
corridor 
for 
the trans-desert 
air route. 
However, 
in 
this 
context, 
Abdul 
Aziz 
held 
the 
initiative, 
with 
the 
Anglo-Hashemite 
side 
very 
much on 
the 
defensive. 
On 
26 
October Clayton 
informed 
Abdullah 
of 
the 
assurance 
he 
required. 
The 
assurance, 
as 
formulated 
by 
the Colonial 
Office, 
recognized 
the 
'independent 
government' 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
In 
no 
way 
did 
it 
recognise 
the 
full independence 
of 
the 
territory. 
Subject 
to the 
approval 
of 
the 
Council 
of 
the League 
of 
Nations 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's 
Government 
will recognise 
the 
existence 
of 
an 
independent 
government 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
under 
the 
rule of 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
of 
Abdullah 
ibn 
Hussein, 
provided 
that 
such government 
is 
constitutional 
and 
places 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's 
Government 
in 
a position 
to 
fulfil 
their 
international 
obligations 
in 
respect 
of 
that 
territory 
by 
means 
of an agreement 
to 
be 
gncluded 
between 
the two 
governments. 
For the 
rest 
of 
Abdullah's 
stay 
in 
London, 
the 
publication 
of 
this 
assurance 
became 
a controversial 
issue 
which 
met 
Foreign 
Office 
opposition. 
From 
Abdullah's 
point 
of 
view 
it 
was 
essential 
that 
he 
was 
able 
to 
bring 
home 
a 
public 
declaration 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the territory. 
As 
he 
pointed 
out 
to 
Clayton: 
85 
... 
he 
could 
not 
face 
his 
people 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan 
unless 
he 
was 
able 
to 
communicate 
to 
them 
publicly 
an announcement 
of 
the 
policy 
of 
His Majesty's 
Government 
and suggested 
that 
such 
an 
announcement 
should 
be 
made, 
if 
not 
immediately 
at 
least 
before 
he 
arrived 
back 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Publication 
of an 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
agreement could 
be 
delayed 
as 
long 
as 
required, 
but 
the 
assurance 
was 
necessary 
immediately. 
Before 
agreeing 
to 
its 
publication, 
the 
Colonial office 
consulted 
the Foreign office 
on 
13 
November, 
the 
day 
before 
Abdullah's 
departure. 
To the 
Foreign office, 
publication 
of 
the 
assurance 
would 
have been 
impolitic 
and 
premature 
because 
of 
French 
hostility 
to Abdullah 
and would 
lead 
to 
a 
deteriora- 
tion 
in 
Anglo-French 
relations. 
Requesting 
a 
ten 
day 
delay, 
the 
Foreign 
Office, 
though 
recognising 
that 
its 
term 
did 
not 
conflict 
with 
mandatory principles, 
felt 
that: 
... 
the 
publication 
at 
the 
present 
moment 
of 
a 
declaration 
of 
this 
kind 
is 
not 
likely 
to 
be 
agreeable 
to the French 
whose 
hostility 
to 
Abdullah 
is 
extreme, and 
has 
not 
been 
diminished 
by 
his failure 
to 
arrest 
the 
assailants 
of 
General 
Gouraud 
who are 
at 
present 
in 
Transjordania. 
The 
ten 
day 
delay 
was 
reluctantly 
accepted 
by 
the Colonial 
Office. In 
December, 
Foreign office 
objections 
to 
its 
early 
publication 
were 
formalised in 
the 
general 
objection 
that 
Abdullah 
must 
first 
take 
steps 
to 
appease 
the 
French 
in 
Syria. 
As 
Lancelot 
Oliphant, 
the 
Under 
Secretary 
of 
State 
at 
the 
Foreign 
Office, 
informed 
Sir 
John 
Shuckburgh, 
his 
opposite 
86 
number 
in 
the 
Colonial 
office: 
I 
am 
directed 
by 
the 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
Foreign 
Affairs 
to 
state 
that 
in 
his 
opinion 
action 
on 
the 
matter 
should 
be 
deferred 
until some 
practical 
evidence 
is 
forthcoming 
of 
the 
Amir's 
readiness 
to 
conciliate 
French 
opinion 
in 
Syria. 
In 
other 
words, unless 
Abdullah 
was 
able 
to 
have 
Sultan Atrash 
arrested 
and extradited 
to 
Syria, 
publication would 
lead 
to 
French 
protests. 
The 
controversy 
continued 
until 
the 
end of 
April 1923 
when 
the 
Colonial 
office 
informed 
the, Foreign 
Office 
that Atrash 
had 
surrendered. 
46 
With 
the 
departure 
of 
Abdullah, 
Clayton 
continued 
his 
discussions 
with 
Rikabi. 
The 
negotiations 
dealt 
primarily 
with 
the 
issue 
of a 
formal 
treaty 
on 
the 
same 
basis 
as 
that 
being 
negotiated 
with 
Iraq. 
However, 
Rikabi's two 
demands 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
should 
have 
the 
right 
to 
foreign 
represent 
ation, 
and 
its 
addmission 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
were 
not 
47 
acceptable 
to the British 
government. 
Despite 
the 
changes 
in 
the 
British 
government, 
the 
long 
standing 
policy 
decision 
to 
recognise 
Abdullah's 
independence 
was 
so entrenched 
that 
a change 
in 
policy 
was 
out 
of 
the 
question. 
Philby, 
who 
had 
accompanied 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
party 
to 
London 
summed up 
the 
rewards 
that 
the 
Amir 
received 
for 
his 
loyalty 
to Britain: 
Abdullah 
was placed 
in 
an 
impregnable 
posi- 
tion 
and 
was promised 
a 
grant-in-aid 
of 
L150,000 
to 
consolidate 
that 
position. 
He 
has 
only 
himself 
and perhaps 
a 
too 
indulgent 
British 
government 
to thank 
for 
the 
fact 
87 
that 
his 
position 
today 
is less 
4gatisfactory 
and, 
indeed, 
rather 
precarious. 
Abdullah 
achieved 
quite 
a 
lot from his 
trip 
to London, 
not 
least 
of 
all 
a 
clarification 
of 
British 
policy 
towards his 
territory. As 
he 
announced 
on 
his 
return 
to Amman: 
'I 
have 
seen many 
signs 
of 
British 
friendship 
from 
which 
I 
hope 
we 
shall reap 
great 
benefit'. 
49 
Despite 
the 
delay 
in 
the 
publication 
of 
the 
assurance, 
the 
negotiations 
prepared 
the 
way 
for 
an 
agreement, 
on 
25 
May 
1923, 
recognising 
Trans- 
Jordan's 
quasi-independent 
status. 
The 
fear 
of 
Zionist 
expansionism 
was put 
to 
rest. 
His 
regime 
was secured 
by 
continued 
financial 
aid 
to 
the tune 
of 
?150,000 
a year, and 
the 
creation 
of 
a more 
effective 
security 
force by 
the 
amalgamation 
of 
the Reserve 
Force 
and 
the Police 
into 
the 
Arab 
Legion. 
By 
working 
through Abdullah 
in 
this 
way, 
Britain 
safeguarded 
her 
interests 
in 
the 
area. 
After 
the London 
conference, 
Abdullah 
settled 
down 
more 
readily 
in 
Amman, 
secure 
in 
the 
knowledge 
that 
he 
was 
indispensable 
to the 
British, 
who were willing 
to 
pay 
a price 
for 
his 
continued 
loyalty. 
Throughout 
1923 
the 
major problem 
remained 
that 
of 
the territory's 
eastern 
frontiers. 
British 
attempts 
to 
come 
to 
a negotiated settlement 
and 
a, 
fully 
comprehensive 
solution 
to 
all 
Nejdi-Hashemite 
questions 
culmi- 
nated 
in 
the 
ill-fated 
Kuwait 
conference 
of 
December 
1923 
- 
March 
1924 
(see 
Chapter 6 
on 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontier 
questions). 
In 
the 
early 
part 
of 
the 
year, 
the 
other 
issue 
which 
was 
88 
to 
dominate 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
relations 
was 
the 
continued 
debate 
over 
the 
issue 
of 
the 
assurance 
and 
recognition 
of 
the 
territoray's independent 
government. 
Other 
problems 
included 
clarification 
of 
Peake's 
position as 
head 
of 
the 
newly 
formed 
Arab 
Legion, 
and 
the 
gradual 
decline 
of 
Philby's 
position 
vis- 
a-vis 
Abdullah 
and 
Samuel. Unrest 
inside 
Trans-Jordan 
also 
added 
to 
the 
troubles, 
as 
the 
semi-nomadic 
Adwan 
tribe 
revolted 
against 
Abdullah''s 
discriminatory 
tax 
system, 
in 
September 
1923. 
The 
continued 
delay in 
the 
issuing 
of 
the 
assurance 
was 
wholly 
the 
result 
of 
Foreign 
office 
prevarication. 
Correspondence 
between 
the Colonial 
and 
Foreign 
offices 
continued 
weekly 
on 
the 
issue, 
without 
the 
Foreign office 
giving 
any 
clear 
indication 
of 
what 
their 
reluctance 
was 
based' 
on. 
By 
March, 
Abdullah 
was getting 
restless, 
and wanted 
the 
assurance 
issued 
without 
delay. 
As Shuckburgh 
informed 
Oliphant: 
We 
[the 
Colonial 
office] 
want 
to 
keep 
Abdullah 
well-disposed. 
Recent 
reports 
indicate 
that 
he 
is 
growing 
a 
little 
restive 
and 
we 
are 
anxious 
... 
that 
the 
ban 
on 
the 
publication 
of 
our 
assurance 
should 
be 
removed 
as soon 
as 
possible. 
We 
are 
faced 
. 
as 
usual 
with 
a choice of 
evils. 
I 
should 
find 
it 
a 
little 
easier 
to 
see my 
way 
if 
I 
knew 
what 
was 
the 
real 
motive 
behind 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
objection. 
Is 
it 
the 
fear 
of 
giving 
offence 
to the French 
or 
is 
it 
reluc- 
tance 
to 
take 
a 
step 
that 
might 
be 
interpreted 
as 
invoJUing 
further 
commitments 
in 
the 
Middle 
East. 
89 
Initially 
the Foreign 
office 
had 
wanted 
the 
announcement 
delayed 
until after 
the 
Peace Treaty 
with 
Turkey 
. 
However, 
by 
the 
beginning 
of 
1923 
it 
had 
become 
obvious 
that 
their 
objections 
were solely 
influenced 
by 
the 
effect 
it 
would 
have 
on 
Anglo-French 
relations. 
Oliphant, 
in 
replying, 
denied 
that 
the 
Foreign 
office 
were apprehensive about 
extending 
British 
commitments 
in 
the 
Middle East. Their 
objections were 
related 
solely 
to the 
fact 
that Trans-Jordan 
was a 
sanctuary 
for 
fugitives 
from 
Syria, 
and 
the 
effect 
this 
had 
on 
the 
wider 
implications 
of 
Anglo-French 
relations: 
In 
these 
circumstances 
(of 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
a 
sanctuary 
for fugitives 
from 
Syria] 
we 
feel 
that 
the 
future 
relations 
between 
the French 
and 
British 
mandated 
territories 
will stand 
a much 
better 
chance 
of 
becoming 
cordial 
if, 
before 
Abdullah's 
position 
is 
finally 
recog- 
nised, 
some concrete 
evidence 
of 
goodwill 
in 
the 
person of 
Atrash 
or of one 
of 
General 
Gouraud's 
assailants can 
be 
produced and 
handed 
over 
to the 
French5yith 
the 
co-opera- 
tion 
of 
Abdullah 
himself. 
However, 
by 
the 
end 
of 
April, 
the 
improvement in 
Syrian-Trans- 
Jordanian 
relations, 
brought 
about after 
Philby's 
second 
visit 
to 
Damascus 
on 
9- 
14 
February 
and 
resulting 
in joint 
co- 
operation 
along 
the 
frontier, 
was 
finally 
crowned 
by 
the 
surrender 
of 
Sultan 
Atrash 
himself. 
With 
the 
removal of 
the 
main 
source 
of 
Anglo-French friction in 
the 
area, 
the Foreign 
Office, 
on 
27 
April, 
finally 
agreed 
to 
its 
publication. 
52 
* 
The 
Conference 
of 
Lausanne 
opened 
on 
21 
November 
1922, 
and 
the 
Foreign 
office 
was clearly 
concerned 
about 
any 
announcement 
which 
could 
jeopardize 
the 
success 
of 
this 
meeting, 
90 
Approval 
was 
telegrammed 
to 
Jerusalem 
on 
2 
May, 
and 
the 
assurance was 
proclaimed 
by 
Samuel 
on 
25 
May 
1923.3 However, 
5 
as 
Hubert 
Young 
was 
to 
minute 
on 
the 
same 
despatch: 
Our 
announcement 
was only preliminary. 
Nothing 
will 
really 
happen 
until 
the 
proposed 
agreement 
has been 
conclugad 
and 
approval 
by 
the 
League 
of 
Nations. 
This task, the 
formulation 
of an 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
treaty, 
was 
to 
take 
another 
five 
years. 
Until 
then, Abdullah 
was 
to 
rule without a 
constitution. 
THE 
FINANCIAL 
POSITION 
Throughout 
1923, finance 
played, yet again, 
an 
important 
part 
in 
British 
relations 
with 
Abdullah. 
Difficulties 
brought 
about 
by 
the 
misuse 
of 
the 
grant-in-aid 
and 
the 
lack 
of 
financial 
discipline 
on 
the 
part of 
Abdullah 
were perennial 
problems 
which eventually 
led 
to 
a confrontation 
between 
Abdullah 
and 
the Palestine 
administration. 
As 
Sir 
Gilbert 
he 
Clayton, 
by 
then/had 
arrived 
in 
Palestine 
to take 
up 
the 
post 
of 
Chief 
Secretary, 
was 
to 
note 
in 
July 1923: 
The 
financial 
outlook 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
judging 
by 
the 
experience 
of 
the 
first 
three 
months 
of 
this 
financial 
year 
during 
which 
the 
Grant-in-Aid 
has, 
under 
the 
new 
system, 
been 
paid over 
to 
the Trans-Jordan 
govern- 
ment, 
is 
not 
promising. 
The 
Trans-Jordan 
authorities 
have 
up 
to 
the 
present 
shown 
no 
signs 
of 
placing 
their 
financial 
system 
in 
proper 
order, 
and unless 
immediate 
steps 
are 
taken 
to 
ensure 
that they 
do 
the financial 
year 
will 
come 
to 
an 
end 
and 
the 
grant-in- 
aid 
be 
expended 
without 
any 
material 
55 
improvement 
taking 
place 
in 
the 
situation. 
91 
Trans-Jordan's 
financial 
difficulties 
were, 
primarily, 
having 
a 
detrimental 
effect 
on 
the Arab 
Legion; 
and 
the 
cause, 
as 
Clayton 
noted, 
was not 
entirely 
Abdullah's 
fault: 
... 
such 
difficulties 
in 
the Reserve 
Force 
as may 
have been 
apparent, 
are 
attributed 
mainly 
to 
the 
financial 
difficulties 
experienced 
by 
Captain Peake, 
and 
that these 
difficulties 
are 
partly 
due 
to the 
withholding 
by 
the treasury 
of 
?10,000 
of 
last 
year's 
Grant-in-Aid, 
and also 
in 
payment 
of gstalments of 
the 
Grant-in-Aid 
for 
1923/4. 
This 
was 
the 
first indication 
that the 
Colonial office 
received 
that the 
financial 
administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
not 
on 
a satisfactory 
footing. 
To 
understand 
the 
financial 
situation, 
it 
is 
necessary 
to 
examine 
the 
conditions and 
reasons 
why a grant-in-aid 
was 
paid 
to Trans-Jordan 
in 
the 
first 
place. 
The 
grant was 
central 
to the 
survival 
of 
the 
territory, 
for 
on 
the British 
side 
it 
ensured a 
lever 
of 
control 
over 
the 
excesses of 
Abdullah, 
while 
from 
the 
Amir's 
point 
of view 
it 
was essential 
in 
order 
to 
balance 
the 
budget 
each 
year. 
Initially, 
in' 
March 
1921, 
Abdullah had 
been 
given 
a 
subsidy 
of 
?5,000 
a month 
as 
a 
form 
of 
bribe in 
order 
to 
keep 
him 
from 
provoking 
the 
French 
in 
Syria. 
However, 
on 
8 
August 
1921, 
as 
the 
six 
months 
trial 
period 
was coming 
to 
an 
end, 
Samuel 
was 
informed 
that 
any 
further 
grants 
would 
be 
conditional 
on 
his 
being 
satisfied 
that 
the 
revenue 
collection 
in the territory 
was 
being 
effectively 
collected 
and 
that 
a 
grant 
was 
necessary 
in 
order 
to 
balance 
the 
budget. 
57 
When 
92 
T. 
E. 
Lawrence 
discovered, 
in 
September 
and 
October 
1921, that 
Abdullah 
was 
too 
extravagant, 
his 
personal 
subsidy 
was 
reduced 
to 
?1,200 
a 
month, 
though 
the 
grant 
to 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
maintained. 
Although 
financial 
control was 
vested 
in 
Philby, 
he 
found 
it difficult 
to 
gain 
information 
about 
the 
government's 
administration 
of 
its 
revenue and 
expenditure. 
Philby 
was 
reluctant 
to 
enforce 
greater 
direct 
control 
over 
the 
accounts as 
it 
would 
be 
resented 
by 
the 
administration 
and 
contrary 
to the 
ideal 
that 
maximum 
independence 
should 
be 
the 
5 
guiding 
ideal 
of 
the British 
position 
in 
the 
territory. 
8 
From the 
Colonial Office's 
point 
of view, 
insufficient 
accounts 
were 
being 
maintained, 
and 
the 
trained 
experts 
of 
the 
Director 
of 
Colonial Audit 
(D. 
C. 
A. 
) 
were 
unable 
to 
make 
sense 
of 
those 
provided. 
The 
situation 
remained unsatisfactory 
until 
Abdullah's 
arrival 
in 
London 
when 
the 
Colonial 
office 
were 
able 
to 
impose 
conditions on 
further 
issues 
of 
grants-in- 
aid. 
The 
four 
conditions, 
summarised, were: 
1. 
The 
Reserve Force 
and 
the 
Office 
of 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
were a 
'first 
charge' on 
Trans- 
Jordan's 
revenue. 
2. 
Proper 
accounts 
of 
revenue and 
expenditure 
be 
furnished 
to 
D. C. 
A. 
3. 
Sufficient information 
to 
be 
supplied 
in 
order 
that 
the 
British 
government 
was satisfied 
that the 
grant- 
in-aid 
was 
in fact 
needed. 
4. 
The 
tithe 
laws 
to 
be 
revised 
in 
order 
that 
F?ans- 
Jordan's 
revenue was 
put 
on 
a 
firmer 
basis. 
Initially, 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
government 
were 
not 
forthcoming 
with regard 
to 
points 
2 
and 
4. 
However, 
following 
Clayton's 
visit 
to 
Amman, 
Abdullah 
signed 
an 
agreement 
on 
12 
May 
1923 
93 
accepting 
all 
these 
conditions. 
60 
In 
any case, 
at 
the 
start 
of 
the 
financial 
year 
1923/4, 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
grant- 
in-aid 
had 
been 
transferred 
to the Amir's 
government. 
This 
move 
met 
Philby's 
disapproval, 
for 
instead 
of giving 
Trans- 
Jordan 
greater 
independence, 
it 
was 
in 
fact 
leading 
to 
greater 
intervention 
on 
the 
part 
of 
Palestine. 
As Philby 
was 
to 
note 
on 
9 
July 1923: 
... 
much of what 
is 
deplorable in 
the 
present state 
of affairs 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
is 
due 
to the 
simultaneous 
recognition 
of 
the 
independence 
of 
these 
territories 
and 
removal 
of 
all 
reasonable 
checks 
on possible 
abuses of 
such 
independence 
- 
such 
checks, 
I 
mean, 
as 
existed 
last 
year, when 
the Trans- 
Jordanian 
Government 
enjoyed 
a 
large 
measure 
of 
de facto independence 
while 
still 
being 
controlled 
by 
the 
Chief 
British 
Represent- 
ative 
in 
virtue ofthe 
latter's 
financial 
responsibility 
for 
the 
administration of 
the 
Grant-in-Aid 
agl 
the 
maintenance 
of 
the 
Reserve 
Force. 
By 
virtue 
of 
this 
decision, 
Philby 
had 
lost 
control over 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
state. 
In 
any case, 
Philby's 
position was 
being 
undermined 
as 
one 
dispute 
after 
another 
was slowly 
leading 
to 
his 
removal 
from 
office. 
As 
he informed 
Clayton: 
... 
the 
recent 
and rapid 
deterioration 
of 
the 
general 
situation 
in 
this 
country 
is 
more 
or 
less 
directly 
traceable 
to 
a 
tendency 
to 
undermine 
the 
position 
of 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
which 
has 
manifested 
itself 
with growing 
persistency 
ever 
since 
the 
Amir's 
visit 
to 
and 
return 
from 
London. 
It 
will 
be 
generally 
admitted, 
that 
I 
rode 
the Government 
on 
the 
lightest 
of 
curbs, 
holding 
ever 
before 
it 
and 
the 
Amir 
the 
ideal 
of 
an 
independent 
administration 
managing 
its 
own 
affairs 
with 
every 
possible 
94 
assistance 
from 
and 
the 
least 
possible 
interferencg2on 
the 
part of 
His 
Majesty's 
Government. 
By 
the 
autumn of 
1923, 
Philby's 
continued presence 
in 
Amman 
had 
become 
unacceptable 
to the Colonial 
Office, 
the 
Palestine 
Government 
and even 
to Abdullah. How 
then 
did 
things 
come 
to 
a 
head? 
PHILBY'S 
FALL 
FROM 
GRACE 
After 
the 
publication 
of 
the 
assurance 
recognizing 
the 
territory's 
independence, 
Philby's 
position started 
to 
deteriorate. 
The 
basic 
underlying 
factor 
was 
Philby's 
great 
admiration 
for 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud, 
and 
his 
belief 
that 
Abdul 
Aziz 
was going 
to 
be 
the 
foremost 
power 
in 
the 
Arabian 
Peninsula. He 
was 
also 
a man 
who 
did 
not 
fit 
well 
into 
the 
realm 
of 
British 
officialdom 
and 
his 
conviction 
in 
Abdul 
Aziz 
made 
it 
that 
much 
more 
difficult 
to 
advise 
Abdullah 
and 
implement 
British 
policy 
of 
the 
Hashemite 
solution 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
This 
did 
not 
augur 
well 
for 
the 
promotion 
of an 
independent 
Hashemite 
state 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Therefore, 
when 
the 
British 
assurance 
was 
issued, 
it 
eventually 
caused 
a 
rift 
between 
Abdullah 
and 
Philby 
because 
it 
was 
conditional 
on 
Abdullah's 
regime 
being 
constitutional. 
However, 
Abdullah 
was 
more 
inclined 
to 
rule 
in 
an 
autocratic 
manner. 
In 
Philby's 
eyes, 
having 
secured 
his 'independence 
and 
been 
assured 
of 
continued 
financial 
support, 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
associates 
indulged 
in 
an 
orgy 
of maladministration'. 
63 
Initially, 
Philby 
was 
not 
inclined 
to 
intervene. 
The 
main 
reason 
for 
95 
this 
was 
his belief 
that the 
administration should 
be 
indepen 
dent 
in 
practice as well as 
in 
theory. Interference 
on 
his 
part 
would not only annoy 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
government, 
it 
would 
also 
not 
help 
the 
people of 
Trans-Jordan. The 
collapse 
of 
Abdullah 
would 
have led 
to the 
stricter 
imposition 
of 
Palestinian 
control. 
As 
Philby 
saw 
it, 
independence 
could 
only 
be 
achieved 
through their 
own efforts. 
Philby's 
advice 
to 
Abdullah, 
in 
order 
to 
achieve 
this 
aim 
was 
that 
a 
representative 
assembly 
be 
convened 
without 
delay. 
This 
was 
at 
variance 
with 
Abdullah's 
own 
inclinations 
towards 
autocratic 
rule, 
while 
Philby 
did 
not 
seem 
to 
realize 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
not 
inclined 
to 
do 
without 
Britain's 
protective 
umbrella. 
It 
is 
therefore 
not 
surprising 
that the two 
would 
eventually 
quarrel. 
The 
first 
incident 
which 
was 
to 
lead 
to the 
break 
between 
Philby 
and 
Abdullah 
was 
what 
was 
known 
as 
the 
'Byzantine 
Basilica Affair' in 
June 
1923.64 
Since 
there 
was 
no 
proper 
mosque 
in 
Amman, 
Abdullah 
saw 
fit 
to 
have 
the Byzantine 
Basilica 
destroyed 
in 
order 
to 
make 
way 
for it. 
At this 
vandalistic 
act, 
Philby 
protested 
vigorously, 
using 
the 
incident 
to 
belabour 
Abdullah 
for 
not 
instituting 
a 
represent- 
ative assembly. Clayton 
even 
went 
across 
to 
Amman 
to try 
and 
calm 
the 
quarrel, 
and 
found 
'... 
impossible 
to 
support 
Mr. 
Philby's 
attitude 
in 
the 
matter, 
a 
decision 
in 
which 
I 
[Samuel] 
entirely 
concurred. 
' 
65 
Abdullah 
never 
forgave 
Philby 
for his 
outburst, 
and 
he 
and 
Samuel 
reacted 
by 
by-passing 
Philby 
and 
corresponding 
directly. 
As 
Philby 
saw 
it: 
96 
The 
Palestine 
Government 
saw, and 
took 
skilful 
advantage 
of, 
the 
rift 
in 
the 
lute, 
and 
from 
that 
moment 
I 
had 
no 
doubt 
in 
my 
mind 
that 
Abdullah 
and 
4 
were 
inevitably 
doomed 
to 
part 
company. 
The 
second 
incident 
was 
the 
part 
he 
played 
in 
the 
Adwan 
revolt 
of 
September 
1923. 
In 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
of 
the 
1920s two 
of 
the 
main 
tribes 
were 
the 
Beni-Sakhr 
and 
the Adwan 
who 
had 
migrated 
out of 
Arabia 
in 
the 
mid-18th century as 
part 
of 
the 
gradual 
northward advance 
of 
the tribes 
of 
Arabia. 
These 
two tribes 
were rivals, and 
until 
the 
19th 
century 
intermittent 
conflict 
made cultivation 
impossible. 
The 
Adwan 
settled 
in 
the 
central 
Belga 
area around 
al-Salt 
, 
while 
the 
Beni-Sakhr 
settled 
further 
east. 
With 
the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah, 
Adwan-Beni 
Sakhr 
antagonism 
increased. 
On 
the 
one 
hand 
there 
was resentment 
against 
Abdullah's 
regime 
in 
Amman. 
The 
Adwan 
resented 
the 
presence of 
Syrians 
and other 
outsiders 
from Palestine, 
Iraq 
and 
Lebanon 
in 
the 
government. 
They 
wanted 
greater 
control 
of 
the 
affairs 
of 
state 
to 
be 
in 
the 
hands 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordanians, 
and 
even 
used 
the 
phrase 
'Trans-Jordan 
for 
the Trans-Jordanians'. 
67 
However, 
the 
main 
complaint 
was 
the 
favouritism 
that 
Abdullah 
lavished 
on 
his 
favourite 
tribe, 
the Beni 
Sakhr, 
such 
as 
exemption 
from 
taxation, 
while 
at 
the 
same 
time 
overtaxing 
the Adwan. 
* 
It 
is 
worth 
noting 
that 
al-Salt, 
in 
Ottoman 
times, 
was 
the 
administrative, 
and 
economic 
centre 
in 
what 
became 
Trans-Jordan. 
It 
was understandable, 
therefore, 
that 
the 
Adwan 
would 
have 
a 
lowly 
view 
of 
the 
bedu 
from 
the 
east. 
97 
The 
incident 
which sparked off 
the 
rebellion was a 
tribal 
dispute 
between 
the 
Sheikhs 
of 
the two 
tribes, 
Mithqal 
al 
Fayiz 
of 
the 
Beni Sakhr 
and 
Sultan Pasha 
al-Adwan. 
Mounting 
grievances 
against 
Abdullah, 
but 
not against 
the 
British, 
came 
to 
a 
head 
on 
6 
September 
1923 
when 
the Adwan 
marched 
on 
Amman. 
In 
the 
words of 
Philby, 
'The 
Adwan 
rebellion 
which 
had 
the 
sympathy 
of 
a 
great 
part 
of 
the 
country, groaning as 
it 
was 
under 
a reckless 
tyranny, 
threatened 
once and 
for 
all 
to 
eliminate 
Abdullah 
from 
the 
scene'. 
8 
Showing 
his 
antipathy 
6 
towards 
Abdullah, 
as 
the Adwan 
advanced 
on 
Amman, 
Philby 
noted: 
That 
night 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
sleep. 
He 
sat 
up 
booted 
and spurred, 
ready 
for 
instant 
flight 
- 
doubtless 
not 
forgetful 
of 
the 
time 
when 
he 
escaped 
in 
his 
night-shir99from a 
Wahhabi 
attack 
at 
Taraba 
in 
1919. 
However, 
as 
they 
advanced 
down 
the 
road 
to-Amman, 
R. 
A. F. 
armoured 
cars 
intervened, 
and 
as 
a result of 
a 
number 
of 
misunderstandings, 
there 
were over 
seventy 
casualties. 
Although 
Philby 
was 
favourably 
disposed 
towards Adwan 
demands, 
events 
got 
out 
of 
hand 
when 
they threatened 
to 
cut 
the 
road 
to 
Jerusalem. 
The 
intervention 
of 
the 
Royal Air Force, 
and 
the 
casualties 
inflicted, 
despite 
earlier 
intimations 
by 
Philby 
that 
he 
would 
not 
interfere, 
destroyed 
his 
good name among 
the 
Adwan, 
who 
were 
among 
the. 
few 
friends 
he 
had left in 
the 
area. 
7? 
Although 
the 
rebellion 
was 
over, 
Philby 
earned 
a name 
for bad 
faith 
among 
the Adwan; he 
became 
as 
unpopular 
with 
them 
as 
he 
already 
was 
with 
Abdullah's 
court 
and 
at 
Jerusalem. 
71 
98 
Philby 
managed 
to 
preempt 
his 
own 
dismissal 
by 
a 
few 
days. 
Samuel 
informed 
the 
Colonial office 
on 
17 
January 
1924 
that 
he 
had 
sent 
in his 
resignation, 
to 
take 
effect 
from 15 
April 
1924.72 For 
Philby 
it 
was 
the 
release 
from 
British 
officialdom 
that 
was 
long 
overdue. 
As 
he 
recorded 
bitterly 
in 
his diary, 
he 
found 
British 
intentions 
to 
be 'dishonest' 
and 
that 
'I 
am 
definitely decided 
to 
sever 
my 
connections 
with 
government service 
and 
work wholeheartedly 
against 
a scheme 
born 
of 
inequity 
and pursued without 
shame. 
'73 
I 
KING HUSSEIN 
OF 
THE 
HEJAZ VISITS TRANS-JORDAN, 
JANUARY-MARCH 
1924 
Before 
his 
resignation 
took 
effect, 
he had 
one 
more 
function 
to 
perform 
as 
Chief British Representative, 
that 
of 
welcoming 
Abdullah's 
father, 
King Hussein 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
to 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
visit 
was 
to 
have 
a number of 
repercus- 
sions 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
in 
the Middle 
East 
generally. 
It 
should 
be 
remembered 
that 
at 
the time 
of 
Hussein's 
visit, 
the 
abortive 
Kuwait 
conference 
on 
relations 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz 
was 
still 
underway. 
The 
actions 
of 
Hussein'in Amman, 
especially 
his 
assumption 
of 
the 
title 
of 
Caliph, 
played 
a major 
contributing 
role 
in 
the 
failure 
of 
that 
conference 
and 
ensured 
the 
wrath of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
which 
in 
turn 
led 
to the 
final 
conquest 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
in 
1925-6. 
King 
Hussein 
arrived at 
Aqaba 
on 
9 
January 
1924 
and 
returned 
to 
the 
Hejaz 
on 
24 
March. 
As 
the 
father 
of 
Abdullah, 
he 
virtually 
took 
over 
the 
administration. 
As Elizabeth 
Monroe 
notes: 
99 
Once 
in 
Amman, 
royal 
instincts 
asserted 
themselves; 
in 
accordance 
with 
Arab 
custom, 
he 
relegated 
Abdullah 
to 
the 
secondary 
role 
of a 
son, 
and 
took 
p5 
cedence 
when 
he 
reviewed 
the 
troops. 
For 
Philby, 
the 
arrival 
of 
Hussein 
brought 
about 
a 
change 
for 
the 
better: 
For Trans-Jordan 
itself, 
I 
have 
no 
hesita- 
tion 
in 
expressing 
my 
conviction 
that 
His 
Majesty's 
visit 
has been 
an unmixed 
bles- 
sing. 
It 
has 
brought 
the 
Amir's 
administ- 
ration 
to 
almost 
complete 
standstill 
- 
an 
incalculable 
boon 
to the 
country. 
... 
Possessors 
of 
guilty 
consciences, 
Ministers 
and 
clerks 
alike, 
tremble. 
For 
the 
first 
time 
since 
the 
declaration 
of 
the 
indepen- 
dence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
the Amir 
has 
been 
effectively 
muzzled. 
... 
The Amir 
has, 
indeed, 
strained 
his 
tether to 
breaking 
point. 
He 
has 
only 
himself 
and perhaps 
a 
too 
indulgent 
British 
Government to thank 
for 
the 
eclipse 
that 
seems 
to threaten 
him. 
On the 
whole, 
I 
am 
inclined 
to 
think 
that 
His Majesty's 
Government 
would 
be 
well 
advised 
to 
acquiesce 
by 
silence 
an95inaction 
the 
developments 
now 
taking 
place. 
By this 
stage 
Philby 
seemed 
to 
have 
been 
motivated 
more 
by 
his 
disillusionment 
and 
bitterness 
at 
British 
policy. 
At the 
same 
time, 
the Colonial Office, 
judging 
by 
the 
minutes 
attached 
to 
his 
reports, placed 
most 
of 
the 
blame 
on 
Philby 
for 
the 
unsatisfactory state 
of affairs 
that 
existed 
in 
the 
territory. 
While Philby 
and 
his 
wife went 
to Syria 
on a 
farewell 
visit, 
Hussein 
took 
up semi-permanent 
residence 
in 
Amman. 
During 
Philby's 
absence 
in 
Syria, 
events 
took 
a 
turn 
which 
put 
the Sherifian family back 
into 
the 
international 
limelight, 
and 
acutely 
embarrassed 
Britain's 
position 
in 
the Middle East, 
100 
and even 
further 
afield 
in 
those 
parts of 
the 
empire 
that 
had 
a 
Muslim 
population. 
On 
3 
March 
1924 
Mustafa 
Kemal 
abolished 
the 
Caliphate. When 
the 
news reached 
Trans-Jordan, 
Abdullah 
pressed 
the 
title 
of 
Caliph 
on 
his 
father, 
on 
5 
March. 
This 
move 
angered most 
of 
the Muslim 
world 
(though it 
did 
gain 
acceptance 
by 
some 
Muslims 
in 
the Hejaz, Syria, Iraq, 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan), 
and 
was received with 
official 
British 
coolness. 
And 
finally, 
when 
Ali, 
the 
Crown 
Prince 
of 
the 
Hejaz, 
visited 
his father in 
Amman, Philby 
unilaterally, 
without 
consulting 
Samuel 
and 
the Colonial 
office, 
handed 
over 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
section of 
the 
Hejaz 
railway, 
(from 
September 
1921 
until 
31 
March 
1924 
this 
section 
was administered 
by 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
in 
Amman), 
from 
Amman 
to 
Ma'an, 
to 
Ali, 
as 
head 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
Railway 
Board. Philby 
contended 
J. 
that 
since 
the 
railway 
had been 
financed 
by 
the Muslim 
faithfuly, 
it 
should 
be 
controlled 
by 
them, 
and 
not 
by 
the 
Palestine Railways. 
PHILBY'S 
DEPARTURE 
AND 
CONCLUSIONS 
Philby's last 
day in 
Amman 
was 
17 
April 
1924 
and a 
final 
cordial 
meeting 
with 
Abdullah. 
However, 
with 
his brother 
Ali, 
he 
... 
begged 
him 
[Ali] 
to 
use 
his 
influence 
with 
Abdullah 
to 
cease 
his 
heavy 
drawings 
on 
the 
T. 
J. 
treasury-if 
he 
wanted 
to 
save 
the 
country 
from 
falling into 
the 
hands 
of 
the 
zionists, 
who are 
now straining 
every 
nerve 
to 
get 
it 
back 
after 
the 
fight 
they 
got over 
1 
01 
AB 
f 
9rd'?? 
VIM" 
its being declared 
independent. 
76 
With 
his departure, 
it is 
necessary 
to 
ask 
the 
question: 
Was 
Trans-Jordan 
'independent' 
as was recognised 
by 
the 
assurance 
of 
25 
May 
1923, 
and as 
Philby 
aspired 
the territory 
to 
be, 
or 
was 
it in 
fact 
just 
another 
British 
puppet-territory 
firmly 
tied 
to the 
destiny 
of 
Palestine? 
During 
the Philby 
era 
there 
were 
two 
events which 
set 
the 
pace 
for 
the 
'notional' 
independence 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
One 
was 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
decision 
of 
16 
September 
1922 
which 
allowed 
Britain 
to 
establish 
a separate administration 
for 
Trans-Jordan. The 
other 
was 
the 
declaration 
of 
25 
May 
1923 
which 
formally 
proclaimed 
the 
'independent 
government' 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
latter 
declaration 
was a 
statement 
of 
British 
policy 
announced 
by 
Samuel 
when 
he 
was 
in 
Amman 
and 
was 
the 
direct 
result 
of 
Abdullah's desire 
to 
bring 
'something 
home' 
from 
his 
trip 
to London. 
However, 
this 
declaration 
was 
only 
issued 
once 
the 
position 
of 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
and 
the Commander 
of 
the 
Arab Legion 
had 
been 
fixed, 
and 
therefore 
the 
mechanisms 
whereby 
Britain 
controlled 
the 
territory 
were 
firmly 
entrenched. 
On 
the 
independence 
issue, 
Peake best 
summed 
up 
the 
situation 
in 
1923: 
It 
is 
somewhat 
difficult 
to 
understand 
what 
was 
meant 
by 
the 
complete 
independence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
seeing 
that 
there 
was 
no 
country 
in 
the 
world 
less 
fitted 
geograph- 
ically, 
and 
in 
every 
respect 
to 
stand 
alone. 
On 
the 
East 
the 
Wahhabis 
were 
struggling 
to 
take 
the 
country 
and 
without 
British 
aid 
were 
strong 
enough 
to 
do 
so. 
On 
the 
South 
King 
Hussein 
was 
striving 
to 
make 
his 
son, 
Abdulla, 
a 
mere 
Viceroy 
of 
the 
Hedjaz 
Kingdom. 
To 
the North 
the 
French 
would 
have 
102 
been 
delighted 
to take 
any steps 
to 
absorb 
such a 
troublesome 
neighbour. 
While 
in 
the 
West the 
Zionists 
were 
already75asting 
greedy 
eyes across 
the 
Jordan. 
By 
the 
end of 
Philby's 
tenure 
in 
office 
there 
were 
only 
five 
British 
officials, 
with 
the 
exception of 
the 
Royal 
Air 
Force 
contingent, 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
is 
not 
to 
say 
that 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was more 
independent 
than 
it 
was 
after 
1924 
when 
the 
official 
British 
establishment 
was considerably 
increased. 
Although 
Abdullah 
was 
given 
the 
maximum room 
to 
manoeuvre, 
he 
was 
still 
very 
much 
limited 
by 
British 
control. 
if 
there 
was 
only 
a small 
British 
administrative 
group 
in 
Amman, 
there 
was 
a 
massive one 
down 
the 
road 
in 
Jerusalem, 
which 
could 
be 
called 
upon 
in 
an 
emergency 
to 
ensure 
continued 
British 
supremacy. 
One 
of 
Philby's 
last 
warnings to 
Abdullah 
concerned 
his 
fear 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
would 
not 
be independent: 
You 
will 
find 
that 
my 
successor, 
however 
friendly 
will 
be 
your 
master. 
I 
am sorry 
that 
my 
dream 
of 
an 
independent 
Arab 
state 
in 
Transjordan hig 
not 
come 
true, 
and 
is 
never 
likely 
to. 
After 
his 
departure, 
Abdullah 
was 
obliged 
to 
accept 
greater 
British 
influence 
and 
control. 
Abdullah 
welcomed 
these 
moves, 
though 
he 
was 
reluctant 
to 
give 
up 
a number 
of 
privileges, 
such 
as 
his 
control 
over 
the 
Tribal 
Control 
Board. And 
by 
the 
time 
of 
the 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
treaty 
of 
1928, 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
dependent 
on 
Britain 
for 
its 
security 
and 
development. 
Since 
his 
position 
and 
his 
Amirate 
were 
guaranteed, 
103 
Abdullah 
was 
prepared 
to 
remain 
a 
British 
puppet, 
and wait 
for 
an 
opportunity 
to 
further develop his 
position 
in 
the Arab 
world. 
By 
1928 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
dependent 
on 
Britain 
for 
the 
three 
main necessities 
of 
government: 
the 
finance 
to 
meet 
the 
deficit 
in 
the 
budget; 
military 
support 
to 
protect 
the 
state, 
especially 
against 
Abdul 
Aziz; 
and political support 
to 
meet 
the 
growth 
of 
Arab 
nationalism. 
And 
since 
it 
was 
the 
conti- 
nued 
British 
presence which 
helped 
to 
preserve 
the 
state, 
and 
therefore 
a 
firm base from 
which 
to 
rule, 
Abdullah 
was 
pre- 
pared 
to 
accept 
his 
position of 
dependence 
on 
Britain. 
And 
only 
when 
he 
was 
secure 
in his 
state 
was 
Abdullah 
able 
to 
turn 
to, 
and add 
his 
voice 
to, the 
inter-state 
politics 
of 
the 
Arab 
world. 
104 
4 
CHAPTER FOUR 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. Aruri, 
Naseer 
H. 
Jordan: A Study 
in 
Political 
Development 
(the 
Hague, 
1972) 
p. 
25. 
2. 
Jarvis, Major 
C. 
S. 
Arab 
Command 
(London, 
1929) 
p. 
106. 
3. 
Philby 
Papers 
I File 
1, 
Trans-Jordan 
Diary, 
8 
December 
1921, St. Antony's 
College. 
4. CO 
733/67 
Cox 
Memo., 
9 
April 
1924. 
5. 
CO 
733/8 
Deedes to 
Churchill, 
24 
December 
1922. 
6. 
CO 
733/18 
10 
February 
1922. 
FO 
371/1832 22 
February 
1922. 
7. CO 
733/18 
10 
February 
1922. 
8. 
FO 
371/1832 
22 
February 
1922. 
9. 
CO 
733/23 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 
7 
July 
1922. 
10. 
Philby 
Papers 
I 
File 
2(a), 
Diary, 
7 
April 
1922. 
11. 
Glubb, J. 
B. 
The 
Story 
of 
the Arab Legion 
(London, 
1948) 
p. 
25. 
12. 
Collins, R. O. 
(ed. ) 
An Arabian 
Diary: 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
(Berkeley, 
1969) 
p. 
32. 
13. CO 
733/18 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
24 
January 
1922. 
14. 
Ibid. 
15. 
Philby Papers 
I, Diary, 
30`November 
1921. 
16. 
Ibid. 
17. CO 
733/18 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
24 
January 
1922. 
18. 
CO 
733/18 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
9 
May 
1922. 
19. 
CO 
733/18 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
26 
January 1922. 
20. 
CO 
733//22 
Kaf, 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
12 
May 
1922. 
21. 
Monroe, 
E. Philby 
of 
Arabia 
(London, 
1973) 
p. 
121. 
22. 
FO 
371/7791 
Shuckburgh 
to Oliphant, 
19 
July 1922. 
23. 
CO 
733/23 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 
Report 
on 
Jauf, 
29 
June 
1922. 
105 
24. Philby 
Papers 
VII, 
unpublished 
manuscript 
Stepping Stones 
in 
Jordan, 
Chapter 
2 
'Aftermath 
of 
Jauf'. 
25. CO 
733/24 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
3 
August 
1922. 
26. 
Collins, 
R. 
O. 
op. 
cit p. 
34. 
27. 
CO 
733/25 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 1 
September 
1922. 
28. 
CO 
733/25 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
9 
September 
1922. 
29. 
Peake,. F. 
G. 
A History 
of 
Jordan 
and 
Its 
Tribes 
(Miami 
1958), 
p. 
107. 
30. CO 
733/23 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
21 
July 
1922. 
31. 
CO 
733/22 
Memo. 
Philby 
to 
Deedes, 
2 
May 
1922. 
32. 
Cmd. 
1785. 
33. CO 
733/31 
Young 
memo 
to 
Cabinet, 1 
September 
1922. 
34. 
Cmd. 
1785. 
35. 
CO 
733/25 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 
30 
August 
1922. 
36. CO 
733/25 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
1 
September 
1922. 
37. CO 
733/25 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
28 
September 
1922. 
38. 
CO 
733/37 
Clayton 
Report 
on 
Discussion 
with 
Abdullah, 
18 
October 
1922. 
39. 
Ibid. 
40. Ibid. 
minute 
by 
Young. 
41. CO 
733/37 
Clayton Report, 
25 
October 
1922. 
42. 
FO 
371/7792 
CO to FO, 
13 
November 
1922. 
43. CO 
733/37 
Clayton Report, 
25 
October 
1922. 
44. 
FO 
371/7792 
J. 
Murray 
Minute 
(FO), 
13 
November 
1922. 
45. 
FO 
371/7742 
Oliphant 
to Shuckburgh, 
4 
December 
1922. 
46. 
FO 
371/9008 
Shuckburgh 
to 
Oliphant, 27 
April 
1922. 
47. 
CO 
733/37 
Clayton Report, 
27 
November 1922. 
48. 
Philby, 
H. 
St. J. 
'Trans-Jordan' 
in 
Journal 
of 
Royal 
Central 
Asian 
Society 
1924, 
p. 
303. 
106 
49. 
Graves, P. 
P. 
(ed. ) 
Memoirs 
of 
King 
Abdullah 
(London 
1950) 
p. 
206. 
50. 
FO 
371/9008 
Shuckburgh 
to Oliphant, 15 
March 
1923. 
51. 
FO 
371/9008 
Oliphant 
to Shuckburgh, 17 
March 
1923. 
52. 
FO 
371/9008 
Oliphant 
to Shuckburgh, 
27 
April 
1923. 
53. 
CO 
733/45 
Samuel 
to 
Devonshire, 4 
June 
1923. 
54. 
Ibid. 
55. 
CO 
733/47 
Clayton 
to Devonshire, 
13 
July 1923. 
56. 
Ibid. 
57. 
CO 
733/5 
Churchill 
to Samuel, 8 
August 
1921. 
58. 
CO 
733/18 
Philby 
to Samuel, 18 
February 
1922. 
59. 
CO 
733/38 
Clayton 
Report, 
18 
December 1922. 
60. 
CO 
733/45 
Samuel 
to Devonshire, 
18 
May 
1923. 
61. 
CO 
733/47 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
7 
July 1923. 
62. 
CO 
733/47 
Philby 
to Clayton, 
1 
July 1923. 
63. 
Philby, 
op. 
cit 
p. 
304. 
64. 
CO 
733/46 
Philby 
to Samuel, 29 
June 1923. 
65. 
Philby 
Papers 
III 
letter 
Samuel 
to 
J. 
H. 
Thomas 
of 
18 
July 
1924. 
66. 
Philby 
o 
. 
cit 
p. 
306. 
67. 
Vatikiotis, 
P. 
J. 
Politics 
and 
the 
Military 
in 
Jordan 
(London, 
1967) 
p. 
63. 
68. 
Philby, 
op. 
cit. 
loc. 
cit.. 
69. 
Philby, 
op. 
cit. 
loc, 
cit.. 
70. 
Monroe, 
op` 
p. 
131. 
71. 
Ibid. loc. 
cit. 
72. 
CO 
733/63 
Samuel 
to 
Devonshire, 
17 
January 
1924. 
73. 
Philby 
Papers 
I Diary, 5 
March 
1924. 
74. 
Monroe, 
op. 
cit 
p. 
134. 
107 
75. 
CO 
733/66 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
14 
March 
1924. 
76. 
Philby Papers 
I File 
3. 
Diary, 
17 
April 
1924. 
77. 
quoted 
in 
Jarvis, 
op. 
cit. p. 
104. 
78. 
Philby, 
Arabian Days, 
(London 
1948) 
p. 
236. 
108 
CHAPTERFIVE 
THE 
CONSOLIDATION 
OF 
THE 
BRITISH POSITION 
IN TRANS-JORDAN: 
THE RESIDENCY 
OF LT. 
COL. HENRY 
COX 
IN THE PERIOD 
1924-30 
INTRODUCTION 
The 
appointment 
of 
Charles 
Henry 
Fortnum Cox 
in 
April 
1924 
as 
Chief British 
Representative 
in 
Amman to 
replace 
Philby 
marked 
a significant change 
in 
British 
policy 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
During 
the 
period 
of 
Abramson, 
followed 
briefly 
by Lawrence 
and even 
Philby, 
the 
role 
of 
the British 
repre 
sentative 
was 
that, 
almost, of 
a 
disinterested 
adviser 
in 
Amman. The 
main 
achievement 
of 
this 
period 
was 
the 
separation 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Palestine, 
so 
ensuring 
that 
the 
territory 
was not 
included 
in 
the 
territory 
designated 
for the 
'Jewish 
National 
Home'. 
However, 
little 
was 
done 
to 
control 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
administration, 
let 
alone 
to 
impose 
a 
more 
structured, 
constitutional, 
system 
on 
the territory. 
To 
be 
fair, 
in 
1924, 
the territorial 
limits 
of 
the 
state 
had 
not 
been 
established, 
and 
in 
contrast 
to the 
state 
of affairs 
which 
existed 
in 
August 
1920 
when 
British 
officials 
were 
first 
sent 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
a 
lot 
had 
been 
achieved. 
Nevertheless, 
a great 
number 
of 
problems 
existed. 
Numbered 
among 
these 
were 
the 
questions 
of 
Abdullah's 
autocratic 
manner 
and 
financial 
mis- 
management, 
of 
ownership 
of 
the 
Ma'an-Aqaba 
region, 
and 
of 
the 
activities 
of 
a 
handful 
of 
Syrians 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
party. 
* 
This 
term 
was 
used until 
1928, 
thereafter 
the 
post 
was 
known 
as 
the 
'British 
Resident'. 
109 
This 
latter 
group occupied 
a number 
of 
influential 
government 
positions 
and 
had 
not 
forgotten 
that 
Abdullah's 
declared 
aim, 
when 
he 
first 
arrived 
in 
Amman 
in 
1921, 
was 
to 
attack 
the 
French 
in 
Syria 
and 
restore 
the 
Hashemites 
to 
the 
Damascus 
throne. 
In 
addition, 
during 
this 
period, 
external 
events 
were 
greatly 
to 
influence 
the 
affairs 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
To 
the 
south, 
the Kingdom 
of 
the 
Hejaz, 
ruled 
by 
Abdullah's 
father, 
Hussein, 
was a 
particular 
problem. 
In 
August 
1924, Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud 
invaded 
the Hejaz, 
and 
Mecca 
fell 
to 
his 
forces 
in 
October 
of 
that 
year. 
The 
war ran 
its 
course 
until 
December 
1925 
when 
King 
Ali 
- 
who 
had 
become 
king 
upon 
Hussein's 
abdication 
in 
October 
1924 
- 
surrendered 
Jedda 
to the 
Saudi 
forces. 
At 
the 
time 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
attack 
in 
August 
1924, 
the 
last 
major 
Nejdi 
raiding 
party 
attacked 
Trans-Jordan, and 
came 
within a 
few 
miles 
of 
Amman 
before 
it 
was 
repulsed. 
THE 
ARRIVAL OF 
HENRY 
COX 
AND 
THE 
CONFRONTATION OF 
AUGUST 
1924 
Henry Cox 
was 
offered 
and 
accepted 
the 
appointment 
as 
Chief British 
Representative 
on 
4 
April 
1924.1 
He 
was 
a 
completely 
different 
administrator 
from 
his 
predecessor 
H. St. 
John 
Philby. 
A 
military 
man 
by 
profession, 
he 
had 
reached 
the 
rank 
of 
Lieutenant 
Colonel 
during 
the 
First 
World 
War, 
where 
he 
had 
served 
on 
the Western 
Front 
and 
in 
the 
Hejaz. 
After 
the 
war, 
he joined 
the 
British 
military 
administration 
in 
Palestine. 
Before 
his 
appointment 
to 
Amman, he 
was 
the 
District 
Commissioner 
of 
Samaria. 
Although 
an 
experienced 
I 
110 
administrator 
and 
competent 
linguist, fearless 
and 
utterly 
devoted 
to 
what 
he 
considered 
his 
vocation and 
duty, he 
appears 
as a man of 
little 
imagination. 
He 
did 
not 
care 
for 
foreigners, 
or 
indeed 
outsiders 
of any 
description, 
though 
he 
tried 
conscientiously 
to 
be 
fair in 
any 
situation. 
2 
Certainly 
Cox 
was an 
administrator 
of 
the 
colonial 
service mould, 
and 
therefore 
an 
ideal 
choice 
to 
impose 
firm 
British 
control 
over 
the 
actions of 
Abdullah 
and 
the 
affairs 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as a 
whole. 
Whereas 
his 
predecessors 
had 
acted 
in 
a more 
ambassa- 
dorial 
role, 
Cox 
was 
a 
strong administrator 
who was 
able 
to 
impose 
a much 
stricter control over 
the 
finances 
and 
political 
development 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Indeed, Cox 
was a 
man 
to 
dictate 
Abdullah's 
policy 
for 
him 
and not 
just 
to 
advise 
him. 
Before 
going 
across 
the 
river 
Jordan 
to take 
up 
his 
appointment, 
Cox 
wrote a memorandum 
in 
Jerusalem 
which 
shows 
very clearly 
the 
strong 
line 
he 
was going 
to take. 
He 
pointed 
out 
in 
it: 
One 
of 
the 
conditions 
of 
the 
recognition 
of 
an 
Independent 
government 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
is 
that 
the 
Government 
should 
be 
consti- 
tutional, 
Assuming 
that 
this 
means 
that the 
Amir 
Abdullah 
should 
rule 
according 
to 
fixed 
laws, 
there 
is 
obviously 
little 
hope 
of 
the 
fulfilment 
of 
this 
condition 
before 
the 
lapse 
of 
several years' 
tuition. 
The 
lack 
of control 
over 
the 
activities 
of 
the 
Amir 
since 
he 
came 
into 
power 
in 
Trans- 
Jordania 
has 
certainly 
not 
tended 
to 
further 
this 
education 
and 
a 
reasonable 
measure 
of 
certainty 
should 
exist 
of 
the Amir's 
ability 
and 
willingness 
to 
govern 
on constitutional 
lines 
beforS 
the 
signing 
of 
the 
agreement 
is 
considered. 
111 
In 
furtherance 
of 
these 
objectives, 
Cox 
believed 
that 
the 
Chief British Representative 
had 
to 
have 
complete control over 
the 
day 
to 
day financial 
running of 
the 
country. 
In 
addition, 
Cox 
wanted 
to 
see 
that the 
judicial 
system was put 
in 
order so 
that 
it 
protected 
the 
population against 
misrule. 
Cox 
went 
on 
to 
point 
to the 
ultimate sanction 
that 
the British 
authorities 
possessed 
- 
the 
removal, 
if 
all else 
failed, 
of 
Abdullah. 
As 
he 
wrote: 
Sound 
advice 
may 
be 
expected 
use with 
a man of 
the Amir's 
habits 
and 
the 
only apparent 
the 
unhesitating 
exercise of 
mandatory 
accompanied 
by 
the 
Amir, 
if 
Recessary, 
from his 
position. 
to 
be 
of 
little 
improvident 
alternative 
is 
our 
powers 
as 
removal of 
the 
present 
As Cox 
left 
Jerusalem 
for 
Amman, 
it is 
reported 
that 
he 
told 
the 
High 
Commissioner: 'I 
will make 
Transjordan 
or else 
Transjordan 
will 
break 
me'. 
5 
Sir Herbert 
Samuel 
informed 
Abdullah 
- 
through 
Clayton 
- 
on 
9 
April 
1924 
that 
there 
was 
to 
be 
no 
further 
grant-in-aid 
(see 
Chapter 
8). 
6 
This 
was 
the 
opening 
shot 
by 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
their 
battle 
to 
gain 
supremacy over 
Abdullah. 
Both 
in 
London 
and 
in 
the 
Middle 
East, British 
officials 
were 
of 
the 
view 
that 
the 
non-payment 
of 
the 
subsidy 
would preci- 
pitate 
the 
collapse 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
If 
this 
happened, 
chaos 
would 
have 
resulted. 
The 
Air 
Ministry 
was 
the 
first 
to 
point 
out 
that 
the 
collapse 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
break-up 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
would 
make 
the 
position 
of 
the 
RAF 
airfield 
in 
Amman 
untenable, 
and would 
result 
in 
closure 
of 
the 
trans- 
112 
desert 
air-route 
to 
Baghdad. 
However, 
Sir John 
Shuckburgh 
took 
a more 
relaxed view, 
stating 
that 
'I 
see no reason 
to 
take 
a 
"panicky" 
view of 
the 
situation. 
Trans-Jordan 
is 
a 
small 
country 
and 
its 
affairs are of 
comparative 
insignifi 
cance'. 
7 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
he 
recognised 
that 
a subsidy was 
required, 
but 
that 
it 
should only 
be 
paid 
if 
Abdullah 
reformed 
his 
administration 
with 
the 
aid of 
British 
advisers. 
8 
In 
addition 
to the 
subsidy, 
an additional 
problem 
was 
the 
existence of 
the 
Department 
of 
Tribal 
Administration, 
which 
came under 
the 
control 
of 
Sheikh 
Shaker 
bin 
Zayd, 
a 
cousin 
of 
Abdullah, 
assisted 
by 
a 
Syrian 
by 
the 
name of 
Ahmed Mureiwid. 
As 
Cox 
observed: 
It 
was 
practically 
the 
Government 
of 
the 
Country, 
and 
its 
activities 
were of 
the 
worst 
possible 
nature 
for it 
favoured 
the 
Bedu 
at 
the 
expense 
of 
the 
fellah 
and 
the 
strong 
at 
the 
expense 
of 
the 
weak, 
whilst 
Ahmed 
Mureiwid, 
with 
Shaker 
in 
the 
background, 
was 
the 
manager 
of 
the 
bandits 
who 
raided 
Syria9and 
their 
fellow 
citizens 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
One 
of 
Cox's first 
moves, 
after 
arriving 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
was 
to 
ensure 
the 
removal 
of 
Abdullah's 
Chief 
Minister, 
Hassan 
10 
Khalid, 
whom 
he 
described 
as an 
'incorrigible 
time 
server', 
and 
to 
replace 
him 
with 
Ali 
Rida 
Pasha 
al 
Rikabi. 
Rikabi, 
who 
had 
not 
only 
previously 
served 
as 
Chief 
Minister, 
but 
had 
also 
accompanied Abdullah 
on 
his 
visit 
to 
London 
in 
1922, 
took 
up 
his 
appointment 
on 
3 
May 
1924. 
This 
appointment 
was 
imposed 
on 
Abdullah, 
who 
saw 
him 
as 
a 
threat 
to 
his 
own 
freedom 
of 
action. 
However, he bowed 
to 
British 
pressure 
only 
insisting 
113 
that 
Hassan 
Khalid 
become 
Minister 
of 
Finance. 
Despite 
Abdullah's 
hostility 
toward Rikabi, 
Cox 
was 
quickly 
able 
to 
establish a rapport with 
the 
new 
Chief 
Minister. 
Their 
first 
task 
was 
to 
frame 
a new 
budget, 
and 
for 
the 
first 
time 
a 
Chief British 
Representative 
was 
given access 
to the 
government 
accounts. 
These 
Cox 
found 
to 
be 
in 
a 
dread 
ful 
state. 
12 
He 
recognised 
that 
stricter control 
was 
essen- 
tial 
and 
with 
the 
assistance 
of 
H. S. 
Brain 
of 
the 
Colonial 
Audit, 
he 
drafted 
the 
first financial 
regulations 
for 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
government. 
These 
regulations 
- 
which 
stipulated 
_ 
that 
the 
signatures 
of 
the 
Chief 
Minister 
and 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
were required 
before 
any 
government 
expenditure 
was 
made 
- 
were ready 
before 
Abdullah 
departed 
for 
Mecca 
on 
27 
June 
1924. 
When Cox 
presented 
these 
regulations 
to 
the Amir for 
acceptance, 
he 
turned 
them 
down 
stating 
that 
the 
Minister 
of 
Finance 
should 
be in 
charge 
of 
the 
budget, 
13 
At 
the 
same 
meeting 
Cox 
also 
passed 
on 
the 
conditions 
for 
continued 
British 
subsidy, 
namely: 
the 
appointment of 
British 
advisers, 
the 
establishment 
of constitutional 
government 
and 
the 
return 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
to 
Trans-Jordan 
jurisdiction 
(for 
a 
full 
study 
of 
the 
Ma'an/Aqaba 
question 
see next 
chapter). 
14 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
give 
a satisfactory 
reply. 
Abdullah 
absented 
himself 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
on 
27 
June 
1924 
for 
eight 
weeks 
to 
go 
to 
Mecca 
and 
he 
left 
his 
cousin, 
Sheikh 
Shaker, 
to 
act on 
his 
behalf. 
During 
this 
period 
there 
was 
considerable 
debate 
in 
both 
London 
and 
locally 
about 
Abdullah's 
future 
position 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Indeed, 
Cox's 
114 
initial 
assessment 
was 
that 
'the 
Amir 
had 
run 
mad'. 
15 
Although the 
main cause 
of 
the 
crisis 
was 
Abdullah's 
refusal 
to 
accept 
British 
financial 
control, 
unrest on 
the 
border 
with 
Syria 
including 
tribal 
raiding, 
remained 
a cause 
for 
concern. 
The 
French 
authorities 
had 
informed 
the Foreign Office 
that 
if 
Britain 
could not control 
the 
situation, 
then 
the 
French 
would 
act as 
they 
saw 
fit. 
16 
At the 
beginning 
of 
July, Cox 
saw 
only 
two 
alternatives: 
either 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
accept 
firm 
British 
financial 
control, 
or 
he 
would 
be 
reduced 
to 
a 
mere 
figurehead. 
Commenting 
on 
these 
alternatives, 
Clayton 
observed 
that 
'... 
the 
first 
of 
the 
two 
courses 
suggested 
by 
the Chief British 
Representative 
is, 
in 
my opinion, 
preferable'. 
17 
Earlier 
in 
the 
year, 
Clayton 
had 
even 
considered 
the 
more 
drastic 
step 
of 
removing 
Abdullah 
from 
Amman 
altogether. 
In 
a memorandum of 
February 
1924 
Clayton 
said 
that Abdullah 
was 
'... 
a 
luxury 
which 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
its 
present 
impecunious 
state 
is 
unable 
to 
afford, 
and 
that 
it 
would 
therefore 
be 
advisable 
to 
replace 
him 
by 
some 
less 
expensive 
ruler'. 
18 
A 
week 
later, 
Clayton 
did 
not 
rule 
out 
the 
possibility 
that Hussein 
would 
be 
requested 
to 
replace 
Abdullah 
with 
his 
eldest 
son, 
Ali, 
19 
However, this 
suggestion 
was 
not 
pursued, 
as 
such 
a 
solution 
would 
have 
tied 
Trans-Jordan 
firmly 
to 
the, 
Hejaz 
and 
would 
have 
gone 
against 
Britain's 
Mandatory 
responsibilities0. 
Sir 
Herbert 
2 
Samuel 
also 
considered 
the 
possibility 
of 
Abdullah's 
removal. 
As 
he 
reported 
to 
the 
Colonial 
Secretary in 
May 
1924: 
115 
I 
am 
reluctantly 
forced 
to the 
conclusion 
that 
if 
circumstances were 
to 
arise 
which 
rendered 
the 
departure 
of 
the 
Emir 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
possible, 
the 
result 
to the 
country and 
its 
people would 
be beneficial, 
especj?lly 
from 
the 
financial 
point of 
view. 
However, 
the 
weakness of 
this 
proposal 
was 
that 
the 
British 
authorities 
did 
not 
have 
any policy on 
what 
form 
the 
govern- 
ment would 
take 
if 
Abdullah 
had 
been 
removed. 
in 
fact 
they 
were 
stuck 
with what 
they 
had 
got, 
and 
their 
only 
hope 
was 
to 
improve 
the 
situation 
in 
some way 
by bringing 
Abdullah 
under 
firmer 
control. 
By the 
beginning 
of 
August 
1924, 
a 
decision 
had 
been 
made. 
On 
8 
August, 
the Colonial 
Office 
informed 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
not 
to 
be 
allowed 
to 
return 
to 
Amman 
from 
the Hejaz 
unless 
he 
agreed 
to British 
control 
of 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
government. 
In 
a marginal 
note, 
D. A. 
Osborne 
of 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
noted: 
The 
situation 
is 
that 
the Amir Abdullah 
is 
financially 
most 
unsatisfactory 
and politi- 
cally 
moderately 
so, 
he 
is hopelessly 
extra- 
vagant 
and 
declines 
to 
account 
for his 
expenditure; 
he 
appears 
to 
be 
unpopular with 
the 
people 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
he has 
not 
fulfilled 
his 
side 
of 
the 
agreement of 
May 
1923 
by 
which 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
22 
extended 
to 
him 
conditional 
recognition. 
All 
parties 
on 
the 
British 
side: 
Cox, 
Clayton, 
the 
Foreign 
Office 
and 
the 
Colonial 
Office, 
agreed 
that 
Britain 
had 
to 
act 
firmly 
with 
Abdullah. 
Concurrently, 
raids 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
into 
Syria 
were 
continuing 
at 
the 
instigation 
of. a 
prominent 
116 
member 
of 
the 
Syrian 
Istiglal 
party 
and 
Chief Chamberlain to 
Abdullah, 
Adil Irslan. 
On 
4 
August, 
a raiding party entered 
Syria 
and attacked 
a group 
of gendarmerie. 
However, 
in 
this 
case, 
Rikabi took 
firm 
action 
and 
arrested 
fifty-five 
people. 
Of these 
twenty-three 
were 
found 
guilty 
and 
eventually 
extradited 
to Syria. 
23 
On 
12 
August, J. H. 
Thomas, the Labour 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies, 
informed 
Clayton 
that: 
His 
Majesty's Government 
are 
not prepared 
to 
allow 
Ruler 
of 
Trans-Jordan to 
refuse 
that 
degree 
of 
financial 
control 
which 
is 
considered 
by 
them to 
be 
essential 
and 
you 
are 
authorised, 
should 
you consider 
it 
advisable, 
to 
inform 
Abdullah 
before he 
returns. 
In this 
case 
such steps as 
you 
consider 
best 
should 
be 
taken to 
inform 
him 
of 
this 
decision, 
and 
to 
ensure 
that 
?R does 
not return 
to Amman 
until 
he 
accepts. 
At the 
same 
time, 
as a consequence 
of 
J. 
H. 
Thomas's 
decision, 
the 
Foreign office 
asked 
the British 
Consul 
in 
Jedda, Reader 
Bullard, 
to 
take 
steps 
to 
ensure 
that 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
return 
to 
Amman 
until 
he 
accepted 
the British 
demands. 
25 
On the 
following 
day, 
Clayton 
wrote 
a 
letter 
to Abdullah 
laying down 
six 
conditions 
which 
Abdullah 
had 
to 
accept. 
Of these, two 
dealt 
with 
the 
powers 
of 
the Officer 
Commanding 
the RAF 
in 
Palestine 
to 
inspect 
the Arab 
Legion, 
and 
two 
dealt 
with 
the 
question 
of 
the 
Syrian 
Nationalists in 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
in 
particular 
the 
request 
to 
expel 
seven 
leading 
members of 
the 
Istiglal 
party. 
Another 
condition 
called 
for 
the 
abolition of 
the 
Tribal 
Administration 
Department, 
And 
finally, 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
accept 
full 
British 
control 
over 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
117 
administration. 
On 
19 
August, Abdullah 
returned, 
to Amman 
- 
the British 
having 
decided, 
for 
reasons of 
face, 
that 
the Amir 
should 
return 
to 
Amman 
before 
the 
ultimatum was presented. 
Cox 
duly 
presented 
the 
ultimatum 
the 
next 
day. 
Although 
it 
would appear 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
taken 
aback 
by 
what 
he 
was as 
Britain's 
lack 
of 
confidence 
in 
himself, he 
accepted 
the 
conditions. 
As 
Cox 
reported, 
in 
his 
monthly report 
for 
August 
on 
the 
affairs 
of 
Trans-Jordan: 
... 
the Amir 
gave an 
unqualified 
undertaking 
to 
comply 
with 
the 
demands 
made of 
him. 
The 
two 
most 
important 
of 
these 
were 
the 
aboli- 
tion 
of 
the Department 
of 
Tribal Administra- 
tion 
and 
submission 
to 
that 
measure of 
financial 
control 
which 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
may see 
fit 
to 
impose. 
The 
Amir's 
acceptance 
of 
these 
conditions 
were 
concurred 
in 
bY6his 
Ministers 
on 
the 
following 
day. 
By 
accepting 
the British 
demands, 
Abdullah 
recognised 
that 
his 
position 
in 
Amman 
was 
far 
from 
that 
of an 
independent 
prince 
(as 
indeed 
he 
had 
chosen 
to 
interpret 
the 
assurance 
of 
May 
1923). 
To 
ensure 
continued 
British 
protection 
and 
financial 
assistance 
he 
had 
to 
accept 
limitations 
on 
his 
own and 
and political 
room 
to 
manoeuvre. 
Cox 
recognised 
that 
Abdullah 
could not 
be 
reduced 
to 
a 
mere 
figurehead 
- 
nor was 
it desir- 
able. 
As 
he informed 
Jerusalem 
in 
January 
1925: 
In 
any 
case 
the 
country 
has 
only 
been 
able 
to 
make 
its 
(sic) 
first 
steps 
along 
the 
road 
of 
progress 
since 
he 
has 
been 
partially 
muzzled, 
To 
muzzle 
him 
entirely 
is, 
I 
fear, 
almost 
impossible 
for 
there 
is 
always 
ample 
room 
for intrigue 
in 
such 
27 
land 
as 
this 
and 
this 
he 
can never 
give 
up. 
118 
Indeed, Trans-Jordan 
was 
ruled 
thereafter 
by 
a 
triumvirate 
comprising 
the 
Amir 
Abdullah, 
Cox 
and 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
Chief 
Minister. 
The 
vulnerability 
of 
Abdullah's 
position 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
his 
reliance 
on 
the British 
were underlined 
by 
a 
major 
Wahhabi 
raid 
on 
14 
August 
1924. 
This 
was 
one 
of 
a number 
of 
diversionary 
attacks 
by 
the Nejdis 
which 
heralded 
the 
start 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
war. 
Only 
the 
prompt action 
of 
the RAF 
saved 
the 
capital 
from 
falling 
to the 
raiding 
party which 
had 
come 
to 
within 
a 
few 
miles 
of 
Amman. 
The 
presence of 
British 
cavalry 
troops 
- 
which 
had been 
despatched 
from 
Palestine 
as 
a 
result 
of 
this 
raid and which arrived 
in 
Amman 
on 
17 
August 
1924 
helped 
to 
underline 
to 
Abdullah 
when 
he 
returned, 
not 
only 
the 
strength 
of 
British 
power, 
but 
also 
the 
fact 
that, 
in 
the 
final 
resort, 
the 
safety 
of 
his 
position as 
Amir 
depended 
on 
continued 
British 
protection. 
Indeed, 
as 
Abdullah 
returned 
from 
Mecca, 
he had 
wanted 
these'cavalry 
reinforcements 
removed 
before 
he 
re-entered 
Amman, 
as 
he 
thought, 
incorrectly, 
that 
they 
were 
there 
to 
enforce 
his 
removal. 
28 
THE 
ISTIQLAL 
As 
has 
been 
noted, 
one of 
the 
conditions of 
the 
ultimatum 
was 
the 
removal 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
of 
a 
number 
of 
named 
leaders 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
party. 
The Syrian 
Istiqlal 
party 
in 
Amman 
at 
the 
time 
of 
Cox's 
arrival was 
made 
up of 
Syrians 
who 
had 
taken 
refuge 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
after 
the 
fall 
of 
Faisal's 
kingdom 
in 
1920. 
They 
were 
at 
the 
peak 
of 
their 
power 
and 
influence 
and 
119 
a number 
held positions 
in 
Abdullah's 
administration and 
as 
officers 
in 
the Arab Legion. 
They 
were a group of 
Arab 
nationalists 
whose principal 
objectives 
were 
to 
remove 
the 
French 
from 
Syria 
and re-establish 
an 
independent 
Arab 
state 
with 
its 
capital 
at 
Damascus. 
Through 
the 
Department 
of 
Tribal 
Administration, 
they 
were responsible 
for 
a number 
of 
raids 
into 
Syria. 
As 
a 
result 
of 
these 
activities, 
they 
caused 
considerable 
embarrassment 
to the British 
government 
in 
its dealings 
with 
the 
French 
mandate 
authorities 
in 
Syria. 
As 
early 
as 
1923, 
Peake 
had 
dismissed 
four 
officers 
in 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
for 
being 
leading 
members 
of 
the Istiglal 
following 
a 
request 
by 
the Amir. 
28 
According 
to 
Peake, Abdullah 
was 
apprehensive 
about 
these Syrians 
but 
was unwilling 
to 
act 
against 
them 
for 
fear 
of 
provoking 
them, 
as after 
all, 
Abdullah 
arrived 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1921 
to 
attempt 
to 
remove 
the 
French 
from 
Syria. 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
want 
to 
provoke 
these 
Syrians 
for 
fear 
of 
laying 
himself 
open 
to 
the 
charge 
that 
he 
had 
not 
fulfilled 
his 
promise 
to 
attack 
the 
French. 
As 
Peake 
noted 
in 
an 
article 
published 
in 
1956: 
For 
the 
good of 
British 
Imperial 
Policy 
and 
for 
the 
welfare of 
Trans-Jordan, 
the 
Istiglal 
party 
in 
Amman 
had 
to 
be broken 
up 
and 
its 
chief 
members 
expelled, 
and 
although 
they 
brought 
the 
country 
to 
the 
verge 
of 
ruin 
by 
their 
actions 
and 
exactions, 
yet 
we 
must 
never 
forget 
that 
they 
were 
igtuated 
by 
the 
highest 
ideals 
of 
patriotism. 
Viewed 
by 
Cox 
and 
Peake, 
the 
Istiglal 
was 
seen 
as 
a 
major 
obstacle 
to 
the 
development 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
both 
officials 
were 
not 
men 
to 
have 
much 
sympathy 
for 
Arab 
120 
nationalists 
who 
obstructed 
the 
good 
government 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
whose 
interests 
lay 
in 
spreading 
unrest 
in 
Syria. 
With 
Abdullah's 
acceptance 
of 
the 
British 
ultimatum 
in 
August 
1924, 
the 
seven 
most 
troublesome 
leaders 
of 
the 
Istiglal 
were 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan. 
Two, 
Adil 
irslan 
and 
Ahmed 
Mureiwid 
were 
involved 
in 
the 
Department 
of 
Tribal 
Administration 
and 
had 
been 
implicated 
in 
the raids 
into 
Syria 
of 
4 
August. 
The other 
five 
were: 
Nabih 
al 
Azmeh, 
Ahmad 
8ilmi, 
Othman 
Kasmi, 
Sami 
Sarraj 
and 
Fuad 
Selim. 
pll 
seven 
departed 
for 
the 
Hejaz 
at 
five 
days' 
notice, 
and 
some 
went 
on 
from 
there 
to 
Egypt. 
At 
the 
time 
of 
their 
expulsion, 
Abdullah 
Put 
a 
notice 
in 
the 
official 
newspaper 
to 
the effect 
that 
there 
was 
nothing 
against 
the 
honour 
of 
these 
gentlemen 
but 
that 
they 
were 
being sent 
away 
to 
satisfy 
the 
demands of 
a 
nei 
30 
The 
expulsion 
of 
these 
members 
of 
the 
ghbouring 
power. 
Istiglal 
strengthened 
Cox's 
position 
in 
Amman 
and 
his 
ability 
to 
impose 
his 
will 
on 
Abdullah. 
THE 
HEJAZ 
WAR 
1924-5 
Shortly 
after 
Abdullah's 
capitulation 
to 
the 
British 
demands, 
the 
Hejaz 
war 
broke 
out. 
on 
29 
August 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
forces 
invaded 
the 
Hejaz 
from 
the 
border 
towns 
of 
Khurmah 
and 
the 
invading 
forces, 
followed 
Turabah" 
Taif 
quickly 
fell 
to 
1924, 
King 
Hussein 
by 
Mecca 
in 
October. 
On 
3 
October 
Ali, 
and 
promptly 
took 
abdicated 
in 
favour 
of 
his 
eldest 
son, 
had 
not 
then 
been 
himself 
(whose 
status 
off 
to 
Aqaba 
resolved), 
where 
he 
remained 
until 
1925, 
a 
cause 
of 
acute 
121 
embarrassment 
to 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
Wahhabis 
laid 
siege 
to Jedda 
in 
January 
1925 
and 
King 
Ali 
finally 
surrendered 
in 
December 1925. 
The 
war 
raised a 
number of 
important 
issues 
which 
directly 
affected 
Trans-Jordan. 
Understandably, 
Abdullah 
was 
inclined 
to 
provide 
as much assistance 
as 
possible 
for 
the 
Hashemite 
cause. 
However the British 
policy 
was 
to 
maintain 
a 
strict 
neutrality 
in 
its 
dealings 
with 
the 
two 
warring 
factions. 
This, 
of course, 
also meant 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
a 
British 
mandate also 
had 
to 
remain 
neutral. 
However, 
some 
troops 
for 
the Hejaz 
were recruited 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
but 
assistance 
was 
minimal. 
As 
for 
Abdullah's 
views on 
Abdul 
Aziz 
and 
the 
Wahhabis, 
these 
were made 
quite clear 
in 
a 
letter 
to 
Cox 
at 
the time 
of 
the 
fall 
of 
Mecca. Abdullah 
wrote: 
The 
Hijaz, 
including 
Holy 
mecca, 
has become 
the 
subject 
of robbery, 
murder and other 
criminal 
and 
inhuman 
acts; 
the 
country 
which 
acknowledges 
with pride 
her 
friendship 
to 
Great 
Britain, 
with 
whom 
existing 
ties 
were 
strengthened 
during 
the Great 
War 
by 
the 
blood 
that 
was sacrificed 
for 
the 
common 
cause, 
is 
now 
being 
trodden 
down by 
an 
uncivilis7d 
sect 
who 
have 
no 
human 
feeling. 
In 
reply 
to this 
letter, 
Ronald 
Storrs 
- 
the 
Acting Chief 
Secretary 
in 
Palestine 
- 
wrote 
to 
Cox 
on 
24 
October 1925: 
His 
Excellency 
[the 
High 
Commissioner] 
further 
instructs 
that 
the 
Amir 
be 
warned 
in 
unequivocal 
terms, 
that 
the 
ruler 
and 
inhabitants 
of 
the 
Mandated 
Territory 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
must adhere 
to 
the 
policy 
of 
strict 
neutrality 
which 
has 
been 
adopted 
by 
the 
Mandatory 
Government 
with 
respect 
to 
those 
hostilities 
and 
that 
no 
acts 
of 
armed 
122 
aggression 
on 
their 
part agaj?st 
the Nejd 
tribes 
will 
be 
countenanced. 
Throughout 
the 
war, 
Abdullah 
constantly asked 
for 
British 
government 
mediation 
between 
the Hejaz 
and 
the Nejd. 
Abdullah's 
pleas were 
to 
no avail: 
the British 
position 
remained 
that 
it 
would 
not 
intervene 
unless 
asked 
to 
do 
so 
by 
both 
sides. 
The 
most 
important 
question 
affecting 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
a 
result 
of 
the 
war was 
the 
key 
question 
of 
ownership 
of 
the 
Ma'an-Aqaba 
region 
(see 
chapter 
6 
where 
the 
issue 
is 
covered 
in detail, 
and 
also 
for 
an 
account 
of 
Sir Gilbert Clayton's 
mission 
to Abdul 
Aziz to 
negotiate 
the 
frontier 
question). 
This 
issue 
was complicated 
when ex-King 
Hussein 
took 
up 
residence 
there 
after 
he left 
Jedda. 
His 
presence 
in 
Aqaba 
left 
the 
area 
open 
to 
attack 
by 
Nejdi 
forces, 
and 
to 
forstall 
this, 
the 
British 
authorities 
forced 
Hussein 
to 
go 
into 
exile 
in 
Cyprus 
in 
June 1925. 
One 
month 
later 
both 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
were 
firmly 
placed 
within 
the territory 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Following 
the 
conquest 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
by 
Abdul Aziz, 
the 
authority of 
the 
British 
officials 
were 
further 
strengthened, 
and 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
territory 
became 
a 
lot 
easier. 
Abdullah 
became 
more 
manageable 
because 
the 
outcome of events 
underlined 
his 
own vulnerability. It 
also 
spelt an 
end 
to the 
troublesome 
meddling 
of 
Hussein 
in 
the 
internal 
affairs 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
123 
THE 
STRENGHTENING 
OF THE BRITISH POSITION IN TRANS-JORDAN 
AND 
COX'S 
ATTITUDE 
TOWARDS 
ABDULLAH. 
One 
of 
the 
side 
effects 
of 
the 
appointment 
of 
Cox 
was 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
tied 
more 
firmly 
to the 
British 
administrative 
structure 
in 
Palestine. 
This 
was 
achieved 
without 
compromising 
the 
separate 
constitutional status 
of 
Abdullah 
and 
without a 
softening 
of 
the British 
policy 
to 
exclude 
Jews 
from 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
Not 
only 
was 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
made 
responsible 
for 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
grant-in-aid, 
but 
also 
British 
Palestine 
officials 
were 
sent 
across 
to Trans-Jordan 
in 
greater 
numbers. 
Indeed, 
the 
policy 
of not appointing 
Palestine 
officials 
to Trans-Jordan 
was 
abandoned 
after 
the 
departure 
of 
Philby. 
As 
the 
Colonial 
Secretary, 
the 
Duke 
of 
Devonshire, 
noted: 
... 
the 
Chief British 
Representative 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
his 
subordinates 
will, 
henceforth, be 
regarded 
as officers of 
that 
administration 
[Palestine] 
seconded 
for 
duty 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
though 
their 
relationship 
with 
the Government 
of 
35ans-Jordan 
will 
remain 
purely 
advisory. 
This 
was a 
purely 
administrative 
readjustment, 
aimed 
at 
tightening 
up 
the 
running of 
the 
affairs of 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
although 
it 
did 
not 
signify any 
major 
constitutional change, 
it did 
ensure 
a greater 
degree 
of 
British 
commitment and 
control 
over 
the 
day 
to 
day 
running 
of 
the 
territory. 
With 
the 
formation 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force 
(TJFF) 
in 
1926, 
control 
over 
the 
defence 
of 
the 
territory 
from 
Palestine 
was greatly 
enhanced. 
in 
addition 
to 
the British 
officials 
with 
the 
residency 
in 
Amman 
and with 
the 
TJFF, 
by 
1929 
there 
124 
were 
an 
additional 
eleven 
British 
advisers 
with 
the 
government 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
latter 
group, 
who 
were 
classed 
as 
Trans-Jordanian 
governmeJt-officials, 
included 
such 
people 
Ias 
Peake 
and 
his 
second 
in 
command 
with 
the 
Arab 
Legion, 
- 
a 
financial 
and 
a 
judicial 
adviser, 
through 
to 
an 
inspector 
of 
antiquities 
and 
a government 
bacteriologist. 
Cox's 
attitude 
towards 
Abdullah, 
at 
the 
start 
of 
his 
tour 
was 
not 
favourable. For 
example, 
in 
the 
previously 
quoted 
letter 
of 
January 
1925, 
he 
considered 
'the 
Amir's 
influence 
in 
this 
country 
has been 
almost 
entirely 
for 
evil'. 
34 
To 
a 
colonial 
servant 
of 
the 
mould 
of 
Cox, the 
state 
of 
affairs 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
when 
he first 
arrived 
must 
have 
seemed 
incredible. 
Nevertheless, 
although 
the 
situation 
was 
chaotic 
by 
the 
exacting 
standards 
of 
British 
officials, 
. 
considerable 
progress 
had 
in 
fact been 
made since 
the 
early 
days 
of 
1920. 
When 
firmer 
British 
control 
over 
the 
affairs 
of 
Abdullah's 
government 
had 
been 
established 
and 
progress 
made 
in developing 
the 
limited 
resources 
available 
in 
the 
terri- 
tory, 
then 
attitudes 
towards 
Abdullah 
started, 
to 
change. 
This 
was 
only possible 
once 
the 
subordinate 
role 
had 
been 
imposed 
on, 
and 
accepted, 
by 
Abdullah. 
The 
remaining 
topics to 
exercise 
the 
minds 
of 
Cox 
and 
the 
other 
British 
officials 
on 
the 
one 
hand, 
and 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
administration 
on 
the 
other, 
were 
the 
negotiations 
which 
led 
to 
the 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
agreement 
and 
the organic 
Law 
of 
1928. 
This 
subject 
is 
covered 
in 
detail 
in 
Chapter 
9. 
In 
tandem 
to 
this 
was 
the 
general constitutional 
development 
of 
125 
the 
territory 
over six years, 
during 
which 
time 
the 
experience 
of 
Abdullah's 
administration was 
developed. 
In 
1924 
there 
was 
no representative assembly 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
Laws 
were enacted 
by 
an 
official 
council. 
A 
Council 
of 
Ministers 
was 
the 
executive 
body 
which passed 
resolutions 
which 
required 
the Amir's 
assent 
before 
they 
came 
into 
law. 
In 
1926 
the Council 
of 
Ministers 
was replaced 
by 
an 
Executive 
Council 
made up 
of 
the 
Chief 
Minister 
and 
not more 
than 
five 
other 
members who 
were appointed 
by 
Abdullah, 
from 
the 
main 
officials 
in 
the 
government of 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
body 
also 
included 
the British 
judicial 
and 
financial 
advisers 
who 
sat 
on 
the 
council 
in 
an advisory 
capacity. 
35 
Although 
the 
main 
causes 
of 
Anglo-Hashemite 
friction 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
removed 
in 
1924, 
Abdullah's 
relations 
with 
his 
Chief 
Minister 
were usually 
strained. 
The 
main 
reason 
for 
this 
was 
that 
Rikabi 
had 
a 
strong 
personality 
and was 
prepared 
to 
stand up 
to 
Abdullah's 
whims. 
He 
was also 
a 
Chief 
Minister 
who 
was willing 
to 
work with 
Cox 
- 
after 
all 
he 
was 
imposed 
on 
Abdullah 
a 
month 
after 
Cox's 
arrival 
in 
Amman 
- 
to 
ensure 
that 
progress 
was 
made. 
Examples 
of 
this 
included 
stronger 
control 
over 
the 
budget 
and acting 
against 
raids 
into 
Syria. 
Abdullah 
never 
really 
accepted 
his 
appointment, 
and, 
according 
to 
Cox, 
lost 
'no 
opportunity 
of 
intriguing 
against 
him 
and 
uses 
as 
his 
0 
tools 
some 
of 
the 
worst men 
in 
the 
country'. 
36(These 
men 
were 
mainly 
of 
Syrian 
origin 
who 
had 
not 
been 
expelled 
in 
1924). 
However, because 
of 
continuing 
friction 
with 
Abdullah 
- 
at a 
time 
when 
Britain 
wanted 
the 
least 
amount 
of 
disruption 
126 
in-the 
affairs 
of 
state 
- 
both 
Lord 
plumer 
and 
Cox 
decided 
that 
the 
best 
course 
of 
action 
was 
to 
ask 
Rikabi 
to 
resign. 
This 
he 
did 
on 
4 
August 
1926. 
Rikabi 
never 
really 
lost 
the 
confidence 
of 
the 
British 
officials 
in 
both 
Jerusalen 
and 
Amman, 
but 
the 
continued 
clash 
of 
personalities 
between 
him 
and 
Abdullah 
was 
viewed 
by 
the 
British 
as 
a 
destabilising 
factor 
for 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
government 
in 
Amman. 
Another 
of 
the 
reasons 
for 
his 
resignation 
was 
the 
firm 
action 
taken 
by 
Peake 
to 
stop 
raids 
in 
Syria 
and 
by 
declaring 
martial 
law 
In 
the 
north 
in 
1926. 
This 
he 
saw 
as 
yet 
another 
example 
of 
Abdullah's 
autocratic 
action. 
In 
September 
1926, 
the 
Colonial 
Secretary, 
Leopold 
Amery, 
wrote 
to 
Rikabi: 
ong 
and 
earnest 
consideration 
was 
given 
to 
Lthe 
matter 
[i. 
e. 
resignation] 
both 
by 
Lord 
iti 
Plumer 
and 
by 
the 
Chief 
Brsh 
Represent- 
ative 
before 
it 
was 
decided 
to 
invite 
you 
to 
resign 
and 
it 
was 
only 
when 
finally 
convinced 
that 
this 
was 
in 
the 
best 
were 
interests 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
that 
they 
compelled 
to 
a 
course 
of 
action 
reluctantly 
co 
to 
themselves 
on 
which 
was 
distasteful 
realised 
personal 
grounds 
and 
which 
??ey 
must 
cause 
distress 
to 
you. 
Although 
the 
original 
letter 
from 
Rikabi 
tendering 
his 
office 
papers, 
a 
marginal 
resignation 
is 
missing 
from 
Colonial 
Comment 
stated 
that 
this 
letter 
accused 
'Abdullah 
of 
being 
brazen 
38 
was 
replaced 
by 
Hassan 
Khalid 
and 
nervous'. 
Rikabi 
pasha 
Abul 
Huda 
-a 
Turk 
by 
origin 
and 
a 
man 
who 
had 
the 
confidence 
of 
both 
Cox 
and 
Abdullah" 
decade, 
progress 
- 
albeit 
of 
the 
Throughout 
the 
remainder 
Slew 
made 
to 
satisfy 
the 
condition 
of 
British 
progress 
- 
was 
127 
recognition 
of an 
"independent 
government" 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
namely 
that 
the 
government 
should 
be 
constitutional. 
In 
October 
1927 
Abdullah 
convened 
an 
assembly of 
notables 
in 
order 
to 
draw 
up 
an electoral 
law. 
However, 
by 
this 
stage 
some 
of 
the 
politically 
more advanced 
leaders 
- 
and 
there 
were 
only 
but 
a 
few 
- 
wanted 
the 
establishment 
of 
a national 
repre- 
sentative 
council 
to 
lay 
down 
the 
basis 
of 
government. 
In 
February 
1928 
the 
Anglo 
- 
Trans-Jordanian 
agreement 
was 
concluded 
formalising 
the 
relationship 
between 
the 
United 
Kingdom 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
(see 
Chapter 9). 
In 
May 
1928, 
Lord 
Plumer 
proposed a 
public 
declaration 
of 
the 
British 
govern- 
ment's 
support 
for 
Abdullah. 
This 
was 
to 
be 
for 
the 
purpose 
of 
countering 
both 
the 
effects of 
tribal 
raiding 
into 
Trans- 
Jordan 
from 
the 
north 
and 
the 
south 
and 
the 
loss 
of 
confi- 
dence 
many 
Jordanians had 
begun 
to 
feel 
towards 
their 
govern 
went. 
Following 
a meeting 
with 
Abdullah 
on 
14 
May 
1928 Plumer 
reported 
that: 
... 
he 
[Abdullah] 
feels 
that 
public security 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
is 
menaced 
and, 
since 
his 
people 
suffer aggression 
from 
external 
tribes 
but 
are 
not 
allowed 
by 
His 
Highness 
to 
take 
offensive 
measures 
themselves, 
that 
therefore 
authority 
is 
slipping 
from 
his 
hands. 
I 
am 
convinced 
that 
measures 
should 
be 
taken 
to 
restore 
the 
confidence 
of 
the 
people of 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
its 
government 
and 
its 
ruler 
and 
thus 
to 
restore 
the 
Amir's 
prestige and, 
what 
is 
jq 
less 
important, 
his 
confidence 
in 
himself. 
The 
Colonial 
Office 
took 
a more 
cautionary 
view 
and 
were 
reluctant to 
give 
a 
declaration 
of 
the 
sort 
which would 
128 
underline 
the 
dependence 
of 
Abdullah 
on 
the 
British. 
40 
By 
September, 
Plumer 
felt 
that 
an'explicit 
declaration 
of support 
was 
no 
longer 
necessary, 
but he 
communicated 
to London 
a 
suggested 
letter 
as 
an alternative. 
41 
The 
Foreign 
Office 
had 
its 
doubts. 
As 
Lancelot 
Olipant 
wrote 
to 
Sir 
John Shuckburgh 
on 
27 September: 
The 
wording 
is full flowery 
and while 
doubt- 
less 
it 
will 
please 
him 
intensely, 
I 
myself 
wonder, 
speaking 
as advocatus 
diaboli 
(Ibn 
Saud), 
whether 
it 
might not 
tend to 
aggre- 
vate 
his feelings, 
at 
the 
present moment 
when 
we w2yld 
like 
a quiet 
time 
if 
that 
is 
possible. 
Despite 
this Foreign office 
reservation, 
the 
letter 
was 
sent 
by 
H. C. Luke 
- 
the Acting 
High Commissioner 
in 
Jerusalem 
- 
on 
6 
October. 
It 
is 
worth 
recording 
here in 
full: 
In 
view 
of 
the 
important 
stage 
in its 
constitutional 
development 
which 
Trans- 
Jordan 
is 
now entering 
upon, 
I 
am 
desired 
to 
assure 
Your Highness 
of 
the 
complete 
confidence 
which 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
place 
in 
yourself and your 
administration 
and 
their 
intention 
to 
support 
Your 
H 
Wness 
in 
the 
discharge 
of 
your 
high duties. 
Abdullah 
replied 
two 
days 
later 
as 
follows: 
The 
cordial relations 
which 
exist 
between 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's Government 
and 
myself 
and 
which 
I, 
above 
all, 
have 
endeavoured 
to 
maintain 
in 
most 
cordial 
times 
are and 
will 
continue 
no 
less 
cordial 
throughout 
my 
life 
in 
spite 
of 
any 
difficulties 
and 
obstacles 
which 
may 
intervene. 
129 
I 
shall 
be 
grateful 
if 
Your Excellency 
would 
kindly 
convey 
to 
His Britannic 
Majesty's 
Government 
an 
expression 
of 
my 
true 
loyalty 
and sincere 
thanks 
for 
their 
support 
and 
my 
firm 
belief 
that they 
will now, 
as 
ever, 
ful5il 
their 
promises and 
maintain 
their 
friendship. 
This 
exchange 
of 
letters 
put 
the 
final 
seal 
to the 
strong and 
close 
relationship 
between 
Abdullah 
and 
the British 
which 
had 
developed 
since 
the 
confrontation 
of 
four 
years 
previously. 
The 
Organic Law 
of 
1928, 
which was 
based 
on 
a similar 
law 
in 
Iraq, 
stipulated 
that 
the 
country 
should 
be 
constitutional. 
The 
Legislative Council, 
as 
laid 
down 
in 
the Organic Law, 
was 
elected 
on 
18 
February 
1929. 
It 
comprised 
the 
six members 
of 
the 
Executive 
Council: 
- 
the Chief 
Minister, 
the Minister 
of 
Justice, the 
Chief Secretary, 
the 
Treasurer, 
the 
Directors 
of 
Health 
and 
Education 
- 
all 
the Amir's 
appointees, plus 
sixteen 
elected 
members. 
44 
The 
first 
meeting of 
this 
council 
was 
held 
on 
2 
April 
1929 
and 
its 
first 
task 
was 
to 
pass 
the 
1928 
agree- 
ment. 
This 
received 
the Amir's 
assent on 
4 
June 
1929 
and 
was 
finally 
ratified 
on 
30 
October 
1929. 
THE 
TRIBES 
Of 
Trans-Jordan's 
total 
estimated 
population 
in 
1929 
of 
some 
300,000 
there 
was a 
bedouin 
population 
of something 
in 
the 
region 
of 
50,000 
(many 
of 
whom roamed 
backwards 
and 
forwards 
across 
the 
undefined 
border 
areas) 
and 
a 
semi-nomadic 
population 
of 
about another 
120,000. 
Throughout the 
1920s, 
intertribal 
raiding 
was a recurring 
problem, 
both 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
across 
the 
undefined 
frontiers 
with 
Syria 
and 
130 
the 
Nejd. 
It 
was 
a major complicating 
factor for 
good 
British 
relations 
with 
the French 
authorities 
in 
Syria 
and with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
Although 
the 
last 
great 
Wahhabi 
raid 
into 
Trans-Jordan 
occurred 
in 
August 
1924, 
minor 
tribal 
raiding 
was 
a 
feature 
of 
life 
around 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan. 
And, 
internally, 
Britain 
played 
an 
essential role 
in 
suppressing 
tribal 
opposition 
to 
Abdullah 
and 
also 
intervening 
when 
tribe 
fought 
tribe. 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
Abdullah 
was 
also 
to 
play an 
indispensible 
role 
as 
an 
arbitrator among 
the 
tribes. In 
1926, 
Abdullah's 
intervention 
brought 
about 
a reconciliation 
between 
the 
Beni Sakr 
and 
the 
Howeitat 
- 
the 
two 
main 
bedouin 
tribes 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
- 
which 
brought 
peace 
to 
the 
area 
to the 
east 
of 
the Hejaz 
Railway. 
In 
April 1929, 
there 
was another 
incident 
between 
these 
two 
tribes 
at 
a place 
called 
Ziza 
close 
to 
the 
railway, 
but 
Abdullah's 
personal 
intervention 
along 
with 
a 
force 
composed 
of 
elements 
from 
the 
Arab 
Legion, 
the 
RAF 
and 
the TJFF, 
ensured 
that 
the 
incident 
did 
not 
get 
out 
of 
hand. 
Despite 
these 
successes 
in 
pacifying 
the 
tribes, 
minor 
tribal 
conflict 
remained 
endemic 
throughout 
the 
period 
of 
this 
study. 
While 
internal 
raiding 
was 
a 
minor 
irritant, 
tribal 
raids 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
Nejd 
were 
a major 
problem which 
caused 
considerable 
work 
for 
Colonial 
and 
Foreign 
office 
officials 
in 
the 
area. 
The 
issue 
was 
discussed 
in 
a number 
of 
missions 
by 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
to 
Abdul 
Aziz 
(see 
Chapter 
6). 
Of 
course, 
at 
the 
root 
of 
the 
problem 
was 
the 
fact 
that 
tribal 
conflict 
was 
an 
historical 
fact 
of 
life 
which 
could 
not 
be 
131 
changed 
overnight 
by 
the 
establishment of 
vague 
frontiers, 
which 
in 
any 
case was 
an alien 
concept 
and 
which 
did 
not 
fully 
take 
into 
consideration 
tribal territories, 
grazing rights 
and 
local 
sources 
of water. 
Indeed, 
for 
much of 
the 
period 
of 
this 
study, 
vague 
frontiers 
did 
not even exist, 
and 
those that 
did 
remained undefined 
on 
the 
ground. 
The 
only natural 
frontier 
was 
that 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Palestine 
itself 
where 
the 
Wadi Araba, the 
Dead 
Sea 
and 
the 
river 
Jordan 
provided 
a 
line 
which 
the British 
could 
impose 
themselves 
without recourse 
to 
negotiation with a 
third 
party. 
The 
raids 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the Nejd, 
especially 
in 
the 
region 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
were a source of 
major 
embarrassment 
to 
Britain 
in 
her 
dealings 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
Because 
of 
lack 
of resources 
and 
the 
large 
area 
which 
had 
to 
be 
policed, 
Britain 
and 
the Trans-Jordan 
government 
were 
unable 
to 
prevent 
what were considered 
Trans-Jordanian 
tribes 
from 
raiding 
Nejdi 
tribes. Indeed, 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
government 
did 
not effectively 
control 
the 
area 
to the 
east of 
the 
Hejaz 
railway. 
The Foreign 
Office 
was 
the 
leading 
department 
calling 
for 
stronger 
action 
to 
be 
taken 
to 
stop 
raids 
into 
the 
Nejd. 
As 
a 
Foriegn 
Office 
official, 
C. 
W. 
Rendel, 
noted 
in 
July 
1929: 
The 
essential object 
from 
our 
point 
of 
view 
is 
to 
remedy 
the 
present 
situation, 
which 
is 
not 
only 
altogether 
anomalous 
- 
since, 
although 
we are 
in 
control 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
responsible 
for 
its 
good 
government 
to 
the 
League, 
we 
are 
apparently 
trying, for 
reasons 
of 
"economy" 
to 
hold 
the 
most 
turbulent 
part 
of 
it 
with 
two 
men 
and 
a 
boy 
- 
but 
which 
is 
also 
becoming 
increasingly 
132 
dangerous 
and 
seriously 
jeopardizing 
our 
relatio49 
with 
the 
whole of 
the 
rest 
of 
Arabia. 
Because 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
inability 
to 
police 
the 
desert 
areas, 
Abdullah's 
influence 
among 
the tribes 
suffered, 
and 
until 
the 
prestige 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
government 
was 
restored, 
the 
RAF 
and 
the TJFF 
had 
to 
be 
used constantly. 
It 
was 
a 
task 
at which 
the 
TJFF 
was not satisfactory. 
The 
main 
defects 
of 
the 
system 
of 
tribal 
control 
were 
identified by 
the 
High 
Commissioner, Sir 
John 
Chancellor, 
in 
1929 
as 
follows: 
a) 
Control 
of 
the 
beduin 
was 
vested 
solely 
in 
the 
Amir 
b) 
Abdullah 
had lost 
a 
lot 
of 
influence 
among 
the tribes 
and 
there 
was evidence 
to 
suggest 
that 
he 
did 
not 
discourage 
raids 
into 
the Nejd. In this, 
of 
course, 
he 
was 
conditioned 
by 
his 
own 
dislike 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
c) 
Because 
of 
the 
reduction 
in 
the 
size of 
the Arab 
Legion, 
the 
force 
did 
not 
have 
any 
men 
to 
deploy 
in 
the 
desert 
areas 
and 
therefore 
had 
always 
to 
call 
upon 
the 
assistance 
of 
the 
RAF 
and 
the TJFF. 
d) 
In this 
role, 
the TJFF 
was not effective 
because 
it 
was not 
mobile, 
nor 
did 
it 
have 
any 
experience 
of 
tribal 
work. 
e) 
Intelligence 
was not adequate 
nor coordinated. 
46 
Chancellor's 
solution 
to the 
problem 
was 
to 
pay 
a 
subsidy 
to 
the 
leading 
tribal 
sheikhs, 
to 
limit 
Abdullah's 
authority 
over 
the tribes 
by 
forming 
a 
Bedouin 
Control 
Board, 
and 
to 
form 
a mobile 
reserve 
of 
the Arab 
Legion 
to 
police 
the 
desert 
areas. 
47 
These 
recommendations, 
which 
had 
the 
full 
backing 
of 
the 
Foreign 
office, 
were 
implemented 
in 
1929 
and 
1930, 
and 
were 
immediately 
successful 
in 
bringing 
peace 
to 
the 
desert 
areas. 
133 
The 
Bedouin 
Control 
Board 
came 
into 
existence 
in 
1929. 
It 
comprised 
Sheikh 
Shaker 
(a 
Sherifiaan 
who 
had 
caused 
so 
much 
trouble 
back 
in 
1924 
when 
he 
headed 
the 
Department 
of 
Tribal 
Administration), 
Peake, 
and 
a number 
of 
bedouin 
sheikhs. 
The 
duties 
of 
this 
board 
as 
H. 
C. 
Luke 
reported 
reported 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
in 
June 
1930 
'were 
to 
control 
the 
movements 
of 
the 
Bedouin, 
to 
check 
raids 
and 
to 
settle 
inter-tribal 
feuds. 
Its 
powers 
included 
the' 
infliction 
of 
imprisonment 
and 
fines 
on offenders'. 
48 
This, 
along 
with 
the 
appointment 
of 
John 
Bagot 
Glubb 
in 
1930 
to 
command 
a 
patrol 
of police 
drawn 
from 
the 
bedouin 
tribes, 
ensured 
a 
greater 
measure 
of 
control 
and protection 
over 
the 
areas 
to 
the 
east 
and 
south-east 
of 
Amman. The 
direct 
involvement 
of 
Peake 
and 
Glubb 
ensured 
that 
the 
excesses 
of earlier 
years 
were 
not 
repeated. 
By 
a policy 
of 
firmness, 
tribal 
subsidy 
and 
recruitment 
into 
the 
Arab Legion, the 
bedouin 
became 
the 
most 
important 
support 
for 
the 
Hashemites 
in 
Amman. 
As 
for 
Syria, the 
original 
French 
complaints 
of 
raids 
into 
Syria 
by 
Trans-Jordanians 
at 
the 
instigation 
of 
members 
of 
the 
Syrian 
Istiglal 
party 
had been 
remedied 
during 
the 
confrontation 
of 
1924. In 
1925 
another problem 
arose 
when 
the 
Druze 
rebellion 
against 
the 
French 
Mandatory 
authorities 
in 
Syria 
started. 
At 
the 
time, 
the, 
British 
had 
allowed 
the 
extension 
of 
French 
authority 
to the 
south 
of 
the 
1920 
Convention 
line 
to 
include 
a number of 
Druze 
villages 
between 
Nasib 
and 
Imtan, 
just 
to the 
south 
of 
the Jebel 
Druze. 
However, 
the 
French 
stayed 
on after 
they 
defeated 
the 
Druze. 
134 
I 
As 
Lord 
Crewe, 
the British Ambassador 
in 
Paris, 
informed 
the 
French 
Ministry 
of 
Foreign Affairs 
in 
1928: 
The 
British 
authorities 
did 
not 
raise any 
objections 
to the 
occupation 
of 
this 
area 
since 
they 
had 
no wish 
to 
embarrass 
the 
French 
authorities 
in 
their 
acti2 
for 
the 
suppression 
of 
the Druze 
revolt. 
The 
problem, 
however, 
was 
that the French 
did 
not 
content 
themselves 
with 
predominantly 
Druze 
areas, 
but, 
at 
the 
end 
of 
the, 
rebellion, 
they 
advanced another 
twenty 
kilometres 
further 
south 
and occupied 
the Arab 
villages 
of 
Umm 
el 
Jemal 
and 
Es 
Semme 
where 
they 
set up anti-cholera 
posts. 
50 
To 
counter- 
act 
this, 
a 
detachment 
of 
the Arab Legion 
under 
an 
RAF 
officer 
was sent 
to 
Umm 
al 
Jemal 
in 
1927.51 
The 
French 
abandoned 
their 
post 
at 
Umm 
al 
Jemal 
in 
1929.52 
This 
frontier 
line including 
the 
occupied 
territories 
to 
the 
south, 
the 
French 
called 
the 
"de 
facto" 
frontier. One 
of 
the 
main 
causes 
of 
this 
disagreement 
was 
the 
fact 
that 
the 
1920 
Franco-British 
Convention 
only 
laid 
down 
the 
frontier 
in 
the 
most general 
of 
terms; 
and 
in 
the 
area 
of 
the 
Jebel 
Druze 
it 
had 
not 
been 
delimited 
on 
the 
ground. 
The 
French 
conten 
tion 
was 
that 
any modifications 
to the 
"de 
facto" 
border 
would 
cause 
further 
unrest 
among 
the 
Druze. 
Although the 
British 
authorities 
were 
prepared 
to 
acquiesce 
in 
the 
French 
occupation 
of 
the 
Druze 
areas, 
they 
were 
not 
prepared 
to 
sanction 
the 
occupation 
of 
mainly 
Arab 
areas. 
As Lord Crewe 
stated 
to 
the 
French Ministry 
of 
Foreign 
Affairs: 
The 
French 
occupation 
has, 
however, 
recently 
135 
I 
been 
extended south 
to 
such places as 
Semme 
and 
Umm 
al 
Jemal 
and 
this 
movement 
has 
created 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
considerable 
excitement 
which 
the British 
authorities53 
find 
it increasingly 
difficult 
to 
allay. 
In 
May 
1929, 
a meeting 
took 
place at 
Deraa 
in 
Syria 
between 
British 
and 
French 
representatives 
to 
attempt 
to 
sort 
out 
the 
border 
situation. 
The 
French 
were not cooperative. 
54 
By 
1930, 
the 
issue 
was not 
resolved, 
despite 
a 
British 
delegation 
going 
to Paris 
to try to 
resolve 
the twin 
issues 
of 
the 
frontiers 
between 
Syria 
on 
the 
one 
hand, 
and 
Iraq 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan 
on 
the 
other. 
55 
Agreement 
was 
finally 
reached 
in 
1931, 
and 
a 
Bon Voisinage 
agreement 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
signed 
in 
1933, 
PALESTINIAN UNREST 
Abdullah 
proved 
his best in 
one area 
- 
when 
unrest 
broke 
out among 
the 
Arabs 
of 
Palestine 
in 
1929, 
he 
ensured 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
remained 
quiet, 
despite its 
people's 
natural 
sympathy 
for 
the 
plight 
of 
the 
Arabs, 
and 
their 
strong 
dislike 
of 
the Jews. 
The 
outbreak of 
unrest 
on 
23 
August 
1929 
certainly 
had its 
effect 
on 
Trans-Jordan, 
given 
the 
affinity 
of 
the Arabs 
on 
both 
sides 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
and 
the 
possibility 
of 
the 
outbreak 
of violence 
against 
the 
Jews 
originating 
from 
east of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
As Cox 
was 
to 
report 
during 
this 
period: 
Although 
practically 
all 
Imperial 
Forces 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
which could 
be 
moved 
were 
taken 
over 
to Palestine, 
the 
inhabitants 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
contented 
themselves 
with 
a 
few 
136 
peaceful 
demonstrations 
and 
telegrams 
of 
protest. 
This 
surprising 
moderation 
is 
attributable 
mainly 
to the 
entirely 
proper 
attitude 
taken 
up 
by 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
and 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Government, 
all 
possible 
influence 
both 
personal 
and 
official 
being 
exerted 
to 
prevent any 
participation 
by 
Trans-Jordanians 
in 
the 
disorders 
and 
in 
a 
lesser 
degree 
to the 
general 
conviction 
that 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
Palestine 
were 
following 
an 
entirely 
unbiased 
policy 
in 
dealing 
with 
the 
situation. 
All 
the 
more 
credit 
is due 
to 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
officials, 
because 
many 
indivi- 
duals 
were 
acting 
against 
their 
own 
feelings 
and 
political 
convictions 
in 
preventing 
an 
anti-Jewish 
movement 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Their 
attitude 
and 
that 
of 
the 
whole population 
at 
a 
time 
when 
any 
disloyalty 
would 
have 
resulted 
in 
serious 
embarrassment 
to 
the 
British 
authorities 
is 
a 
justification 
of 
the 
large 
degEee 
of 
self-government 
given 
to 
the 
country. 
This 
is, 
of 
course, not 
to 
say 
that 
Abdullah 
did 
not 
express 
his 
anxiety 
over 
the 
situation 
in 
Palestine. 
And, 
indeed, 
a 
letter 
he 
wrote 
to 
Sir 
John Chancellor 
on 
5 
October 
1929 
appeared 
in 
the Arab 
press. 
57 
Chancellor 
replied 
on 
16 
October 
1929, 
thanking 
Abdullah 
'for 
your success 
under 
great 
difficulties 
in 
persuading 
your people 
to 
remain 
calm 
during 
the 
disturbances 
and 
not 
to 
undertake rash 
foolish 
enterprises 
which 
would 
have 
ended 
for 
them 
only 
in loss 
of 
life 
and 
property'. 
58 
There 
was 
no 
doubt 
that 
Abdullah's 
good 
will 
and 
co-operation was of 
great 
assistance 
to the British 
author- 
ities 
in 
Jerusalem. 
This 
was recorded 
in 
the British 
report 
on 
the 
administration of 
Trans-Jordan 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
which stated 
that the 
Amir 
'... 
exerted 
all 
possible 
influence, 
personal 
and official, 
to 
dissuade 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
participating 
in 
the 
disorders. 
'59 
137 
CONCLUSIONS 
When 
Cox 
first 
arrived 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1924, 
he 
found 
that Abdullah 
had been 
allowed 
virtual 
free 
reign over 
the 
territory, 
and 
financial 
control was non-existent. 
As 
a 
result 
of 
this, 
no political 
or economical 
development 
of 
the 
state 
could 
take 
place. 
With 
the 
exception 
of 
the 
Amir 
and 
his 
immediate 
entourage, 
the 
people of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
not 
favourably 
disposed 
towards the 
British 
because 
the 
situation 
had 
been 
allowed 
to 
drift. 
With the 
acceptance 
by 
Abdullah 
of 
the 
British 
conditions 
for 
continued 
support, 
he 
accepted 
for 
his 
part 
the 
closer control which 
this 
entailed. 
And 
although 
at 
the time 
of 
the 
1928 
agreement 
there 
was still some 
criticism, 
it 
was confined 
to 
a 
tiny 
minority. 
Even 
at 
the 
time 
of 
the 
disorders in 
Palestine 
in 
August 
1929, 
Trans- 
Jordan 
remained calm 
- 
the 
supreme 
test 
that British 
policy 
towards 
it 
had 
been 
a success. 
With 
the 
1928 
Agreement, 
Anglo 
- 
Trans-Jordanian 
relations 
were 
firmly 
established, 
and 
the 
Agreement 
was 
to 
remain 
the 
basis 
of 
a successful 
relationship 
until 
Trans-Jordan became 
independent 
in 
1946. 
138 
CHAPTER 
FIVE 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. 
CO 
733/67 
Samuel to Thomas, 
4 
April 
1924. 
2. 
Dann, Uriel. 
'The 
Political Confrontation 
of 
Summer 
of 
1924' 
in 
Middle 
East Studies Vol. 
12, 
No. 
2 
May 
1976. 
3. 
CO 
733/67 
undated memorandum 
by 
Cox 
with 
Samuel 
to Thomas 
9 
April 
1924. 
4. 
Ibid. 
loc. 
cit. 
5. 
Dann, 
op. cit. 
recording what 
Sir 
Alec Kirkbride told 
Uriel 
Dann. 
6. 
CO 
733/67 
Samuel 
to Thomas, 
20 
April 
1924. 
7. 
CO 
733/67 
Ibid. 
minute 
by 
Shuckburgh, 
8. 
Ibid. 
9. 
CO 
733/109 
Cox 
to Davis, 
21 
January 1925. 
10. 
Ibid. 
11. 
Ibid. 
In 
fact 
Khalid's 
move enabled 
Cox 
to 
get 
rid of 
the 
Finance 
Minister, Mazhar Pasha, 
who was party 
to 
past 
maladministration 
and was 
particularly 
hostile 
to 
Peake. 
12. 
Ibid. 
13. 
Ibid. 
14. 
CO 
733/70 
Clayton to 
Thomas, 
26 
June 1924. 
15. 
CO 
733/109 
Cox to Davis, 
21 
January 
1925. 
16. 
FO 
371/10102 
FO to 
Bullard 
(Jedda) 
13 
August 
1924. 
17. 
CO 
733/71 
Clayton 
to 
Thomas Cols. 
24 
July 
1924. 
18. 
FO 
371/10101 
Memo 
by 
Clayton, 1 
February 
1924. 
19 
Ibid. 
memo 
of 
8 
February 1924. 
20. 
Ibid. 
Memo 
by 
J. 
H. 
Thomas, 
21 
March 
1924. 
21. 
CO 733/668 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas Cols. 
30 
May 
1924. 
22. 
FO 
371/10102 
C. 
O. 
to F. O. 
8 
August 1924. 
23. 
Report 
for 
1924 
by 
HMG 
on 
the 
administration 
of 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
to League 
of 
Nations 
p. 
40. 
24. 
CO 733/71 
Thomas to Clayton, 
12 
August 
1924. 
139 
25. 
FO 
371/10102 
F. 
O. to Bullard 
13 
August 
1924. 
26. 
CO 
733/73 
Samuel 
to Thomas, 
13 
September 
1924. 
27. 
CO 
733/109 
Cox to 
Davis, 
21 
January 
1925. 
28. 
Ibid. 
28. 
CO 
733/68 
Peake to 
Cox, 
11 
May 
1924. 
29. 
Peake 
Papers. 
Article 
in 
The 
Scotsman 
, 
17 
March 
1956. 
Imperial 
War Museum. 
30. 
CO 
733/109 
Cox to 
Davis, 
21 
January 1925. 
31. 
FO 
371/10016 
Abdullah 
to 
Cox 
undated. 
CO 
to 
FO 
of 
4 
December 
1924. 
32. 
Ibid. 
Storrs 
to 
Cox, 
24 
October 
1924. 
733 
/ 
33. 
CO 
3? 
-1-/10101- 
Thomas 
to Samuel, 
23 
January 1924. 
34. 
CO 
733/109 
Cox to Davis, 
21 
January 1925. 
35. 
Br. Govt. 
report on 
T. 
J. 
to 
the League 
of 
Nations 
for 
1926. 
36. 
CO 
733/72 
T. 
J. 
Report 
for 
1 
March 
-1 
May 
1925, to 
Amery 
7 
May 
1925. 
37. 
CO 
733/125 
Amery 
to Rikabi, 
21 
September 
1926. 
38. 
CO 
733/125 
Sir G. Clayton 13 
August 
1926 
marginal 
comment 
by 
a 
Mr. 
Robinson. 
39. 
CO 
831/2 
Plumer to Amery, 18 
May 
1928. 
40. 
Ibid. 
Marginal 
note 
by 
a 
Mr. Hull 
of 
1 
June 
1928. 
41. 
CO 831/2 
Oliphant 
to 
Shuckburgh, 27 
September 1928. 
42. 
CO 
831/2 
Luke to Abdullah, 6 
October 1928. 
43. 
CO 
831/2 
Abdullah to Luke, 8 
October 
1928. 
44. 
CO 
831/8 
Chancellor 
to Lord 
Passfield, 
10 
February 
1930 
enclosing 
Cox's 
report 
on 
admin, 
of 
T. 
J. 
for 
1929. 
45. 
FO 
371/13724 
CO 
to FO 
25 
June 
1929 
Marginal 
note 
by 
C. 
W. 
Rendel 
of 
1 
July 
1929. 
46. 
CO 831/4 
Chancellor 
to Amery, 
31 
May 
1929. 
47. 
Ibid. 
140 
, 
a., 
; 
?. 
48. 
Minutes 
of 
17th 
(Extraordinary) 
session of 
the PMC 
3-21 
June 
1930 
p. 
109. 
49. 
CO 
831/1 
Lord Crewe 
to French MFA, 
19 
September 
1929. 
50. 
Ibid. 
51. 
CO 
831/1 
Report 
by 
Act. Br. 
Rep. 
(A. 
S. 
Kirkbride) 
15 
December 
1927. 
52. 
CO 
831/1 
Report 
on 
TJ 
for 
period 
1 
July 
- 
30 
September 
1928. 
53. 
CO 
831/1 
Lord 
Crewe 
to French 
MFA. 
19 
September 
1929. 
54. 
CO 
831/5 
Luke 
to Passfield, 
10 
August 1929. 
55. 
CO 
732/4579160 
1930. 
56. 
CO 
831/5 
Chancellor 
to Passfield, 20 
November 
1929. 
57. 
Ibid. 
58. 
Ibid. 
Chancellor 
to Abdullah, 16 
October 
1929. 
59. 
HMG 
Report 
to L. 
of 
N. 
for 
1929 
p. 
143. 
141 
r 
<... 
<--??,. 
CHAPTERSIX 
BRITAIN 
AND 
THE 
FRONTIER 
QUESTION 
IN 
TRANS-JORDAN 
INTRODUCTION 
The territory 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
as 
it 
existed 
in 
March 
1921 
consisted 
of 
four 
vague provincial 
units, of 
ottoman 
origin 
(the 
Vilayet 
of 
Syria, 
subdivided 
into 
the 
Sanjaks 
of 
Damascus, Hauran 
and 
Ma'an) 
and amounted 
to 
nothing 
much 
more 
than 
an 
ill-defined 
area 
stretching 
east 
from 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
To the 
west, 
the 
river, 
the 
Dead Sea, 
and 
the 
Wadi 
Araba 
formed 
a natural 
boundary 
with 
Palestine 
proper. 
However, 
to the 
north, 
south, 
and east 
there 
were 
no 
obvious 
frontiers. 
They 
amounted 
to 
only vague 
concepts 
which 
were 
to 
be defined 
at 
a 
later 
date. 
The 
Sykes-Picot 
agreement 
and 
the 
San 
Remo 
decisions 
defined 
a 
vague 
division 
between 
the 
two 
British 
and 
French 
spheres of control'and 
interest. 
After 
Feisal's 
removal 
from 
Damascus 
in 
July 1920, 
there 
existed 
a 
line 
south 
of 
which 
the 
French 
were 
barred 
from 
entering. 
To 
the 
east 
was 
British 
controlled 
Mesopotamia. 
To 
the 
east 
and 
south-east, 
Britain's 
mandatory 
responsibility 
in 
terms 
of 
territorial 
control, 
disappeared 
into 
the 
deserts 
of 
central 
Arabia. 
And 
in 
the 
south, 
the 
dividing 
line 
between 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was 
so confused, 
that 
when 
it 
came 
to 
be 
considered 
in 
1924/5, 
Britain 
had 
to 
resort 
to 
unilateral 
action 
in 
order 
to 
ensure 
that 
her 
strategic and 
imperial 
interests 
were 
protected. 
142 
I 
The 
frontier 
settlement 
was 
probably 
the 
most 
complex 
problem 
to 
face 
Trans-Jordan 
during 
the 
1920s, 
and 
one 
in 
which 
the 
British 
were 
to 
play 
a predominant 
role. 
The 
whole 
idea 
of 
defined 
frontiers 
was 
a complete 
novelty 
to 
the 
situation 
in 
the 
region 
after 
the 
war. 
It 
was 
an 
artificial, 
modern 
European 
concept 
which 
went against 
the 
existing 
conditions 
where 
nomadic 
tribes 
migrated 
according 
to 
the 
seasons 
from 
Syria 
in 
the 
north 
to 
central 
Arabia 
in 
the 
south 
and 
vice-versa. 
However, 
with 
the 
partitioning 
of 
the 
Fertile 
Crescent 
between 
Britain 
and 
France, 
a 
clear 
definition 
of 
their 
respective areas 
of 
responsibility was essential. 
And 
as 
mandatories, 
the 
two 
states 
concerned were 
responsible 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
for 
an accurate 
delimitation 
of 
the 
territories 
under 
their 
control. 
As 
far 
as 
this 
concerns, 
Trans-Jordan, 
the 
question 
of 
her 
frontiers 
with 
Palestine 
and 
Iraq 
was a 
simple matter 
of consultation and 
definitions 
between 
the 
officials 
concerned and 
the 
Colonial 
Office. 
Her 
frontiers 
with 
Syria, 
though 
slightly 
more 
complex, 
were 
defined 
in 
an agreement 
between 
the two 
governments 
in 
December 
1920, 
so 
there 
was a 
de 
jure 
situation 
even 
before 
Abdullah 
was recognised 
as 
Amir. The 
position, 
however, 
was 
not 
that 
simple when 
the time 
came 
for 
the 
consideration 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
eastern 
and 
southern 
boundaries. 
In this 
area, 
the 
territory 
just 
disappeared 
into 
the 
sands 
of central 
Arabia. Relations 
with 
the 
Hejaz 
and 
the 
Nejd 
were 
fraught 
with 
difficulty, 
and 
by 
no 
stretch 
of 
the 
imagination 
did 
the 
Amir's 
authority 
in 
1921, 
extend much 
further 
than the 
settled 
areas 
of 
the 
north 
west. 
The 
questions 
of 
where 
the 
143 
Hejaz 
ended 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
began, 
and especially 
the 
ambiguous 
status 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
has been 
decribed 
by 
one 
writer as 
'one 
of 
the 
most 
confused 
chapters 
in 
that 
country's 
history'. 
1 
And 
as 
for 
the 
area 
bordering 
on 
the 
Nejd, 
and 
in 
particular 
the 
dispute 
over 
the 
Wadi Sirhan, 
here 
Trans-Jordan 
met 
the 
expanding 
forces 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud. 
In this 
area 
it 
was more a 
question 
of 
how far 
the British 
authorities 
were 
prepared 
to 
protect 
territory 
acquired 
by 
Abdullah. The 
last 
thing they 
wanted, 
in 
the 
post war years, 
was 
to 
be 
embroiled 
in 
a 
dispute 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz 
over a 
few hundred 
square 
miles 
in 
central 
Arabia. 
At 
the 
same 
time, Britain's 
position 
with regards 
to 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontiers 
was 
dictated by 
two 
main 
overriding 
interests. 
On 
the 
one 
hand 
Trans-Jordan 
was a 
part 
of 
the 
Palestine 
mandate, 
and 
therefore 
it 
was 
linked 
to the 
security 
of 
Palestine 
proper. 
One 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
roles was 
that 
of a 
buffer-state 
to 
protect 
its 
more 
important 
neighbour 
to 
the 
west, and 
thereby 
help 
to 
produce 
a 
situation which 
would 
facilitate 
the 
implementation 
of 
the 
Balfour 
Declaration. 
This 
role 
could 
not 
be 
used 
if 
Abdullah's 
Amirate 
was confined 
solely 
to 
the 
north-western 
settled 
areas 
around 
Amman. 
Trans-Jordanian 
territory 
not 
only 
had 
Palestine's 
eastern 
frontiers, it 
also 
required 
depth 
to 
keep 
bedouin 
raiders 
Palestine. 
The 
second 
important 
issue 
in 
creating 
and 
controlling an 
overlan 
Gulf, 
not 
as 
an 
alternative 
to 
the 
sea 
to 
adjoin 
all of 
had 
to 
have 
the 
from 
attacking 
was 
British 
interests 
d 
route 
to 
the Persian 
route 
via 
Suez, 
but 
to 
144 
complement 
and 
protect 
it. 
Therefore, 
Britain's 
minimum 
demand 
was 
to 
ensure 
that 
a 
land 
corridor 
be 
secured 
by having 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
sharing 
a common 
border. 
Although the 
Chesny 
and 
Sykes-Picot 
railway schemes 
eventually proved 
abortive, 
as a motor and 
air route, 
the 
preservation of 
this 
land bridge 
was 
important 
in 
British 
imperial 
planning. 
Britain 
was not, under 
any 
circumstance, 
prepared 
to 
allow 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
domain 
to 
expand 
up 
to French Syria. 
Had 
the 
maximum 
recommendations 
been 
accepted 
by 
the 
various authorities, 
Trans-Jordan 
would 
have 
been 
more 
than 
twice 
the 
size 
of 
the 
area which 
it 
eventually 
took, 
i. 
e. 
it 
would 
have 
covered all of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
and 
would 
have 
stretched 
as 
far 
south 
as 
the 
'gateway' 
of 
the 
holy 
land 
of 
Islam 
at 
Al 
Ula. 
It 
would 
have 
become, in 
effect, an 
unwieldy 
mass 
which would 
almost 
certainly 
have 
provoked 
a clash 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
The 
resultant expense 
would 
have 
been 
an 
impossible 
financial 
and 
military 
burden 
on 
the 
British 
government. 
During 
the 
first 
year or 
two 
of 
British 
responsibility 
the 
most 
urgent 
issues 
were 
those 
relating 
to 
the 
setting up 
of an administration 
in 
Amman 
and 
the 
pacification 
and 
integration 
of 
the 
settled 
area. 
However, from 
the 
spring 
of 
1922 
onwards, 
for 
a 
number of 
reasons, 
the 
fronter 
questions 
and 
the 
corridor 
to 
Iraq 
attained 
a 
new 
and 
urgent 
importance. 
This 
urgency 
was 
brought 
about 
by 
the 
expansion 
of 
the Nejd 
northwards 
and'eastwards. 
British 
attempts 
to 
come 
to 
an 
agreed 
boundary 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
resulted 
in 
an abortive 
145 
conference 
in 
Kuwait 
in 
1923-4 
which 
attempted 
to 
settle 
outstanding 
points 
of 
a 
general 
Nejd-Hashemite 
nature. 
And 
likewise, 
the 
personal 
diplomacy 
of 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
resulted 
in 
the 
successful 
conclusion 
of 
the 
Haddad 
agreement 
of 
2 
November 
1925 
which 
settled 
the Nejd- Trans-Jordan 
frontiers, 
and 
the Treaty 
of 
Jedda 
in 
1927 
which 
resulted 
in 
Abdul 
Aziz 
agreeing 
to 
the 
maintenance 
of 
the 
status 
quo 
with 
regard 
to 
the 
Hejaz 
- 
Trans-Jordanian 
boundary. 
FRONTIERS 
AND THE 
LEAGUE 
OF 
NATIONS 
The 
boundary 
separating 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Palestine 
proper 
was 
an urgent 
issue, 
and 
by far 
the 
easiest 
to 
solve. 
With 
the 
establishment 
of 
Abdullah, 
the 
definition 
of 
the 
two 
territories 
was essential 
from 
the 
point 
of 
view 
of 
the 
Zionist 
clauses of 
the 
Palestine 
mandate. 
The 
western 
boundary 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
therefore 
an 
important 
political 
question, 
fot 
it 
set 
a 
limit 
beyond 
which 
Jewish 
settlement 
was 
to 
be 
prohibited. 
If 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
to 
be 
considered 
a 
full 
part of 
the 
Palestine 
mandate, 
then 
the 
application 
of 
the 
Zionist 
clauses 
to 
the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
was 
bound 
to 
cause 
trouble, 
In 
other words, 
the 
definitions 
of 
the 
boundary 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
the 
first 
step 
in 
the 
political 
separation 
of 
the 
two 
territories. 
When 
the League 
of 
Nations 
was 
examining 
the Palestine 
mandate, 
and 
in 
particular, 
approving 
the 
special arrangements 
for 
Trans-Jordan, 
it 
was necessary 
to 
define 
its 
western 
146 
boundary. Samuel 
sent 
Churchill 
a 
vague 
definition 
of 
this 
on 
27 
August 
1922, 
and 
a more 
precise 
one 
three 
days 
later: 
Unless 
you 
consider 
that Hedjaz 
authority 
will 
consent 
to 
Akaba 
being 
regarded 
as 
the 
boundary, 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
boundry 
will 
run 
as 
follows: 
- 
from 
a point 
on 
Red Sea 
2 
miles west 
of 
Akaba 
thence 
upwards 
through 
centre 
of 
Wadi Arabah 
following 
a 
line 
up 
through 
the 
centre 
of 
the 
Dead 
Sea 
and 
River 
Jordan 
as 
far 
as 
Confluence 
of 
Yarmouk 
and 
Jordan, 
letting 
Trans-Jordania 
have 
El 
Lisan. Thence 
upwards 
through 
centre of 
stream 
to the 
point 
on 
the 
Yarmouk 
124 
R32A2 
on sheet 
5 
Palestine 
Exploration Fund 
Map. 
' 
This 
definition is 
of 
interest 
for 
a number 
of reasons. 
On 
the 
one 
hand it 
placed 
Aqaba 
under 
King 
Hussein, 
a 
point 
of 
relevance 
when 
the 
question 
of 
Trans-Jordanian 
control of 
Akaba 
and 
Ma'an 
was 
being 
considered 
in 
1924-5. 
The 
other 
is 
that 
it 
really 
amounted 
more 
to 
a 
definition 
of 
the 
eastern 
boundary 
of 
Palestine 
proper 
rather 
than 
a 
delimination 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
especially 
when 
the 
southern 
limits 
of 
the 
territory 
were 
being 
considered. 
In 
this 
respect 
Philby's 
first 
report 
as 
Chief British 
Representative 
stated 
that: 
The 
boundary between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
Hijaz 
is 
somewhat 
doubtful, but 
for 
practical purposes 
the Trans-Jordan 
government 
confines 
its 
attention 
to the 
territories 
of 
Wadi 
al 
Hasa, 
while 
the Amir 
himself 
exercises 
a vague 
so5t of 
personal 
control 
over 
the 
Ma'an 
area. 
In 
other 
words, 
the 
authority 
of 
the Trans-Jordanian 
government 
stretched only 
as 
far 
as 
the 
southern 
end of 
the 
Dead 
Sea, 
with 
a question 
mark 
over 
the 
official 
position 
of 
Ma'an. 
Aqaba, 
to 
all 
intents 
and 
purposes, 
formed 
part 
of 
the 
147 
kingdom 
of 
the Hejaz. 
When 
the League 
of 
Nations 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
enquired 
about 
the 
eastern 
limits 
of 
the territory, 
as 
late 
as 
1924 
the 
British 
government 
could only 
say 
that there 
were 
4 
none. 
The 
definition 
of a 
Palestine 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
boundary 
established 
a 
distinction 
between 
the 
two 
parts 
of 
the 
mandate. 
The 
necessity 
for 
the 
separation of 
the two 
parts 
was 
essential 
not 
only 
because 
of 
the 
different 
administra 
tions, 
one 
Arab 
and autonomous, 
the 
other 
British 
in 
every 
sense 
of 
the 
word; 
but 
also 
because 
of 
the 
need 
to 
define 
and 
restrict 
the 
area 
within 
which 
the 
Balfour Declaration 
was 
to 
be 
operative. 
From 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
point of 
view, 
this 
in 
no way changed 
the 
international 
position of 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
a part'of 
the Palestine 
mandate, 
though 
it 
did form 
the 
basis 
of 
a 
separate 
and 
independent 
Amirate, 
Harry 
St. 
John 
Philby, 
after 
he became 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
on 
28 
November 
1921 
worked 
towards 
this 
ideal 
of an 
independent 
territory 
and 
a 
cleavage 
with 
the Palestine 
administration 
in 
Jerusalem. 
The 
establishment 
of 
a 
boundary 
between 
them 
was 
an 
important 
step 
in 
this 
process. 
The 
maintenance 
of 
the 
Anglo-French 
entente 
in 
the middle 
East 
depended 
to 
a 
large 
extent 
on 
good 
Syrian 
- 
Trans- 
Jordanian 
relations, 
and 
in 
particular 
a 
pacified 
Trans-Jordan 
which 
did 
not 
present a 
threat 
to 
the French 
position 
in 
Syria. 
148 
Generally 
speaking, 
the 
frontier 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was 
that 
of 
the 
Sykes-Picot 
agreement 
of 
1916. 
In 
other 
words, 
a 
line 
which 
ran 
a 
few 
miles 
south 
of 
Deraa, 
Basra, 
Gham, 
and 
Sal-Khad. 
5 
In 
the 
period 
after 
the 
French 
occupation 
of 
Damascus 
in 
July 1920, 
the 
possibility 
of 
French 
occupation 
south 
of 
the 
Sykes-Picot 
line 
played 
a 
large 
part 
in 
the 
implementation 
of 
the 
'local 
administration' 
plan 
in 
August 
1920. 
As 
Lord 
Curzon 
was 
to 
warn 
Samuel 
in 
1920: 
I 
suggest 
that 
you 
should 
let 
it 
be known 
forthwith 
that 
in 
areas south of 
the 
line 
we 
will not admit 
French 
authority and 
that 
our 
policy 
is 
for 
this 
areas 
to 
be 
indepengent 
but 
in 
close relations 
with 
Palestine. 
So 
long 
as a 
state of chaos 
existed south of 
French 
Syria, 
the 
British 
were 
not 
in 
a 
strong position and 
the 
French 
could 
be 
tempted 
to 
intervene. 
However, 
General 
Maurice 
Gouraud, 
French 
High Commissioner 
in 
Syria, 
gave 
an undertaking 
not 
to 
intervene 
south of 
the Sykes-Picot 
line, 
though 
this 
was 
not 
a 
guarantee 
that 
he 
would 
not 
do 
so, 
should 
the 
general 
situa- 
tion 
deteriorate 
further. 
7 
The 
frontiers 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
defined 
in 
the 
Anglo-French 
Convention 
of 
23 
December 
1920. Article 
1 
defined 
the 
boundary 
between 
Syria 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
east 
to 
west: 
On 
the 
southeast and 
south, 
the 
aforesaid 
boundary 
of 
the 
former 
Vilayets 
southwards 
as 
far 
as 
Roumelar 
Koeni; 
thence 
a 
line 
leaving 
in 
the territory 
under 
the 
French 
Mandate 
the 
entire 
basin 
of 
the 
western 
Kabur 
and passing 
in 
a 
straight 
line 
towards 
the 
Euphrates, 
which 
it 
crosses 
at 
Abu 
149 
Kamal, thence 
a straight 
line 
to Imtar 
to 
the 
south 
of 
Jebel 
Druze, 
then 
a 
line 
to 
the 
south 
fo 
Nasib 
on 
tdhe 
Hedjaz 
railway, 
then 
a 
line 
to Semakh 
on 
the 
Lake 
of 
Tiberias, 
traced 
to the 
south 
of 
the 
railway, 
which 
descends 
towards 
the 
lake 
and parallel 
to 
the 
railway. 
Deraa 
and 
its 
environs 
will 
remain 
in 
the 
territory 
under 
French 
Mandate, 
but 
will 
be drawn 
as close 
as 
possible 
to the 
railway 
in 
such a manner 
as 
to 
allow 
the 
construction 
in 
the 
valley 
of 
the 
Yarmouk 
of a railway entirely situated 
8 
in 
the 
territory 
under 
the British 
mandate. 
The 
boundary, 
as 
defined 
above, amounted 
basically 
to 
straight 
lines 
and with 
minor adjustments 
has formed 
the 
boundary 
between 
the two 
states 
to the 
present 
day. 
THE 
TRANS-DESERT 
ROUTE: 
THE IMPERIAL AND STRATEGIC 
IMPORTANCE 
OF 
TRANS-JORDAN 
During 
the 
past 
three 
years 
the 
development 
of 
the 
trans-desert 
route 
from 
Trans- 
Jordania 
to Baghdad 
has 
steadily 
progressed. 
The 
route 
is 
now 
a regular 
mail 
and passen- 
ger 
carrier. 
Its 
development 
will 
normally 
bring 
about a railway 
and 
oil pipeline. 
The 
latter 
undertakings 
are 
by 
no means so 
fan- 
tastic, 
as 
they 
were 
a 
few 
years ago. 
The 
Ang, 
lo-Persian 
Oil 
Company 
are 
serious 
consi- 
dering 
the 
pipeline and 
rely on 
an 
exit 
port 
in 
Palestine 
and 
if 
any 
strategic or 
imperial 
addvantage 
are 
sought 
in 
developing 
an air 
route 
to 
India 
and 
the Far 
East 
we 
cannot 
afford 
to 
lose 
Palestine. 
It 
is 
a 
vital 
link 
in 
the 
Imperial 
communications 
9 
with 
our 
Far 
Eastern 
Empire 
and 
Australia. 
The 
history 
of 
British 
interest 
in 
an overland route 
to 
India 
dates 
back 
to the 
explorations 
of 
Chesny 
in 
the 
1830s. 
However, 
it 
was 
not 
until 
the First 
World 
War 
and 
the 
partition of 
the 
ottoman 
Empire 
that 
there 
was any 
prospect 
of 
Britain 
gaining 
control of 
a 
land 
bridge 
from 
the 
Mediter- 
150 
ranean 
to 
the 
Persian 
Gulf. 
Only 
with 
the 
post-war 
settlement 
which 
gave Britain 
the 
mandates 
for 
Palestine, 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
was 
it 
possible 
to 
implement 
policies 
which 
up 
to 
then 
had 
been 
only 
of 
an abstract 
nature. 
The 
revival 
of 
interest 
in 
this 
route 
can 
be 
traced 
to this 
new 
state 
of 
affairs, 
and 
although 
the 
plan 
for 
a 
cross 
desert 
railway 
was 
never 
put 
into 
operation, 
the 
value 
of 
the 
control 
of 
this 
route 
played 
no 
small 
part 
in 
the 
formulation 
of 
British 
policy 
towards 
Trans-Jordan. 
This consideration 
determined 
the 
minimum 
requirements 
for that 
territory's 
eastern 
and 
southern 
boundaries. 
Although 
the 
railway 
scheme 
was 
a 
non- 
starter, 
technological 
advancement 
during 
and after 
the 
First 
World 
War, 
in 
the 
form 
of 
the 
aeroplane 
and 
the 
motor 
car, 
overtook 
the 
railway 
as 
a 
means 
of 
communication. 
If 
any 
thing, 
the 
importance 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
a 
'land 
bridge' 
to 
the 
Persian 
Gulf 
was 
enhanced. 
As 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton, 
when 
considering 
Nejd 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
relations, 
pointed 
out 
to 
Major 
Hubert 
Young: 
The 
only 
thing 
we 
have 
to 
preserve 
is 
the 
air 
route 
to 
Baghdad, 
on 
which 
Ibn 
Saud 
should 
not 
be 
allowed 
to encroach, 
and 
it 
seems 
necessary 
that 
it 
should 
lie 
entiT6ly 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
territory. 
British 
interests 
in Trans-Jordan, 
from 
the 
very 
beginning, 
were not 
therefore 
linked 
only 
to 
the 
support of 
Abdullah 
and 
the 
promise 
of 
Arab 
independence. 
The 
cross- 
desert 
route, 
first 
manifested 
in 
the 
idea 
of 
a 
railway, 
then 
as 
a 
motor 
and air 
corridor, 
was 
probably 
the 
most 
important 
$rltish 
interest 
after 
the 
protection 
of 
Palestine 
itself. 
151 
As 
Clayton 
notes: 
I 
submit 
that 
British 
interests 
[in 
Trans- 
Jordan] 
may 
be defined 
as: 
a) 
the 
protection 
of 
the 
cultivated and 
cultivable areas 
of 
Trans-jordan 
from 
hostile 
incursions 
which 
would 
constitute 
a 
menace 
to 
Palestine. 
b) 
the1Tafety 
of 
the 
Trans-desert 
air 
route. 
Clearly, 
Trans-Jordan, 
as a 
'link' 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Iraq, 
was an 
important 
strategic 
and 
imperial interest. The 
desire 
for 
a 
continuous 
belt 
of 
British 
controlled 
territory 
was 
ever present as 
the 
question 
of 
the territorial 
limits 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
being 
considered. 
The 
idea 
of 
a 
trans- 
desert 
railway 
still 
had its 
supporters 
in 
the 
1920s 
and 
this 
fact 
played an 
important 
role 
in 
the 
controversy of 
who 
should 
control 
the 
wadi Sirhan. 
The 
development 
of 
the 
air 
route 
to 
Baghdad 
reinforced 
the 
need 
to 
protect 
the 
overland 
route, 
while 
the 
development 
of 
a road 
and 
oil 
pipeline 
policy 
only 
helped 
to 
underline 
Trans-Jordan's importance. 
The 
Cairo 
Conference, 
while 
deciding 
British 
policy 
towards 
Trans-Jordan, 
also 
spent 
some 
time 
considering 
the 
cross-desert 
route. 
Churchill, 
as 
chairman 
of 
the 
Combined 
political 
and 
Military 
Committee, 
stressed, 
above 
all 
else, 
the 
importance 
of 
future 
imperial 
aerial 
development: 
One 
of 
the 
main air 
routes 
would 
undoubtedly 
be 
that 
connecting 
Egypt 
with 
Mesopotamia 
and 
India, 
which 
would 
shorten 
the 
distance 
to 
Australia 
and 
New 
Zealand 
by 
eight 
or 
ten 
days. 
In 
order 
to 
execute 
this 
policy, 
it 
is 
essential 
that 
tranquility 
should 
be 
,I 
3?? 
? 
, 
i? 
i 
i 
?{ 
1. 
? 
i 
?? 
1 
152 
maintained 
upon 
the 
route, 
and 
it 
was 
pro- 
posed 
that 
a motor-track should 
be 
made 
across 
the 
desert 
from 
Palestine to 
Iraq, 
along 
which 
aerodromes and wireless 
stations 
would 
be 
placed at 
various 
points. 
It 
was 
suggested 
that the 
security of 
this 
route 
might 
be 
maintained 
by 
granting 
subsidies 
to 
the tribes, 
and 
every endeavour must 
be 
made 
to 
impT2ve its 
commercial 
and military 
value. 
Likewise, 
the Conference 
considered 
that, 
'from 
the 
imperial 
point 
of view, 
the 
pipeline and 
railway 
were 
of 
the 
utmost 
importance. 
113 
The Chesny 
and 
Sykes-Picot 
railway 
plans 
were 
important 
(despite 
not reaching 
fruition) in 
that they 
provided 
the 
initial 
spade 
work 
which 
eventually crystalised 
in 
the 
adoption 
of 
the 
route 
for 
the 
purposes of 
air and 
motor 
transport. The 
survival 
of 
the 
general 
railway 
policy 
into 
the 
1920s, 
ensured 
that 
Britain, 
in 
her 
dealings 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz 
and 
the 
French, 
insisted 
on 
the 
minimum 
demand 
of 
an 
all- 
red strip of 
territory 
from 
Palestine 
to Iraq. In 
the 
Sykes- 
Picot 
agreement 
of 
1916, 
provision 
was made 
whereby 
the 
British 
government 
would 
be 
allowed 
to 
build, 
own and 
administer 
a railway 
which 
would 
link 
the 
two 
areas. 
The 
agreement 
stated: 
That 
Great 
Britain 
has 
the 
right 
to 
build, 
administer 
and 
be 
sole 
owner 
of 
a railway 
connecting 
Haifa 
with 
area(B) 
[Iraq), 
and 
shall 
have 
a perpetual 
right 
to 
transp1 
t 
troops 
along such 
a 
line 
at all 
times. 
However, 
by 
1922, 
'official' 
interest 
began 
to 
wane, 
and 
the 
only 
discussion 
in 
government 
departments 
was 
of 
a 
vague 
153 
Utopian 
nature, 
despite 
the 
obvious 
strategic 
benefits, 
such 
as 
troop transport 
in 
time 
of war 
- 
which would 
accrue 
from 
the 
building 
of such a project. 
Nevertheless, 
the 
railway 
idea 
was 
kept 
alive, 
in 
both 
governmental 
and 
commercial 
circles 
until 
the 
early 
1930s. 
There 
were a 
number of reasons 
why 
the 
railway 
scheme 
did 
not 
materialise. 
The 
main reason 
was 
that 
it 
was 
not 
possible 
to 
complete 
the 
initial 
survey 
before 
events 
in 
central 
Arabia, 
and 
in 
particular 
the 
expansion of 
Abdul Aziz, 
pre 
cluded 
that 
possibility. 
Although 
in 
the 
period 
1921-2, 
Major 
Holt 
of 
Iraqi 
railways, 
who 
accompanied 
Philby 
on 
his 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
trip, 
spent 
a considerably amount of 
time 
crossing 
and 
re-crossing 
the 
desert 
in 
search 
of a 
possible 
route, 
the 
line 
of 
British 
control 
was such 
that 
any 
railway 
that 
was 
built 
would 
have 
to 
touch 
the 
northern 
end of 
the Wadi 
Sirhan. 
As 
such, 
it 
would 
have 
had 
to 
cross 
inhospitable 
terrain 
which, 
by 
1922 
was 
disputed 
territory. 
For 
when 
Philby 
and 
Holt 
arrived 
in 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
in 
April 
1922, 
so 
too 
did 
the 
Wahhabis. 
Thus 
the 
northward 
thrust 
of 
Ibn 
Saud's 
Arabian 
principality, 
beyond 
the 
confines 
of 
the 
Peninsula, threatened 
not 
merely 
to 
disturb 
the 
borderland 
between 
the 
desert 
and 
the 
sown 
but 
to 
cut 
an 
important1gew 
line 
of 
international 
communication. 
The 
contrary 
claims of 
Abdullah 
and' 
Abdul Aziz 
to the 
wadi 
will 
be 
examined 
in 
the 
next 
section, 
but 
needless 
to 
say, 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
control 
of 
the 
wadi 
cut 
the 
only 
realistic 
154 
alignment 
for 
the 
railway. 
Sandwiched 
between 
the French 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz, Britain's 
room 
to 
manoeuvre 
was 
being 
restricted. 
As Philby 
noted: 
The 
Trans-Desert 
Railway Project 
is 
viewed 
askance 
by 
the French 
on 
the 
one 
hand 
as 
likely 
to 
interfere 
with 
their 
projects 
of 
an economic nature and 
by 
Ibn Saud 
on 
the 
other 
hand 
who 
cannot 
but 
realise 
that 
such 
a 
line 
must 
limit 
the 
area availab. g 
for 
his 
expansion under 
the 
Ikhwan 
banner. 
The 
second reason 
was 
that, 
for 
the 
economic 
retrenchment 
of 
the 
post 
war period, 
the 
railway 
scheme 
was 
just 
too 
expensive. 
Its 
strategic 
importance 
could 
not 
be denied, 
for 
it 
would 
have 
played an 
important 
role 
in 
the 
defence 
of 
India 
and 
the 
rest of 
the Empire. 
But 
its 
commercial viability 
was 
definitely 
questionable. 
As 
Major 
A. 
C. 
Griffin 
(Deputy 
Director 
of 
Railways, Iraq) 
noted 
in 
January 1922: 
In 
1919 the 
General 
Staff 
wanted 
a strategic 
railway 
between 
Egypt 
and 
Mesopotamia, 
but 
there 
was 
not 
the 
slightest chance of 
such a 
railway 
being 
constylcted 
purely 
for 
strategic 
purposes. 
Griffin 
estimated 
that 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
railway 
would 
be 
around 
L8,587,480, 
while 
interest 
payments 
would add 
another 
?1,232,000 
to 
this 
bill, 
to 
make 
a 
total 
of 
?9,819,480, 
and 
that 
it 
would, 
take 
three 
years 
to 
build. 
All 
in 
all, 
the 
18 
project 
was 
just 
too 
expensive 
and 
its 
profitability 
was 
under 
question. In the 
age 
of 
economic 
stringency, 
the 
government 
would 
not 
pay 
this 
sum, 
while a commercial 
concern 
would 
not 
take 
it 
up 
without 
prior 
government 
guarantees. 
Likewise, 
even 
if 
the 
go-ahead 
was 
given, 
there 
was 
no way 
that 
the 
situation 
155 
would 
remain 
the 
same 
for 
any 
length 
of 
time. 
Therefore the 
construction of 
the 
railway 
would 
have 
to 
wait until 
the 
area 
settled 
down 
and 
the 
various 
states 
finally 
defined 
them 
selves. 
In 
all probability, 
if 
the 
project 
had 
gone ahead 
in 
1920, 
it 
would 
have 
made a 
tempting target 
for 
Abdul Aziz, 
which 
could 
have 
involved 
a military confrontation 
between 
the 
Bri-tish 
and 
the Wahhabis 
in 
central 
Arabia. However, 
Griffin 
noted 
that there 
was 
one advantage: 
The 
line 
would enable 
the 
air route 
from 
Palestine 
to 
Iraq 
and 
later 
to India to 
be 
established on 
a 
commercial 
footing. 
At 
the 
moment 
the 
gap 
between 
Amman 
and 
Baghdad 
is 
too 
long 
for 
commercial machines and 
the 
establishment 
and maintenance 
of 
an 
intermediate 
station 
would 
be 
too 
costly 
without 
9e 
assistance 
of either a 
road 
or a 
railway. 
As 
it 
turned 
out, 
the 
main 
spin 
off 
of 
the 
railway project 
was 
its 
replacement 
by 
air 
and motor 
traffic. 
Although 
the 
direct 
route 
from 
Palestine 
to Iraq 
via 
Amman 
and 
Azraq 
was 
the 
logical 
route 
for 
aeroplanes, 
it 
was 
not 
the 
case 
for 
a 
railway. 
When 
important 
consideration, 
such 
as 
population 
centres, 
the 
availability of 
water, 
and 
the 
least 
complicated 
tribal 
conditions 
were 
taken 
into 
account, 
there 
was 
a 
strong 
case 
for 
the 
proposed 
railway 
to 
go via 
Damascus. 
This 
route, 
making 
use of 
the 
existing 
railway 
systems, 
and 
the 
greater 
availability 
of 
water 
would 
cost 
less, 
and 
would 
probably 
be 
more 
profitable, 
serving, 
as 
it 
would, the 
two 
centres 
of 
Damascus 
and 
Baghdad. 
The 
area 
to 
the 
east 
of 
Amman, 
to 
Iraq, 
was 
probably 
the 
worst 
possible 
156 
route. 
As 
one 
businessman, 
T. 
D. Cree, 
(Director 
of 
Sharquieh, 
a commercial 
firm 
in 
which 
Philby 
had 
an 
interest) 
stated 
in 
1929: 
It 
is 
a wild, 
dangerous 
and almost 
waterless 
country. 
In the 
writer's 
opinion no more 
unfavourable 
route 
for 
a 
railway 
from 
the 
Mediterranean 
to Iraq 
could 
possibly 
be 
selected. 
If 
this 
route 
is 
chosen 
there 
can 
be 
no 
divided 
interests 
between 
the 
railway and 
the 
pipeline, 
they 
will 
be 
companions 
in 
a 
misfortune 
with 
one 
common aim, viz. 
to 
cross 
these 
inhospitable 
and ar18 wastes 
by 
the 
most 
direct 
route possible. 
By, this 
stage, 
the 
scheme 
was 
just 
an academic exercise 
which 
was never 
likely 
to 
see 
the 
light 
of 
day. 
From 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
point of 
view, 
political 
considerations 
dictated that 
any 
scheme 
should 
run 
through British 
controlled 
territory, 
or 
not at all. 
And 
from 
the Hashemite 
point 
of view, 
especially 
after 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
victory 
in 
the 
Hejaz, 
any 
route 
that 
was 
developed 
through 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
would 
strengthen 
their 
dynastic 
ambitions; 
while 
a route 
through French 
Syria 
would 
have 
been 
opposed 
by 
Abdullah 
and 
Faisal. 
But 
as 
Cree 
concluded 
his 
report: 
The 
fleeting 
ambitions 
of 
an 
Arabian 
King 
and 
even 
the 
legitimate 
aims 
of 
the British 
authorities 
based 
on 
the 
political 
situation 
of 
today 
fade 
into 
insignificance 
when 
compared 
with 
the 
permanent economic 
intgT 
rests 
involved in 
the 
choice 
of 
a route. 
157 
Although the 
railway 
project was 
never 
really viable, 
Trans-Jordan's 
importance 
was 
enhanced 
by 
the 
development 
of 
the 
land 
corridor 
for 
air and motor purposes. 
Protecting 
this 
route 
was 
fundamental 
to British 
policy, 
and 
underlined 
their 
insistence 
that Iraq 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
should 
have 
a common 
border. 
Colonial 
office 
approval 
for 
Abdullah 
to 
occupy 
Kaf 
at 
the 
northern end of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
in 
1922, 
was 
in 
part 
dictated 
to 
ensure 
the 
safety 
of 
this 
route, 
and 
to 
act as a 
barrier 
to 
stop 
Abdul Aziz 
encroaching 
on 
the Hejaz 
railway. 
The 
road and air routes 
were 
easier 
to 
develop, 
much 
cheaper, and 
could 
be 
established 
without 
greatly 
increasing 
British 
commitments 
inland 
from 
their 
main 
centres 
of control. 
The 
fact 
that 
such 
a 
route required 
less 
territory 
when 
-compared 
to 
the 
railway, 
was 
also 
to 
play 
a 
part 
in 
why 
Britain 
was 
prepared 
to 
concede 
all of 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
to Abdul Aziz 
without 
too 
much of 
a 
fight. 
As 
Gary 
Troeller 
states: 
In 
an 
attempt 
to 
consolidate 
their Middle 
East 
position, 
the British 
sought 
to 
draw 
Trans-Jordan's 
boundaries in 
such a way 
as 
to 
make 
the 
Amirate 
contiguous 
with 
Iraq, 
thus 
forming 
a solid 
line 
of 
British 
prot??- 
torates 
from 
Persia 
to the Mediterranean. 
And 
that 
only 
had 
to 
be 
as 
big 
as was 
necessary 
to 
accommodate 
a 
road, 
a 
pipeline, 
and 
the 
air 
route, 
with enough 
territory 
either 
side 
to 
guarantee 
their 
security. 
* 
The 
first 
Baghdad to Amman 
trip 
by 
car 
was made 
in 
July 
1921 
by 
a 
group 
of 
Royal 
Air Force 
personnel 
led by 
Group 
Captain 
F. 
R. 
Wynne 
of 
30 
Sqn. 
RAF, 
Holt 
also 
accompanied 
them. 
Private 
Papers 
of 
F. R. 
Wynne, Imperial 
War Museum, 
pp 
155-168. 
158 
Any 
consideration of 
the 
lines 
of communication 
through 
Trans-Jordan 
must 
include 
a note on 
the Hejaz 
railway 
which 
ran 
from 
Damascus 
to 
Medina 
through the 
whole 
lenth 
of 
that 
territory 
from 
north 
to 
south. 
This 
railway 
was 
built 
by 
the 
Ottomans 
in 
1900 
for both 
strategic and 
religious reasons. 
Not 
only 
did 
it 
strengthen 
the 
military 
control of 
the 
Ottoman 
Empire, 
it 
also 
facilitated 
the 
pilgrimage 
to mecca. 
it 
was 
considered 
a 
wagf, 
a 
Muslim 
religious 
endowment, 
because 
one 
third 
of 
its 
building 
cost 
had been 
raised 
from 
Muslims 
from 
the Ottoman 
Empire 
and 
overseas. 
As 
such, 
it 
could 
not 
be 
divided, 
alienated 
or 
administered 
by 
a 
non-Muslim. 
Prior to 
the 
war, 
a 
number 
of 
French 
attempts 
to 
gain control of 
its 
administration 
failed 
for 
this 
reason. 
Immediately 
after 
the 
war, 
and 
prior 
to San 
Remo, 
the 
railway 
lay 
solely 
in 
Hashemite 
territory. 
However, 
after 
Feisal's 
removal 
from 
Damascus, 
the 
control of 
the 
railway was 
divided between 
the 
British, 
the French, Abdullah 
and 
Hussein, 
with a control 
board 
based 
in 
Medina. The 
railway 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
administered 
by 
the 
Palestine 
Railways 
Administration, 
and 
until 
1924, 
through 
Philby; 
although 
he 
did hand 
over 
the 
Amman-Ma'an 
section 
to 
Crown Prince 
Ali 
in 
March 
1924, 
a 
move 
which 
was 
later 
repudiated 
by 
the 
Jerusalem 
administration. 
23 
It 
was 
never 
fully 
integrated 
within 
the 
Palestine 
Railways 
Administration, 
though 
when 
Ma'an 
was 
incorporated 
into 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
1925, 
the 
line 
to 
the Hejaz 
border 
at 
Mudawwara 
was 
'operated 
by 
the Palestine 
railways 
on 
behalf 
of 
the 
Amir'. 
24 
Trans-Jordan's 
imperial 
and 
strategic 
importance 
lay 
in 
159 
f 
the 
fact 
that 
it 
straddled 
a major 
line 
of modern 
communica- 
tions. The 
cross 
desert 
route 
was never 
intended 
to 
rival 
the 
sea route 
through 
Suez, 
but 
rather 
to 
complement 
it, 
and 
to 
a 
certain extent 
to 
protect 
it. 
The 
security 
of 
the 
overland 
route, 
the 
last 
route 
to India 
not 
in 
British 
hands, dicated 
to 
a 
large 
extent what 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontiers 
with 
her 
southern 
neighbours would 
be. 
THE 
SOUTHERN 
AND EASTERN 
FRONTIERS: 
TRANS-JORDAN 
- 
NEJD 
RELATIONS AND 
THE 
QUESTION 
OF WASI SIRHAN 
AND KAF 
The 
question of 
how far 
Trans-Jordan 
extended 
to the 
south and 
east 
was probably 
the 
most 
dominant 
theme 
of 
British 
involvement 
in 
the territory 
from 
the 
arrival of 
Philby 
in 
Amman 
on 
28 
November 
1921 
until 
1925. 
During 
this 
four 
year 
period, 
the 
issue 
revolved around 
two 
questions: should 
Trans- 
Jordan 
include 
the 
Wadi Sirhan 
as 
far 
as 
Jauf; 
and should 
it 
also 
include 
the 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
area. 
in 
both 
cases, 
the 
issues 
involved 
outside powers 
- 
the Nejd 
and 
Hejaz. 
During 
the 
period 
up 
to 
1924, 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
was 
the 
most 
difficult; 
only 
with 
the 
imminent disappearance 
of 
the 
Hejaz did 
the 
latter 
problem receive 
urgent 
attention. 
25 
When 
Philby 
arrived 
in 
Amman, 
the 
question 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
was 
the 
more 
urgent. 
As 
he 
noted 
in 
his 
diary 
on 
30 
November 
1921: 
Lawrence 
agrees 
however 
that 
no 
time 
should 
be 
lost in 
securing 
the Jauf 
area 
to 
Trans- 
jordan 
and 
in 
negotiating with 
Ibn 
Saud 
for 
the 
delimitation 
of 
the 
southern 
boundary 
of 
this 
state 
along 
the 
fringe 
of 
the 
great 
160 
Nafud, 
He 
proposes 
on 
his 
return 
to England 
to 
get 
me authorised 
by 
telegram 
to take the 
necessary 
steps 
in 
these 
directions 
and 
needless 
to 
say, 
I 
shall 
be 
overjoyed 
2ghus 
to 
reestablish 
contact 
with 
Ibn 
Saud. 
However, 
by 
the 
beginning 
of 
1922 
circumstances were 
such 
that 
the 
area 
could 
no 
longer 
be 
included 
automatically 
within 
Trans-Jordan. By 
then 
the Wadi Sirhan 
was a contested 
area, 
over 
which 
Abdul 
Aziz 
held, 
like 
elsewhere 
in 
Arabia, 
the 
initiative. 
The 
strategic 
importance 
of 
Jauf to 
Britain 
could 
not 
be denied, 
and so 
long 
as 
the 
railway 
scheme 
was 
being 
considered, 
the 
area 
was pivotal 
to 
its 
successful 
completion. 
Only 
a permanent 
British 
presence 
in 
the 
area, a 
commitment 
which 
London 
was 
not 
prepared 
to 
countenance, 
could secure 
the 
area 
for 
Abdullah. 
When Lawrence 
returned 
to 
London, 
instructions 
were 
sent 
to 
Jerusalem 
which plainly 
stated 
that the 
Colonial office 
wanted 
control over 
the 
Wadi Sirhan: 
... 
Mr. 
Philby 
be 
instructed 
to 
regard 
the 
peaceful 
extension 
of 
British 
influence 
to 
Jauf 
as part of 
his 
duties 
as 
Chief 
27 
Political Officer 
in 
Trans-Jordan... 
However, 
Churchill 
did 
add 
one condition which 
made 
the 
exercise 
totally 
impracticable 
from 
the 
start: 
'he [Philby] 
should 
satisfy 
himself 
in 
the 
first 
instance 
that the 
journey 
can 
be 
undertaken without risk of 
extending 
our present 
2 
commitments 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
8 
This 
was 
an 
impossible 
task, 
bearing 
in 
mind 
the 
distances 
involved (Jauf 
was over 
250 
miles 
as 
the 
crow 
flies 
from 
Amman), 
the 
nature 
of 
the 
terrain 
161 
itself 
and 
the 
complicated 
inter-tribal 
rivalry. 
And 
on 
top 
of all 
this 
must 
be 
added 
the 
north 
expnsion 
of 
the 
Wahhabis. 
This 
clash of 
interests 
made 
the 
question 
of 
who 
controlled 
the 
Wadi 
as 
just 
one more 
complicating 
factor 
in 
Anglo-Nejdi 
relations. 
The 
delimitation 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
boundaries 
in 
this 
area was 
rather 
difficult 
in 
so 
far 
as 
that 
they 
lay 
in 
the 
desert. 
As Norman 
Bentwich 
commented: 
On these 
sides 
[southern 
and eastern 
areas] 
the 
half 
settled 
area 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
merges 
into 
the 
area 
of wandering 
tribe 
who 
do 
not 
recognise 
the 
authority 
of 
international 
conventions 
and 
demarcation 
commissions, 
and 
whose 
allegiance 
tends to 
sway with 
the 
powert? 
f 
the 
nearest 
ruler 
from 
time 
to 
time. 
. 
To the 
nomadic 
tribes, 
primarily 
the Ruwalla 
of 
Jauf 
and 
the 
Beni Sakr, the 
idea 
of a 
frontier 
dividing 
their 
historial 
grazing ground was 
an 
alien concept which 
they 
would 
not 
likely 
observe. 
The Wadi 
itself 
was 
central 
to their 
livelihood, 
besides 
being 
of 
economic and 
strategic 
importance 
to the 
British 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
The Wadi Sirhan 
was 
a 
long 
depression 
stretching 
from 
Jauf 
in 
the 
south 
to Kaf 
in 
the 
north. 
It 
was 
an 
economic 
centre 
in 
its 
own 
right 
for it included 
the 
salt 
villages 
known 
as 
the 
Qurayyat 
al-Milh. 
30 
It 
was 
the 
key 
to 
the 
trading 
routes 
from 
the 
Nejd to 
Syria. 
Besides 
its 
economic 
importance 
to Abdul Aziz, 
it 
was also 
an 
ideal 
base 
from 
which 
to 
threaten 
both 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
Hejaz. 
For the British, 
control 
of 
the Wadi 
was 
important 
in 
order 
to 
secure 
the 
air 
162 
route, 
which passed 
close 
to the 
northern 
end of 
the Wadi. 
Likewise, 
its incorporation 
would 
mean a 
greater 
degree 
of 
control over 
the 
nomadic 
tribes. 
It 
was 
because 
of 
its 
historical importance 
that 
it 
became, 
from 
1922, 
a contested 
area 
between 
a stronger 
Abdullah 
and 
an 
expanding 
and ever 
confident 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
This 
state 
of affairs 
had 
been 
preceded 
by 
a period, 
in 
the 
immediate 
post-war 
years, when 
the 
area 
was 
allowed 
to 
go 
through 
a 
state of 
near 
independence 
from its 
neighbours. 
However, 
the 
capture of 
Hail 
by 
the 
Nejdis 
brought 
the 
Wahhabis 
into 
the 
region. 
It 
should 
be 
remembered 
that 
in 
the 
recent 
past 
the 
area 
had been 
considered 
to 
be 
part of 
Ibn 
Rashid's 
domain, 
and 
as a result 
Abdul Aziz 
could claim 
the 
area 
by 
right 
of conquest. 
This 
fact 
coincided 
with 
increased 
British 
interest 
in 
the 
cross-desert 
route 
and a more 
confident 
Abdullah 
now 
that 
he had been 
Amir 
in 
Amman 
for 
a 
year. 
It 
is 
therefore 
not 
surprising 
that 
these 
two 
conflict 
ing 
forces 
should meet over 
a contested 
zone. 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
Wadi 
was 
not 
only 
geared 
towards 
the 
trans-desert 
route. 
It 
was 
also 
a 
forward 
policy 
designed 
to 
prevent 
any 
tribal 
raids 
against 
Amman 
and 
the 
rest 
of 
the 
settled 
area. 
Although 
it 
was 
eventually 
recognised 
that 
Jauf 
was 
impossible 
to 
hold, 
the 
occupation 
of 
Kaf, 
especially 
after 
the 
Wahhabi 
raid 
of 
15 
August 1922, 
was 
seen as an 
essential 
move 
to forestall 
any 
further 
raids. 
163 
The 
erratic actions 
of 
the Sheikh 
of 
the Ruwalla, Nuri 
Sha'lan, 
also 
created some 
apprehension 
in 
Jerusalem. 
In 
the 
period 
1920-22, 
he 
had 
changed 
his 
allegiances 
no 
less 
than 
four 
times: 
first 
to Feisal 
prior 
to 
July 
1920, 
then 
to 
the 
French 
in 
Damascus 
(Nuri 
in fact lived 
in 
Damascus), 
then to 
Abdullah 
in 
1922, 
and 
finally 
to Abdul 
Aziz 
in 
the 
same 
year. 
31 
And 
since 
the traditional 
grazing 
grounds 
of 
the 
Ruwalla 
stretched 
from 
Jauf 
as 
far 
north as 
Homs, there 
were 
justified 
fears 
that, 
should 
the 
Ruwalla 
come 
under 
the 
French 
or 
Abdul 
Aziz, Trans-Jordan 
would 
be 
cut off 
from 
Iraq. 
' 
Therefore, 
the 
Colonial 
office's 
instructions 
to Philby 
were 
that 
he 
should 
'proceed 
to 
Jauf 
and 
to 
establish 
a 
basis 
for 
friendly 
relations after satisfying 
himself 
that 
no 
risk of 
extending 
Imperial 
commitment 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
involved 
therein'. 
32 
The 
Colonial 
Office 
had 
three 
clear cut reasons 
why 
they 
wanted 
control over 
Jauf, 
As 
Churchill 
informed 
Samuel: 
Control 
of 
the Wadi Sirhan, 
while ensuring 
the 
safety 
of 
the 
present air 
route may 
afford 
to 
the Air 
Ministry 
an 
alternative 
air 
route 
to 
Baghdad. 
It 
would 
also 
have 
the 
effect 
of 
driving 
a 
wedge 
between 
the French 
and 
the Ruwalla 
tribesmen 
and 
thus 
preventing 
the 
extensions 
of 
French 
influence into 
Arabia 
proper 
beyond 
the 
limits 
of 
the French 
zone. 
British 
influence in 
Jauf 
might 
serve as 
a 
check 
on 
the3$retensions 
of 
Ibn 
Saud, 
who 
is 
now 
in 
Hail. 
However, 
while 
Churchill 
recognised 
that 
there 
were a 
number 
of 
advantages 
in 
the 
incorporation 
of 
Jauf 
within 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
he insisted 
that 
Philby 
'should 
satisfy 
himself 
in 
the 
4 
164 
5 
first 
instance 
that 
the 
journey 
can 
be 
undertaken 
without 
risk 
of extending 
our present 
commitments 
in 
Trans-Jordan'* 
34 
Philby 
on 
the, 
other 
hand, 
seemed 
to 
realise 
that, 
even 
before 
he 
started 
on 
his 
desert 
journey, 
the 
situation was 
hopeless 
from 
Trans-Jordan's 
point 
of view. 
While 
noting 
that 
Nuri 
Sha'lan 
was under 
French 
protection, 
Philby 
pointed 
out 
to 
Samuel 
that: 
If 
he 
[Abdul 
Aziz] 
is intent 
on occupying 
Jauf 
or any other 
desert 
centre 
in 
Arabia, 
nothing short 
of a costly 
British 
3gxpedition 
will prevent 
him 
from 
so 
doing... 
Philby's first 
attempt 
to 
reach 
Jauf 
was 
abortive; 
the 
second 
attempt 
(he 
left 
with 
Major 
Holt 
in 
May 
1922) 
was 
more 
successful, 
in 
that they 
managed 
to 
get 
to Jauf. However, 
in 
every 
other respect, 
the 
trip 
was a 
disaster, 
and 
they 
were 
lucky 
to 
get 
out alive. 
36 
The 
main 
problem 
was 
that the 
Wahhabis 
arrived 
in 
the 
area 
at 
the 
same 
time 
as 
Philby, 
and 
as 
a result 
the 
whole area 
was 
in 
a state of 
intense 
agita- 
tion. 
The 
second 
problem 
was 
that 
Philby, 
in 
order 
to 
protect 
themselves, 
overstepped 
his instructions 
of 
not 
increasing 
British 
commitments 
in 
the 
area 
by 
signing 
a 
full 
dress 
offensive/defensive 
treaty 
with 
the 
Ruwalla. 
As 
Philby 
informed 
Samuel: 
They 
[the 
tribes 
at 
Jauf] 
have 
explicitly 
stated 
to 
me 
their 
desire 
to 
come 
under 
British 
protection as a 
part 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
tract 
on 
the 
understanding 
that 
we 
should 
be 
willing 
for 
them to 
protect 
themselves 
against 
ag95ession 
from 
the 
south or 
elsewhere. 
165 
The 
inevitable 
question 
of 
a subsidy was also raised: 
That 
question must 
inevitably 
come 
up 
in 
connection with 
the 
protection of 
the 
railway 
whether 
it is 
constructed 
via 
Jauf 
or 
direct 
to Azraq 
and 
it 
is 
clear 
that 
a 
subsidy 
is 
a sine qua non condition 
of 
Ruwalla 
cooperation 
and 
acceptance of a 
position 
dependent 
on 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
only 
alternative 
is 
for 
them 
to 
be 
swallowed 
up 
by 
or voluntarily 
turn 
to Ibn Saud 
and 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
cannot 
but 
contemplate 
with concern 
the 
driving 
of a 
Wahhabi 
wedge 
between 
Mesopotamia 
and3Wrans- 
Jordan to the 
French Syrian 
boundary. 
However, 
Philby's 
treaty 
was swiftly 
repudiated 
by 
the 
Colonial 
office 
for 
the 
simple 
reason 
that the British 
would 
not 
sanction 
the 
use of 
force 
in 
such an 
isolated 
spot. 
That 
His 
Majesty's Government 
hoped 
to 
gain 
Jauf 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
without 
extending 
its 
commitments, 
suggests 
the 
triumph 
of 
optimism 
over 
experience. 
With the 
arrival 
of 
the 
Nejdis 
in 
the Wadi 
Sirhan, 
the 
situation 
in 
central 
Arabia 
started 
to 
clarify 
itself. 
As 
Philby 
noted: 
'The 
Jauf 
problem 
has 
thus 
solved 
itself 
and 
the 
Wahhabi 
meance 
is 
on our 
borders'. 
39 
The 
continued 
non- 
settlement 
of 
the 
frontier in 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
area 
presented 
a 
potential 
bone 
of 
contention 
between 
Abdul 
Aziz 
and 
Abdullah. 
Philby 
urged 
that 
there 
was 
an urgent 
need 
for 
an 
understanding 
between 
the 
two 
rulers. 
'The boundary 
between 
Najd 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
should, 
I 
am convinced, 
be 
settled 
before 
the development 
of 
any 
controversy 
between 
the 
two 
states'. 
40 
This, 
as 
it 
turned 
out, 
did 
not prove 
to 
be 
possible, 
for 
on 
15 
august 
1922, 
a 
1500 
strong 
Wahhabi 
raiding 
166 
party 
attacked 
Trans-Jordan 
coming 
as 
far 
as 
12 
miles south 
of 
Amman. 
This 
raid 
and other 
Wahhabi 
attacks 
will 
be 
considered 
fully 
in 
the 
next chapter. 
The 
effect 
of 
this 
raid was 
such 
that, 
by 
its 
emphasising 
the 
vulnerability 
of all of 
Trans-Jordan 
to 
Wahhabi 
raids, 
greater 
consideration 
was given 
to 
the 
area 
to the 
east 
of 
Amman. 
Azraq 
was occupied, 
and 
permission 
was 
given 
for 
the 
stationing of an 
Arab Legion 
contingent 
at 
Kaf. As 
Churchill 
informed 
Samuel 
at 
the 
end of 
August: 
It 
is 
clear 
that 
while certainly 
we 
should 
have 
been 
glad 
if 
the 
Transjordan 
sphere 
of 
influence 
could 
have 
embraced 
Jauf, 
this 
must 
now 
be 
recognised 
as 
an 
impossibility. 
Provided 
that 
south 
of 
the 
desert 
air 
route 
and 
east of 
Hedjaz 
Railway 
a 
wide 
strip 
of 
desert is 
rendered 
secure 
from 
raids 
we must 
leave 
the 
interior 
of 
Arabia 
alone. 
As 
regards 
the 
proposed 
occupation 
of 
Kaf 
please 
inform 
me 
as 
to 
its 
object. 
I 
cannot 
agree 
to this 
step 
if 
its 
sole 
purpose 
is 
to 
give 
Abdullah 
t?Te 
to"make 
preparations 
for 
attacking 
Jauf. 
Two 
weeks 
later, 
Churchill 
gave 
his 
approval 
for 
the 
occupa 
tion 
of 
Kaf 
'on 
the 
distinct 
understanding 
that 
Abdullah 
must 
advance 
no 
further 
and 
that 
no 
military 
commitment 
is 
entered 
into 
or 
additional 
expense 
involved,,, 
' 
42 
A 
more 
forward 
policy 
was 
now 
to 
be 
pursued 
in 
order 
to 
protect 
British 
interests. 
Kaf 
was 
to 
be held 
as 
an 
early 
warning 
station 
for 
further 
Wahhabi 
raids 
and 
as 
a counter 
in 
future 
negotiations 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
167 
A 
CONFERENCE 
AND AN AGREEMENT 
During 
the 
1920s, 
there 
were 
in 
all, one conference 
and 
two 
agreements 
which attempted 
to 
solve 
the 
question 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
southern and 
eastern 
frontiers. 
The 
first, 
the 
Kuwait 
conference of 
December 
1923 
to 
April 1924, 
though 
attempting 
to 
come 
to 
a comprehensive 
solution 
to 
Hashemite 
- 
Nejdi 
problems 
throughout 
the 
Middle East, 
eventually 
proved 
abortive. 
However, 
the Hadda 
agreement 
of 
November 
1925, 
betweenn 
Sir Gilbert 
Clayton 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz 
finally defined 
the 
boundary 
of 
Nejd 
- 
Trans-Jordan. 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
conquest 
of 
the 
Hejaz, 
in 
1925 
and 
Abdullah's 
occupation 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
still 
left 
the 
question 
of 
the 
definition 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
frontier 
unresolved. 
The treaty 
of 
Jedda 
of 
20 
May 
1927 
went 
most of 
the 
way 
in 
settling 
this 
issue, 
when 
Abdul 
Aziz, 
in 
an exchange 
of 
letters, 
recognised 
the 
status 
quo 
thereby 
confirming 
Trans-Jordanian 
control 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba. 
a) 
THE 
KUWAIT 
CONFERENCE 17 
DECEMBER 
1923 
- 
APRIL 
1924 
The 
conference 
at 
Kuwait 
was 
a 
British 
sponsored attempt 
to 
come 
to 
some sort 
of comprehensive 
settlement 
to 
all 
the 
problems 
which 
affected 
Nejd-Hashemite 
relations. 
In 
1923, 
there 
were 
three 
outstanding 
issues 
which 
affected 
the 
three 
Hashemite 
kingdoms 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
The 
issue 
which 
directly 
affected 
Trans-jordan 
was, of 
course, 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
problem 
and 
her 
frontier 
with 
the Nejd. 
The 
second 
problem 
was 
the 
question of 
Nejdi-Iraqi 
frontier 
raids; 
and 
the 
third 
was 
the 
168 
long 
standing 
Nejd-Hejaz 
dispute. 
British 
hopes 
that, 
by 
bringing 
together 
the 
main protagonists 
in 
personal 
contact 
these 
problems 
would 
be 
solved, 
came 
to 
nothing. 
Abdul 
Aziz 
only sent 
minor 
officials; while 
King Hussein 
refused 
to 
particpate at 
all, stating 
that 
he had 
not 
been 
consulted 
and 
demanding, 
as 
a precondition, 
that Abdul 
Aziz 
release 
Ibn 
Rashid, 
and return 
him 
to 
Hail. 
Nevertheless, 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
persevered and 
appointed 
Colonel 
Knox, 
formerly 
acting 
Political Resident 
at 
Bushire, 
as 
Chairman. 
The 
conference 
opened 
on 
17 
December 
1923 
and, 
due 
to 
the 
non attendance 
of 
an 
Hejazi 
delegate, 
concerned 
itself 
with 
issues 
relating 
to 
the 
British 
mandates. 
This 
study will not concern 
itself 
with 
that 
part 
of 
the 
conferences 
which 
covered 
Iraq-Nejd 
reltions, 
except 
to 
state 
that 
Iraqi 
refusal 
to 
return 
refugees 
from 
Hail 
played 
a 
major 
part 
in its 
ultimate 
failure, 
Dynastic 
rivalry, enmity 
and 
intransigence 
on 
both 
sides 
ensured 
that the 
conference 
was 
unsuccessful. 
Although 
the British 
government 
wanted 
to 
achieve a 
comprehensive 
settlement, 
they 
were, 
in 
particular, concerned 
to 
see 
that 
the 
frontiers 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
defined, 
even 
if 
this 
included 
the 
exclusion 
of 
all 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan. 
British 
instructions 
to Knox 
stated 
that: 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
are 
directly 
concerned 
with 
frontier 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
being frontier 
of 
mandated 
area 
of 
Palestine. 
Provided 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
has 
access 
to Gulf 
of 
Aqaba, 
that 
Nejd 
does 
not 
encroach 
upon 
Hejaz 
railway 
and 
that Khurma 
169 
and 
Turaba 
are 
included 
in 
Hejaz 
they 
are 
prepared 
to 
exclude 
whole 
of 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
from 
Kaf 
inclusive 
and 
to 
allow 
Hejaz 
to 
extend 
northwards 
along 
railway 
as 
far 
as 
Mudwwara(sic). 
Thus 
Kaf 
would 
be 
given 
up 
for 
Akaba 
by 
Abdullah 
Khurma 
and 
Taraba 
would 
be 
given 
up 
by 
Ibn 
Saud 
for 
Kaf 
and 
any 
claim 
to 
territory 
north 
of 
Mudawwara 
would 
be 
given 
up 
by 
Hussein 
for 
Khurma 
and 
Turaba. 
Should 
Hejaz 
not 
be 
represented 
His Majesty's 
Government 
will 
not 
discuss 
Trans-Jordan 
boundary 
beyond 
Nefud 
salient 
at which 
point 
they 
consider 
Nejd 
Hejaz 
boundary 
should 
take 
off. 
In this 
case 
cession 
of 
Kaf 
must 
be 
made 
conditional 
upon 
Ibn 
Saud 
giving 
written 
undertaking 
in 
which 
he 
agrees 
to 
subsequent 
inclusion 
in 
Hejaz 
of 
Khurma 
and 
Taraba 
ould 
His Majesty's 
Government 
so 
desire. 
Clearly 
the 
Colonial Office 
were willing 
to 
reach 
a 
compromise 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz 
over 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
and so 
avoid 
an 
armed 
confrontation 
over 
Kaf, 
Their 
minimum 
demand 
in 
the 
areas 
was 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
should 
share 
a 
common 
frontier 
so 
that 
British 
control of 
the 
air 
corridor 
be 
preserved. 
The 
first 
seven 
sessions 
of 
the 
conference 
dealt 
with 
Iraqi-Nejdi 
issues. 
On 
23 
December, 
the 
eighth 
session, 
the 
conference 
turned 
to 
questions 
relating 
to Trans-Jordan. 
At 
this 
session, 
Ali Kulki Bey, 
for 
Trans-Jordan, 
presented 
Abdullah's 
demands, 
which summarised were: 
1. 
Restoration 
of 
Jauf 
and 
Sakaka 
in 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
to 
Nuri 
al 
Sha'lan 
2. 
Agents 
to 
be 
exchanged 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Nejd. 
3. 
Nejd 
to 
pay 
blood 
money 
for 
the 
raid of 
15 
August 
1922 
at 
Umm 
at 
Amad, 
south of 
Amman. 
4. 
Prevention 
of 
future 
raids. 
4 
170 
5. 
Prevention 
of 
tribes. 
crossing 
the 
frontier 
in large 
numbers without permission. 
6. 
No 
correspondence 
between 
the two 
governments 
and 
tribes 
in 
the 
others states' 
territory. 
7. 
Political 
rajugees 
from 
the 
other state 
not 
to 
be 
extradited. 
The 
first 
point, 
the 
restoration of 
Jauf 
to 
Ibn 
Sha'lan, 
was 
the 
main stumbling 
block 
to Trans-Jordan 
- 
Nejd 
agreement. 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
delegate, 
stating 
that 
the 
question 
of 
Jauf 
was 
now 
an 
internal 
Nejdi 
question 
by 
right of 
conquest, 
refused 
to 
discuss 
it. 
Only 
a 
full 
military 
expedition 
would 
ensure 
its 
inclusion 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
At this 
stage 
a 
compromise 
was 
suggested 
by 
Ali 
Khulqi 
Bey: 
I 
am ready, 
in 
the 
name of 
the 
Trans- 
Jordanian 
Government, 
to 
fix 
the 
boundary 
between 
Trans-Jordania 
and 
Nejd 
in 
accor- 
dance 
with 
the 
agreements 
and old 
boundaries 
and with 
the 
treaty 
made 
by 
the Nejd 
govern- 
ment 
with 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
on 
18th 
July 1916; 
if 
Nejd 
leaves 
Jauf 
and 
Sakaka 
and 
their 
dependencies 
and returns 
to 
them 
to Ibn Sha'lan, 
I 
agree 
that there 
may 
be 
a 
separate 
Amirate 
to 
act as a 
buffer between 
Najd 
and 
Trans-Jordania 
for 
the 
future 
and 
provided 
the 
lines 
of 
future 
communications 
between 
Traps-Jordania 
and 
Iraq 
be left 
in 
our 
hands. 
A 
compromise 
along 
these 
lines, 
the 
creation of an 
independent 
amirate 
in 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
- 
in 
effect 
a 
buffer 
state 
to 
'protect 
a 
buffer 
state 
- 
was 
being 
actively 
considered 
in 
Jerusalem, 
and 
Amman. 
As 
Samuel 
was 
to 
inform 
J. 
H. 
Thomas, 
the 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies, in 
March 1924 
when 
it 
had 
become 
quite obvious 
that 
the 
Kuwait 
Conference 
was 
doomed 
to 
failure: 
'I have 
always 
considered that 
creation 
of 
buffer 
state 
in 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
under 
Nuri 
Sha'lan 
is 
the 
best 
171 
solution'. 
46 
However this 
attempt 
to 
halt 
the 
northern 
expansionism 
of 
the Wahhabis 
and 
protection 
of 
the 
air 
route, 
foundered 
on 
the 
fact 
that Abdul Aziz 
was 
in 
possession 
of 
Jauf, 
and was not 
prepared 
to 
compromise 
his 
position 
there. 
As 
far 
as 
the 
question 
of 
Kaf 
was concerned, 
British 
willingness 
to 
concede 
it 
under certain circumstances 
ensured 
that 
Abdul 
Aziz 
would not 
stop short 
of 
full 
control 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
including 
Kaf. 
47 
In 
brief 
the 
claims 
and 
counter 
claims 
of 
the 
Nejd 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
irreconcilable. 
Abdullah's 
argument, 
with 
British 
support was 
that the 
Wadi 
was 
the 
traditional 
grazing 
ground 
of 
a 
Syrian 
tribe, 
the Ruwalla; 
and as southern 
Syria's 
successor state, 
Trans-Jordan 
claimed 
the 
area. 
The 
prospect 
that 
the Ruwalla 
could 
come 
under 
Wahhabi 
influence 
if 
Abdul 
Aziz 
maintained 
his 
control 
over 
Jauf 
had 
untold 
dangers, 
not 
least 
being 
the 
cutting 
of 
the 
cross-desert 
route. 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
position 
was clear. 
His 
position 
was 
that 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
had 
been 
under 
Ibn 
Rashid 
before 
1921, 
and 
therefore 
the 
territory 
was 
his 
by 
right 
of conquest. 
At the 
conference, 
the Neid 
delegate, 
Abdullah 
Effendi, 
rejected 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
stand on 
Jauf: 
The Delegate 
of 
Trans-Jordania 
has 
not 
right 
to 
talk 
about 
Ibn 
Sha'lan 
who 
is 
a 
subject 
of 
Najd. 
The 
Trans-Jordania 
government 
apparently 
want 
to 
detach 
a 
larger 
part 
of 
our 
dominions 
(Jauf, 
Sakakal 
ec), and 
hand 
it 
over 
to Ibn, Sha'lan, 
and, 
strange 
to 
say, 
they 
overlook 
the 
strong 
bonds 
of relation- 
ship 
between 
Ibn 
Sha'lan 
and 
his 
tribes 
and 
Najd, 
both 
in 
the 
past 
and 
now. 
The 
Ruwallah 
have 
always 
been, 
and 
still are, 
subject 
of 
Nejd; 
and 
Jauf 
and 
the 
whole of 
172 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
underwent 
the 
same vicissitudes 
as 
Najd 
at 
the 
time 
when 
the 
present 
Trans- 
Jordania 
was merely a 
few 
subdivisions 
of 
Kark 
(sic) 
and 
Jerusalem 
- 
and 
the 
country 
in 
question 
was never 
politically or 
admin- 
istratively 
under 
Turkey. 
We therefore 
absolutely 
refuse 
and 
reject 
Trans- 
Jordania8s 
claim regarding 
Jauf 
and 
Wadi 
Sirhan. 
Nejd's 
second 
demand 
was 
that 
her 
northern 
frontier 
should 
stretch 
to Syria: 
As 
it is 
well 
known, 
the 
exports 
of 
Najd, 
on 
which 
her 
economic. 
life 
depends, 
are 
camels, 
horses 
and sheep and 
all 
these 
go 
to 
Syria; 
we cannot 
therefore 
allow our 
trade 
to 
suffer 
by 
agreeing 
to 
Trans Jordania 
linking 
up 
with 
Iraq, 
and 
separating us 
from 
Syria 
which 
is 
the 
market 
for 
the 
most 
important 
exports 
of 
Najd. 
To 
keep 
up 
and 
protect 
our 
trade, 
we 
ask 
that this 
- 
our 
free 
access 
into 
Syria 
- 
be 
t 
basis 
of 
our 
frontier 
with 
Trans-Jordania. 
This, 
of 
course, 
was 
totally 
unacceptable 
to the 
British 
Government. As Samuel 
pointed 
out 
to 
the Duke 
of 
Devonshire, 
J. H. 
Thomas's 
predecessor, 
this 
would 
be 
against 
one of 
Britain's 
basic 
policies 
in 
the 
Middle 
East. 
Boundary 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Nejd 
proposed 
by 
the 
Nejd 
delegates 
... 
would rob 
Trans-Jordan 
of 
the 
whole 
of 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
with exception 
of 
Azrak 
and 
would 
be 
objected 
to 
as 
such 
by 
Abdullah... 
Trans- 
Jordan 
would 
similarly 
be 
cut 
off 
from 
Iraq, 
and 
the 
air route 
would 
pass 
either 
over 
Nejd 
territory 
in 
which 
several 
of 
the 
present 
landin9Ogrounds 
would 
fall 
or over 
a 
no 
man's 
land. 
Although 
Britain 
was 
prepared 
to 
cede 
almost 
all 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
to 
Abdul Aziz, 
there 
could 
be 
no compromise 
over 
the 
Nejd's 
second 
demand. 
For 
imperial 
and 
strategic 
reasons 
173 
Trans-Jordan 
could 
not 
be 
separated 
from 
Iraq. 
Likewise 
with 
the 
non-attendance 
of 
Hejazi 
delegates, 
the 
abandonment 
of 
Kaf 
could 
not 
be 
considered. 
As 
a 
result, 
the 
conference 
was 
deadlocked, 
with a 
de 
facto 
partition of 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
with 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
control 
of 
the 
northern 
half 
including 
Kaf. 
The 
possibility of 
a 
settlement, 
almost neligible 
from 
the 
start, 
was 
completely 
undermined 
by 
outside events. 
The 
first 
was 
Hussein's 
assumption 
of 
the 
vacant 
caliphate, 
at 
Abdullah's 
prompting, 
on 
5 
March 
1924.51 
This 
development 
infuriated 
Abdul 
Aziz 
and 
played 
no small 
part 
in his 
decision 
to 
attack 
the Hejaz 
in 
August 1924. 
The 
second 
event 
was 
a 
resumption 
of raiding 
by 
the Ikhwan 
into 
Iraq. 
52 
As 
a 
result, 
seeing 
no 
further 
hope 
of a 
settlement, 
Knox 
terminated 
the 
conference 
in 
April 
1924.53 
This 
abortive 
conference 
clearly 
illustrated 
the 
difficulty 
in 
defining 
the 
frontiers 
of 
the 
mandates 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
and 
settling 
other 
problems which 
beset 
relations 
between 
the 
Hashemites 
and 
the House 
of 
Saud. 
The 
post 
conference 
period 
was 
one 
of 
increased 
unrest 
and 
the 
outbreak 
of 
the 
Nejd-Hejaz 
war added 
to 
this. The Colonial 
Office 
were 
not 
prepared 
under 
any circumstance, 
to 
accept 
a 
situation 
which 
would 
place 
Abdul 
Aziz 
astride 
the 
Imperial 
air 
route 
to 
the 
east. 
As 
a result, 
while 
the 
war 
was 
finally 
reaching 
its 
conclusion, Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
negotiated 
two bilateral 
agreements 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz for the 
settlement 
of 
Nejd 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Nejd 
- 
Iraq 
questions: 
the 
Hadda. 
and 
Bahra 
Agreements 
of 
2 
November 
1925. 
The 
names 
174 
of 
these two 
agreements 
are of 
two 
oases 
in 
the 
Hejaz, 
on 
the 
road 
from 
Jedda 
to 
Mecca. 
b) 
THE 
HADDA 
AGREEMENT 
2 
NOVEMBER 
1925 
With 
victory assured 
in 
the 
Hejaz 
war, 
it 
was 
overriding 
urgency 
that 
outstanding questions 
of a 
Nejd 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
nature 
should 
be 
solved. 
A 
northern 
limit 
to 
Wahhabi 
influence 
had 
to 
be imposed before 
Abdul Aziz 
could 
turn 
his 
attention 
northward 
to the territories 
under 
British 
mandate. 
The Middle 
East Department's 
main concern, 
as 
ever, 
was 
to 
ensure 
that the two 
mandates were not separated. 
The 
Colonial 
office 
instructed 
Clayton, 
as 
he 
was 
about 
to 
set 
out 
on 
his 
mission 
to Abdul 
Aziz, that 
under no 
circumstances 
was 
he 
to 
concede 
Nejdi 
claims 
for 
a 
froniter 
up 
to 
Syria, 
and 
so 
'astride 
the 
imperial 
Air 
Route to the 
east. 
This 
cannot 
be 
permitted, 
and 
in 
no 
circumstances should 
you assent 
to 
any 
extension of 
Najd 
territory 
to the 
north, which 
would 
have the 
effect 
of 
separating 
Iraq 
from 
Trans-Jordan'. 
54 
The 
main stumbling 
block 
to 
an 
Anglo-Nejdi 
agreement 
on 
frontiers 
was 
the 
question 
of 
Kaf, 
At the 
Kuwait 
conference, 
Britain 
had been 
prepared 
to 
abandon 
Kaf. 
The 
failure 
of 
this 
conference 
left 
Abdullah 
in 
control 
of 
Kaf. 
By 
1925, 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
wanted 
Kaf 
to 
remain 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
As 
George 
Antonius, 
the 
Secretary 
of 
the Clayton 
mission, 
noted, 
there 
were 
compelling 
strategic 
reasons 
for 
holding 
on 
to 
Kaf: 
The 
fortress 
adjoining 
the 
village 
of 
Kaf 
175 
forms 
an 
excellent 
and 
valuable observation 
post 
for 
raids coming up 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
towards 
Amman. 
It 
is 
a strong 
fortress 
and 
does 
not 
require a 
large 
garrison. 
If 
fitted 
with 
wireless 
commug?cation, 
it 
would 
be 
of 
indispensible 
value. 
The 
Air ministry 
shared 
Antonius' 
view: 
If 
it 
(Kaf] 
is 
ceded 
to Ibn 
Saud 
we 
must 
be 
prepared 
for disaffection 
being 
encouraged 
by 
the Wahhabis 
as a 
result of 
which 
it 
might 
be 
necessary 
to 
increase 
the British 
forces 
in 
Transjordan. 
.. 
The. 
y 
[the 
Air Council] 
understand 
that 
the 
area 
immediately 
surrounding 
Kaf 
is 
the 
grazing 
ground of some 
influential 
Trans- 
jordan 
tribes 
at 
certain 
times 
of 
the 
year, and 
if 
left 
in 
the 
hands 
of 
the 
Wahabbis 
considerable 
difficulties 
might 
arise.. 
The 
Council 
consider 
that the 
value 
of 
Kaf 
to 
Transjordan 
lies 
not 
in its 
possession 
but 
in 
the 
denial 
of 
its 
possession 
to 
Ibn 
Saud, 
as 
in 
his 
hands it 
would 
form 
a 
valuable 
advanced 
based. 
They 
feel 
there- 
fore 
that 
every 
endeavour 
should 
be 
made 
by 
negotiations 
??th 
Ibn Saud 
to 
deny 
Kaf to 
the Wahhabis. 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
position 
was, 
however, 
that 
Kaf 
was 
his 
- 
over 
this there 
could 
be 
no concessions 
and 
that 
his 
northern 
frontiers 
should 
march 
with 
Syria. 
As Sir Gilbert 
Clayton 
was 
to 
report on 
his 
mission: 
With 
regards 
to Kaf, 
his 
principal 
conten- 
tion 
was 
that 
His 
Majesty's Government 
had, 
on 
the 
23rd 
October, 1924, 
through 
the 
political agent 
at 
Bahrain, 
formally 
offered 
him 
a 
frontier 
which 
gave 
Kaf 
and 
a 
section 
of 
the 
four 
Wadis 
to 
Nejd; 
and 
that 
since 
he 
had 
published 
the 
contents 
of 
that 
letter 
broadcast 
among 
his 
tribes 
and 
pledged 
his 
word 
to 
its 
effect, 
he 
had 
so 
committed 
himself 
as 
to 
be 
unable 
to 
recede 
from 
this 
position. 
176 
With 
regard 
to the 
northern 
frontier, 
he 
maintained 
that the territories 
of which 
he 
was now 
master 
had 
always marched with 
those 
of 
Syria; 
and 
that 
in 
view 
of 
this 
historial 
fact 
and of 
the 
long-established 
traffic 
between 
Damascus 
and 
central 
Arabia 
he 
could 
not see 
his 
way 
to 
accepting any 
kind 
of 
barrier 
5?etween 
his dominions 
and 
the 
Syrian 
border. 
Sir Gilbert 
Clayton's 
mission 
lasted 
from 10 October 
1925 
when 
he 
arrived at 
Bahra, 
until 
3 
November 
after 
he 
had 
successfully 
concluded 
two 
agreements 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
His 
instructions 
from 
the Colonial Office 
stated 
that 
above 
all 
else 
he 
was 
to 
maintain 
the 
cross 
desert 
route 
within 
Trans- 
Jordan 
and 
Iraq, 
and 
if 
possible, 
to 
hold 
on 
to 
Kaf. 
However, 
on 
this 
point, 
R. V. Vernon 
instructed 
that 
If 
... 
you 
are unable 
to 
induce 
Ibn 
Saud to 
agree 
to the 
inclusion 
of 
Kaf 
within 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
and 
if, in 
your opinion, 
further 
insistence 
on 
this 
point would 
be 
useless, 
you 
may 
in 
the 
ltgt 
resort 
concede 
that 
village 
to Nejd. 
The 
strategy 
which 
Clayton followed 
was 
that 
he 
did 
not 
agree 
to 
Abdul Aziz's 
demand 
for 
Kaf 
until 
the 
last 
possible 
moment, 
thereby 
forcing him 
to 
compromise 
over 
his 
demand 
for 
a 
frontier 
up 
to 
Syria. 
As 
Clayton 
telegrammed London 
from 
Jedda: 
Agreement 
with 
Bin 
Saud 
regarding 
Trans- 
Jordania 
frontier 
was signed 
November 
2nd. 
Frontier 
starts 
at 
intersection 
of 
meridian 
39 
with parallel 
31.30; 
thence 
along 
meridian 
31.25; 
thence 
to 
intersection 
of 
meridian 
38 
with 
parallel 
30; 
thence 
along 
meridian 
38 
to 
its 
intersection 
with 
parallel 
29.35. 
177 
You 
will 
observe 
that I 
was 
obliged 
to 
give 
Kaf to 
Nejd 
for 
reasons 
which will 
be 
explained 
in 
my report, 
but 
I 
have 
secured 
for 
Trans-Jordania 
practically all grazing 
grounds west 
of 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
including four 
Wadis 
in dispute. 
Bin Saud 
has 
given undertaking 
to 
abstain 
from 
establishing 
a military centre at 
Kaf 
or 
district, 
and 
to 
prevent 
by 
all means 
at 
his disposal 
any 
incursions 
into 
Trans- 
Jordania. 
He 
also 
agrees 
to 
maintain 
constant communication 
between his 
representative 
in 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
g$d 
Chief 
British Representative, Amman. 
Clayton 
had 
made 
no 
concession 
on 
the 
northern 
frontier, 
save 
for 
restricted rights 
of 
transit. 
Article 
1 
of 
the 
Hadda 
Agreement, 
as 
it 
came 
to 
be 
called, gave 
Trans-Jordan 
a 
sixty 
mile 
common 
frontier 
with 
Iraq, though 
giving 
the 
Nejd 
possession 
of 
Kaf. 
60 
Article 
2 
ensured 
the 
demilitarization 
of 
Kaf: 
'The 
Government 
of 
Nejd 
undertake 
not 
to 
establish 
any 
foritified 
post at 
Kaf 
or utilise 
Kaf 
or 
the 
district 
in 
its 
neighbourhood 
as a military 
centre'. 
61 
The 
rest of 
the 
agreement secured 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
aggression and 
cross 
border 
tribal 
raiding 
(articles 
2,4,7 
and 
8); 
trade 
and 
the 
Pilgrimage 
were 
safeguarded 
(Articles 
12 
and 
13); 
and 
there 
was 
to 
be 
constant communication 
between 
the 
Chief British 
Representative 
and 
the 
governor 
of 
Wadi Sirhan 
(article 
3). 
Although Abdul Aziz 
was 
obliged 
to 
give 
up 
his 
claim 
to 
a 
common 
frontier 
with 
Syria, 
the 
free 
passage 
of 
Nejdi trade 
was 
secured 
in 
Article 13: 
His 
Britannic Majesty's 
Government 
undertake 
to 
secure 
freedom 
of 
transit 
at 
all 
times 
to 
merchants who are 
subjects 
of 
Nejd 
for 
the 
prosecution 
of 
their 
trad92between 
Nejd 
and 
Syria 
in both 
directions. 
178 
The 
Hadda 
Agreement, 
as with 
the Bahra 
agreement 
concerning 
Iraqi-Nejdi 
questions, was 
successful 
in 
that, 
by 
settling 
outstanding 
points 
of 
friction in 
Anglo-Nejdi 
relations, 
it helped 
to 
forestall 
the 
possibility of 
Abdul 
Aziz's 
ambitions 
turning 
north 
after 
his 
victory 
in 
the 
Hejaz. 
The 
personal 
diplomacy 
of 
Clayton 
had 
succeeded 
where 
the 
Hashemites 
had 
failed. 
However, 
this 
was 
not 
the 
end of 
the 
matter where 
Trans- 
Jordan's 
frontier 
with 
the 
desert 
was concerned. 
Since 
the 
Kingdom 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
was still 
in 
"official" 
existence, 
Clayton 
could 
not 
discuss 
the 
regulation 
of 
the Hejaz 
- 
Trans- 
Jordan 
frontier. 
This 
was 
to 
become 
a source 
of 
friction. 
MA' 
AN- 
AND AQABA 
F 
When Abdullah 
was 
installed 
in 
Amman 
in 
March 
1921, 
neither 
the 
British 
nor 
Abdull?h 
were 
in 
a position 
to 
give 
the 
area of 
Ma'an 
or 
Aqaba 
much 
consideration. 
During 
the 
first 
years 
of 
the Amirate, 
they 
seemed content 
to 
let 
the 
issue 
of 
who 
had 
official right 
to the 
area stand 
in 
abeyance. 
However, 
with 
the 
imminent 
defeat 
of 
the Hejaz 
by 
the 
forces 
of 
Abdul Aziz 
in 
1924-5, 
the 
issue 
of 
who 
had 
the 
right 
of 
sovereignty 
over 
the 
area, 
and 
how 
British 
interests 
were 
to 
be 
secured, 
became 
an 
urgent 
problem concerning 
the 
final 
delimitation 
of 
Trans-Jordan's 
southern 
frontier. 
The 
incorporation 
of 
Masan 
and 
Aqaba 
into 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
a 
complicating 
factor 
in 
British 
relations 
not only 
with 
179 
Abdullah, 
but 
also 
with 
the 
disintegrating 
administration 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
and with 
the 
Nejd. The 
principal question was 
whether 
the 
disputed 
area was 
part of 
the Hejaz, 
or 
whether 
it 
could 
be 
legally 
claimed 
for 
Trans-Jordan. If 
the 
latter 
was 
the 
case, 
then Britain, 
as 
Mandatory, 
had 
responsibilities 
to 
ensure 
its 
de facto 
inclusion 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
At 
the 
beginning 
of 
the Hashemite 
era 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
when 
Abdullah 
arrived 
at 
Ma'an 
in 
November 
1920, 
this 
district 
was 
considered 
to 
be 
part 
of 
the Hejaz. 
Mandated 
Territory 
was, 
at 
that 
stage, viewed 
as starting 
further 
north 
at 
Kerak, 
and, 
as a result, 
Abdullah's 
presence 
there 
did 
not 
unduly 
concern 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
Jerusalem. 
This 
view 
was 
reflected 
in 
a 
telegram 
sent 
to Alec 
Kirkbride 
(the 
British 
adviser 
at 
Kerak) 
shortly 
before 
Abdullah 
moved north: 
It 
is 
considered 
unlikely 
that 
the Amir 
Abdullah 
would 
advance 
intgoterritory 
which 
was under 
British 
control. 
At 
that 
stage, 
the British 
presence 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
was 
confined 
to 
a 
handful 
of 
British 
officers 
stationed 
throughout 
the 
country 
and 
extending 
as 
far 
south as 
Kerak. 
By 
implication, 
therefore, 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
were 
recognised 
as 
part 
of 
the Hejaz. 
From 1921, 
when 
Abdullah's 
position 
in 
Amman 
was 
acknowledged, 
until 
1924, 
when 
Abdul 
Aziz 
invaded 
the Hejaz, 
the 
Colonial 
Office's 
main 
concern 
was 
the 
consoli- 
dation 
of 
the Amir's 
position 
in 
the 
territory. 
Only 
with 
the 
imminent 
disappearance 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
did 
the 
issue 
of 
the 
formal 
incorporation 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
180 
become 
important, in 
order 
to 
secure 
British 
imperial 
interests. 
:t 
Historically, the 
basic 
question 
was one 
of ownership. 
In the 
pre-war 
Ottoman 
period, 
the 
issue 
was relatively 
clear 
cut. 
From the 
war 
period 
onwards, 
however, 
the 
problem 
became 
more complex 
and confusing, 
and 
by 
1924 
it 
was 
rather 
difficult 
to 
unravel all 
the 
various 
claims 
and counter 
claims 
and statements 
which 
clearly 
contradicted 
other statements. 
During 
the Ottoman 
period 
the 
area, 
known 
as 
the 
Sanjak 
of 
Ma'an, 
was administratively 
part of 
the Vilayat 
of 
Damascus. 
That 
is 
with 
the 
exception 
of a 
period, 
from 
1886 
to 
1894, 
when 
it 
was 
attached 
to the Vilayet 
of 
the 
Hejaz. 
As 
a 
Foreign Office 
memorandum 
on 
the 
question 
of ownership 
noted: 
By 
this 
change 
[of 
18941 
the 
north-eastern 
boundary 
of 
the Vilayet 
of 
Hejaz 
was 
made 
to 
run 
from 
a 
point 
on 
the 
Gulf 
of 
Akaba two 
miles 
south 
of 
Akaba 
town to 
a point on 
the 
pilgrim road 
two 
miles 
south 
of 
Ma'an, 
in 
other words 
both 
Akaba 
and 
Ma'an 
were 
61 
administratively 
excluded 
from 
the Hejaz. 
This 
administrative 
division 
of 
the 
Sanjak 
of 
Ma'an 
remained 
until 
the Great 
War, 
when 
in 
1915 
the 
ottoman 
authorities, 
for 
reasons of 
military 
expediency, 
pushed 
the 
boundary 
of 
the 
Vilayet 
of 
Damascus further 
south 
to 
a 
line 
from 
Wejh 
to 
al 
Ula. 
This 
line, 
which 
was 
another 
250 
miles 
further 
south, 
ran 
to 
a point 
which 
was recognised 
as 
the 
gateway 
of 
the 
'Holy 
Land 
of 
Islam'. 
62 
Therefore, 
if 
the 
pre-war 
Ottoman 
administ 
rative 
boundaries 
were 
to 
form 
the 
basis 
of 
the 
post-war 
181 
settlement, 
then 
the 
district 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
clearly 
fell 
within 
the 
British 
sphere 
of 
influence 
of 
southern 
Syria. 
And 
for 
that 
matter, 
if 
the 
wartime, 
1915, 
position 
was 
accepted 
as 
a 
basis 
of 
the 
settlement, 
then Trans-Jordan 
would 
have 
bordered 
on 
the 
'Holy 
Land 
of 
Islam', 
with all 
the 
complications 
that 
this 
would 
have had. 
This 
was 
the 
situation 
up until 
1916, 
and 
as 
the 
above 
quoted 
Foreign Office 
memorandum 
stated: 
'the 
history 
of 
the 
disputed 
districts 
since 
the 
revolt of 
Sherif Hussein 
in 1916 
is 
very complicated. 
' 
63 
Certainly 
the 
issue 
was 
less 
clear 
cut, 
a 
fact 
which was compounded 
by 
the 
success 
of 
the 
Arab 
Revolt. 
On 
6 
July 
1917, 
the Arab 
army captured 
Aqaba, 
and 
Hussein's troops 
were 
to 
occupy 
the 
port until 
1919. However, 
with 
the 
defeat 
of 
the Ottoman 
forces, 
British 
interests 
started 
to 
assert 
themselves. 
As Gilbert 
Clayton, 
then 
a 
Brigadier General 
with 
General 
Allenby's 
general 
head- 
quarters, 
noted 
in 
a minute: 
Occupation 
of 
to 
a number 
o 
result 
in 
the 
hereafter 
., 
shouU 
remain 
war. 
Akaba 
by 
an 
Arab 
force 
is 
open 
f 
objections 
... 
it 
might 
Arabs 
claiming 
that 
place 
it 
is 
essential 
that Akaba 
in 
British 
hands 
after 
the 
At the 
end 
of 
the 
war, 
the 
former 
ottoman 
territories 
in 
the 
Fertile Crescent 
were 
divided into 
a 
number 
of areas 
called 
occupied 
Enemy 
Territory 
Administration 
- 
(O. 
E. T. 
A. 
). 
O. 
E. T. A. 
(east) included 
the 
areas 
to 
the 
east of 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
and came 
under 
the 
control 
of 
Feisal 
in 
Damascus, 
it 
was 
during 
the 
period of 
the 
O. 
E. 
T. A. 
s 
that 
the 
confusion 
182 
started, 
for 
the Foreign 
Office 
admitted 
that 
'Ma'an 
may 
or 
may 
not 
have been 
intended 
to 
fall 
within 
that 
area. 
'65 
However, 
Allenby 
seemed 
to 
have 
assumed 
that 
Aqaba 
did 
in 
fact 
form 
part 
of 
O. E. T. 
A., though 
not 
to 
offend 
Hussein, 
Colonel 
C. E. 
Wilson, 
(British 
Resident 
Jedda) 
informed 
the 
king 
that 
'the 
present 
arrangement 
is 
purely 
temporary, 
and 
Akaba 
must 
soon 
cease 
to 
be 
a military 
base; 
until 
then 
all 
that 
is 
required 
is 
for 
these 
officials 
[in 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba] 
to 
refer 
to 
Damascus 
for 
their 
instructions 
as 
they 
do 
now. 
66 
The 
issue 
of 
the 
status 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
in 
the 
period 
from 
the 
end 
of 
the 
war until 
July 
1920 
was academic. 
In 
this 
period, 
as 
Britain 
attempted 
to 
redefine 
her 
policies 
towards 
the 
Middle 
East, 
especially 
in 
the 
light 
of a 
full 
scale 
rebellion 
in 
Mesopotamia, 
the 
question 
was 
of minor 
importance. 
The 
area 
stretching 
from 
Damascus 
in 
the 
north 
to 
Jedda 
in 
the 
south was 
divided between 
two 
client 
Hashemite 
states, with a 
common, 
ill-defined 
boundary, 
if 
it 
can 
be 
called 
that, 
meeting somewhere 
in 
the 
vicinity 
of 
the 
Gulf 
of 
Aqaba. However, 
the 
eviction 
of 
Feisal 
from 
Damascus 
in 
July 
1920, 
the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah 
at 
Ma'an 
in 
November, 
and 
the 
constitution 
of 
the 
Amirate 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as part of 
the 
British 
mandate of 
Palestine, fundamentally 
changed 
the 
situation. 
From 
1921 
onwards, 
Britain, 
for 
the 
benefit 
of 
the League 
of 
Nations, 
had 
to 
define 
the 
limits 
of 
her 
mandatory 
responsibilities. 
This 
was 
to 
prove 
no 
easy 
task. 
During 
the 
interregnum, 
- 
that 
is 
from 
the 
removal 
of 
Feisal 
until 
Abdullah's 
arrival 
in 
Amman, 
- 
British 
policy 
in 
183 
the territory 
was 
confined 
to the 
appointment of 
half 
a 
dozen 
political 
officers-to 
the 
main 
towns, 
and 
to 
reminding 
the 
French that Britain 
would not 
tolerate 
any 
involvement 
south 
of 
the Sykes-Picot 
line. 
The 
most southerly officer 
was 
Alec 
Kirkbride 
in 
Kerak. When 
the 
question 
arose 
about 
whether 
Aqaba 
was 
in 
his district, 
the 
Foreign 
office 
replied: 
that 
if 
a 
buffer 
state 
was created 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan, they 
would certainly 
claim 
Aqaba, 
especially 
if 
a port could 
be 
developed 
there, 
but 
that 
for 
the 
sake of 
amicable 
relations 
with 
King Hussein 
we 
do 
not wish 
to take 
up 
a 
definite 
attitude 
as 
g9gards 
drawing 
of 
frontiers 
in 
this 
area. 
The Foreign Office 
was not 
prepared 
to 
risk 
further 
aggravating 
King Hussein's 
temper. 
During the 
first 
year 
that Abdullah 
was 
Amir 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
the 
most 
important 
issue 
was 
the 
consolidation 
of 
his 
authority 
in 
the 
north-western 
area 
around 
Amman, 
However, 
as 
Philby 
was 
to 
note 
in 
March 
1922: 
The 
boundary 
between 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
Hejaz 
is 
somewhat 
doubtful, 
but 
for 
practi- 
cal purposes 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
government 
confines 
its 
attention 
to 
the 
territories 
north 
of 
Wadi 
el 
Hasa, 
while 
the Amir 
him- 
self 
exercises 
a vague 
sort 
of 
personal 
control over 
the 
Ma'an 
area. 
... 
It 
is 
very 
desirable 
that 
the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
boundary 
should 
follow 
the 
railway 
southwards at 
any 
rate 
as 
far 
as 
Tabuk 
or 
Madain Saleh, 
but 
it is 
doubtful 
if 
the 
King 
[of 
the 
Hejaz] 
will 
consent 
to 
ggy curtail- 
ment of 
his 
existing 
frontiers. 
It 
is interesting 
to 
note 
that, 
at 
this 
early 
stage, 
the 
Amir's 
regime exercised 
authority 
only 
as 
far 
south 
as 
Wadi 
al 
184 
Hasa 
which 
is 
just 
south 
of 
Kerak. 
As 
for 
his 
control 
of 
Ma'an, this 
seems 
to 
have 
stemmed 
from 
a personal 
agreement 
with 
his 
father 
and 
dating 
to 
the time 
he 
arrived 
there 
in 
November 
1920.69 
In 
effect, 
this 
meant 
that 
Abdullah's 
authority 
in 
Ma'an 
was 
derived 
from 
a 
different 
source 
than 
that 
which 
secured 
his 
position 
at 
Amman. 
As 
for 
Philby's 
suggested 
frontier 
at 
Tabuk 
or 
Madain 
Salih, 
- 
reflecting 
as 
it did 
the 
1915 
Ottoman 
Vilayet 
of 
Damascus 
boundary, 
- 
this 
would 
have 
met 
strong 
Hejazi 
opposition, even assuming 
the 
Colonial office 
and 
war 
office 
were prepared 
to'accept 
an 
extension 
of 
their 
commitment, 
which 
they 
definitely 
were 
not. 
Up 
until 
the 
summer of 
1922, 
the 
question 
of 
the 
status 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
was 
clearly 
not as urgent 
as 
the 
situation 
in 
the Wadi Sirhan 
and 
the 
whole 
question of 
Trans-Jordan's 
frontier 
with 
the 
Nejd. 
As Abdul Aziz 
was 
the 
main 
threat 
to 
Abdullah 
this 
is 
hardly 
surprising. 
As 
a result of 
the 
Ikhwan 
* 
It 
is 
of 
interest 
th 
study, 
PETRA 
(London 
Petra, 
and 
therefore 
Not 
only 
did he 
gain 
Abdullah 
and 
Hussein 
also 
states: 
at 
Sir Alexander 
Kennedy's 
scholarly 
1925). 
firmly 
puts 
the 
site 
of 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba, 
in 
the 
Hejaz. 
the 
goodwill 
and agreement of 
to 
conduct 
his 
surveys 
in 
1922/3, 
he 
In 
1923 
I 
had 
the 
pleasure 
of 
being 
the 
guest 
at 
the 
Amir's 
camp 
in 
Petra, 
and 
in 
1923 
I 
received 
from 
King Hussein, 
in 
his 
camp 
at 
Shumet 
Nimrin, 
a 
very cordial 
permission 
of 
which 
I 
took 
full 
advantage, 
to 
establish 
my 
own 
camp 
and 
invite 
my 
own guests 
at 
Petra. 
(pV 
Petra). 
The 
map at 
the 
beginning 
of 
the 
book 
also 
clearly 
puts 
the 
district 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
in 
the 
Hejaz, 
though no 
specific 
Hejaz 
- 
Trans-Jordan boundary is 
hazarded. 
185 
raid 
of 
August 
1922, 
and 
the 
need 
to 
meet 
the 
Wahhabi 
threat, 
it became 
necessary 
for 
Britain 
to 
define 
a 
line, 
north 
of 
which 
Abdul Aziz 
was not 
to 
concern 
himself. 
The 
abortive 
Kuwait 
conference was 
the 
first 
real 
indication 
that the 
Colonial office 
wanted 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
included in 
Trans-Jordan. The 
attempted 
three 
cornered 
horse 
trading, 
by 
which 
Trans-Jordan 
would 
gain 
control 
of 
the 
area 
in 
return 
for 
concessions 
over 
the Wadi 
Sirhan 
and 
the 
Nejd- 
Hejaz 
border, 
was 
doomed 
to 
fail. 
The 
failure 
of 
this 
confer- 
ence 
left 
Abdul 
Aziz 
no alternative 
other 
than to 
resort 
to 
war. 
The 
invasion 
of 
the Hejaz 
which 
began 
on 
29 
August 
1924, 
and 
before 
the 
final 
disappearance 
of 
the Hejaz, 
confronted 
the British 
government 
with 
a 
serious problem which 
could 
have 
future 
ramifications, 
not only 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
but 
also 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Egypt. 
The 
situation, even 
before 
the termination 
of 
the 
Kuwait 
conference, 
had 
been 
considerably 
complicated when 
King 
Hussein 
visited 
Trans-Jordan 
arriving at 
Aqaba 
on 
9 
January 
and 
returning 
to the Hejaz 
on 
24 
March 
1924. 
While 
in 
Amman 
he 
virtually 
took 
over 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
territory, 
and one of 
his 
last 
moves 
before 
leaving 
Aqaba 
on 
24 
March 
was 
to take 
over 
the 
contested 
area. 
As 
Hubert Young 
minuted: 
'at 
the 
present moment we 
are 
faced 
with 
the 
following 
position: 
- 
King Hussein 
has detached 
Ma'an 
and 
Akaba 
from 
Transjordan and 
has 
constituted 
them 
with 
Tabuk 
into 
a 
Vilayet 
of 
the 
Hedjaz'. 
70 
In 
June, 
Samuel 
was 
to 
inform 
the 
Colonial 
office 
that 
Hussein 
seemed 
to 
be 
in 
full 
control 
of 
the 
Vilayet 
of 
186 
Ma'an 
and 
that 
Hejazi 
troops 
were 
reported 
to 
be in 
the 
area. 
An 
attempt 
to 
recruit 
troops 
from 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
into 
the 
Hejazi 
army 
by 
Crown Prince 
Ali, 
on 
the 
other 
hand, 
was 
unsuccessful. 
71 
However, 
the 
complexion 
of 
the 
matter 
changed 
abruptly 
with 
the 
start of 
the Hejaz 
war. 
Up 
until 
then, 
'the 
question 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Akaba' 
the 
Foreign 
office 
noted, 
'had 
been 
one 
for 
negotiation 
of a 
friendly 
kind 
with 
King 
Hussein... 
' 
but 
that 
'the 
King's 
obstinate 
character... 
made 
such 
agreement 
impossible, 
and 
to the 
very 
end of 
his 
reign, 
he 
refused 
to 
yield. 
'72 
With 
his 
abdication 
on 
30 
October 
1924, 
this 
was no 
longer 
the 
case. 
In 
view 
of 
the 
serious 
implications 
of a 
Nejdi 
victory, 
it 
became 
clear 
that 
steps 
had 
to 
be 
taken 
to 
ensure 
control 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
before 
the 
Hejaz 
disappeared 
from 
the 
map. 
As 
Thomas 
informed 
Samuel: 
H. 
M. G. 
regard 
Transjordan 
as extending 
to 
a 
point 
south 
of 
Ma'an 
on 
the Hedjaz 
railway... 
Abdullah 
should 
be 
invited 
to 
consult 
with 
his 
brother 
Ali 
for 
the 
immediate 
r, 
?rocession 
to 
Transjordan 
of 
the 
Ma'an 
area. 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
the 
British 
Resident, 
Bushire, 
forwarded 
to 
the 
Political 
Agent, 
Bahrain, for 
communication 
to Abdul 
Aziz 
the frontier 
the 
Colonial 
office 
considered 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
the 
Hejaz-sector; 
which 
crossed 
'the 
Hejaz 
railway 
in 
the 
neighbourhood 
of 
Mudawwara 
to 
a 
point 
on 
the Gulf 
south 
of 
Akaba'. 
74 
In 
order 
to 
prevent 
any 
further 
Wahhabi 
raids 
into 
Trans- 
187 
Jordan 
on 
the 
scale 
of 
August 
1924, 
the 
Colonial Office 
requested 
Prideaux 
in 
Bushire to transmit 
a warning 
to 
Abdul 
Aziz that the 
'Sultan 
may 
rest 
assured 
that 
His Majesty's 
Government 
will 
take 
precisely 
the 
same action should 
similar 
circumstances arise again 
... 
and 
if 
they 
were 
brought 
into 
conflict 
with 
British 
forces 
as a result 
of 
their 
ill-advised 
75 
and aggressive action 
they 
only 
have 
themselves to thank. 
' 
On 
18 
October 
1924, 
the 
Palestine 
administration 
issued 
instructions 
to Henry Cox, 
the 
Chief 
British Representative, 
Amman: 
It 
is 
desired by 
His Majesty's 
Government 
that 
the 
Amir 
should 
take 
immediate 
steps 
to 
concert with 
King Ali 
with a 
view 
to 
arranging a 
definite 
frontier between 
the 
two 
countries, on 
the 
assumption 
that 
such 
frontier 
should 
cut 
the 
railway at 
Mudawarra 
or some 
point 
in 
the 
neighbourhood of 
that 
station. 
It 
is 
also required 
that 
access 
to 
the 
sea7gt 
Akaba 
should 
be 
secured 
to Trans- 
Jordan. 
Clayton, 
that 
same 
day, 
had informed 
the 
Colonial office 
that 
'Akaba 
town 
is 
necessary 
if 
Trans-Jordania 
ever 
wishes 
to 
have 
a 
port on 
the 
Gulf'. 
77 
On 
25 
October, 
Abdullah 
agreed 
to 
open 
negotiations with 
Ali; 
78 
though Clayton 
saw 
fit 
to 
ask 
the 
Colonial 
office 
for 
permission 
to 
occupy 
the 
area 
should 
Ali 
abdicate 
before 
these 
negotiations 
were completed, 
79 
However, 
London 
was unwilling 
to 
bring 
undue 
pressure 
to 
bear 
on 
Ali, 
or 
to 
put 
forward 
too 
extravagant 
a claim 
to territory 
which 
would 
embarrass and undermine 
the 
position 
of 
the Hejaz: 
In 
present uncertainty 
as 
to 
Ali's 
future 
and 
that 
of 
Hedjaz 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
4 
188 
are unwilling 
to 
bring 
pressure 
to 
bear 
upon 
him: 
in 
any case 
His Majesty's 
Government 
are not 
prepared 
as at present advised 
to 
sanction 
any attempt 
to 
include 
Tebuk 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
Question 
of 
inclusion 
of 
town 
of 
Akaba 
is 
one 
for 
negotiation 
although 
it 
seems 
scarcely 
practicable 
to 
proceed 
with 
matter 
until86he 
Hedjaz 
situation 
has 
become 
more stable. 
At this 
stage, 
Abdullah 
requested permission 
to 
go 
to 
Jeddah 
in 
order 
to 
speed 
up 
the 
process 
of 
gaining control 
of 
Ma'an, 
an 
action 
which 
Samuel 
was not 
prepared 
to 
countenance. 
81 
In 
this, 
the 
Colonial office 
concurred, as 
Shuckburgh 
informed 
the 
Foreign Office: 
'the 
Emir 
Abdullah 
should 
be 
informed 
that 
at 
this 
critical 
juncture 
in 
Arabian 
affairs 
it is 
most 
inexpedient 
that the 
ruler of 
Trans-Jordan 
should 
absent 
himself from 
that territory$. 
82 
It 
was 
not 
particularly 
surprising 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
perturbed 
by 
the 
situation 
in 
the 
Hejaz 
and 
against 
Britain's 
declared 
policy of neutrality. 
As 
Cox 
noted: 
The 
news 
of 
the 
invasion 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
by 
Ibn 
Saud 
has been 
a great 
blow 
to the Amir 
who 
has 
left 
no 
stone unturned 
in 
his 
endeavours 
to 
induce 
?Js 
Majesty's 
Government 
to 
intervene. 
While 
the 
position of 
the 
Hashemites 
in 
the 
Hejaz 
was 
deteriorating 
almost 
daily, 
especially 
after 
the 
beginning 
of 
the 
siege 
of 
Jeddah 
on 
6 
January 
1925, 
the 
status 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
was 
further 
complicated 
by 
the 
arrival 
of 
ex-King 
Hussein. 
Not 
only 
was 
Hussein's 
presence 
an 
embarrassment 
to 
the 
British, 
and 
could 
be 
viewed as 
a 
breach 
of 
her 
policy 
of 
neutrality 
in 
the Hejaz 
war, 
it 
was 
also 
antagonistic 
in 
that 
189 
it laid 
Aqaba 
open 
to 
an 
attack 
by 
Abdul 
Aziz. 
As the Foreign 
Office 
noted, 
Hussein 
'carried 
out 
continual 
intrigues 
with 
Amir Abdullah 
against 
the 
invading 
Wahhabis. The 
provocation 
eventually 
became 
so 
great 
that 
in 
spite of 
His Majesty's 
Government's 
warning of 
October 
1924, 
Abdul Aziz 
decided 
to 
dispatch 
a 
force 
against 
Akaba 
in 
May 
1925'. 
84 
These 
threatening 
circumstances 
forced 
the Colonial 
office 
to 
issue 
two 
ultimata, 
one 
to King Hussein 
ordering 
him 
to 
leave 
Akaba 
immediately. 
85 
This 
he 
complied 
with 
in 
June 
1925 
and 
he 
went 
into 
exile 
in 
Cyprus. 
The 
second 
ultimatum 
was 
to 
Abdul 
Aziz: 
Any 
unprovoked 
aggression on 
your 
Highness' 
part would 
be 
regarded 
as 
an attack upon 
territory 
from 
which 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
are 
responsible. 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
cannot 
allow 
Akhwan 
forces 
to 
violate 
the 
frontier 
laid down, 
and 
if 
an 
Akhwan 
force 
attempts 
to 
enter 
Akaba, His 
Majesty's 
Government 
will 
inevitably 
be 
compelled 
to take 
such 
steps as 
are 
necessary 
to 
prevent 
or 
eject 
them... His 
Majesty's 
Government 
are 
taking 
steps 
to 
establish 
the 
authority 
of 
the 
Transjordan 
administration 
in 
the 
whole 
area within 
the 
boundgy 
communicated 
to 
you 
in 
October 
last. 
Hussein's 
departure 
clearly 
prevented 
a 
possible 
confrontation 
between 
the 
British 
and 
Abdul 
Aziz, 
and 
the 
latter 
called 
off 
his 
planned attack. 
87 
The 
only 
remaining 
obstacle 
was 
for 
Abdullah 
officially 
to 
occupy 
the 
area 
and 
to 
repatriate 
Hejazi 
soldiers. 
As Samuel 
informed 
the Secretary 
of 
State 
on 
22 
June 1925: 
The 
situation 
in 
regard 
to 
the 
occupation 
of 
the Maan Vilayet by 
the 
Trans Jordan 
190 
Government 
has 
clearly 
been 
relieved 
by 
the 
departure 
of 
Hussein 
from 
Akaba. Ali 
has 
sent 
a satisfactory 
message 
on 
the 
subject 
to 
Abdullah 
who 
now 
proposes 
to 
leave 
Amman 
for 
Haan 
on 
Thursday 
June 
25th 
in 
order 
to 
make preliminary 
arrangements 
there. 
MacEwen 
(who is 
acting 
Chief British 
Repre- 
sentative) 
accompanied 
by 
two 
other 
British 
Officers 
and 
about 
one 
hundred 
Arab 
Legion 
together 
with 
armoured 
cars will 
follow 
Abdullah 
on 
Saturday to 
take 
stock of 
local 
situation 
and 
lay 
out aerodrome. 
It 
will 
be 
necessary 
to 
give 
consideration 
to 
question 
of 
disposal 
of 
Hedjaz 
soldiery who 
have 
large 
arears 
of salaries 
due 
to them, 
but 
Abdullah 
is 
now 
confident 
that 
occupation 
can 
be 
effected 
without 
opposition and 
I 
agree 
that 
fggther 
delay 
is 
very 
inadvisable. 
By the 
end of 
June, 
the 
occupation 
of 
Ma'an 
was 
working 
smoothly 
where 
'the local 
notables 
gave 
the 
Amir 
Abdullah 
a 
good 
reception'. 
89 
On 
27 
June 
1925 
Abdullah 
proclaimed 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
to 
be 
part of 
Trans-Jordan: 
On the 
authority 
of, 
His Hashemite Majesty 
King Ali, King 
of 
the 
Holy Hejaz, 
we 
declare 
the 
districts 
of 
Maan. 
and 
Akaba to 
be 
part 
of 
the 
Amirate 
of 
Transjordan. 
On 
behalf 
of 
our 
people and 
Government 
we 
exp56ss 
our 
heartfelt 
thanks 
to 
His Majesty. 
I 
At 
this 
point, 
it 
would 
be 
useful 
to turn 
and examine 
briefly 
the 
stand of 
the British 
government, 
for 
the 
extension of 
mandated 
territory 
was not 
without 
its 
controversy. 
The 
most 
interesting 
point 
of 
the 
whole affair 
was 
the 
confusion of ownership. 
As 
the Foreign office 
noted 
in 
1926, 
'Trans-Jordan's 
claim 
to the 
ownership 
of 
Akaba 
and 
Ma'an 
as against 
the 
claim 
of 
King 
Hussein 
was 
never 
entirely 
established'. 
91 
In the 
period 
from 
the 
end 
of 
the 
Great 
War 
until 
1925, 
the British 
government 
never 
made 
a 
clear cut 
191 
statement 
on 
the 
ownership 
- 
the 
issue 
seems 
to 
have been 
left 
over 
for 
a 
friendly 
settlement 
with 
Hussein. 
It 
was 
a 
matter 
of 
conflicting 
opinion 
among 
British 
officials as 
to 
whether 
it 
was 
part 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
or 
Trans-Jordan; 
certainly, 
the 
stand 
they 
took 
was 
that 
it 
was 
part 
of 
mandated 
territory 
under 
the 
temporary 
control 
of 
the 
Hejaz. 
The Hejazi 
claim was 
based, 
on 
the 
other 
hand, 
on 
wartime 
conquest. 
For the 
period 
1920-4 
it 
would seem 
that 
the 
general consensus 
was 
that 
it formed 
part 
of 
the 
Hejaz. 
However, 
when 
it 
became 
clear 
that 
the 
Hashemite 
Kingdom 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
was soon 
to 
disappear 
off 
the 
map, 
Britain 
had 
clear strategic 
interests in 
ensuring 
that 
Abdullah 
gained 
control. 
Britain 
claimed 
the 
area 
on 
the 
basis 
of 
the 
fact 
that 
it had 
previously 
formed 
part 
of 
the 
Vilayet 
of 
Damascus. 
However, 
it 
was 
admitted 
that, 
'the 
administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was not, 
however, 
extended 
at 
the 
time 
[19241 
to 
include 
Maan 
and 
Akaba, 
which were 
allowed 
to 
remain under 
the 
administrative 
control 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
government. 
' 
92 
Up 
until 
1925, 
the 
area was considered 
to 
be 
under 
the 
de 
facto 
control 
of 
the 
Hejaz. 
The 
presence 
of 
Hussein 
throughout the 
spring of 
1925, 
and 
his 
activities 
there, 
only 
helped 
reinforce 
this 
view. 
As the Committee 
of 
Imperial 
Defence 
noted: 
Ex-King 
Hussein 
... 
has 
taken 
refuge 
in 
Aqaba 
and 
as 
that 
place 
has 
continued 
to 
remain 
under 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
Hedjaz 
government, 
Ibn Saud 
has 
considered, 
and 
rightly considered, 
that 
it is 
being 
used 
as a 
port 
from 
which munitions are 
bei$g 
forwarded for 
use 
against 
his 
forces 
192 
Only 
with 
the 
removal 
of 
Hussein 
on 
3 
June 1925 
was 
Britain 
prepared 
to 
take 
up 
the 
commitment 
to 
defend 
Aqaba 
and 
Ma'an 
and 
sanction 
its 
inclusion into 
Trans-Jordan. Even 
as 
the 
Britih 
were about 
to 
occupy 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba, 
King 
Ali 
managed 
one 
last 
protest, 
probably 
in 
the 
vain 
hope 
of 
British 
intervention in 
aid 
of 
the 
Hejaz: 
The Hejaz 
government consider 
Ma'an 
and 
Akaba 
as part of 
Hejaz territory 
... 
Moreover 
the 
country 
is 
defending its 
very 
existence and 
the 
separation 
of 
this 
zone 
from 
it 
would 
lead 
to the 
isolation 
of 
Medina, 
the 
second of 
the 
two 
holy 
places, 
and 
would 
undoubtedly expose 
that 
city 
to 
all 
kinds 
of 
pressure 
and 
decay; 
and 
the 
cutting 
of communications 
with 
Medina, 
especially 
in 
the 
present circumstances, 
would 
be 
i94all 
respects 
a real 
disaster 
to 
the Hejaz. 
I 
As 
for 
Abdul Aziz, the 
British 
consistently 
made 
it 
clear 
to 
him 
that the 
area 
was closed 
to 
him. 
The 
last 
thing 
the 
Colonial 
and 
Foreign Offices 
wanted 
was a 
situation 
whereby 
Abdul 
Aziz 
shared 
a common 
frontier 
with 
Palestine= 
or, 
in 
the 
unlikely 
circumstances of 
a complete 
British 
withdrawal 
from 
the Gulf 
of 
Aqaba, 
with 
Egyptian Sinai. 
In Geneva, the Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
was not 
entirely 
satisfied with 
the 
legal 
position 
surrounding 
the 
occupation 
of 
the 
area. 
For 
the British 
government, 
Col. 
Symes 
stated: 
King 
Hussein 
had 
marched 
into 
the 
country 
and set 
up a 
primitive 
form 
of 
administ- 
ration. 
The 
mandatory 
administration 
had 
started negotiations 
for 
his 
withdrawal 
from 
mandated 
territory, 
but 
King 
Hussein 
had 
abdicated 
from 
the 
throne 
of 
the 
Hedjaz 
193 
before 
these 
negotiations 
had been 
completed. 
The Mandatory 
Administration 
had 
thereupon 
taken 
possession 
of 
the 
country. 
The 
fact 
that 
the 
Amir Abdullah 
was 
the 
son 
of 
King 
Hussein 
necessitated a certain 
tac45 
in 
dealing 
with 
the 
latter's 
encroachment. 
It 
was not until 
1925 
that 
Britain 
was able 
to 
check 
the 
relevant 
Turkish 
documents 
in 
order 
to 
inform 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
of 
the 
legal 
position of 
this 
addition 
to 
mandated 
territory. 
96 
This 
bore 
out 
the Damascus 
Vilayet 
basis. 
Nevertheless, 
this 
was not 
the 
end of 
the 
matter, 
for 
there 
still remained 
the 
attitude 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
after 
the 
final 
conquest of 
the Hejaz 
in 
December 1925. 
Throughout 
the 
. 
war, 
Abdul Aziz 
made only 
threatening 
noises 
towards 
Aqaba 
and 
Ma'an, 
and after 
the 
removal 
of 
Hussein 
to 
Cyprus, 
he 
made 
no 
further 
moves 
in 
that 
direction. 
This 
was not 
to 
say 
that 
he 
had 
renounced any claim 
to the 
disputed 
territory. 
This 
was 
soon 
made clear when 
the Muslim 
Congress, 
held 
in 
Mecca 
in 
July 1926, 
referred 
to 
the 
annexation of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba, 
though 
'the 
official 
delegates 
refrained 
from 
voting 
or 
discussing 
these 
questions, 
as 
they 
considered 
them 
outside 
the 
competence 
of a conference called 
solely 
for 
religious 
purposes'. 
97 
However, 
a 
letter 
from 
Abdul 
Aziz to the 
congress 
was 
passed 
(with 
Egypt, 
Afghanistan 
and 
Turkey 
abstaining) 
as 
a 
resolution. 
It 
stated 
that: 
As 
the 
Akaba 
and 
Maan 
areas 
are 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
territories 
belonging 
to 
the 
Moslems 
[i. 
e. 
part 
of 
the 
Holy 
Land 
of 
Islam] 
... 
and 
as 
Sherif 
Ali, 
son of 
Sherif 
Hussein, has 
agreed 
with 
his 
brother 
Abdullah 
to 
have 
194 
them 
separated 
from 
the 
Hejaz 
and annexed 
to 
Transjordania, 
... 
and as 
Sherif Ali 
was 
not 
a 
legal 
King 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
... 
and as 
Trans- 
jordania is 
under 
a non-Moslem 
country 
in 
a 
new arrangement 
called mandate 
... 
we 
ask 
the 
ruler 
of 
the 
Hejaz to 
endeavour 
to 
reannex 
Akaba 
and 
Maan to the 
Hejaz 
by 
all 
means and 
toggsk 
the 
Moslem 
world 
in 
general 
to 
help him. 
The 
controversy 
was 
obviously 
not 
dead, 
and 
as 
British 
representatives prepared 
to 
open 
negotiations 
in 
order 
to 
define 
the 
new 
circumstances, 
the 
issue 
needed 
a 
final 
solution. 
In 
pursuit of what was eventually 
to 
become 
the 
Treaty 
of 
Jeddah, 
the 
Foreign 
office 
was even prepared 
to 
barter 
the 
area 
in 
return 
for 
the 
successful 
conclusion 
of 
this 
treaty. This 
idea 
brought 
a 
barrage 
of 
protest 
from 
Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo, 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
and 
the 
Air 
Ministry, 
99 
THE TREATY 
OF 
JEDDAH 
20 
MAY 
1927 
(THE 
HEJAZ 
- 
TRANS-JORDAN 
FRONTIER) 
The Hadda 
and 
Bashra 
agreements of 
2 
November 
1925 
defined 
the 
respective 
frontiers, 
and 
other 
matters, 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
with 
the 
Nejd. 
with 
the 
fall 
of 
the Hejaz 
to 
the 
forces 
of 
Abdul 
Aziz 
in 
December 1925, 
a new situation 
existed 
which affected 
not 
only 
the 
status 
of 
Britain's 
, 
relations 
with 
Abdul 
Aziz, 
but 
also 
the 
question 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan's frontier 
with 
the 
Hejaz 
- 
and 
therefore 
the 
position 
of 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba. 
The 
Treaty 
of 
Jeddah 
of 
20 
May 
1927 
satisfied 
the 
first issue, 
while 
an 
exchange 
of 
notes at 
the 
end 
of 
the 
treaty 
went some 
way 
towards 
recognising 
a 
de 
facto 
195 
frontier between the 
Hejaz 
and 
Trans-Jordan. 
100 
With 
the 
final 
conquest 
of 
the 
Hejaz, 
it 
was 
decided 
in 
London 
that 
a protocol 
should 
be 
attached 
to the 
proposed 
Anglo-Saud 
treaty 
which 
would 
acknowledge 
the 
frontiers 
as 
defined 
by 
the 
British 
Government. However, 
at negotiations 
held 
with 
Stanley 
Jordan 
(British 
Resident, Jedda, 
1925-6), 
Abdul 
Aziz 
initially 
laid down 
a 
claim 
to 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba. 
Faced 
with 
British 
opposition, 
he 
then 
proposed 
that 
the 
whole 
issue 
should 
be 
left 
out 
of 
the 
negotiations. 
101 
Having 
originally 
demanded 
its 
return 
before 
the Islamic 
conference 
of 
1926, Abdul 
Aziz 
was 
in 
a somewhat 
difficult 
position, 
as 
a 
Foreign 
office 
memorandum stated: 
He 
declared 
that 
the 
question 
was exciting 
grave 
concern 
in 
the 
Moslem 
world 
and 
had 
been 
seized 
upon as 
a weapon 
for 
agitation 
against 
him, his 
enemies spreading 
-the 
rumour 
that 
he 
was 
about 
to 
cede a portion 
of 
the 
Holy 
Land 
of 
Islam to 
Great Britain; 
he 
begged 
therefore that 
the 
question 
should 
be 
left 
over 
till 
a more 
favourable 
moment, 
but 
he 
stated 
his 
readiness 
to 
pledge 
himself 
not 
to 
raise 
the 
subject 
or question 
the 
occupation and 
administration 
of 
the 
district 
by1&?e 
officers 
of 
His Majesty's 
Government. 
Any 
possibility 
of a 
Foreign 
office 
compromise 
over 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
in 
return 
for 
a 
treaty 
was 
looked 
upon 
with 
horror 
by 
the 
Colonial Office 
and 
British 
officials 
in 
the 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
administrations. 
As 
Lord 
Plumer 
informed 
Shuckburgh 
on 
30 
December 
1926: 
I 
hope 
you will 
let 
the 
S. 
of 
S. 
know 
that 
I 
attach 
the 
greatest 
importance 
to 
the 
retention 
of 
Akaba 
for 
the 
future, both 
for 
196 
the 
development 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Palestine 
and 
for 
Imperial 
reasons. 
Akaba 
will, 
I think, 
make 
183lot 
of 
difference 
in 
the 
future. 
And 
in'January, 
Lord 
Plumer 
re-emphasised 
the 
dangers 
involved: 
I 
hear 
that 
the 
political 
future 
of 
the Maan 
district 
and 
Aqaba 
may 
be 
reviewed 
by 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
in 
connection 
with 
present 
negotiations 
for 
a new 
treaty 
with 
Ibn Saud, 
and 
I 
feel 
it 
my 
duty 
to 
submit 
that 
in 
my 
opinion any arrangements 
whereby 
these 
places 
might 
be 
excluded 
from 
the 
British 
mandatory area would create a very 
dangerous 
situation 
in 
the 
rest of 
Trans- 
jordan 
and1?a 
contrary 
to British imperial 
interests. 
This 
was a 
view shared 
by 
the Air Ministry, 
and as a 
Colonial 
Office official 
minuted on 
the 
above 
dispatch, '... 
I 
under 
stand 
that 
the 
F. 
O. 
are 
no 
longer 
likely 
to 
press 
us 
to 
make 
a 
A 
105 
concession 
to 
Ibn Saud 
in 
the 
matter of 
the 
frontiers. 
' 
When Sir Gilbert 
Clayton 
returned 
to 
Jedda 
in 
May, 
he 
again 
pressed 
Abdul Aziz 
to 
accept 
a 
protocol, a move which 
he 
was not 
prepared 
to 
concede 
'claiming 
that 
such a step 
would 
expose 
him 
to the 
violent 
criticism 
both 
from 
his 
friends 
and 
his 
enemies 
and 
that 
he 
could 
not 
afford 
to 
risk undermining 
his 
position. 
106 
Abdul Aziz then 
proposed 
that 
he 
would 
guarantee, 
in 
writing, 
to 
maintain 
the 
status 
quo. 
107 
Abdul 
Aziz 
modified 
his 
stand under 
pressure 
from 
Clayton, 
and 
finally 
agreed 
that 
an exchange 
of 
notes 
would 
suffice. 
In 
his 
letter 
to 
Clayton: 
... 
we 
note 
that His 
Majesty's 
government 
adhere 
to their 
position, 
but 
we 
find it 
197 
impossible, 
in 
the 
present 
circumstances, 
to 
effect 
a 
final 
settlement 
of 
this 
question. 
Nevertheless, 
in 
view of our 
true 
desire 
to 
maintain 
cordial 
relations 
based 
on solid 
ties 
of 
friendship, 
we 
desire 
to 
express 
to 
your 
Excellency 
our 
willingness 
to 
maintain 
the 
status 
quo 
in 
the 
Ma'an 
- 
Aqaba 
district, 
and 
we 
promise not 
to 
interfere 
in 
its 
administration 
until 
favourable 
circumstancTa8will permit a 
final 
settlement. 
With this 
exchange 
of 
letters, 
attached 
to 
the 
Treaty 
of 
Jeddah, 
the 
final frontiers 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
defined. 
Although 
this-mechanism 
was not as 
totally 
satisfactory 
as 
a 
straight 
forward 
protocol, 
it 
remained 
the 
basis 
of 
the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
- 
Saudi 
Arabia 
frontier 
until 
1965 
when 
the 
frontier 
was 
amended 
to 
give 
Jordan 
a coastline 
of 
19 
kms,, 
south 
of 
Aqaba 
in 
return 
for 
concessions 
further inland. 
6 
198 
CHAPTER 
SIX 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. Shwadran, 
B. 
Jordan A State 
of 
Tension 
(New 
York 
1959) 
p. 
154. 
2. 
CO 
733/24 
Samuel to 
Churchill, 
30 
August 
1922. 
3. CO 
733/21 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 
1 
April 
22. 
Report 
on 
T. 
J. 
28/11/21 
- 
31/3/22. 
4. 
P. M. 
C. 
4th Session 
11th 
Meeting, 
30 
June 
R24. 
5. 
Documents 
on 
British 
Foreign Policy Vol. 
13 
[hereafter 
D. B. F. P. 
13] Curzon 
to 
Samuel, 
6 
August 
1920. 
6. 
Ibid. 
loc. 
cit. 
7. 
D. 
B. 
F. 
P. 
13 
Samuel to 
Curzon, 
22 
August 
1920. 
8. 
Anglo-French 
Convention 
of 
Paris, 
23 
December 
1920. 
9. 
CO 
733/54 
2 
May 
1923. 
'Strategic 
Importance 
of 
Palestine' 
memo 
by 
Col. 
Meinertzhagen. 
10. CO 
733/45 
Clayton 
to 
Young, 
11 
May 
1923. 
11. 
CO 
733/47 
Clayton 
to 
Devonshire, 
20 
July 
1923. 
12. 
FO 
371/6343 
Cairo 
Conference, 
16 
March 
1921. 
13. 
Ibid. 
19 
March 
1921. 
14. 
Tripartite 
agreement 
for 
the 
partition of 
the 
ottoman 
Empire 
by 
Britain, 
France 
and 
Russia, 
26 
April 
- 
23 
October 
1916 
in 
J. 
A. 
S. 
Grenville The major 
international 
Treaties 
1914-1973 
p. 
31. 
15. 
Toynbee, 
Survey 
of 
International Affairs 
1925 
Vol. 
1, 
p. 
329. 
16. 
CO 
733/22 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 19 
May 
1922. 
17. 
India Office 
L/P 
& 
S/10/1033 
- 
990 
Note 
on 
the Trans- 
Arabian Railway 
by 
Major A. 
C. 
Griffin, 
Baghdad 
6 
January 
1922. 
18. 
Ibid. 
19. 
Ibid. 
20. 
Philby Papers 
,V 
File 
7, 
T. 
D. 
Cree 
to 
Philby, 
12 
August 
1929. 
21. 
Ibid. 
199 
22. 
Troeller, 
G. The 
Birth 
of 
Saudi 
Arabia 
(London, 
1976) 
p. 
192. 
23. For 
Philby, 
it 
was a scandal 
that the 
railway 
should 
be 
controlled 
by 
a non-Muslim 
body. 
Philby Papers III 
File 
3 
Philby to Lord 
Astor, 
22 
May 
1924. 
24. 
'A 
Modern Way 
: 
Ochsenwold 
p. 
7. 
III. 
The 
Hejaz 
Railway 
1900-48 
by 
W. 
L. 
Serjeant, 
R. B. 
& Bidwell, 
Arabian 
Studies 
25. 
for 
consideration of 
these 
two 
issues 
see 
G. 
Troeller 
The 
Birth 
of 
Saudi 
Arabia 
and 
B. Schwadran 
Jordan, A State 
of 
Tension. 
26 Philby Papers 
130 
November 
1921. 
27. CO 
733/18 
Churchill 
to Samuel, 
January 1922. 
28. 
Ibid. 
29. 
Bentwich, N. England 
in 
Palestine 
(London, 
1932) 
p. 
128. 
30. Collins, 
R. 
O. 
(ed. ), 
An Arabian Diary 
p. 
32. 
31, 
Troeller 
op. 
cit. 
p. 
191. 
32. 
Quoted 
in 
Ibid. 
p. 
191. 
33. 
CO 
733/18 
Churchill 
to Samuel, 
January 
1922. 
34. 
Ibid. 
35. 
CO 
733/18 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
20 
January 
1922. 
The 
historical 
claim 
of who should 
have 
Jauf, 
like 
everything else, 
does 
not seem 
to 
have 
a clear 
answer. 
On 
the 
one 
hand, in 
the 
same 
dispatch 
Philby 
stated 
that 
Jauf 
had, 
prior 
to 
1914, 
formed 
a 
part 
of 
the 
Vilayet 
of 
Damascus, 
and 
therefore 
could 
historically 
be 
claimed 
for 
Trans-Jordan. 
On 
the 
other 
hand 
British 
consul 
in 
Damascus, Palmer, 
stated on 
31/12/21 
that 
the 
Ruwalla 
under 
Nuri 
Sha'lan 
had 
not 
controlled 
Jauf 
prior 
to 
1914, 
but 
rather 
took 
it 
from 
Ibn Rashid 
during 
the 
war. 
[See 
Palmer 
to 
Curzon 
31/12/21 
in 
C. 0.732/2]. 
This 
puts 
a 
different 
complexion 
on 
Ibn 
Saud's 
claim, 
at 
Kuwait 
conference, 
that Jauf 
was 
his by 
right 
of 
the 
fact 
that 
he 
had defeated 
Ibn 
Rashid 
in 
1921. 
36. 
Monroe, E. 
Philby 
of 
Arabia 
p. 
122. 
37. 
CO 
733/22 
Kaf 
Philby 
to 
Samuel, 
9 
May 
1922. 
38. 
Ibid. 
39. 
CO 
733/24 
Philby to Samuel, 
30 
July 1922. 
200 
40. 
Ibid. 
41. 
FO 
371/7714 
Churchill to Samuel, 
28 
August 
1922. 
42. 
CO 
733/25 
Churchill 
to Samuel, 
9 
September 
1922. 
43. 
CO 
727/7 
Devonshire 
to Resident 
Bushire, 
8 
November 
1923. 
44. 
CO 
727/7 
Kuwait 
Conference 
Report 
8th 
Session, 
23 
December 
1923. 
45. 
CO 
727/7 
Kuwait 
Conference Report 
8th 
Session, 
23 
December 
1923. 
46. 
CO 
733/66 
Samuel 
to Thomas, 
12 
March 
1924. 
47. 
Even 
before 
the 
start of 
the 
Kuwait Conference, 
Philby 
stated 
that Abdul 
Aziz 
would 
not 
give up 
control 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan: 
Ibn 
Saud 
neither 
can nor 
will 
yield on 
this 
point 
and 
his 
claim 
to 
Kaf, 
based 
as 
it 
is 
on what 
he 
regards as 
his 
right... 
Moreover 
he 
knows 
that 
sooner 
or 
later 
Kaf 
will 
fall 
into his 
hands. 
(unless 
U. K. 
sends 
troops 
to 
defend it]. 
- 
C. 0.733/51 
Samuel to 
Devonshire 
[forwarding 
Philby's 
views] 
23 
November 
1923. 
48. 
CO 
727/7 
Conference 
Report 
Nejd 
reply 
to Trans-Jordan's 
demands, 
23 
December 1923. 
49. 
CO 
727/7 
Conference 
Report, 
26 
December 
1923. 
50. 
CO 
733/63 
Samuel 
to 
Devonshire, 
17 
January 
1924. 
51. 
Troeller, 
op. cit. 
p. 
207. 
52. 
Ibid. 
loc. 
cit. 
53. 
CO 
727/7 
Clayton 
to Young, 
27 
November 
1925 
forwarding 
Clayton's 
copy 
of 
Kuwait 
Conference Report. 
54. 
CO 
9351/1 
R. 
V. Vernon 
to 
Clayton, 
10 
September 
1925. 
55. 
- 
CO 
935/1 
'Clayton 
Report' 
Memorandum 
by 
G. 
Antonius 
on 
the 
eastern 
frontier 
of 
Trans-Jordan. Antonius 
stated 
that: 
'The 
results 
of 
my 
investigations 
go 
to 
show 
that 
it 
is 
imperative 
that 
the 
line 
proposed 
at 
the 
Kuwait 
Conference 
be 
moved 
eastwards 
in 
such a way 
as 
to 
coincide 
as 
nearly 
as possible 
with meridian 
38. This 
would 
mean 
that 
not 
only 
Kaf 
and 
the 
four 
Wadis 
but 
also 
the 
northern 
half 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan, 
would 
be 
included 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
territory, 
as 
far 
as 
a 
point 
roughly 
mid 
way 
between 
Waiset 
and 
Nabk. 
There 
are 
weighty 
2 01 ?E 
R 
yi 
- 
-mob 
reasons 
for 
this... 
' 
Apart 
from 
the 
strategic 
reason, 
above mentioned, 
Antonius 
isolated 
two 
other reasons 
for 
not 
giving up 
Kaf: 
economic 
- 
the Ruwalla 
and 
Beni Sakhr 
would 
be deprived 
of 
their 
natural 
grazing 
grounds, 
- 
and 
political 
- 
these 
two tribes 
would, otherwise, 
be 
open 
to 
Wahhabi 
propaganda. 
56. 
FO 
371/10815 
Air 
ministry 
to Foreign office, 
24 
January 
1925. 
57. 
CO 
935/1 
'Clayton 
Report 
on 
Mission 
to 
Ibn 
Saud'. 
Questions 
relating 
to Trans-Jordan No. 
7 
1925. 
58. 
CO 
935/1 
R. V. Vernon 
to 
G. Clayton, 10 
September 
1925. 
59. 
FO 
371/10817 
Acting Consul Jordan, 
(Jedda) 
to 
FO, 
4 
November 
1925. 
60. 
CO 
935/1, 
Clayton 
Report, 
eventually 
published 
as 
CMD 
2566. 
61. 
Ibid. 
62. 
Ibid. 
60. 
Kirkbride A. 
A Crackle 
of 
Thorns 
(London 
1962) 
p. 
29. 
61. 
CO 
733/121 'Transjordan's 
claim 
to Akaba 
and 
Ma'an' 
FO 
memorandum 
Mr. 
Mailer 
22 
Oct. 
1926 
(hereinafter 
FO 
Aqaba/Ma'an Study]. 
It 
is 
to 
be 
noted 
that this 
memo 
was 
written 
over 
a year after 
Ma'an 
and 
Aqaba 
had 
been 
incorporated into 
Trans-Jordan. 
62. 
Ibid. 
63. 
Ibid. 
64. 
quoted 
in 
Ibid. 
65. 
Ibid. 
66. 
Ibid. C. 
E. 
Wilson to 
King Hussein. 
67. 
FO 
371/5123 
Curzon 
to 
Samuel, 
20 
October 1920. 
68. 
CO 
733/21 
Philby 
report 
on 
Trans-Jordan, 28 
November 
1921 
- 
31 
March 
1922. 
69. 
Bentwich, 
Norman 
England 
in 
Palestine 
p. 
129. 
70. 
CO 
733/67 
Young 
Minute 
on 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
20 
April 
1924. 
71. 
CO 
733/69 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
13 
June 1924. 
202 
I 
72. 
CO 
733/121 
FO Aqaba/Ma'an 
study, 
22 
October 
1926. 
73. 
CO 
733/74 
Thomas to 
Samuel, 15 
October 
1924. 
74. 
CO 
727/8 
Bushire 
to British 
agent, 
Bahrain, 
20 
October 
1924. 
75. 
CO 
727/8 
Thomas to Bushire, 
30 
October 
1924. 
76. 
CO 
733/75 
Clayton 
to Cox, Jerusalem, 18 
October 
1924. 
77. 
CO 
733/74 
Clayton 
to 
Thomas, 
18 
October 
1924. 
78. 
CO 
733/75 
Cox 
to Clayton, 
26 
October 
1924. 
79. 
CO 
733/75 
Clayton 
to 
Thomas, 
1 
November 
1924. 
80. 
CO 
733/74 
Thomas 
to 
Clayton, 
30 
October 1924. 
81. 
CO 
733/75 
Samuel 
to Thomas, 
17 
November 
1924. 
82. 
CO 
733/75 
Shuckburgh 
to FO, 
20 
November 
1924. 
83. 
CO 
733/75 
Cox 
report 
on 
Trans-Jordan, 
31 
October 
1924. 
84. 
CO 
733/121 
FO 
Aqaba/Ma'an 
Study 
22 
October 
1926. In 
fact 
the British 
were 
in 
a 
impossible 
situation. 
If, 
as 
they 
claimed, 
Aqaba 
was 
part 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
then 
Hussein's 
presence 
there 
was 
a 
breach 
of 
British 
neutrality 
in 
the 
war. 
However, 
if it 
was 
part of 
the 
Hejaz, 
then 
Hussein's 
continued 
presence 
would 
provoke 
an attack 
by 
Ibn Saud 
against 
which 
Britain, 
because 
of 
her 
policy 
of 
neutrality, 
in 
theory 
would 
not 
intervene. 
85. 
CO 
733/93 
Samuel 
to Amery, 
'5 
June 1925. 
86. 
CO 
733/121 
op. cit., 
22 
October 
1926. 
87. 
CO 
733/94 
Bullard 
to 
FO, 
23 
June 
1925. 
88. 
CO 
733/94 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
22 
June 
1925. 
89. 
CO 
733/94 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
30 
June 1925. 
90. 
Graves, 
P. 
(ed. 
) 
Memoirs 
of 
King 
Abdullah 
p. 
217. 
91. 
CO 
733/121 
FO 
Aqaba/Ma'an 
Study. 
92. 
CAB 
16/60 
C. I. D. 
"Report 
and 
Proceedings 
of 
Sub- 
Committee 
on 
the 
situation 
in 
Akaba, 1925", 
4 
June 
1925. 
93. 
CAB 24/174 
No. 
315,3 
June 
1925. 
94. 
CO 
777/104. 
Bullard 
to FO 
forwarding 
Ali's 
response 
to 
occupation 
of 
Ma'an 
29 
May 
1925. 
203 
95. 
League 
of 
Nations 
P. M. 
C. 
Minutes, 
22 
June 
1926. 
96. 
British Government 
report on 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
1935. 
97. 
CO 
733/12 
Acting Consul S. R. 
Jordan 
(Jedda) 
to 
Sir 
Austen Chamberlain 
15 
July 
1926. 
98. 
CO 
733/121 
FO Aqaba/Ma'an Study, 
22 
October 
1926. 
99. 
see 
CO 
733/134 
- 
files for 
1927. 
100. 
CMD 
2951. 
101. 
FO 
371/12244. 
Jordan 
to 
Chamberlain, 
26 
January 
1927. 
102. 
FO 
371/14479. 
FO 
Memo 
on 
Ma'an, 
Aqaba 
question, 
3 
May 
1930. 
= 
103. 
CO 
733/134 
Plumer 
to 
Shuckburgh, 
30 
December 
1926. 
104. 
CO 
733/134 
Plumer 
to Amery, 
27 
January 
1927. 
105. 
Ibid. 
106. 
FO 
371/14479 
FO 
Memo 
on 
Ma'an 
Aqaba-question, 
3 
May 
1930. 
107. 
Ibid. 
108. CMD 
2951 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud 
to 
Clayton 
21 
May 
1927. 
I 
204 
CHAPTERSEVEN 
THE 
DEFENCE 
OF TRANS-JORDAN: 
BRITISH 
DEFENCE POLICY, THE FORMATION OF 
THE 
ARAB 
LEGION, 
AND 
THE TRANS-JORDAN FRONTIER FORCE 
(TJFF) 
INTRODUCTION 
One 
hot day 
in 
August, 
1920 
I 
crossed 
the 
Allenby Bridge 
into 
Transjordan. 
I 
was 
alone on 
horseback 
with 
a 
donkey 
carrying 
my 
camp-bed. 
It 
was not my 
first 
sight 
of 
the 
country 
where 
I 
was 
to 
spend 
the 
next 
nineteen years, 
as 
I 
had 
already 
travelled 
over part of 
it 
while 
serving 
under 
Lawrence 
in 
the 
Desert 
Campaign. 
This time 
I 
was 
sent 
by 
the Palestine Government 
to 
make 
a 
first 
hand 
report 
on 
the 
state 
of 
the 
country. 
Since 
the 
time 
when 
the Turks 
were 
driven 
out 
by 
the Allies 
there 
had begn 
no 
settled 
Government 
and 
chaos 
reigned. 
Thus, 
Captain 
Frederick 
G. Peake 
(previously 
of 
the 
Duke 
of 
Wellington's 
Regiment, 
lately 
of 
the Palestine 
Police) 
described 
the 
start of 
his journey 
to Amman 
which 
was 
eventually 
to 
lead 
to the 
formation 
of 
the Arab 
Legion. 
The 
last 
regular 
units of, 
the 
British 
army 
had been 
withdrawn 
from 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
in 
December 
1919. 
But 
now, 
as 
a 
result 
of 
Sir Herbert 
Samuel's 
meeting 
with 
Trans-Jordanian 
notables 
on 
21 
August 
1920, 
a 
handful 
of 
British 
officers 
were 
being 
sent 
back 
east 
in 
the 
hope 
of creating 
some 
sort 
of 
order 
without 
the 
redeployment 
of 
regular 
British 
forces 
(see 
Chapter 
2). 
Their 
task 
was 
to 
reorganise 
the Sherifian 
Gendarmerie, 
which 
already 
existed 
in 
their 
respective 
towns. 
This 
force 
dated 
from 
the 
time 
of 
King Feisal's 
administration 
in 
Damascus 
when 
he 
also 
held 
a 
loose 
control 
over 
what 
was 
to 
205 
become 
Trans-Jordan. 
Feisal 
recruited 
its 
members 
from 
the 
former 
Ottoman 
gendarmerie, 
with 
later 
additions 
of 
Arab 
recruits. 
F. 
G. Peake 
held 
the 
appointment of 
Inspector 
of 
the 
Gendarmerie. 
As 
Peake 
was 
to 
note 
in 
1939, 
'there 
can 
be 
no 
peace 
and 
security 
in 
Syria, 
Palestine 
and 
Sinai 
unless 
similar 
conditions 
prevail 
in 
Trans-Jordan'. 
2 
Under 
Peake 
a 
Reserve 
Force 
came 
into 
existence 
and 
it 
was 
this 
which 
was 
the 
forerunner 
of 
the Arab Legion. 
Needless 
to 
say, 
the 
organisation 
of 
the 
security 
forces 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
an 
efficient 
force 
was a near 
impossible 
task 
in 
the 
period 
before 
the 
arrival of 
Abdullah. 
However, 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
the 
main 
factor in 
ensuring 
the 
pacification 
and consolidation 
of 
Trans-Jordan during its 
first 
years. 
The 
Jaysh 
Al 
Arab 
- 
or 
to 
give 
it 
its 
more common 
English 
name, 
the Arab 
Legion 
- 
did 
not 
come 
into 
exitence until 
1 
July 
1923 
when 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
the Gendarmerie 
were amalgamated. 
The Arab 
Legion 
was 
expanded 
during 
the 
first half 
of 
the 
1920s, 
only 
to 
be 
cut 
back 
with 
the 
reorganisation 
of 
the 
Defence 
Forces 
during 
1926 
and 
1927. 
At this time the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
Frontier 
Force 
(TJFF) 
came 
into 
existence 
as a 
British 
imperial 
military 
unit 
under 
British 
officers 
to 
provide 
for 
the 
protection 
of 
both 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Palestine 
against 
external 
aggression. 
Units 
of 
the 
Royal 
Air 
Force 
were 
also 
based 
in 
the Amirate, 
and 
along 
with 
the 
occasional 
deployment 
of 
regular 
British 
army 
units 
from 
Palestine, 
played 
an 
important 
role 
in 
securing 
the 
peace 
of 
the territory. 
The 
purpose 
of 
this 
chapter 
is 
to 
examine 
the 
role 
of 
these 
units 
206 
in 
the 
development 
of 
British 
involvement 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
THE FORMATION 
OF 
THE 
RESERVE 
FORCE 
The 
first 
town 
that Peake 
visited 
was al 
Salt, 
where 
he 
visited 
the 
three 
British 
officials 
there. 
In 
his 
own words: 
'I 
was 
looked 
upon 
as an 
unnecessary 
interloper 
being 
frankly 
told 
that 
the three 
persons 
present 
were quite 
capable 
of 
looking 
after 
the 
gendarmerie 
without me'. 
3 
Of the 
districts 
which 
Peake 
visited, 
in 
Irbid 
in 
the 
north, 
Somerset 
had 
restored 
order 
by 
playing 
one 
tribe 
off against 
another, 
while 
in 
al 
Salt, 
Amman 
and 
Kerak, 
the British 
officials 
were 
not 
able 
to 
exercise 
much 
influence 
outside 
these towns. 
4 
Peake 
found 
that 
the 
police 
were 
a shambles and 
had 
no authority 
at 
all. 
As 
a result 
of 
the 
breakdown 
in law 
and order, 
he, 
... 
asked 
for 
and 
received 
permission 
to 
enlist 
150 
officers 
and men, 
with whom 
I 
hoped 
to 
establish 
some 
order 
in 
the 
immediate 
vicinity 
of 
the 
4 
towns 
where 
the 
British 
officers 
were 
-living. 
This 
force 
was 
known 
as 
the 
Reserve 
Force, 
that 
name 
having been 
given 
in 
order 
to 
show 
that 
it 
was a 
reserve 
to 
the Police 
Force 
and coul 
only 
be 
used 
at 
the 
request 
of 
the 
Police. 
Initially 
his 
recommendation 
was 
for five 
officers and 
one 
hundred 
men 
(seventy 
five 
cavalry 
and 
twenty 
five 
mounted 
machine 
gunners) 
and 
which 
came 
into 
existence 
in 
October 
1920. 
An 
additional 
two 
officers 
and 
fifty 
men were added 
in 
December 
1920. 
As 
a 
force, 
it 
was 
almost 
totally 
inadequate 
for 
the 
role of 
providing 
security 
along 
the 
road 
from 
Palestine 
to Amman 
and 
in 
the 
four 
towns 
where 
British 
207 
officers were posted. 
Nonetheless, 
a start 
had been 
made 
to 
bring 
Trans-Jordan 
under a 
degree 
of 
police 
control, 
and 
it 
naturally 
led 
to 
an 
increased 
British 
involvement 
in 
the 
affairs of 
the territory. Thus 
the Reserve Force, 
the 
fore- 
runner 
of 
the Arab Legion, 
came 
into 
existence 
some 
five 
months 
before 
Abdullah 
arrived 
in 
Amman 
from 
the 
Hejaz. 
Within 
one 
year 
this 
force 
was 
to 
number 
approximately 
700 
men. 
After 
Abdullah's 
arrival 
in 
Amman 
in 
February 
1921 
and 
the 
decision 
of 
Churchill 
at 
Jerusalem 
in 
March 
1921 
to 
recognise 
him 
as 
Amir, 
the Reserve Force 
went 
through 
a 
period 
of 
painful 
transformation. 
Shortly 
after 
the 
Jerusalem 
meeting, 
the. 
debate 
started 
in 
Palestine 
and 
London 
on 
the 
size and 
role of 
the 
locally 
recruited military 
forces. 
On 
17-19 
April, 
1921, 
Lawerence, 
Deedes 
(of 
the 
High 
Commission 
in 
Jerusalem) 
and 
Abramson 
(who 
had been 
recommended 
as 
first 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
in 
Amman) 
visited 
Amman. 
They 
were 
followed 
a 
few days 
later 
by 
Sir Herbert Samuel. 
In 
his 
discussions 
with 
the Amir, 
Abdullah 
suggested 
a 
force 
of 
'4,000 
men, 
cost 
to 
be 
defrayed 
by 
British 
government'6, 
in 
order 
to 
protect 
his 
prestige 
and 
to 
impose his 
will 
on 
the 
powerful 
tribes. 
Samuel 
recognised 
that 
a strong 
force 
was 
required, 
but he 
told Abdullah 
that 
the British 
government 
would 
not consent 
to 
bearing 
the 
cost 
of 
such 
a 
large 
force. 
He 
therefore 
recommended 
that Abdullah 
be 
authorised 
to 
recruit 
a 
force 
of 
750 
men 
at 
,a 
cost 
to 
the British 
government 
of 
1100,000. 
He 
also 
recommended 
that 
a 
proposal of 
Lawrence 
208 
that 
four 
British 
armoured 
cars 
be 
stationed 
in 
Amman 
should 
be 
accepted. 
7 
Churchill, 
in 
endorsing 
this 
suggestion, said: 
... 
to 
substitute 
for 
the 
aeroplanes an 
armed 
mob of 
4,000 is 
the 
exact 
contrary 
to 
what our 
interests 
require. 
750 
is 
the 
maximum 
I 
can contemglate 
in 
addition 
to 
the 
500 
civil 
gendarmes. 
At 
this 
time, 
Abdullah 
appointed 
a 
Syrian 
called 
Ali 
Kulki to, 
the 
position 
of 
Director 
of 
Security, 
an 
appointment 
which 
the 
French 
maintained 
strong 
objections 
to 
given 
Abdullah's 
declared 
aim, when 
he 
first 
arrived 
in 
Amman, 
of attacking 
Syria. 
To 
get around 
this 
problem, 
Samuel 
suggested 
that 
a 
British 
officer 
be 
appointed 
as 
Inspector 
of 
Gendarmerie, 
'taking 
orders 
from 
Abdullah 
through Chief 
British 
Representative, 
[a] 
course 
which 
Abdullah 
favours'. 
9 
This 
job 
Peake 
was 
to take 
on, 
and 
he 
commanded 
first 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
then 
its 
successor, 
the 
Arab Legion, 
throughout the 
period 
of 
this 
study. 
This 
raised 
another 
problem, 
was 
the 
British 
officer 
to 
hold 
only 
the 
position 
of 
inspector, 
or 
was 
he 
to 
have 
executive 
command 
of 
the 
force? 
Abdullah 
favoured 
the 
former 
role, 
with 
Peake 
in 
charge 
of 
drill, 
discipline, 
uniforms 
and 
rations, 
with executive 
control 
in 
the 
hands 
of 
an 
Arab 
officer. 
10 
Naturally 
enough, 
the 
British 
had 
objections 
to 
this 
proposal. 
Abdullah 
was 
prepared 
to 
extend 
the 
power 
of 
the 
inspector 
to 
include 
the 
conduct 
of 
officers. 
11 
What 
was 
required 
was an 
officer 
of 
field 
rank 
(i. 
e. 
Peake). 
This 
would 
have 
the 
added 
advantage 
that 
'he 
would 
be 
more 
likely 
209 
f 
to 
obtain an ascendancy 
over 
the 
Arab 
officers 
and 
gradually 
freeze 
out 
Ali 
Kulki 
and so 
become 
virtually 
in 
command 
while 
nominally remaining 
inspector$. 
12 
Throughout 
the 
period 
of 
the 
Reserve 
Force, 
Peake 
was 
de 
facto 
in 
command 
(Abdullah 
requested 
his 
appointment 
as 
Inspector 
with 
the 
rank 
of 
Miralai, 
equivalent 
to 
Colonel, 
when 
he 
visited 
Jerusalem 
from 
23 
to 
28 
May, 
1921. 
). 
Nonetheless, the 
issue did 
not 
go away, 
and when 
the Arab Legion 
came 
into 
existence 
in 
1923, 
the 
two 
options 
were still 
discussed. 
The 
position 
of 
Peake 
as 
Commanding 
Officer, 
rather 
than 
Inspector 
General, 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordan Defence 
Forces, 
was 
favoured 
because 
it 
gave 
Britain 
more 
control 
over 
it. 
13 
However, 
in his 
position 
as 
Commanding 
Officer, 
he 
filled 
a 
Trans-Jordanian 
government 
position, 
taking 
his 
orders 
direct from 
the Amir. 
During 
1921, 
the 
Reserve Force 
was 
slowly 
built 
up, 
though 
it 
was 
beset 
by 
many 
problems. 
In 
a speech 
that 
he 
gave 
in 
Amman 
on 
18 
April 1921, 
Samuel 
stated 
what 
British 
policy was 
to 
be 
(as 
a result of 
the 
Jerusalem 
agreement): 
It 
is 
hoped 
to 
maintain 
the Reserve 
Force 
at 
a 
higher 
standard 
of 
efficiency 
and 
strength. 
That 
force 
and 
the Gendarmerie 
will 
be 
used 
to 
maintain 
the 
authority 
of 
the Emir Abdullah 
and 
of 
the 
local 
Govern- 
ment 
... 
It 
is 
the 
determination 
of 
the 
British 
government 
that 
Trans 
Jordania 
shall 
not 
become 
a centre 
of 
hostility 
either 
to 
Palestine 
or 
to Syria, 
and 
in 
carrying 
this 
resolve 
into 
effect, 
they 
are 
glad 
to 
know 
that they 
can rely 
upon 
the 
coo?aration 
of 
His Highness 
the 
Emir Abdullah. 
In 
May, 
Churchill 
wrote 
to 
Abdullah 
to 
say 
that 
?100,000 
was 
the 
maximum 
amount 
that 
the 
British 
government 
was prepared 
to 
210 
spare, 
and stated 
that 
'I 
must 
accordingly 
ask 
Your 
Highness 
to 
do 
all you 
can with 
the 
lesser 
resources 
at 
your 
disposal'. 
15 
By 
Ocober 
1921, 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
nearly 
600 
strong, 
but 
it had 
'no 
rifles, 
little 
or not 
ammunition 
and 
no 
machine 
guns'. 
16 
Lawrence, 
who 
had 
gone 
to 
Amman 
on 
12 
October 
1921 
to 
report on 
the 
situation, 
found that 
the 
two 
British 
armoured 
cars 
were 
unserviceable. 
His 
report 
on 
the 
Reserve Force 
was 
damning, 
though 
he 
praised 
Peake 
for 
the 
work 
he had done 
on 
the Reserve 
Force. 
His 
comments 
on 
the 
Arab 
Units 
are 
worth recording 
here 
in full: 
Externally things 
are 
less 
satisfactory. 
At 
first 
people 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
said 
we 
were 
making an 
Army to 
smash 
them 
for 
our 
own 
purpose. 
Then 
as 
time 
went 
on 
they 
said 
we 
were 
purposely creating an 
inefficient 
force 
to 
give 
us an excuse 
for 
sending 
British 
troops 
across. 
The 
reason 
for 
this 
has 
been 
to 
delay 
in 
supplying equipment 
and 
mater- 
ials. 
Uniforms, 
saddles, machine 
guns, 
rifles 
have 
all 
been held 
up. 
Peake 
cannot 
show 
his 
men 
in 
public 
till they 
are 
reason- 
ably 
smart and 
till 
they 
have 
rifles, 
for 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
every 
man of military 
age 
carries, 
a rifle 
as 
a mark 
of self-respect, 
and 
Peake's, 
the 
so 
called 
Military 
Force, 
is 
the 
only 
unarmed 
body 
of 
men 
in 
the 
country. 
When this 
is 
set1?o right public 
suspicion 
will 
go 
to 
rest. 
(my 
emphasis) 
By November, the Reserve 
Force 
was 
much 
improved 
and 
it 
was 
reported 
that 
'after 
the 
rainy 
season 
this 
force 
should 
be 
ready 
to 
take 
the 
field between 500 
and 
700 
strong, 
well 
armed, 
equipped and 
drilled. 
'18 
The 
500 
strong police 
force, 
the 
gendarmerie, 
which was 
solely 
financed 
by 
the Trans-Jordan 
government, 
was 
next 
to 
useless. 
Four 
months 
after 
his 
arrival 
in 
Amman 
as 
Chief 
British Representative, Harry 
St. 
J. 
211 
Philby 
was 
convince 
that 
the 
best 
course 
of 
action 
was 
to 
disband 
the 
gendarmerie 
altogether 
and expand 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
to 
2,000 
men, 
a proposal 
which 
had 
the 
full 
backing 
of 
Peake. 
19 
In 
October 
1922, this 
proposal 
was 
supported 
by 
General Tudor 
(General 
Officer 
Commanding 
Palestine) when 
he 
reported 
on 
the 
Defence 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
He 
observed 
that 
'the 
Reserve 
Force 
is 
too 
small 
in 
numbers 
to 
adequately 
police 
the 
whole 
country'20 
and 
he 
recommended 
that 
the 
force 
should 
be 
increased 
to 
6,000 
men. 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
Samuel 
reported 
that 
as 
a 
Reserve 
Force 
it 
was 
not 
being 
used 
properly, 
with 
too 
many 
detachments 
spread 
throughout 
the 
country. 
Its 
correct role was 
'as 
a stationary 
force 
in 
reserve 
at 
some main 
centre'. 
21 
During 
the 
period 
up 
to 
1923, the 
Reserve 
Force 
was 
called upon 
on a number of occasions. 
At the 
early 
stages 
of 
its formation, 
it did 
not exactly 
cover 
itself 
in 
glory. 
The 
first 
trouble 
was 
in 
Kura 
(north 
of 
Irbid) 
in 
June 
1921, 
when 
Sheikh 
Kulayb Al 
Sharida 
of 
the 
Kura tribes 
refused 
to 
be 
integrated 
within 
Trans-Jordan. 
A Reserve 
Force 
detachment 
of 
125 
men 
was 
sent 
to 
the 
area, 
but 
was surrounded: 
fifteen 
men 
were 
killed 
and 
the 
rest surrendered. 
The 
debacle 
had 
at 
least 
one 
benefit 
for 
it helped 
to 
focus 
British 
attention 
on 
its 
various 
inadequacies, 
and when 
it 
was 
called 
upon 
in 1922 
to 
impose 
Abdullah's 
authority on 
Kerak 
it 
was more 
success- 
ful. 
Against 
the 
Wahhabi 
raids 
from 
the 
south, 
Trans-Jordan 
relied 
ultimately 
on 
the 
defensive 
umbrella 
provided 
by 
the 
RAF 
(of 
which 
more 
later). 
Against Wahhabi 
intrusions, 
a 
212 
force 
of 
250 
was 
sent 
to 
Kaf, 
at 
the 
northern 
end 
of 
the 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
in 
1922. 
The 
position was 
held by 150 
men-(sometimes 
as 
few 
as 
50) 
until 
1925 
when 
the 
fort 
was 
handed 
over 
to 
Abdul Aziz 
bin 
Saud. 
Throughout 
this 
period, 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
under 
Peake 
was 
largely 
responsible 
for 
the 
improved 
security 
conditions prevailing 
in 
the 
territory. 
THE ARAB 
LEGION 
Because 
of 
the 
small 
size 
of 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
the 
uselessness 
of 
the 
gendarmerie, 
it 
was 
felt 
necessary 
to 
reorganise 
and 
consolidate 
them 
into 
a single 
force 
in 1923. 
As 
Peake 
said 
of 
the 
gendarmerie 
in his 
previously 
quoted 
lecture 
to the Royal 
Central Asian Society: 
Lack 
of 
money 
to 
pay 
them 
properly, 
together 
with an ever 
increasing 
tendency to 
meddle 
in 
politics, 
had 
undermined 
their 
discipline 
and 
loyalty. 
It 
was 
therefore 
decided to 
combine 
this 
force 
with 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
to 
name 
the two 
the 
Arab Legion. 
I 
was 
placed 
in 
command 
and 
thus, 
for 
the 
first 
time, 
had 
a 
free hand 
to 
organise 
the 
public 
security25orces 
throughout the 
whole 
country. 
The 
Jaysh 
al 
Arab 
- 
the Arab 
Legion 
- 
came 
into 
existence 
on 
1 
July 1923. 
There 
was 
some 
initial 
opposition 
from 
the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
government, 
mainly 
because it 
lost direct 
control 
of 
the 
gendarmerie, 
but 
this 
opposition 
was put 
to 
rest 
as 
Amir 
Lewa 
Peake 
'.,. 
[was] 
considered 
as an officer 
of 
the 
Arab 
Army 
in 
executive 
command of 
the 
forces 
and responsible 
directly 
to 
23 
the 
Amir. 
' 
The 
powers 
of 
periodic 
inspection 
were 
vested 
in 
213 
the General 
Officer 
Commanding 
in 
Palestine. 
By 
October 
1923, 
the 
strength 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
was 
about 
1200 
and 
its 
efficiency 
was 
not 
in 
doubt. 
24 
However, 
during 
the 
second 
half 
of 
1923 
financial 
difficulties 
caused 
problems 
in 
the 
Arab 
Legion. 
In 
December 
1923, 
Peake 
reported 
that 
the 
'lack 
of 
funds 
is 
seriously 
affecting the 
efficiency 
of 
the 
force 
... 
and 
only 
by 
paying 
to 
me 
the 
money 
due 
to 
me 
in 
my 
budget, 
can 
I 
hope 
to 
keep 
up 
the 
discipline 
and efficiency 
of 
the 
force. 
This 
has, 
so 
far 
not 
been done 
any 
years 
since 
the 
force 
was 
raised'. 
25 
This 
problem, 
caused 
by 
Abdullah 
holding 
up 
money 
for 
the 
force 
was 
got 
over 
at 
the 
time 
by 
monthly 
payments 
being 
made 
direct 
by 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
to 
Peake 
(Finance 
is 
the 
subject 
of 
Chapter 
8). 
What 
then 
was 
the 
composition 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion? 
Peake 
and 
his 
second-in-command 
were 
the 
only 
British 
officers 
in 
the 
Force. 
In 
1924, the 
force 
comprised 
the 
following: 
4 
Squadrons 
of 
Cavalry 
4 
Companies 
of 
Infantry 
1 
Camel 
Company 
2 
Mountain 
Guns 
6 
Machine 
Guns 
(for 
which 
the 
personnel 
is 
mounted) 
1 
Headquarters 
Company 
of 
Band, 
Signallers 
and 
Servants 
(the 
HQ 
included Doct9 
s, 
Ordnance, 
Veterinary, 
Finance and 
Records). 
Although 
organised 
on 
military 
lines, 
the 
duties 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
were 
primarily 
of 
a 
police nature. 
Its 
duties 
were 
outlined 
in 
a 
report 
drawn 
up 
in 
1924 
by 
Peake: 
Public 
Security 
and 
Reserve 
to the 
units 
maintaining 
public 
security. 
The 
whole 
machinery 
of 
government rests 
on 
the 
units 
214 
employed 
on 
Public Security 
duty. 
Their 
duties 
are purely 
those 
of gendarmes and 
Mounted 
Police. 
Taxes 
are collected 
by 
the 
Arab 
Legion. 
Requirements 
of 
the 
Law 
Courts 
are 
executed 
by 
it. 
Enquiries 
into breaches 
of 
Peace 
are 
made 
by 
it. 
Minor 
disturbances 
are 
dealt 
with 
it. 
27 
In 
the 
furtherance 
of 
these 
roles, 
1 
Squadron 
of 
Cavalry 
and 
1 
Company 
of 
Infantry 
were 
deployed 
in 
each 
of 
Ajlun, 
Belga 
and 
Kerak 
with 
the 
rest 
as a static 
reserve 
in 
Amman 
and 
under 
training. 
28 
The 
Arab Legion 
was 
also responsible 
for 
the 
administration of 
the 
prisons. 
In December 
1924, 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
was 
inspected 
by 
the 
Air Officer Commanding 
Palestine, 
L. E. Gerrard. 
Reporting 
on 
the 
strength of 
the 
Arab 
Legion, 
he 
said: 
With the 
existing responsibilities of 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
the 
strength 
should not 
be 
reduced 
below 
1,000, 
at 
which 
strength 
the Force 
is 
only capable of 
coping 
with 
internal 
matters, and 
is 
inadequate 
to 
resist 
external 
aggression, 
for 
which 
specific 
purpose 
I 
consider 
the 
establishment 
should 
be 
raised. 
An 
additional 
establishment of 
300 
would 
be 
required 
in 
the 
event 
of 
the Ma'an 
District 
being 
iggluded 
in 
the 
sphere 
of 
the 
Legion. 
In 
February 1926, 
just 
before 
the 
formation 
of 
the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
Frontier 
Force 
in 
the 
next reorganisation 
of 
the 
Armed 
Forces, 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
took 
part 
in 
its 
last 
major 
incident 
of 
a 
military 
nature when 
it 
was engaged 
in 
the 
Wadi 
Musa, 
south 
of 
Ma'an. There 
the 
inhabitants 
revolted 
against 
the 
government 
and refused 
to 
pay 
taxes. 
The 
Arab Legion 
215 
suppressed 
this 
revolt and 
re-imposed 
order. 
30 
In 
1926, 
the Defence 
forces 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
reorgan- 
ised: 
the Arab 
Legion 
was 
reduced 
in 
size and 
redeployed 
in 
a 
police 
role, while a purely 
British 
imperial 
military 
unit, 
the Trans-Jordan 
Frontier Force 
was 
formed 
to 
take 
over 
the 
Arab Legion's 
military role. 
The 
strength 
of 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
of 
1,400 
was 
reduced 
to 
'855 
and 
lost 
its 
semi 
military 
character. 
It 
is 
now organised 
as 
a 
dismounted 
rural 
const- 
abulary'. 
31 
Those 
who 
were 
dismissed 
were 
largely 
recruited 
into 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier Force. The 
effect 
of 
this 
reorganisation was 
to 
strengthen 
the 
military 
position 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
to tie 
it 
more closely 
to the 
British 
military 
establishment 
in 
Palestine. 
As Lord 
Plumer 
informed 
the Colonial 
office 
on 
30 
October 
1925: 
I 
have 
adopted 
the 
principle 
that 
a clear 
distinction 
as 
regards 
functions 
and 
organisation 
must 
be 
made 
between 
the 
forces 
to 
be 
employed 
on 
normal police 
duties 
and 
those 
who 
may 
be 
required 
to 
engage 
in 
military 
operations. 
In 
conformity 
with 
this 
principle 
and 
with political 
require- 
ments 
I 
have 
provided 
separate 
establish- 
ments 
for 
police 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan 
on scales 
that 
will 
render 
each 
country 
as nearly 
as 
possible 
independent 
and 
self-contained 
as 
regards 
its 
internal 
security; 
and 
I 
propose 
to 
raise and 
organise 
as 
an 
Imperial 
unit 
a mounted 
regiment 
for 
service 
in 
both 
countries 
which, 
in 
the 
military 
sense 
and 
from 
the 
stand 
point 
o52mandatory obligations, 
cannot 
be 
separated. 
216 
BRITISH 
REGULAR 
UNITS 
IN TRANS-JORDAN 
Before 
going on 
to 
examine 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force, 
a 
word 
needs 
to 
be 
mentioned about 
the 
regular 
British 
units 
deployed 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
British 
strategic 
interests 
in 
the 
area. 
The 
emphasis of 
British 
defence 
policy 
was 
to 
encourage 
the 
formation 
and 
development 
of a 
local 
military 
force 
and 
to 
avoid 
a permanent 
British 
garrison 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
To 
protect 
Britain's 
strategic 
and other 
interests, 
a 
small 
RAF 
unit was 
based 
in 
Amman. The British 
garrison 
in 
Palestine 
was also 
periodically 
deployed 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
Although British 
troops 
were withdrawn 
from 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
in 
December 1919, 
with 
the 
arrival 
of 
Abdullah 
in 
1921 
and 
because 
of 
the 
slow start 
in 
organising 
the 
Reserve 
Force, 
and 
the 
total 
inefficiency 
of 
the 
gendarmerie, some 
British 
military 
back-up 
was 
necessary 
to 
protect 
the 
new 
commitments. 
After 
the Jerusalem 
meeting 
Lawrence 
proposed, 
and 
was 
supported 
by 
Samuel, 
that 
four 
armoured 
cars 
be 
permanently 
stationed 
in 
Amman. 
33 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
protec- 
tion 
against 
external 
attacks 
were 
put 
in 
the 
hands 
of 
the 
Royal 
Air 
Force. 
It 
also 
had 
a role 
as 
auxiliary 
to 
the 
Reserve 
Force 
for 
internal 
security. 
This 
was 
the 
first 
time 
that 
the 
British 
used 
the RAF 
to 
replace 
foot 
soldiers 
for 
policing 
purposes. 
In 
the Spring 
of 
1921, 
a 
flight 
of 
RAF 
bombers 
from 
Palestine 
- 
No. 
14(B) 
Squadron 
- 
was 
transferred 
to 
Amman, 
and 
was 
soon 
followed 
by 
the 
rest 
of 
the Squadron. 
34 
217 
In 
its 
role of 
protecting 
Trans-Jordan 
against 
external 
aggression, 
the 
Squadron 
was 
used 
against 
two 
Wahhabi 
raiding 
parties 
from 
the 
south. 
In August 
1922 
a 
1,500 
strong 
raiding 
party 
came as 
far 
as 
the RAF 
airfield 
at 
Ziza 
on 
the 
Hejaz 
Railway, 
but 
when 
a plane 
flew 
over 
this 
group, 
they 
dispersed 
and 
disappeared. 
In 
1924, 
a 
larger 
and more serious 
raid 
of 
some 
5,000 
Nejdis 
got 
within 
five 
miles 
of 
Amman. 
But 
on 
this 
occasion 
the 
RAF 
intervened 
and 
killed 
about 
500. 
The 
remain 
der 
fled 
south 
into 
the 
desert 
and 
only a 
handful 
safely 
returned 
to 
Riyadh. Without the 
presence 
of 
the 
RAF 
on 
this 
occasion, 
the 
raiding 
party 
would probably 
have 
captured 
and 
sacked 
Amman. 
In 
addition 
to 
securing 
Trans-Jordan 
against 
external 
aggression, 
the 
RAF 
was 
responsible 
for first 
surveying 
and 
then 
running 
the Air Route 
to 
Baghdad. This 
became 
a 
major 
British 
stategic 
interest 
and played no small 
part 
in 
ensuring 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
had 
a 
common 
frontier. 
The 
plan 
of 
an air route 
from 
Egypt 
to Baghdad 
and 
further 
east 
was 
developed by 
the Air 
Ministry 
in 
1921 
and 
the 
airfield 
at 
Amman 
was used 
as 
the 
'taking 
off 
station 
for 
the 
desert 
35 
By 
June 1921 
the 
route 
was 
surveyed 
section of 
the 
route. 
' 
and 
'... 
the 
Baghdad 
Air 
Mail 
came 
into 
being. 
It 
has 
since 
operated regularly. 
'36 
As Sir Gilbert 
Clayton 
(Chief 
Civil 
Secretary, Jerusalem) 
wrote 
in 
1923 
when 
considering relations 
between 
Nejd 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
'the, 
only 
thing 
we 
have 
to 
preserve 
is 
the Air 
Route 
to Baghdad, 
on 
which 
Ibn 
Saud 
should 
not 
be 
allowed 
to 
encroach, 
and 
it 
seems 
necessary 
that 
it 
218 
37 
should 
lie 
entirely 
within 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Iraq 
territory. 
' 
So 
it 
was, 
that Trans-Jordan 
became 
an 
important 
link 
in 
British 
Imperial 
Communications 
from 
the 
Mediterraneann 
to the 
Persian 
Gulf, 
and 
throughout the 
1920's 
serious 
consideration 
was 
given 
to the 
construction 
of an 
oil 
pipeline 
and 
even a 
railway. 
38 
As 
has been 
mentioned, 
British 
forces 
were also 
a 
back-up 
to the 
local 
forces 
in 
order 
to 
preserve 
internal 
security. 
In 
September 1923, 
the RAF 
armoured 
car 
force 
inflicted 
seventy 
casualties 
when 
it 
prevented 
the Adwan 
tribe 
from 
marching on 
Amman. 
Again, 
in 
1924, 
while 
Abdullah 
was 
absent 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
mecca, 
a 
squadron 
of 
the IX Lancers 
and 
fifty 
British 
gendarmes 
from 
Palestine 
were 
sent 
to Amman 
and 
Irbid 
when 
there 
was 
a 
breakdown 
of 
law 
and order 
in 
the 
" 
territory. 
39 
However, during 
the 
1920s 
no 
British 
army 
units 
were permanently stationed 
in 
Trans-Jordan but, 
as 
in 
the 
case of 
1924, 
units 
from 
the Palestine 
garrison 
could 
be 
swiftly 
deployed 
east 
of 
the 
river. 
THE TRANS-JORDAN 
FRONTIER 
FORCE 
(TJFF) 
As 
a 
result of 
the 
reorganisation 
of 
the 
military 
forces, 
the Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force 
was 
established 
on 
1 
April 
1926 
having 
been 
recruited 
from 
the 
disbanded 
Palestine 
Arab 
gendarmerie, 
and 
came 
under 
the 
local 
control 
of 
the 
RAF. 
* 
This 
incident is 
covered 
in 
Chapter 
Four. 
219 
The TJFF 
was purely a military 
unit, under 
British 
officers 
whose 
functions 
were 
twofold: 
'to 
support 
the 
Arab Legion 
in 
maintaining 
internal 
order 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
to 
protect 
40 
It 
was 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
Palestine 
against 
external 
attack. 
' 
also 
tasked 
to 
control 
the 
bedouin 
tribes 
in 
the 
area east 
of 
the Hejaz 
railway, 
and was 
used 
to 
patrol 
the 
border 
area 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
to 
stop 
armed 
bands 
crossing 
over 
into 
Palestine during 
periods 
of unrest. 
It 
was 
also 
used 
in 
support 
of 
the Civil Authorities 
in 
Palestine 
in 
the 
maintenance 
of 
law 
and 
order 
in 
the 
area 
west 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
41 
The 
external 
threat 
that 
it 
was 
designed 
to 
counter 
was 
from 
beyond 
the 
southern 
and 
south eastern 
frontiers 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
it 
was 
therefore 
deployed 
at 
Zerka 
and 
Ma'an. 
42 
Because 
it 
was 
designed 
also 
for 
the 
defence 
of 
Palestine, 
it 
was 
originally 
going 
to 
be 
called 
the 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan Frontier 
Force. 
43 
However, 
because 
this 
regiment 
was 
going 
to 
be 
stationed 
totally 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
for 
obvious 
political reasons 
the 
word 
'Palestine' 
was 
not 
used. 
Nevertheless, there 
was 
unease 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
about 
not only 
the 
reduction 
in 
the 
size 
of 
the Arab 
Legion 
but 
also 
because 
of 
the 
'advent 
of 
a 
'Palestine' 
force, 
the 
composition 
of 
which 
was 
to 
be 
partly 
Jewish' (of 
which 
more 
later). 
44 
Because 
of 
its 
role 
ultimately 
in 
the 
defence 
'Of 
Palestine, 
the 
cost of 
the 
unit 
was 
borne 
five-sixths 
by 
the 
government 
of 
Palestine 
and 
one-sixth 
by 
the 
government 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
though 
the British 
government 
provided 
a grant-in-aid 
to 
cover 
the 
cost 
to the 
Trans-Jordanian 
government*45 
it 
is 
worth 
noting 
that the 
TJFF 
was 
'administered 
by 
the 
Colonial 
office 
220 
1 
and 
by 
the War 
Office'. 
46 
Abdullah 
was 
uneasy 
about 
this 
unit 
and on 
18 
March 
1926 
he 
asked 
G. S. 
Symes 
(of 
the 
High 
Commissioner's 
Office, 
Jerusalem) 
whether 
the 
arrival of 
the 
unit 
in 
the 
territory 
was not 
in 
conflict 
with 
the 
principles 
of 
the 
independence 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Symes 
reported 
that: 
His Highness 
was visibly 
affected 
by 
the 
news 
that 
Palestine 
would pay 
a 
part 
of 
the 
cost of 
the 
Frontier 
Force 
and 
said 
that 
this 
put 
a new 
and, 
from 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
stand-point47 
an 
unfavourable 
complexion on 
the 
matter. 
Symes 
assured 
Abdullah 
at 
this 
meeting 
that 
though the 
Palestine 
government 
would 
bear 
most of 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
regiment, 
the 
unit 
would 
be 
an 
imperial 
one. 
The TJFF 
was 
recruited 
from 
the 
former 
Palestine 
Gendarmerie 
and 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
and, 
as an economy measure, 
it 
was 
initially 
trained 
in 
Palestine. 
48 
It 
moved 
to 
Amman 
in 
October 1926 
and 
its 
headquarters 
was 
set 
up 
in 
zerqa 
in 
April 
1927. 
Abdullah 
was appointed. 
Honorary 
Colonel 
of 
the 
Force. 
In 
1928, 
the British 
government 
reported 
that 
the total 
strength 
of 
the 
TJFF 
was 
677. 
Of 
these 
there 
were 
seventeen 
British 
officers 
and 
eleven 
British 
NCOs. 
There 
ws 
also 
one 
Jewish 
officer 
and 
twenty-six 
Jewish 
NCOs 
and 
troopers. 
49 
It 
was 
organised 
along 
British 
army 
lines 
with 
three 
cavalry 
squadrons 
and 
one 
camel 
squadron. 
50 
On 
31 
December 
1930, 
the 
51 
strength 
of 
the 
TJFF 
had 
grown 
to 
980 
(including 
reserves). 
Because 
the 
Palestine 
government 
bore 
most 
of 
the cost 
of 
the 
TJFF, 
the 
question 
of 
Jews being 
recruited 
into the 
221 
regiment 
arose. 
However, 
the 
British 
government 
recognised 
that 
the 
'enrolment in 
the 
Frontier Force 
of a 
large 
Jewish 
element 
would render 
this 
force 
not 
merely 
unsuitable 
for 
employment 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
but 
a 
positive 
menace 
to the 
tranquility 
of 
the 
country. 
'52 
The Jews 
of 
Palestine 
were resentful 
that 
they 
were 
excluded 
from 
a 
force 
that 
they 
had 
to 
pay 
for, 
and 
the 
issue 
was also 
raised 
in 
the 
House 
of 
Commons 
in 
February 
1926. The 
Colonial 
office 
recognised 
that 
it 
was a 
delicate 
matter 
'which 
needs careful 
consideration'. 
53 
The 
Colonial 
office 
believed 
that 
few 
Jews 
would 
wish or 
be 
encouraged 
to 
join 
the 
TJFF 
and 
Sir 
Samuel 
Wilson 
of 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
minuted 
to 
the Secretary 
of 
State 
that 
'I 
think 
our 
line 
should 
be 
not 
to 
exclude 
them 
in 
theory 
but 
to 
do 
so 
in 
actual practice'. 
54 
This 
was 
the 
position 
that 
was adopted, 
and 
in 
fact 
only 
a 
handful 
of 
Jews 
served 
on 
technical 
duties 
with 
the 
force 
in 
Amman. 
The 
issue 
was 
also 
raised 
by 
the 
Jewish Agency 
in 
1930 
when 
it 
proposed 
that 
the 
TJFF 
should 
be 
reorganised 
as 
a 
Palestine 
Defence 
Force. 
In 
a 
letter 
of 
23 
March 
1930 
by 
F. 
H. 
Kisch, 
the 
Jewish 
Agency 
proposed 
that 
the 
force 
should 
comprise 
one-third 
Jews, 
one-third 
Arabs 
and one-third 
Circassions. 
55 
Air Commodore 
PHL 
Playfair, 
the 
officer 
commanding 
the RAF 
in 
Palestine, 
noted: 
The 
small number 
of 
Jews 
at present 
in 
the 
Transjordanian 
Frontier force is 
not 
the 
result 
of 
any 
discriminating 
regulations 
as 
the 
Executive 
of 
the Jewish 
Agency 
would 
appear 
to 
suggest, 
but 
is 
due 
firstly 
to 
the 
fact 
that 
the 
rates 
of 
pay 
and conditions 
of 
service 
are 
not 
sufficiently 
attractive; 
and 
222 
secondly 
that 
the 
Jews 
themselves 
are 
fully 
aware 
of 
the 
prejudice 
with which 
they 
are 
regarded 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
I 
do 
not agree 
that 
the 
introduction 
of 
Jews 
in 
greater numbers 
would 
increase 
the 
reliability 
of 
the Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force. 
It 
is 
more 
likely 
to 
give rise 
to 
internal 
dissensions 
and 
thus 
weatgn 
the 
discipline 
of 
the 
force 
as a whole. 
The 
Chief 
British Representative, 
CHF Cox, 
observed 
that 
the 
TJFF 
was 
'an 
important 
factor 
in 
the 
maintenance 
of security 
in 
the 
country and 
being 
an 
Imperial 
Unit 
without 
any 
political 
taint 
is looked 
upon 
in 
friendship 
in 
the 
general 
scheme 
of 
things'. 
57 
The Officer 
Commanding the 
TJFF, 
Lt. 
Col. 
C. A. Shute, 
gave 
the 
practical 
reasons why 
there 
were 
so 
few 
Jews 
in 
the 
force, 
namely: 
the 
Jews 
were not popular 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
there 
were no 
facilities for 
Jewish 
families, 
the 
pay was 
not 
good enough 
for 
the 
Jews, 
and 
finally the 
political 
conditions 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
made 
it inadvisable 
to 
recruit 
Jews. 
His 
reasons 
against 
the 
Jewish 
Agency 
proposals 
were 
that they 
would 
require 
two 
regimental 
headquarters, 
it 
would 
lead 
to 
increased 
expenditure, 
and 
the 
force 
would 
need 
special 
supervisory/inspection 
officers. 
58 
However, the 
most 
convincing argument against 
the 
recruitment 
of 
Jews 
into 
the 
TJFF 
came 
from 
Air 
Commodore 
Playfair: 
'Jews in 
the 
TJFF 
would 
make 
it 
militarily 
impotent 
in 
a 
crisis', 
59 
It 
has 
already 
been 
noted 
that 
one 
of 
the 
duties 
of 
the 
TJFF 
was 
to 
police 
the 
bedouin 
tribes 
'of 
the 
desert 
areas 
of 
the 
country. 
In 
this 
task 
it 
was not 
particularly successful, 
as 
it 
was 
unable 
to 
prevent 
inter-tribal 
raids. 
The 
High 
Commissioner, 
Sir John 
Chancellor, 
when 
reporting 
on 
a 
raid 
by 
223 
the 
Ruwalla tribe 
on 
the 
Beni 
Sakr 
in 
1929, 
said 
that the 
reasons 
for 
the 
ineffectiveness 
of 
the TJFF 
were 
that the 
regiment 
was not mobile 
and 
that 
it 
had 
no 
experience 
in 
tribal 
work. 
60 
In 
fact, 
CHF 
Cox 
had 
reported 
to 
Jerusalem 
on 
19 
February 
1929 
that 
'the 
Frontier 
Force 
which 
should 
have 
been 
in 
touch 
with 
happenings 
in 
the 
desert 
have 
been 
entirely 
61 
In 
his 
recommendations 
Chancellor 
ignorant 
thereof 
... 
' 
pointed 
out 
that: 
... 
in 
consequence of 
the 
raising of 
the 
Trans-Jordan Frontier Force, the 
establish- 
ment of 
the Arab 
Legion 
was reduced 
to the 
minimum 
required 
for 
the 
discharge 
of 
ordinary 
police 
duties. 
But 
as 
the 
Trans- 
Jordan 
Frontier 
Force 
are 
not available 
for 
performance 
of 
police 
duties, 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
has 
not 
been 
relieved 
of any of 
those 
duties 
or 
responsibilities 
through the 
creation 
of 
the 
former force. 
At 
present, owing 
to the 
weakness of 
its 
establishment, 
the Arab Legion 
can provide 
only 
two 
men 
for duty 
east of 
the 
Hejaz 
Railway= 
and 
the 
officer 
Commanding, 
Arab 
Legion, 
has 
no 
force 
at 
his disposal 
at 
Headquarters to 
enable 
him 
to 
compel 
obedience 
to 
any 
instructions 
that 
may 
be 
given 
to 
th92tribes 
by 
the Transjordan 
Government. 
The Arab Legion 
depended 
upon a 
detachment from 
the 
TJFF 
for 
normal police 
duties 
among 
the 
tribes. 
He 
recommended 
that 
a 
Mobile 
Reserve 
Force 
of 
some 
thirty 
mounted 
men should 
be 
established as part of 
the Arab 
Legion. 
This 
recommendation 
was accepted, and 
the 
Desert 
Patrol 
of 
150 
men 
came 
into 
existence 
on 
16 
December 
1930 
under 
the 
command 
of 
Major 
John 
Bagot 
Glubb. 
63 
The 
basic 
principle 
behind 
this 
force 
was 
that 
the 
bedouin 
themselves 
would 
be 
used 
to 
keep 
the 
peace 
of 
the 
desert 
areas, 
and 
in 
this 
it 
proved 
to 
be 
very 
successful. 
224 
Within 
a matter 
of months 
by 
a 
combination 
of 
Glubb's 
personal 
ascendancy, 
the 
use of 
cash and 
ultimate 
use 
of 
force, 
peace 
had been 
established 
between 
the tribes. 
CONCLUSIONS 
With the 
formation 
of 
the 
Desert 
Patrol 
at 
the 
end 
of 
1930, 
the 
final 
addition 
was made 
to 
the 
security 
forces 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
history 
of 
the 
organisation 
of 
the 
local 
defence forces 
during 
the 
period 
1920 
to 
1930, 
from 
its humble 
origins of 
a small 
reserve 
force, 
through 
the 
formation 
of 
the 
Arab Legion 
in 
1923, 
to 
its 
downgrading 
in 
1926 
to that 
of a 
police 
force, 
was 
confused 
and 
beset 
with 
numerous 
problems. 
As 
a result 
of 
the 
disturbances 
in 
Palestine 
during 
the 
1930s, 
a 
Reserve Combat 
Force 
was 
formed 
thus 
giving 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
back its 
military 
character. 
Nonetheless, 
from 
it 
grew 
the 
only 
local 
Arab 
army 
to 
stand 
up 
to the 
Israeli 
Army 
in 
1948, 
and 
the 
present 
day 
army of 
Jordan. 
As 
for 
the Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force, 
it 
was 
the 
product of 
the British 
presence 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan. 
It 
remained 
in 
existence 
after 
Trans-Jordan's 
independence 
in 
1946. 
It 
was 
disbanded 
in 
1948 
when 
Britain 
relinquished 
its 
mandate 
for 
Palestine. 
225 
CHAPTER SEVEN 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. 
Peake 
Pa 
pers 
Box 
78/73/4 
Article 
on 
Arab 
Legion, 
in 
The 
Scotsman 
17 
March 
1956, 
Im 
perial 
War Museum. 
2. 
'Trans-Jordan' 
by 
Peake 
An 
nual 
Le 
cture of 
the 
Royal 
Central Asian 
Society, 
14 
June 
1939. 
RCAS 
Journal 
Vol. 
26 
1939. 
3. 
Peake Pa 
pers, 
Report 
on 
Police 
Situations 
in 
Amman 
Imperial War 
Museum. 
4. 
Ibid. 
5. 
Peake Pasha. A 
History 
of 
Jordan 
and 
Its 
Tribes 
(Miami 
1958) 
p. 
106. 
6. 
CO 
733/2 
Samuel 
to Churchill, 
21 
April 
1921. 
7. 
Ibid. 
8. 
Ibid. 
Churchill 
note on 
telegram. 
9. 
CO 
733/3 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
7 
May 
1921. 
10. 
CO 
733/3 
Samuel 
to Churchill, 
7 
May 
1921. 
11. 
CO 
733/3 
Report 
No. 
1 
on 
Trans-Jordan 
by 
Abramson, 
9 
May 
1921. 
12. 
CO 
733/3 
Report 
No. 
2 
on 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
Despatch 
of 
15 
May 
1921. 
13. 
CO 
733/45 
Samuel 
to Devonshire, 
1 
June 
1923. 
14. 
CO 
733/3 
of 
9 
May 
1921 
containing 
text 
of 
Samuel's 
speech. 
15. 
CO 
733/7 
Churchill 
to Abdullah. Despatch 
125 
of 
26 
May 
1921. 
16. 
CO 
733/7 
Young 
to 
Shuckburgh, 
Amman 
15 
October 
1921. 
17. 
CO 
733/7 
Lawrence 
Report 
of 
24 
October 
1921 
in 
2301/Pol 
Secret. 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill 
4 
November 
1921. 
18. 
CO 
733/7 
Samuel to Churchill, 
24 
November 
1921. 
19. 
CO 
733/20 
Philby 
Report 
on 
Trans-Jordan, 28 
November 
1921 
- 
31 
March 
1922,1 
April 1922. 
20. 
CO 
733/26 
12 
October 1922 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill. 
21. 
CO 
733/20 
Samuel 
to Devonshire, 
25 
October 
1922. 
226 
22. 
RCAS 
Journal 
Vol. 
26,1939 
p. 
388. 
23. CO 
733/49 
Clayton 
to 
Devonshire, 
7 
September 
1923. 
24. 
CO 
733/50 
Samuel 
to 
Devonshire, 
9 
October 
1923. 
, 
25. 
CO 
733/51 
Peake 
to 
Philby, 
Amman 
29 
October, 
1923. 
26. 
Somerset 
Papers 
(Doc. 
64) 
containing undated 
1924 
Report 
by 
Peake 
on 
Border 
and 
Security Matters 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
27. 
Ibid. 
28. 
Ibid. 
29. 
CO 
733/76. 
Gerrard to 
Acting 
Chief 
Secretary, 
Palestine, 
5 
December 
1924. 
O. 
Tegard 
Papers Box 
IV File 
1. 
The 
story of 
the Arab 
Legion. A talk 
on 
Palestine 
radio 
by 
Zaim 
E. 
W. 
Northfield 
Bey 
of 
13 
Feb. 
1938. 
St. Antony's 
Collage. 
31. 
British 
Government Report 
of 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
1926 
to 
League 
of 
Nations 
p. 
71. 
32. 
CO 
935/1 
Plumer to 
Thomas, 
30 
October 1925. 
33" 
CO 
733/2 
Samuel to 
Churchill 
21 
April 
1921. 
In 
fact 
only 
two 
armoured 
cars were sent 
to Amman. When 
Lawrence 
returned 
to 
Amman 
in 
October 
1921 
he 
found 
that 
they 
were 
not 
in 
a 
fit 
state and 
that they 
did 
not 
have 
any 
ammunition. 
34. 
Peake, 
A 
History 
of 
Jordan 
and 
Its 
Tribes 
p. 
106. 
35. 
Peake 
Papers. Trans-Jordan 
(unpublished 
manuscript) 
p. 
11. 
36. 
Ibid. 
37. 
CO 
733/45 
Clayton 
to 
Devonshire, 11 
May 
1923. 
38. 
In 
the 
end, 
only 
the 
pipeline 
was 
built 
(in 
1934). 
39. 
Peake Papers Box 
78/73/4 
File 
which 
covers 
Peake's 
period 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
p. 
27. 
(The 
confrontation 
between 
the 
British 
and 
Abdullah 
in 
the 
summer 
of 
1924 
is 
covered 
in 
detail 
in 
Chapter 
5). 
40. 
CO 
831/4 Chancellor 
to Amery, 
13 
March 
1929. 
41. 
CO 
831/10 
Lt. Col. C. A. 
Shute 
O. C. 
TJFF 
to 
Chief 
Secretary 
Palestine, 
28 
April 
1930. 
42. 
Ibid. 
227 
11 
43. 
CO 
733/112 
Plumer 
to 
Amery, 
5 
February 
1926. 
44. 
CO 
733/113 
Samuel to 
Thomas, 
19 
March 
1925. 
45. 
The 
1928 
Agreement. 
Article 
11. 
This 
method 
of paying 
for 
the TJFF 
lasted 
until 
1 
April 
1930 
when 
the 
costs of 
the 
force 
were allocated 
as 
follows: 
Palestine 
paid 
for 
quarter of 
the 
recurrent 
expenditure and all 
capital 
costs 
in 
Palestine 
while 
HMG 
paid 
for 
three 
quarters 
of 
recurrent expenditure 
and all 
capital 
costs 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
(CO 
831/10/79468) 
Draft 
instructions 
to the 
H. 
C. 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
1930). 
46. 
Hansard House 
of 
Commons 
24 
November 
1930. 
Vol 
245 
Col 
916 
W. 
A. 
by 
Dr. Shiels 
- 
Under Secretary 
of 
State 
Cols. 
47. 
CO 
733/113 
Note 
of 
Conversation 
with 
the Amir 
Abdullah 
by 
GS 
Symes 
on 
18 
March 
1926. 
48. 
In 
1926 
178 
men 
from 
the 
Arab Legion 
joined 
the TJFF, 
otherwise 
they 
would 
have been 
dismissed. 
CO 
733/120. 
Report 
on 
TJFF 
22 
September 
1926 
Air 
Ministry. 
49. 
The 
breakdown 
of races 
in 
the TJFF 
in 
1928 
was as 
follows: 
Arabs 
Brits. 
(Muslims) 
(Christians) 
Jews 
Officers 
17 841 
Warrant 
officers 
9--- 
Staff Sergeants 
2--- 
NCOs 
& 
Troopers 
- 
340 
89 
26 
Circassions 
Druze 
Sudanese 
Officers 
512 
Warrant officers 
--- 
Staff 
Sergeants 
--- 
NCOs 
& Troopers 
111 
11 51 
SOURCE: 
Report 
of 
British Government 
to the Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
on 
the 
administration 
of 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
1928. 
p. 
60. 
50. 
Hurewitz, J. C. 
Middle 
East 
Politics: 
The Military 
Dimension. 
(London 
1969) 
p. 
53. 
51. 
Br. Government Report 
to the 
League 
of 
Nations 
for 
1930 
p. 
82. 
52. 
CO 
733/113 
Plumer 
to Amery, 
19 
March 1926. 
53. 
CO 
733/121 
(FO/Parliament) 
Minute 
by 
Hubert 
Young, 
25 
February 
1926. 
0 
228 
54. 
CO 
733/121 
Wilson 
to Amery, 
5 
March 
1926. 
55. 
CO 
831/10 
Chancellor 
to Amery 
transmitting 
copy of 
letter 
from 
the 
Jewish 
Agency 
and 
views 
of 
O. 
C. 
RAF, 
Cox 
& 
O. 
C. 
TJFF. 
56. 
Ibid. 
OC 
RAF 
9 
May, 
1920 
Jerusalem. 
57. 
Ibid. 
Cox's 
views 
4 
May, 
1920 
Amman. 
58. 
Ibid. 
Lt. Col. 
Shute 
to Chief 
Sec. Palestine 
28 
April 
1930. 
59. 
Ibid. 
60. 
CO 
831/69421/107 
Chancellor 
to 
Amery, 31 
May 
1929. 
61. 
Ibid. 
quoted 
in 
Chancellor's 
letter. 
62. 
Ibid. 
63. 
Lias 
G. Glubb's 
Legion 
(London 
1956) 
p. 
82 
Glubb 
had 
previously 
served 
in 
Iraq. 
229 
CHAPTEREIGHT 
THE 
CONTROL 
OF FINANCE IN BRITISH 
TRANS-JORDANIAN 
RELATIONS 
1921-30 
INTRODUCTION 
From the 
very 
start of 
formal 
British 
responsibility 
for 
the 
affairs 
of 
Trans-Jordan, the 
territory 
was never 
in 
a 
position 
to 
balance 
its budget. 
To 
achieve a 
balance, 
Trans- 
Jordan 
relied on 
Britain 
for 
an annual 
grant-in-aid 
to 
make 
up 
the 
shortfall 
between 
revenue and expenditure. 
Britain 
was 
able 
to 
use 
this 
dependence 
to 
influence 
and, 
if 
necessary, 
to 
impose its 
policies on 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
was 
the 
case 
throughout 
the 
period of 
this 
study, 
which can 
be 
divided 
into 
two 
distinct 
periods. 
The 
first 
period, up 
to 
1924, 
can 
best 
be described 
as a 
laissez 
faire 
period 
when 
there 
was 
no 
strict 
control over 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
Amirate 
and 
how 
money 
was 
spent. 
Indeed, 
during 
the 
first four 
years of 
Abdullah's 
rule 
in 
Amman, 
a 
budget 
in its 
proper 
sense 
of 
the 
word 
just 
did 
not 
exist. 
The 
subsidy 
was 
paid without recourse 
to 
detailed 
accounts 
of 
revenue 
and 
expenditure. 
The 
second 
period, 
after 
the 
arrival 
of 
Henry 
Cox 
in 
1924, 
saw a 
complete 
change 
around with 
the 
imposition 
of strict 
financial 
control 
and 
the 
overriding 
rule 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
had 
to 
balance 
its 
books. 
When Abdullah 
stepped 
out 
of 
line, 
as 
he 
did 
in 1924, 
the 
control of 
the 
purse 
strings 
ultimately 
ensured 
that 
he 
would 
do 
as 
he 
was 
told. 
230 
During 
the 
decade 
under 
study, 
the 
grant-in-aid 
from 
the 
British 
exchequer, 
which 
amounted 
to 
?180,000 
for 
the 
financial 
year 
1921-2, 
was, with 
the 
exception 
of 
1923-4 
and 
1925-6, 
always 
reduced 
from 
one 
year 
to the 
next, 
and 
by 
1929- 
30 
it 
consisted 
of 
only 
?40,000 
(excluding 
another 
?36,975 
for 
the TJFF) 
Throughout 
the 
period, 
the 
subsidy was used 
to 
cover 
most, 
if 
not 
all 
of 
the 
cost of 
the Arab 
Legion, 
which 
the 
Trans- 
Jordanian 
government 
could 
not 
meet 
out of 
its 
limited 
revenues. 
Military 
expenditure, as a 
percentage 
of 
total 
expenditure 
throughout the 
1920s 
averaged 
out at 
about 
40%. 
The 
British 
grant-in-aid was not used 
for 
such 
items 
of 
expenditure 
as education, 
health 
care, 
judicial 
affairs 
and 
other such parts 
of 
the 
day 
to 
day 
administration of 
Trans- 
Jordan. During the 
early period 
it 
was also used 
to 
cover 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
Chief British 
Representative's 
office 
in 
Amman, 
and 
Abdullah's 
civil 
list. 
During 
the 
period, 
the 
guiding 
British 
principle 
was 
to 
attempt 
to 
attain 
a position 
whereby 
Trans-Jordan 
was self-supporting. 
* 
In 
this 
Chapter, 
I 
have 
tried 
to 
use 
either 
pounds 
sterling 
(L) 
or 
Palestinian 
pounds 
(?P) 
which 
were 
of 
equal 
value. 
The 
LP 
replaced 
the 
Egyptian 
pound 
(LE) 
only 
in 
November 1927. 
I 
have 
tried 
to 
avoid 
using 
?E, 
but 
this 
has 
not 
always 
been 
possible. 
231 
FINANCE 
DURING THE 
EARLY 
PERIOD, 
1921-4 
As 
a 
result of 
Churchill's 
meetings 
with 
Abdullah 
in 
March 
1921, 
certain 
financial 
undertakings 
were 
given 
to 
help 
establish 
an 
Arab 
administration 
in 
Amman. 
In 
financial 
terms 
this 
was 
to 
amount 
to 
a personal 
allowance 
to Abdullah 
of 
L5000 
a 
month 
as a 
form 
of 
'pocket 
money' 
during 
the 
first 
six 
months of 
the 
trial 
period. 
However, 
the 
grant-in-aid 
for 
the 
first financial 
year, 
1921-2 
came 
to 
much 
more. 
In 
all, 
E180,000 
was 
paid, 
and 
which 
can 
be 
broken 
down 
as 
follows: 
L30,000 
as 
a 
debit balance 
up 
to 
31 
March 
1921; 
?100,000 
to 
pay 
for 
the 
defence forces 
that 
Peake 
was raising; 
and 
E50,000 
for 
administrative 
services. 
1 
Sir Herbert 
Samuel 
was 
informed 
by 
the 
Colonial 
Office 
in 
July 
1921 
of 
the 
condition 
that the 
subsidy 
was 
to 
be 
paid: 
The 
grant of 
financial 
assistance 
to Trans- 
Jordania 
must, 
in 
future, 
be 
conditional 
upon 
the 
High Commissioner 
being 
satisfied 
that 
such assistance 
is 
really 
required 
after 
efficient measures 
have 
been 
taken to 
collect 
the 
revenue 
due, 
and 
propel care 
has 
been 
exercised 
in 
its 
expenditure. 
The 
quotation 
from 
the 
above 
memorandum 
went on 
to 
say 
that, 
in 
February 
1922, 
Samuel 
... 
was 
informed 
that 
it 
was necessary 
to 
furnish, 
for 
consideration 
of 
His 
Majesty's 
Government, 
estimates 
of 
total 
revenue 
and 
expenditure 
of 
Trans-Jordania; 
that 
the 
former 
should consist 
of 
the 
receipts 
from 
all 
sources 
classified 
under 
main 
heads 
of 
revenue 
and 
the 
latter 
of 
all 
expenditure 
similarly 
classified 
and 
including 
the 
Political 
and 
Reserve 
Force 
Expenditure, 
and 
that 
the 
amount 
by 
which 
the 
expenditure 
exceeds 
the 
revenue 
by 
any 
sum remaining 
on 
232 
, '! 
hand 
should 
represent 
approximately 
the 
amount 
required 
to 
be 
provided 
from 
His3 
Majesty's 
Government 
as 
a 
Grant-in-Aid. 
As the 
total 
revenue 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was an 
important 
factor 
in determining the 
size 
of 
the 
subsidy 
to 
be 
paid 
to 
Abdullah, 
it 
would 
be 
useful 
to 
consider 
the 
revenue 
system 
of 
the territory 
that 
he 
inherited in 
1921. 
The taxation 
system 
at 
the time 
of 
the 
Jerusalem 
Conference 
was a 
shambles 
inherited 
from 
the 
Ottoman 
period. 
Taxes 
were 
levied 
only 
on 
land 
and agricultural 
produce. 
In 
all, 
there 
were 
four 
types 
of 
taxes: 
a 
tithe 
on agricultural 
produce; an animal 
tax; 
a 
house 
and 
land 
tax; 
and 
a 
road 
tax. 
4 
The 
collection 
of such 
taxes 
depended 
upon government 
control 
and security 
extending 
over 
the 
territory, 
a state 
of 
affairs which 
did 
not 
exist 
in 
1921. 
Throughout the 
first 
few 
years, 
the 
localised 
rebellions of 
Kura 
in 
1921, 
Kerak 
in 
1922 
and 
Adwan 
in 
1923 
were all 
basically 
caused 
by 
a refusal 
to 
pay 
taxes. 
The 
only 
way 
to 
increase 
revenue was 
to 
improve 
agricultural 
output 
and 
impose 
a 
systematic 
system 
of 
tax 
collection. 
To 
achieve 
this, the 
authority of 
the 
government 
had 
to 
extend 
throughout 
the 
land, 
and 
this 
did 
not 
exist 
during 
the 
first 
few 
years of 
Abdullah's 
administration. 
The 
basic 
system 
of 
taxation 
continued 
after 
the 
reforms 
of 
1924 
and as 
Abdullah's 
authority 
was extended, 
revenue 
increased. 
But 
at no 
time 
during 
the 
period 
was enough revenue 
collected 
to 
cover 
all 
of 
the 
costs 
of 
the 
administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Another 
source of 
revenue 
to 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
customs 
rebates 
from 
Palestine 
and 
Syria 
on goods 
that 
were 
trans-shipped 
through 
233 
these 
two territories 
to 
Trans-Jordan. 
In 
1923-4, 
Trans- 
Jordan 
received 
?E18,950 
from 
Palestine 
and 
a 
similar amount 
from 
Syria. 
5 
It 
is 
worth 
mentioning 
that 
in 
September 
1923, 
Bertram 
Thomas 
(the 
first 
assistant 
Chief 
British Representative 
under 
Philby) 
wrote a personal 
aide memoire 
on 
Trans-Jordan 
which 
reach 
the 
'official light 
of 
day' 
in 
April 
1924. 
In 
it 
he 
concluded 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
'fundamentally 
incapable 
of 
unsupported 
independent 
existence'. 
7 
He 
also pointed 
out 
that 
the Trans-Jordan 
administration was 
500% 
more costly 
than 
the 
Turkish 
administration 
of 
1913, 
and 
that 
revenue 
from 
taxation 
had 
only 
increased 
by 
100%. 
It 
became 
very 
quickly 
clear 
to 
the British 
authorities 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
not a 
competent 
administrator and 
that 
any 
money 
that 
was 
handed 
over 
to 
him 
was not going 
to 
be 
spent 
in 
the 
way 
that 
it 
was 
intended. 
Because 
of 
this, 
in 
December 
1921, 
one 
month after 
his 
arrival 
in 
Amman, Philby 
proposed 
that 
he 
should 
take 
over 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
grant-in- 
aid 
from 
1 
January 
1922. 
Churchill 
agreed 
to 
this 
on 
23 
January 
1922, 
and 
thus Philby's 
hand 
in 
Amman 
was 
strengthened. 
9 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
the 
Treasury 
agreed 
to 
a 
grant-in-aid 
of 
?113,000 
for 
1922-3.10 
This 
figure, 
after 
a 
number 
of 
economies 
were 
imposed, 
was 
reduced 
to 
L90,000, 
However, 
the 
hope 
that the Trans-Jordanian 
government 
would 
supply 
the 
necessary 
details 
of 
revenue 
and 
expenditure, 
did 
not 
materialize, 
and 
Philby, in 
a 
letter 
of 
18 
February 
1922, 
reported 
that 
the 
'Trans-Jordania 
Government 
would 
0 
234 
resent any 
attempt 
on 
the 
part 
of 
HMG 
to 
enforce 
a 
detailed 
control over 
its finances 
and would 
have 
no 
difficulty in 
defeating 
any 
inquisition 
on 
his 
part'. 
11 
The 
difficulty in 
gaining revenue 
reports 
from 
the 
Amman 
government was a 
recurring problem 
during 
Philby's 
period as 
Chief 
British 
Representative. 
As Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel 
pointed out 
in 
October 
1922 
when 
considering 
the 
problem of 
Trans-Jordan's 
finances: 
... 
in 
the 
present 
circumstances 
the Chief 
British Representative 
in 
Trans-Jordania 
has 
neither 
the 
authority nor 
the 
power 
to 
assume 
the 
close 
control 
over 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
local 
government 
needed 
if 
he is 
to 
be in 
possession of 
the 
detailed 
accounts of 
their 
revenues and expenditures 
as 
by 
you. 
To 
attempt 
to 
assume a 
closer 
control 
would 
be 
liable 
to 
precipitate a 
political 
crisis 
and 
would 
moreover 
involve 
a considerable 
increase 
of 
his 
present 
staf?2at 
the 
expense 
of 
His 
Majesty's 
Government. 
As Philby 
administered 
the 
grant-in-aid, 
he 
was able 
to 
pay 
the 
Reserve Force 
direct 
and 
so ensure 
that 
it 
was 
able 
to 
function. 
This 
would 
not 
have 
been 
the 
case 
had 
the Trans- 
Jordanian 
government 
administered 
the 
subsidy. 
During 
1922, 
Philby, 
in 
his 
own 
inimitable 
way, came 
up 
with 
the 
novel 
idea 
of giving 
a 
?1 
million 
loan 
and 
dispensing 
with 
the 
grant-in-aid, 
arguing 
that 
otherwise, 
Trans-Jordan 
'would 
remain 
a 
financial 
burden 
on 
the 
British 
taxpayer'. 
13 
This 
proposal 
was 
not 
taken 
seriously, 
and 
in 
any 
case, 
in 
the 
, 
financially 
stringent 
years 
after 
the 
war, 
the 
Treasury 
could 
not 
afford 
such 
a 
large 
sum. 
By 
the 
end 
of 
1922, 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
stated 
the 
235 
I 
conditions 
that 
were 
required 
if 
the 
1922-3 
grant-in-aid 
was 
to 
be 
paid: 
1. 
Reserve 
Force 
and 
C. B. R. 
's 
salary 
and expenses and 
those 
of 
this 
staff 
would 
be 
a 
first 
charge onTrans- 
Jordan's 
revenues. 
2. 
That 
proper 
accounts 
to 
the 
satisfaction of 
District 
Colonial Auditor 
should 
be 
rendered 
and 
any necessary 
audit 
be 
allowed 
3. 
That 
sufficient 
information 
to 
enable 
Treasury 
to 
satisfy 
themselves 
as 
to the 
reasonableness 
of 
amount 
of grant-in-aid 
should 
be forthcoming. 
4. 
Revision 
of 
tithe 
law 
and other1Eevenue producing 
measures should 
be 
put 
in 
hand. 
This 
set 
of conditions 
formed 
the 
basis 
of official 
British 
policy 
on 
the 
finance 
issue 
and 
he 
wrote 
to 
inform 
the Trans- 
Jordanian Chief 
minister of 
this 
on 
18 
December 
1922.15 
In 
fact 
when 
Abdullah 
and 
Rikabi 
were 
in 
London 
in 
November 
1922 
it 
was 
agreed 
that 
the 
subsidy 
would continue 
and 
that 
it 
would 
be 
paid 
direct 
and 
not via 
Philby. 
Throughout 
1923 
finance 
continued 
to 
be 
an 
important 
issue. 
The 
decision 
to 
pay over 
the 
subsidy 
direct 
to 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
government 
was 
not 
a 
success. 
Even 
as early 
as 
January 1923 
Peake 
pointed 
out 
that 
there 
was 
a 
financial 
shortage, 
and said: 
The 
government 
[of 
Trans-Jordan] is 
to 
be 
blamed 
for 
this 
shortage 
as 
it 
has 
made 
little 
attempt 
to 
economise, 
and 
the 
Amir 
has 
undoubtedly overdrawn the 
amount 
allotted 
to 
him 
in 
the 
TransT 
9ordan 
budget 
by 
many 
thousands 
of 
pounds. 
Of 
the 
fact 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
extravagant 
there 
was 
no 
doubt, 
236 
and 
as 
1923 
progressed, 
the 
situation 
did 
not 
improve. 
The 
problem 
was 
compounded 
by 
the 
fact 
that 
the 
Colonial 
office 
(and 
Abdullah 
for 
that 
matter) 
was starting 
to 
lose 
patience 
with 
Philby. Sir 
Gilbert 
Clayton 
pointed 
out 
in 
July 
1923 
that: 
The 
financial 
outlook 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
judging 
by 
the 
experience 
of 
the 
first 
three 
months 
of 
this 
financial 
year, 
during 
which 
the 
Grant-in-Aid 
has, 
under 
the 
new system, 
been 
paid 
over 
to the Trans-Jordan 
govern- 
ment, 
is 
not promising. 
The 
Trans-Jordan 
authorities 
have 
up 
to the 
present shown 
no 
signs 
of placing 
their 
financial 
system 
in 
proper order, and unless 
immediate 
steps 
are 
taken to 
ensure 
that they 
do 
so 
the 
finan- 
cial year will come 
to 
an 
end and 
the 
Grant- 
in-Aid 
be 
expended 
without 
any 
material 
17 
improvement 
taking 
place 
in 
the 
situation. 
The 
first 
victim of 
Trans-Jordanian 
financial 
mismanagement 
was 
the Arab 
Legion, 
and 
Clayton 
went 
on 
to 
propose 
that 
Philby 
should 
withhold 
the 
'next 
and 
if 
necessary 
the 
succeeding 
instalments 
and 
to 
pay 
the 
amounts 
direct 
to 
Captain 
Peake'. 
18 
The 
situation 
continued 
to 
deteriorate 
throughout 
the 
Summer 
and 
Autumn, 
and 
the Arab 
Legion 
was, 
as always 
the 
main 
casualty. 
In October 
Peake 
brought 
to Philby's 
notice 
the 
serious 
financial 
situation 
and 
the 
problems 
it 
was causing 
to 
the 
Arab 
Legion. Peake 
wrote: 
Lack 
of 
funds 
is 
seriously 
affecting 
the 
efficiency 
of 
the 
force 
... 
A 
continuance 
of 
the 
present 
conditions 
will 
endanger 
the 
existence 
of 
the Arab Legion 
as 
a 
disciplined 
force 
and 
this 
in 
turn 
will 
react 
on 
the Government 
rendering 
null 
and 
void 
all 
that 
has 
been 
done during 
the 
last 
237 
three 
years. 
Only 
by 
paying 
to 
me month 
by 
month, 
the 
money 
due 
to 
me 
in 
my 
budget, 
can 
I 
hope 
to 
keep 
up 
the 
discipline 
and efficiency 
of 
the 
force. 
This 
has 
so 
far 
not 
been 
10one 
any 
year since 
the 
force 
was 
raised. 
The 
local 
Colonial 
auditor's 
report, 
a month 
later, 
summed 
up 
the 
problems when 
H. S. Brain 
wrote: 
We 
are 
dealing 
with 
a young government 
-a 
Government 
without 
capital 
and without 
credit. 
The 
country 
is lacking 
in 
popula- 
tion 
and 
in 
every 
form 
of modern 
improvement. 
... 
His Highness the 
Amir 
has done 
valuable 
service 
to the 
British 
cause 
by 
exercise 
of 
his 
personal 
influence 
but 
has 
become 
obsessed 
by 
the 
idea 
that 
his 
services 
are 
of 
such paramount 
value as 
to 
outweight 
all 
questions of 
cost. 
During 
the 
first 
quarter 
of 
1924, 
during 
Philby's 
last bitter 
months 
in 
Amman, 
a 
financial 
crisis was 
building 
up. 
At the 
end 
of 
1923, 
Samuel 
had 
informed 
London that, 
in 
his 
opinion, 
it 
was 
not possible 
for 
the 
subsidy 
to 
be 
stopped on 
31 
December 
and pointed 
out 
that 
it 
was 
'impossible 
to 
expect 
that 
a 
sudden 
reduction 
of 
the 
Grant-in-Aid from 
?150,000 
to 
?20,000 
can 
be 
effected 
without a 
serious 
dislocation 
in 
the 
future 
of 
the 
financial 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan'. 
21 
However, 
by 
the 
end 
of 
February 
1924, 
the 
Treasury 
had had 
enough. 
In 
a 
letter 
to 
the 
Colonial 
Office, 
the 
Treasury 
stated 
its 
position: 
My Lords 
are 
by 
no means 
convinced 
that 
it 
is 
impossible 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
to 
maintain 
its 
civil 
administration 
on a 
scale 
suitable 
to 
the 
country 
and 
to 
pay 
the 
charges 
for 
the 
Ottoman Public 
Debt, 
the Arab 
Legion 
and 
the 
Chief 
British 
Representative, 
without 
238 
recourse 
to 
outside 
assistance.... 
No 
provision, 
accordingly, 
will 
be 
made 
for 
Trans-Jorda92in 
the Middle East 
Estimates 
for 
1924-5. 
In the 
meantime, reports 
from 
Amman 
were 
pessimistic. 
Philby, 
in 
a routine 
appraisal 
of 
the 
situation, 
informed 
Samuel that 
'to 
withdraw 
financial 
aid prematurely and 
too 
abruptly 
is 
to 
run 
the 
risk of 
bankruptcy 
and 
consequent 
anarchy which 
must 
react 
unfavourably on 
conditions 
in 
Palestine 
and 
entail 
increased 
expenditure on 
measures 
for 
its 
defence'. 
23 
In 
March 
1924, 
Samuel 
told Mazhar 
Pasha 
Arslan, 
the 
Minister 
of 
Finance 
in 
Abdullah's 
government, 
of 
'the 
great 
dissatisfaction 
of 
His 
Majesty's Government 
with 
the 
financial 
mal-administration 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
... 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
had decided 
that 
a 
grant-in-aid 
was 
in 
any 
case 
only 
legitimate 
if 
the 
resources 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
not 
sufficient 
to 
meet 
indispensable 
expenditure'. 
24 
Samuel 
was 
also 
able 
to 
introduce 
a note 
of 
warning 
that 
the 
RAF 
would 
not 
be 
used 
in 
the 
case 
of 
trouble 
caused 
by 
Abdullah's 
misgovernment. 
In 
any 
case, 
the 
laissez 
faire 
period 
came 
to 
an end with 
the 
departure 
of 
Philby 
from 
Amman 
on 
18 
April 
1924. 
The 
financial 
crisis 
continued 
and 
Henry 
Cox 
was appointed 
the 
new 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
in 
the 
middle 
of 
it. 
As Samuel 
informed 
London: 
The 
new 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
... 
is 
faced 
with 
an 
almost 
impossible 
task. 
He 
is 
expected 
to 
exercise 
a considerable 
measure 
of 
control 
over 
the 
finances 
and 
general 
239 
policy 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Government, 
without 
having 
any means 
of coercion 
to 
enforce, 
or 
financial 
subsiIN 
to 
induce, 
compliance 
with 
his 
wishes. 
THE IMPOSITION 
OF 
STRICT FINANCIAL 
CONTROL 
FOLLOWING THE 
ARRIVAL 
OF HENRY 
COX IN AMMAN. 
1924-30 
Lt. Col. 
Charles 
Henry 
Fortnum Cox 
took 
over as 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
on 
21 
April 
1924, 
with 
the task, 
as 
Clayton 
informed 
Samuel, 
'to 
exercise 
strict control, 
political, 
administrative and 
financial, 
over 
a 
government 
which 
is 
fully 
under 
the 
impression 
that 
it 
is 
practically 
independent. 
To 
enforce 
this 
control 
he 
has 
no 
weapon 
whatsoever, 
except 
such personal 
influence 
as 
he 
may 
succeed 
in 
establishing 
over 
the 
Amir 
and 
his 
Ministers'. 
26 
For 
his 
part, 
Henry 
Cox 
had 
every 
intention 
of 
taking 
strong 
action 
to 
put 
Abdullah's 
state 
in 
order. 
As 
he 
pointed 
out 
in 
a 
memorandum 
shortly 
before 
taking 
up 
his 
new 
post: 
During 
this 
probationary 
period, 
it is 
necessary 
that the Chief 
British 
Represent- 
ative 
should 
have 
complete 
control 
over 
the 
finance 
of 
the 
country 
so 
that 
the 
princi- 
ples 
of 
straight 
dealin27 
and 
economy 
may 
be 
drilled 
into 
its 
ruler. 
The 
decision 
of 
the 
Treasury 
not 
to 
pay a 
grant-in-aid 
from 
1 
April 
1924 
did 
not 
make 
Cox's 
job 
any 
easier, 
Abdullah 
was 
informed 
of 
the 
decision 
by 
Clayton 
just 
before 
Cox 
arrived 
in 
Amman. 
In 
reply, 
Abdullah 
asked, 
now 
that 
the 
subsidy 
was 
not 
forthcoming, 
whether 
he 
was 
free 
from 
his 
former 
obligations 
not 
to 
accept 
assistance 
from 
the 
Hejaz. 
28 
As Samuel 
pointed 
240 
out 
to the 
Colonial Office, 
'... 
there 
is 
a grave 
danger 
either of 
complete 
bankruptcy 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordania Government 
or 
of 
its 
absorption 
in 
Hedjaz'. 
29 
, 
On 
22 
April 
1924 
the 
Colonial 
office 
informed 
the 
Foreign Office 
that there 
was 
to 
be 
no subsidy, 
and pointed 
to the 
dangers 
of 
this 
decision: 
It 
will 
be 
very 
difficult 
for 
Sir 
G. Clayton 
to 
inaugurate 
a 
better 
system 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan 
without a 
grant-in-aid. 
It 
will 
also, 
I think 
be 
difficult 
for 
us 
to 
object 
strongly 
if 
Amir Abdullah 
turns 
to 
his 
father 
for help. 
If 
he 
does 
so, 
the 
result 
will certainly 
be 
the 
absorption 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
in 
the Hejaz, 
which 
would 
be 
deplor- 
able 
in 
view of 
King 
Huss 
S6n's 
tyranny 
and 
mis-rule 
in 
that 
country. 
In 
fact, 
Abdullah 
had 
not, 
in 
the 
past, 
been 
above accepting 
'pocket 
money' 
from his 
father, 
King 
Hussein, 
nor 
his 
brother, 
King 
Feisal 
in 
Iraq. 
As 
Cox 
was 
settling 
into 
Amman, 
the 
Treasury 
in 
London 
maintained 
its 
position 
that 
no 
subsidy 
was 
to 
be 
paid 
to 
Abdullah, 
while 
nevertheless 
holding 
the 
door 
open. 
The 
Chancellor 
of 
the 
Exchequer 
of 
the 
new 
Labour 
Government 
informed 
the Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the Colonies, 
J. H. 
Thomas: 
I 
do 
not 
want 
to 
be 
unhelpful 
about 
Trans- 
Jordania 
but it 
seems 
to 
me 
that 
if 
we 
go 
on 
handing 
out 
money 
without 
good 
cause 
shown 
we 
shall 
never 
get 
Aullah into 
the 
paths 
of 
financial 
virtue. 
Thomas 
informed 
Samuel 
that 
the Chancellor 
was 
not 
willing 
to 
accept 
Samuel's 
proposal 
for 
a grant-in-aid 
of 
only 
LE20,000, 
a 
decision 
which 
the Colonial 
Office 
had 
to 
accept. 
He 
went 
on 
to 
say 
that 
the Chancellor, 
241 
... 
has 
been 
unfavourably 
impressed 
by 
the 
complete 
absence 
of any 
accounts 
on which 
reliance 
can 
be 
placed 
of 
the 
revenue 
and 
expenditure 
of 
recent years, and 
does 
not 
feel 
that 
he 
would 
be 
justified in 
assenting 
to 
further 
provision 
of assistance 
from 
Imperial 
funds 
until some evidence 
is 
forthcoming 
of 
complete 
reform 
in 
the 
32 
financial 
administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
Obviously, Abdullah 
and 
the British 
authorities 
were 
heading 
for 
a 
collision. 
We 
have 
already 
examined 
in 
detail the 
events surrounding 
the 
confrontation 
of 
the Summer 
of 
1924 
(Chapter 
5). 
The 
underlying 
cause 
of 
this 
confrontation 
was 
Abdullah's 
financial 
mismanagement. 
On 
26 
June, 
Cox 
was 
instructed 
to 
inform 
Abdullah that 
'... if 
evidence 
is 
forthcoming 
of 
a 
complete reform 
in 
the 
financial 
administ 
ration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
of 
the 
establishment 
of 
adequate 
control 
by 
the Chief British 
Representative 
over 
the 
expenditure 
of 
the 
Administration' 
then the 
subsidy 
could 
be 
paid. 
33 
However, 
Abdullah 
had 
refused 
British 
financial 
control 
for 
over 
three 
years and 
was not 
likely 
to 
give 
in 
without 
a 
fight. 
His 
method 
of 
doing 
this 
was promptly 
to 
go 
off 
to 
Mecca 
on 
the 
Hajj 
and 
he 
remained 
away 
from 
Amman 
for 
eight 
weeks. 
While 
he 
was 
away 
an 
ultimatum 
was prepared 
by 
the 
British 
authorities 
whereby 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
accept 
strict 
British 
control 
over 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
state 
or 
be 
removed 
from 
his 
position 
as 
Amir 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
The British 
conditions for 
Abdullah's 
remaining 
in 
Amman 
were 
not 
only 
financial 
but 
also 
covered 
the 
Arab 
Legion, 
the 
removal 
of a 
number 
of 
troublesome 
Syrians, 
and 
the 
disbandment 
of 
the 
Tribal 
Administration 
Department. 
On 20 
August 
1924 
these 
242 
demands 
were 
presented, 
by 
Cox 
and 
accepted 
by 
Abdullah. 
Even 
the Amir's 
civil 
list 
came under 
the 
control 
of 
the British 
Financial 
Adviser34 
From 
this 
date, 
the 
financial 
circum 
stances 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
started 
to 
improve 
and 
the 
relations 
between 
the 
British 
authorities 
and 
Abdullah 
were 
put 
on a 
firm 
and more structured 
basis. 
The 
change also 
carried 
with 
it 
a significant 
increase in 
direct 
British 
involvement 
in 
the 
day 
to 
day 
administration 
of 
the territory. 
By the 
end 
of 
the 
year, 
the Treasury 
was 
satisfied 
by 
the 
improvement 
in 
the 
financial 
arrangements 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
The Treasury 
was 
thus 
able 
to 
inform 
the 
Colonial 
office that 
... 
My Lords 
agree 
in 
principle 
to 
provision 
being 
made 
in 
the 
Estimate 
for 
Middle East 
Services 
1925-6 for 
a subsidy 
to 
the Trans- 
Jordan 
Administration 
towards 
the 
expenses 
of 
the 
Chief 
BritiSg 
Representative 
and of 
the Arab 
Legion... 
In 1924, 
as 
a result 
of 
this 
settlement, 
strict 
economies 
were 
imposed 
for 
the 
first 
time-and 
expenditure 
was 
reduced 
considerably. Abdullah 
was 
the'first 
to 
suffer, as 
his 
civil 
list 
was 
reduced 
from 
?E30,000 
to 
?E20,000 in 
1924-25 
and 
further 
reduced 
to 
?E13,000 
in 
1925-26.36 
The 
reduction 
in 
the 
strength 
of 
the'Arab Legion 
by 
200 
men 
also 
led 
to 
a 
considerable 
saving. 
A 
British 
Financial 
Adviser 
was 
appointed 
to 
the 
Ministry 
of 
Finance 
(in 
1926) 
with consider- 
able 
control 
over 
all 
aspects 
of 
the 
finances 
of 
the 
government. 
In 1924, 
the 
British 
government 
reported 
to the 
League 
of 
Nations: 
The 
budget 
originally 
framed 
by 
the 
Trans- 
T 
243 
jordan 
Government 
for 
1924-25 
had 
shown a 
deficit 
of 
?E132,000; 
the 
revised 
estimate 
showed 
a 
deficit 
of 
only 
?43,000 
only. 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
was 
unable 
to 
agree 
to 
provide 
a 
grant-in-aid 
until 
the 
financial 
system 
had 
been 
reorganised 
and 
arrangements 
introduced 
to 
submit 
satisfactory 
statements 
of account 
monthly 
to 
the 
Secretary 
of 
State. 
The 
Amir, 
with 
the 
concurrence 
of 
his 
Ministers, 
consented 
in 
August 
to 
the 
introduction 
of an entirely 
new system 
of 
accounting 
and 
financial 
control, and 
Finan- 
cial 
Regulations 
were put 
into 
force 
on 
the 
1st 
October, 
with 
very satisfactory 
results. 
By the 
31st 
December 
1924, 
the 
total 
estimated 
rev5que, 
less ?E6,500 
had been 
collected 
... 
With the 
coming 
into force 
of 
the 
new 
financial 
regulations, 
the 
British 
authorities 
in both 
Amman 
and 
Jerusalem 
scruti 
nized 
every 
item 
of expenditure 
of 
the Trans-Jordanian 
government= 
and 
throughout 
the 
remainder of 
the 
period 
of 
this 
study, 
the 
issue 
of whether or 
not 
a grant-in-aid 
should 
be 
given was no 
longer 
considered, only 
the 
size 
of 
that 
subsidy 
was 
at 
issue. 
From 
a 
high 
of 
?180,000 
in 
the 
period 
1921-2, 
the 
grant-in-aid was 
reduced 
to 
only 
E40,000 
in 
1929-30.38 
In 
that 
year, 
Britain 
also 
paid 
?31,475 
as 
a grant 
to 
cover 
Trans-Jordan's 
contribution 
to 
the 
TJFF. 
With 
the 
increased 
involvement 
of 
British 
officials 
in 
the 
day 
to 
day 
administration of 
the 
territory, 
the 
last 
remaining major 
issue 
was 
that 
of 
the 
agreement 
between 
the United 
Kingdom 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
which 
was 
finally 
concluded 
in 
1928. 
There 
was 
another 
hidden 
source 
of 
money 
which 
has 
not 
been 
mentioned: 
Palestine. After 
the 
formation 
of 
the 
TJFF 
in 
1926, 
the 
Palestine 
government 
paid 
for 
five-sixths 
of 
the 
costs 
of 
this 
force, 
although 
the 
TJFF 
was 
principally 
244 
F' 
,. 
4? 
{? 
deployed 
to the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan. 
Another 
consider- 
ation 
was 
that 
part 
of 
the 
Hejaz Railway 
which ran 
through 
Trans-Jordan. After 
1924, 
it 
was administered 
by 
the 
Palestine 
Railways Administration 
(PRA). 
This 
section of 
the 
railway ran at 
a 
total 
loss 
of 
?P77,750 
up until 
1928, 
a 
deficit 
which was met 
from 
PRA 
funds. 
39 
CONCLUSION 
The British 
authorities 
paid 
Trans-Jordan 
a 
grand 
total 
of 
some 
?960,000 
from 
1921 
until 
the 
end 
of 
the 
1930-1 
finan 
40 
cial 
year. 
Even 
by 
the 
standards 
of 
the 
day, 
this 
was 
a 
small 
sum 
indeed. 
In 
return 
for 
this 
investment, 
the 
British 
got 
a client 
government 
in 
Amman, 
security 
for 
the 
western 
frontier 
of 
Palestine 
and 
the 
desert 
'link' 
of 
the 
air 
route 
to Iraq, 
and 
peace 
and 
eventually 
stability 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
itself. 
After 1924, 
on 
the 
whole, expenditure 
was 
usually 
below 
revenue 
when 
the 
grant-in-aid 
was 
included. 
The 
sums 
involved 
were small 
when 
compared 
to those 
for 
Palestine 
and 
Iraq. 
But 
then 
Trans-Jordan 
was a 
small, 
poor, state 
carved 
out of 
virtually 
nothing 
in 
the 
years 
after 
the First 
World 
War. 
245 
CHAPTER 
EIGHT 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. CO 
733/7 
Minute 
relating 
to 
Tel. 
of 
19 
Nov. 
1921 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill. 
2. 
CO 
733/53 
Issue 
of 
the 
grant-in-aid of 
Trans-Jordania 
revenues 
undated 
1923 
p. 
580. 
3. 
Ibid. 
4. 
Shwadran, 
Jordan: 
A 
State 
of 
Tension 
p. 
163. 
5. 
HMG 
Report 
on 
Trans-Jordan 
to 
League 
of 
Nations 
for 
1924 
p. 
39. 
6. 
CO 
733/67 
Thomas 
to Philby, 
8 
March 
1924. 
7. 
Ibid. 
8. 
CO 
733/8 
Deedes to 
Churchill, 
24 
December 
1921. 
9. 
CO 
733/8 
Churchill 
to 
Samuel, 
23 
Jan. 1922. 
10. 
CO 
733/11 
Treasury to 
CO, 
31 
December 1922. 
11. 
CO 
733/53 
Issue 
of 
the 
Grant-in-Aid 
of 
Trans-Jordania 
revenues 
undated, 
1923 
p. 
580. 
12. 
CO 
733/26 
Samuel 
to 
Churchill, 
3 
October 
1922. 
13. 
CO 
733/23 
Philby 
report 
on 
T. 
J. 
to 
Jerusalem, 
29 June 
1922. 
14. 
CO 
733/28 
Clayton 
minute 
of 
16 
December 1922, Colonial 
Office. 
15. 
Ibid. Clayton 
to 
Rikabi, 
18 
December 1922. 
16. 
CO 
733/42 
Samuel 
to 
Devonshire, 2 
February 
1923 
enclosing 
a report 
by 
Peake 
on 
Trans-Jordan. 
17. 
CO 
733/47 
Clayton to Devonshire, 
13 
July 
1923. 
18 
Ibid. 
19 
CO 
733/51 
Peake 
to 
Philby, 
20 
October 
1923. 
20. 
Ibid. 
Auditor's 
Memorandum, 
Jerusalem, 
17 
November 
1923. 
21. 
CO 
733/52 
Samuel to Devonshire, 
21 
December 1923. 
22 
CO 
733/82 
Treasury 
(Banstow) 
to Sir 
Samuel 
Wilson, 
26 
February 
1924. 
23. 
CO 
733/64 
Philby 
to Samuel, 
1 
February 
1924. 
246 
24. 
CO 
733/67 Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
9 
April 
1924. Report 
of 
conversation 
with 
Mazhar 
Pasha 
Arslan 
of 
19 
March 
1924. 
25. 
CO 
733/67 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
9 
April 
1924.1 
26. 
CO 
733/67 
Clayton 
to 
Samuel, 
Jerusalem, 
5 
April 
1924. 
27. CO 
733/67 
undated 
memo 
by 
Cox 
included 
with 
Samuel 
to 
Thomas, 
9 
April 
1924. 
28. CO 
733/67 
Samuel to 
Thomas, 
20 
April 
1924. 
29. 
Ibid. 
30. 
FO 
371/10101 CO to 
FO, 
22 
April 
1924. 
31. 
CO 
733/82 
Chancellor 
of 
the 
Exchequer 
to Thomas, 
S 
22 
May 
1924. 
32. 
FO 
371/10101 
Thomas 
to 
Samuel, 
5 
June 
1924. 
33. 
FO 
371/10101 
Thomas 
to Samuel, 
26 
June 
1924. 
34. 
CO 
733/116 
Plumer to Thomas, 
18 
August 
1926. 
35. 
CO 
733/82 
Treasury 
to 
colonial 
Office, 
20 
December 
1924. 
36, 
CO 
733/109 
Cox to 
Davis 
(A/Chief 
Sec. 
Jerusalem), 
21 
January 
1925. 
In 
August 
1926 
Peake 
(as 
Acting 
C. B. R. 
) 
was 
to 
report 
that 
Abdullah's 
financial 
position 
had been 
carefully 
examined 
and 
he 
was 
found 
to 
be in 
debt 
to 
the 
sum 
of 
?E 10,261. 
CO 
733/116 
Samuel to Thomas, 
18 
August 
1926. 
37. 
Report 
by 
HMG 
on 
administration 
of 
Palestine 
and 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
1924 
p. 
39. 
38. 
British 
Government 
report 
on 
Trans-Jordan to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
for 
1930. 
39. 
Grunwald, 
The Government Finances 
of 
the 
Mandated 
Territories 
of 
the Middle 
East, 
(Tel 
Aviv 
1932) 
p. 
68. 
40. 
Various C. O. 
and 
League 
of 
Nations 
documents. 
See 
table 
at 
Appendix 
B. 
247 
CHAPTERNINE 
THE 
ROLE OF 
THE 
LEAGUE OF NATIONS 
AND 
THE 
ROAD 
TO THE 
FORMALISATION OF 
THE BRITISH TRANS-JORDAN 
RELATIONSHIPS: 
THE AGREEMENT OF 
20 
FEBRUARY 1928 
INTRODUCTION 
The 
Amir 
was 
inclined 
to 
rule 
in 
an 
autocratic manner; 
he 
made no 
distinction 
between 
public 
administration 
and 
his 
personal acts, 
between 
public revenue 
and 
his 
private 
purse; 
he 
preferred 
the 
paternal 
rule of 
the Sheikh 
of 
the 
desert 
which 
he 
knew 
so 
well 
and under which 
he 
had lived 
during 
the 
early part 
of 
his 
life, 
to 
any 
system 
of 
self-rule 
1 
by 
the 
population 
no 
matter 
how limited. 
The 
period 
from 
1921 
until 
1928 
was 
largely 
a story 
of 
the 
consolidation 
of 
the 
Amirate. 
In 
1921 
the 
territory 
to 
the 
east of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
was 
a 
tract 
of 
land 
devoid 
of any 
degree 
of central 
control. 
The 
administrative 
arrangements 
whereby 
the 
relationship 
between 
the United 
Kingdom 
in 
its 
capacity 
as 
Mandatory 
Power, 
and 
the 
Amir 
Abdullah, 
was 
gradually 
defined 
in 
a 
number of 
agreements: 
the 
Jerusalem 
Conference 
of 
March 
1921, 
the Palestine 
Mandate, 
(especially 
Article 25) 
as 
modified 
by 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
memorandum 
of 
16 
September 
1922, 
and 
the 
British 
Assurance 
of 
1923. 
The 
events 
of 
this 
period 
have 
been 
examined 
in 
some 
detail 
in 
previous 
chapters 
and 
can 
be 
summarized 
as 
a 
period 
of 
drift 
while 
both 
parties, 
through 
experience, 
built 
up 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
territory. 
All 
these 
understandings 
coalesced 
in 
the 
Treaty 
of 
20 
February 
1928 
which 
finally 
put 
248 
the 
seal 
on 
the 
relationship 
between 
the two 
parties. 
Prior 
to 
this 
agreement, 
no 
formal 
basis 
existed 
which 
set 
down 
the 
respective 
spheres 
of 
responsibility 
of 
Abdullah 
as 
Amir 
of 
an 
autonomous 
Trans-Jordan 
and of 
the British 
authorities 
as 
Mandatory 
Power, 
ultimately responsible 
to the 
League 
of 
Nations 
for 
the 
good government 
of 
the 
territory. 
Until the 
signing 
of 
the 
1928 
Treaty, 
which was 
not ratified 
until 
31 
October, 
the 
administration of 
the 
territory 
had 
largely 
been 
determined 
by 
ad 
hoc 
reactions 
to 
local 
day 
to 
day 
events. 
This 
agreement 
regulated 
Britain's 
relations 
with 
Trans-Jordan 
- 
with a 
number 
of minor adjustments2 
- 
until 
the territory 
became 
independent in 
1946. 
An Organic 
Law 
was 
also promul 
gated on 
16 
April, 
1928. 
It 
was also 
during 
this 
period 
that 
the 
fears 
of an 
extension of 
the 
Jewish 
National Home 
to 
include 
the 
areas 
to 
the 
east of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
were 
firmly 
put 
to 
rest. 
At 
the 
time there 
was considerable 
pressure 
being 
brought 
to 
bear 
from'Zionist 
quarters 
to 
get 
the 
territory 
included in 
the 
area 
where 
Jewish 
settlement was 
to 
be 
permitted. 
In 
the 
main, 
the 
Zionist 
establishment 
quickly 
came 
to 
accept 
the 
exclusion 
of 
Jewish 
expansion 
from 
the 
land 
to the 
east 
of 
the 
river, 
though 
it 
remained 
a major 
objective 
of 
the 
extreme 
right-wing 
of 
the 
Zionist 
Movement. 
Needless 
to 
say, 
had 
the 
British 
government 
given 
in 
to 
this 
pressure 
it 
would 
have 
undermined 
all 
the 
work 
it 
had 
done 
to 
establish 
a 
strong 
Amirate 
capable 
of 
standing on 
its 
own 
two 
feet. 
In 
the 
period 
leading 
up 
to the 
1928 
agreement, 
although 
249 
there 
was 
no 
clear 
definition 
of 
the 
respective responsibili- 
ties 
of 
Abdullah 
and 
the 
British 
authorities, 
there 
was 
no 
doubt 
who 
was 
the 
master: when 
Abdullah 
stepped 
out of 
line 
the 
British 
authorities 
in 
Amman 
and 
Jerusalem 
were quick 
to 
intervene. 
This 
was particularly 
true 
over 
the 
issues 
of 
defence, 
neutrality 
in 
the Hejaz 
War 
between 
the Hashemites 
and 
the 
al 
Sauds 
where 
Abdullah 
was 
inclined 
to 
assist 
his 
brother, 
King 
Ali, 
and of 
course, 
with 
finance. 
By 
control 
ling 
the 
purse 
strings, 
the British 
were able ultimately 
to 
impose 
their 
will on 
Abdullah. 
3 
At 
the 
same 
time, the 
territorial 
extent of 
the Amirate 
was 
also 
broadly 
defined, 
though 
in 
the 
case of 
the 
southern 
and 
eastern 
frontiers, 
not 
until 
1925 
and 
1927 
respectively. 
It 
has 
been held 
that the British 
had 
to 
press 
Abdullah 
for 
an agreement 
in 
order 
to 
fulfil 
their 
obligations 
to 
the 
League 
of 
Nations. 
4 
This 
is 
not exactly 
true. 
A 
number 
of 
factors held 
up 
the 
drafting 
of 
a 
formal 
agreement, 
and 
by 
1927 
Abdullah 
was 
becoming 
restive, 
especially 
when 
he 
compared 
the 
constitutional 
development 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
with 
that 
of 
Iraq 
under 
his brother, 
King 
Faisal, 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
there 
was a 
certain 
degree 
of 
pressure 
among 
the 
population 
of 
the 
Amirate, though 
it 
was 
in 
no 
way 
like 
the 
unrest 
that 
was 
occurring 
in 
Iraq 
during 
the 
same 
period. 
The 
1928 
Agreement 
and 
Organic 
Law 
finally 
established 
the 
legal 
position 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
250 
THE 
FOUNDATIONS 
FOR 
THE 
1928 
AGREEMENT 
: 
THE LEAGUE 
OF 
NATIONS 
AND 
THE 
DECLARATION 
OF 
MAY 
1923. 
As 
ultimate 
authority 
for 
the 
good government 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
was 
vested 
in 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
consideration 
needs 
to 
be 
made, 
at 
this 
point, of 
the 
role 
it 
played 
in 
the 
affairs 
of 
the 
Atnirate. 
The 
responsibility 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
towards 
the 
Mandated Territories 
as a whole 
was 
well 
protected, 
both 
by 
the 
Covenant 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
and 
by 
the 
Constitution 
and 
Procedures 
of 
the 
Permanent Mandates 
Commission. The 
supervisory 
role of 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates Commission 
over 
the 
administration 
of each 
territory 
was 
the 
cornerstone 
of 
the 
whole mandate system. 
The 
position 
of all 
the 
mandates 
was 
comprehensively 
embodied 
in 
Article 
22 
of 
the Covenant 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations. 
The 
nine paragraphs contain 
the 
fundamental 
principles of 
the 
mandate system, 
'together 
with 
the 
methods 
and 
safeguards 
to 
ensure 
their 
application'. 
5 
This 
article 
can 
be 
divided 
into 
three 
distinct 
sections, 
the 
first 
(paragraphs 
one 
to three) 
dealing 
with 
the 
fundamental 
principles 
of 
the 
system. 
Paragraph 
one 
states 
the 
reasons 
why a 
mandates 
system 
is 
necessary 
in 
the 
first 
place: 
[for 
former 
enemy 
territories) 
... 
which 
are 
inhabited 
by 
peoples 
not yet 
able 
to 
stand 
by 
themselves 
under 
the 
strenuous 
conditions 
of 
the 
modern 
world, 
there 
should 
be 
applied 
the 
principle 
that 
the 
well 
being 
and 
development 
of 
such 
peoples 
form 
a 
sacred 
trust 
of civilization 
... 
'6, 
while 
paragraph 
two 
251 
states 
on what 
criterion 
the 
various 
powers 
had been 
selected. 
The 
second 
section 
deals 
with 
each 
type 
of 
mandate 
in 
separate 
paragraphs: 
'A', 
'B' 
and 
'C' 
Mandates. 
Trans-Jordan 
was a 
category 
'A' 
mandate. 
Paragraph 
four 
states: 
Certain 
communities 
formerly belonging 
to 
the 
Turkish 
Empire 
had 
reached a stage 
of 
development 
where 
their 
existence as 
inde- 
pendent 
nations 
can 
be 
provisionally 
recognised 
subject 
to 
the 
rendering 
of 
administrative 
advice 
and 
assistance 
by 
a 
Mandatory 
until 
such 
time 
as 
they 
are able 
to 
stand 
alone. 
The 
wishes 
of 
these 
communities 
must 
be 
a principal 
consideration 
in 
the 
selection 
of 
the 
mandatory. 
In 
the 
case 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
this 
coincided with 
British 
intentions 
to 
the 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan, that the 
area 
should 
be 
a 
self 
governing 
Arab territory. 
The 
last 
three 
paragraphs 
of 
Article 
22 dealt 
with 
the 
mechanisms 
of supervision 
by 
the League 
of 
Nations. 
Paragraph 
seven stipulated 
that 
an 
annual 
report on 
the 
administration 
of each 
territory 
had 
to 
be 
submitted 
by 
the 
mandatory 
power; 
that 
the 
extent of 
the 
authority 
of 
each 
Mandatory 
power 
would 
be defined 
by 
the 
League 
(pars 
eight); 
and 
that 
a permanent 
commission 
would 
be formed 
'to 
receive 
and 
examine 
the 
annual 
reports 
of 
the Mandatories 
and 
to 
advise 
the Council 
on 
all 
matters relating 
to the 
observance 
of 
the 
mandates'. 
8 
The 
annual 
reports, presented 
by 
Britain, 
covered every 
aspect 
of 
the 
administration 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
at 
the 
annual 
session 
of 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission, 
British 
representatives 
- 
usually 
from 
the 
Colonial 
office 
or 
252 
Palestine 
government 
officials 
- 
were 
cross 
examined 
on 
Britain's 
performance 
during 
the 
previous 
year. 
It 
was 
the 
duty 
of 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission to 
exercise a 
preliminary 
supervision 
of 
every 
aspect of 
life 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan 
and 
to 
then 
report 
its findings 
and recommendations 
to 
the 
Council. 
In 
the 
view 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
it did 
'... 
not 
therefore 
limit 
itself 
to 
the 
more or 
less 
negative 
role 
which would 
consist 
in 
verifying 
that the 
Mandatories 
had 
not 
overstepped 
the 
powers 
conferred 
upon 
them'. 
9 
In 
the 
whole 
period 
of 
this 
study, 
only once 
was 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
unhappy 
about 
development 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
This 
was when 
they 
came 
to 
consider 
the 
1928 
Treaty, 
and 
then 
it 
was 
only 
over a 
te. 
chnicality 
rather 
than 
any serious 
grievance on 
the 
part 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
(of 
which 
more 
later). 
In Trans-Jordan, 
the 
Jerusalem 
Agreement 
between 
Churchill 
and 
Abdullah 
of 
March 
1921, 
laid 
down 
the 
basis 
for 
a 
Sherifian 
solution 
in 
the territory 
and 
its 
separation 
from 
Palestine. 
However, 
the 
idea 
of 
separating 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Palestine 
pre-dates 
the 
arrival of 
Abdullah 
in 
Amman, 
and 
was 
tied 
up 
with 
the 
need 
to 
satisfy 
British 
promises 
to the 
Arabs 
after 
the 
war. 
In 
implementing 
this 
policy, 
it 
was 
obvious 
that 
although 
the 
Mandate 
for 
Palestine 
included 
that 
part 
of 
the 
territory 
known 
as 
Trans-Jordan, 
for 
British 
promises 
to 
stand 
it 
was 
necessary 
to 
forbid 
Jewish 
settlement 
to the 
east 
of 
the Jordan 
river. 
In 
recognition 
of 
this 
the 
Zionist 
clauses 
of 
the 
Mandate 
had 
to 
be 
confined 
to 
the 
territorial 
253 
limit 
of 
Palestine 
proper 
(i. 
e. 
to the 
west 
of 
the Jordan 
river). 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
mandate 
formally 
established 
this. 
This 
policy 
was 
further 
developed 
at 
Geneva 
on 
23 
September 
1922 
when 
the 
principle 
of 
the 
administration 
of 
the Amirate 
was 
clarified, 
namely 
that, 
In the 
application 
of 
the 
Mandate 
to Trans- 
Jordan, 
the 
action 
which, 
in 
Palestine, 
is 
taken 
by 
the 
latter 
country 
(the 
UK), 
will 
be 
taken 
by 
the 
administration 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
undg5 
the 
general 
supervision of 
the 
Mandatory. 
Although 
this 
was 
qualified 
by 
an 
undertaking 
that Britain, 
as 
Mandatory, 
would 
ensure 
that 
any arrangement was 
consistent 
with 
the Mandate 
- 
less 
the Zionist 
clauses 
- 
it 
foreshadowed 
the 
conclusion of 
an agreement 
with 
Abdullah: 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
accept 
full 
responsibility 
as 
mandatory 
for 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
and 
undertake 
that 
such provision as 
may 
be 
made 
for 
the 
administration 
of 
that 
territory 
in 
accordance with 
Article 
25 
of 
the Mandate 
shall 
be 
in 
no 
way 
inconsistent 
with 
those 
provisions 
of 
the 
Mandate 
which 
are not 
by 
thl? 
declaration 
declared 
inapplicable. 
Therefore, 
from 
the 
League 
of 
Nations' 
point 
of view 
the 
1922 
memorandum 
put a geographical 
barrier 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
on 
the 
implementation 
of 
the Zionist 
clauses 
of 
the Mandate. 
Shortly 
afterwards, 
Abdullah 
and 
his 
Chief 
Minister, 
Ali Rida 
al 
Rikabi, 
visited 
Britain 
in 
the 
hope 
of 
concluding 
an 
agreement 
which 
would 
implement 
the British 
Mandate 
(this 
visit 
is 
covered 
in 
detail 
in 
Chapter 
4). 
Unfortunately, 
from 
Abdullah's 
point of 
view, 
his 
arrival 
in 
London 
in 
October 
254 
coincided 
with 
a 
change 
in 
government. 
Churchill, 
who 
as 
Colonial 
Secretary 
had taken a 
personal 
interest in 
develop- 
ments 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
was 
out 
of 
office 
and 
had 
been 
replaced 
by 
the 
Duke 
of 
Devonshire. 
The 
visit 
proved 
to 
be 
unsatis- 
factory. Although preliminary 
discussions 
were 
conducted, 
the 
proposed 
agreement 
was 
shelved. 
A 
declaration 
was 
indeed 
drafted, 
but 
it 
was 
not 
published 
before 
Abdullah 
departed 
for 
Amman. This 
delay 
was 
caused 
in 
part 
by 
a 
desire 
on 
the 
part 
of 
Britain 
not 
to 
offend 
the 
French 
and 
because 
of-objections 
by 
the Foreign Office 
that 
this 
declaration 
might 
disturb 
the 
delicate 
negotiations 
with 
the 
Turks 
?oy 
a 
asv 
4eace TTeaty. 
No 
headway 
was made 
on 
a 
fully 
fledged 
Treaty 
with 
Trau%- 
Jordan. 
It 
was 
not 
until 
some 
six 
months 
later 
that 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel 
finally 
went 
from 
Jerusaldm 
to 
Amman 
and 
announced 
that: 
Subject 
to 
the 
approval 
of 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's 
Government 
will 
recognise 
the 
existence 
of an 
independent 
government 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
under 
the 
rule 
of 
His 
Highness 
the 
Emir Abdullah 
ibn 
Hussein, 
provided 
that 
such government 
is 
constitutional 
and 
places 
His Britannic 
Majesty's 
Government 
in 
a 
position 
to 
fulfil 
their 
obligations 
in 
respect of 
that 
Territory 
by 
means 
of 
an 
agreement'to1?e 
concluded 
between 
the 
two 
governments. 
As 
can 
be 
seen, 
this 
was only 
a statement 
of 
British 
policy 
which 
was 
hedged 
by 
conditions. 
For the 
next 
five 
years, 
Abdullah 
was 
to 
rule 
without 
the 
constitution 
he 
so 
dearly 
desired. 
255 
BRITISH 
POLICY 
AND 
ZIONIST 
DESIGNS 
ON 
TRANS-JORDAN 
Before 
going 
to 
examine 
the 
1928 
agreement, 
it is 
neces 
sary, 
at 
this 
point 
to 
briefly 
consider 
Zionist 
attitudes 
towards 
Trans-Jordan. 
As 
early 
as 
February 
1919, 
Zionist 
demands 
on 
the 
terri- 
torial 
extent 
of a 
Jewish 
National Home 
were 
clearly 
stated. 
At the 
Paris 
Peace 
Conference Zionist 
representatives 
staked 
out 
their territorial 
ambitions 
with 
the 
eastern 
frontier 
of 
Palestine 
as 
"a 
line 
close 
to 
and 
west of 
the 
Hedjaz 
railway 
. 
terminating 
in 
the 
Gulf 
of 
Akaba. 
"13 
Bearing 
in 
mind 
that the 
Hejaz 
railway 
is, 
on average, 
40 
miles 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan, 
the 
Zionist 
claim 
would 
have 
included 
all of 
the 
economically viable 
land 
in 
the territory. 
However, 
the 
Zionists 
recognised 
the 
special 
Muslim 
nature of 
the 
Hejaz 
railway, 
and 
therefore 
their 
claims 
fell 
short of 
including 
this 
railway 
within 
the 
Jewish 
National 
Home. 
14 
Another 
reason 
why 
Zionist 
claims were 
limited 
to the 
west of 
the 
railway 
was 
that 
with 
Feisal 
in 
Damascus 
and 
his father 
the 
King 
of 
the 
Hejaz, 
they 
did 
not 
want 
to 
incur 
the 
wrath 
of 
the 
Hashemites by interposing 
a 
Jewish "state" 
between 
the 
two 
kingdoms. 
With 
the 
removal 
of 
FQisal from 
Damascus 
by 
the French 
in 
July 1920, 
a major 
restraint 
on 
the 
Zionists 
was removed. 
There 
was 
no major 
obstacle 
to 
claiming 
an area 
even 
further 
to 
the 
east, 
stopping only 
at 
the desert. 
Chaim 
Weizmann 
made 
his 
intentions 
clear 
in 
a 
letter 
to 
Churchill 
in 
March 
1921 
as 
" 
256 
the Colonial 
Secretary 
was preparing 
for 
the Cairo Conference. 
It 
called 
for 
Jewish 
colonisation of 
the 
east 
bank 
of 
Jordan: 
It 
is 
quite 
appreciated, 
however 
that the 
local 
customs 
and 
institutions 
might 
be 
modified gradually 
as 
Zionist Colonisation 
proceeded. 
The 
Jewish 
colonists, 
moreover, 
could 
not 
expect 
the 
same 
security 
for 
life 
and property 
in 
Eastern 
Palestine 
as 
in 
Western Palestine. 
They 
would, 
like 
all 
pioneers 
in 
all countries, 
be 
expected 
to 
defend 
their 
Tgttlement 
from 
raids 
and 
local 
disturbances. 
Weizmann 
went on 
to 
paint 
an 
idealised 
picture of 
Trans-Jordan 
as an 
"integral 
and vital 
part 
of 
Palestine", 
pointing 
out 
that: 
The 
climate of 
Trans-Jordania 
is 
invigorat- 
ing; 
the 
soil 
is 
rich; 
irrigation 
would 
be 
easy; 
and 
the 
hills 
are 
covered 
with 
forests. 
There Jewish 
settlements 
can 
proceed 
on a 
large 
scale w}ghout 
friction 
with 
the 
local 
population. 
This 
letter 
showed a certain 
naivety 
about 
the 
nature 
of 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
In the 
period 
1919 
to 
1921 
there 
was a great 
deal 
of 
distrust 
among 
the 
inhabitants 
about 
Jewish 
intentions 
east 
of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
(let 
alone 
in 
Palestine 
proper). 
This 
apprehension 
was 
largely 
put 
to 
rest 
by 
Sir 
Herbert 
Samuel 
at al 
Salt 
in 
August 
1920, 
when 
he 
declared 
to 
600 
Trans-Jordanian 
notables 
that 
the 
territory 
would 
not 
be 
incorporated 
with 
Palestine 
and 
that 
local 
auto- 
nomy 
would 
be 
encouraged. 
However, 
Samuel's 
assurance 
only 
stimulated 
Zionist 
distrust 
of 
British 
intentions 
for 
the 
territory. 
The 
inclusion 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
within 
the 
Palestine 
Mandate, 
even 
given 
Clause 
25 
which 
exempted 
it 
from 
the 
c 
t? 
257 
Jewish National 
Home, 
was 
seen 
by 
the 
Zionist 
Organisation as 
a success. 
At 
the 
12th 
Zionist 
Congress, 
which was 
held 
in 
Carlsbad 
on 
1- 
14 
September 
1921 
(and 
six 
months 
after 
the 
implementation 
of 
the 
Hashemite 
solution), 
Weizmann, 
in 
answering 
a question, 
stated 
the 
Zionist 
position: 
The 
Mandate 
has 
now 
been 
published, 
and 
cannot 
henceforward 
be 
altered, 
except 
in 
one 
respect. 
Trans-Jordan, 
which 
in 
the 
first 
text 
of 
the 
Mandate 
was 
outside 
the 
sphere 
of 
the 
Mandate, 
is 
now 
included 
in 
the 
Mandate. 
By 
this 
means 
... 
the 
question 
concerning 
the 
eastern 
frontier 
has 
been 
in 
part 
answered. 
The 
question 
will 
be 
still 
better 
answered 
when 
Cisjordania 
is 
so 
full 
of 
Jews that 
a1yay 
is forced 
into 
Transjordania. 
The 
Zionist 
argument 
during 
this 
period 
was 
that 
to 
detach 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
the 
Jewish 
National 
Home 
would 
jeopardise 
the 
whole project, 
as 
its 
separation 
would 
be 
an economic 
calamity. 
At 
the 
same 
time, 
both 
David 
Ben 
Gurion 
and 
Isaac 
Ben 
Zir 
claimed 
that 
the 
Jewish Homeland 
should 
include 
the 
two 
sanjaks 
of 
Hauran 
and 
Ma'an 
and 
a part of 
the 
sanjak 
of 
Damascus. 
is 
Although, 
with 
the 
approval 
of 
the 
Mandate 
by 
the League 
of 
Nations 
in 
September 
1922, 
the 
door 
was 
firmly 
shut 
on 
Jewish 
expansion 
into 
Trans-Jordan, there 
none 
the 
less 
remained 
a vociferous 
minority 
in 
the 
form 
of 
the 
Revisionist- 
Zionists 
led 
by 
Vladimir Jabotinsky 
who 
thought 
otherwise. 
* 
V. 
Jabotinsky 
(1880 
- 
1940) 
- 
Menachem 
Begin's 
mentor. 
258 
The 
term 
"Revisionist" 
refers 
to the 
desire 
in 
some parts 
of 
the Zionist 
movement 
to 
have 
the 
mandate 
revised 
to 
include 
Trans-Jordan 
within 
the 
Jewish National 
Home. 
The Revision 
ists 
held 
the 
view 
that 
the 
mandate should 
be 
extended so 
that 
the 
Jewish 
homeland 
would 
exist 
within 
its "historic bound- 
aries", which 
included 
all of 
Trans-Jordan! 
At the 
16th 
Zionist Congress 
in 
1929, Jabotinsky 
stated 
that 
'Palestine 
is 
a 
territory 
whose 
chief geographical 
feature 
is 
this: that 
the 
river 
Jordan 
does 
not 
delineate 
its 
frontier but 
flows 
19 
through 
its 
centre'. 
Had Britain 
given way under 
Zionist 
pressure, 
and 
permitted 
Jewish 
colonisation 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
it 
would 
have 
made 
a mockery 
of an 
"Arab 
solution" 
east of 
the 
river. 
The 
basis 
of 
British 
policy 
was 
to 
attempt 
to 
implement 
part 
of 
the 
Hussein-McMahon 
agreement 
and also 
to 
satisfy 
the 
desire 
of 
Abdullah 
to 
rule 
his 
own 
territory. 
In 
attempting 
to 
reconcile 
the 
various 
war-time 
promises 
and 
so 
satisfy 
in 
part 
Arab 
aspirations, 
it 
was essential 
that Jewish 
settlement 
east 
of 
the 
river 
be 
prohibited. 
The 
establishment 
of an 
Arab 
administration 
under 
Abdullah 
thwarted 
Zionist 
ambitions. 
All 
the 
various 
agreements 
and 
assurances 
by 
the 
British 
during 
the 
period 
were aimed, 
to 
a 
large 
extent, at 
answering 
local 
Arab 
fears. 
Although 
it 
formed 
part of 
the 
Mandate 
for 
Palestine, 
the 
fear 
of 
Jewish 
encroachments 
into 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
firmly 
put 
to 
rest. 
259 
THE 
LEAD 
UP TO 
THE 
1928 
TREATY 
The 
assurance 
which 
Sir Herbert Samuel 
gave 
to Abdullah 
in 
1923 
stipulated 
that 
recognition 
of 
Trans-Jordanian 
autonomy was 
conditional 
on 
the 
fact 
that Abdullah's 
Govern- 
ment 
was 
constitutional 
and 
that 
Britain 
was 
in 
a position 
to 
fulfil her 
international 
obligations 
to the League 
of 
Nations. 
One 
year after 
Samuel's 
assurance, 
Sir John 
Shuckburgh, 
Assistant Under 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the Colonies, 
stated 
that British 
policy 
was 
'to foster 
the 
establishment of 
an 
independent 
Arab 
state 
under 
the 
rule 
of 
the 
Emir 
Abdullah'. 
20 
However, 
the two 
conditions 
in 
the 
assurance 
remained 
unful- 
filled 
and 
it 
was 
open 
to 
misinterpretation 
by 
Abdullah. Sir 
John 
Shuckburgh 
went 
on 
to 
point out 
that, 
... 
Abdullah 
has 
drifted, 
and 
has 
perhaps 
been 
rather 
encouraged 
to 
drift, into 
the 
erroneous 
belief 
that the 
Assurance 
of 
May 
1923 
was 
unconditional, and 
that 
his 
"independence" 
has 
been 
fully 
recognised. 
21 
In 
particular, 
there 
was 
little 
or 
no 
development 
towards the 
implementation 
of constitutional 
government. 
As Shuckburgh 
concluded, 
'the 
Amir 
has 
not proved 
himself 
a good ruler. 
His 
personal 
expenditure 
has been 
extravagant, 
and 
his 
general 
administration 
must 
be 
set 
down 
as 
inefficient 
and 
unpopular'. 
22 
The 
successful 
conclusion 
of 
a satisfactory 
agreement 
was 
now 
of 
some 
urgency, 
if 
only 
to 
tidy 
up 
Britain's 
position 
in 
that 
part 
of 
the Middle 
East. By 
the 
mid 
1920's 
the 
situation 
in 
the 
surrounding 
territories 
was 
relatively 
stable. 
France 
260 
was 
firmly 
established 
in 
Syria. 
To 
the 
south, 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud 
was preoccupied 
with 
consolidating 
his 
position as 
ruler 
of 
the Hejaz 
and 
the 
Nejd. And 
even 
in 
Iraq, 
events were 
a 
lot 
quieter, especially 
after 
the 
1926 
Treaty. 
However, Iraq 
was a special case where, 
as 
Elizabeth Monroe 
points 
out, 
'local 
antipathy 
to 
the 
word 
"mandate" led 
the 
British 
to 
ban 
it 
from 
circulation, except 
in 
Geneva, 
and 
to 
substitute 
for 
it 
a 
bilateral 
treaty'. 
23 
The 
pace 
of 
constitutional 
develop 
went 
in 
Iraq 
in 
contrast 
to 
Trans-Jordan, 
was 
of 
constant 
annoyance 
to Abdullah, 
who 
seemed 
to 
be 
extremely 
jealous 
of 
his 
brother's 
position. 
As 
Lord 
Plumer 
(who 
had 
succeeded 
Sir 
Herbert Samuel 
as 
High 
Commissioner 
in 
Jerusalem 
in 
1925) 
informed 
London 
on 
21 
December 
1927: 
Abdullah 
remarked rather pathe 
brother 
Faisal 
has 
been 
giving 
trouble 
in 
Iraq 
but he 
goes 
to 
gets 
a 
treaty 
within 
a month. 
my coun?4y 
quiet and 
have 
been 
years. 
tically 
"My 
a 
lot 
of 
England 
and 
I 
have 
kept 
waiting 
three 
" 
Lord 
Plumer 
raised 
the 
issue 
of 
the treaty 
in 
1926 
when 
he 
first 
sent 
a 
draft 
to 
London, 
25 
However, 
this 
draft 
was 
the 
subject 
of 
the 
inevitable 
prolonged 
discussions, 
both 
in 
Jerusalem 
and 
in 
London. 
Although 
the 
Colonial 
office 
was 
the 
lead 
department, 
other 
government 
departments 
had 
to 
be 
consulted: the 
Foreign 
Office; 
the Treasury 
who 
had 
to 
foot 
the, 
bill; 
and 
the 
Air 
Ministry 
who 
had 
an 
over-riding 
interest 
in 
the 
security 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
the 
air 
route 
to Iraq 
and 
further 
east. 
26 
The British 
officials 
on 
the 
ground 
were 
also 
getting 
a 
bit impatient 
with 
the 
administrative 
delays 
and 
261 
this 
message 
was 
filtering 
through 
to 
London. 
The 
acting 
British 
Resident 
in 
Amman 
in 
December 
1927, A. 
S. Kirkbride, 
reported 
to 
the 
High 
Commission 
office 
in 
Jerusalem 
that 
'the 
people 
of 
this 
country 
are 
anxiously 
awaiting 
the 
arrival 
of 
the 
constitution'. 
27 
The 
contrast 
with 
the 
position 
of 
Iraq 
was 
ever 
present 
in 
the 
minds 
of 
the British 
officials: 
Lord 
Plumer 
is 
anxious 
that 
the 
two 
docu- 
ments 
[the 
Treaty 
and 
the 
organic 
Law] 
should 
be 
signed 
simultaneously 
and 
is 
pressing 
for 
authority 
to 
conclude 
the 
transaction 
at 
the 
earliest 
possible 
date. 
The 
Amir 
is displaying 
some 
impatience 
in 
the 
matter 
and 
is 
inclined 
to 
contrast 
the 
delay 
in his 
own 
case 
with 
the 
rapidity 
with 
which 
his 
brother, King 
Faisal, 
(of 
whom 
he 
is 
extremely 
jealous) 
obtained 
a ne18treaty 
during 
his 
recent 
visit 
to England. 
THE AGREEMENT 
OF 
20 
FEBRUARY 
1928 
It 
is 
now 
necessary 
to 
turn 
to the Treaty 
itself. 
Throughout 
January 
1928, 
with 
Plumer 
in 
Jerusalem 
asking 
for 
swift 
action, 
a 
last 
minute 
alteration 
was agreed 
in 
London 
and 
there 
was 
discussion 
whether 
the 
Cabinet 
was 
to 
be 
consulted 
as 
the 
agreement 
might 
be 
seen as 
an 
extension 
of 
British 
commitments 
in 
the 
area. 
On the 
alteration, 
the 
Foreign Office 
concurred 
with 
the 
Dominions Secretary's 
proposal 
to 
modify 
Article 
5 "so 
as 
to 
bind 
the 
Amir 
to 
be 
guided 
by 
the 
advice 
of 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
in 
all 
matters 
29 
This 
concerning 
the 
foreign 
relations of 
Trans-Jordan. 
" 
modification 
was 
seen 
as 
necessary 
because 
Article 19 
(2) 
of 
the Organic 
Law 
allowed 
the 
Amir 
to 
negotiate 
treaties 
on 
his 
own 
behalf. 
On 
the 
question 
of 
whether 
or 
not 
the 
Treaty 
was 
262 
??m?? 
an 
extension 
of 
British 
commitments 
in 
the 
area, 
Sir 
John 
Shuckburgh 
wrote 
to 
Sir 
Samuel 
Wilson, 
pointing 
out 
that 
'the 
agreement 
involves 
fresh 
commitments 
only 
in 
the 
most 
technical 
sense', 
30 
but 
went 
on 
to 
say 
that: 
'the 
commitments 
are 
there; 
the 
agreement 
does 
not more 
than 
record 
them 
and 
regularise 
the 
methods 
by 
which 
they 
are 
to 
be 
(and 
are 
being) 
carried 
out. 
'31 
The 
Under 
Secretary 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies, W. 
Ormsby-Gore, 
wrote 
to 
the 
Prime 
Minister 
with 
his 
memorandum 
to 
brief 
him 
on 
the 
Trans-Jordanian 
situation 
and 
saying 
that 
he 
was 
'sending 
him 
[Plumer] 
a 
despatch 
by 
this 
week's mail 
authorising 
him 
to 
go 
ahead and conclude 
the 
32 
treaty. 
' 
The Agreement 
was 
signed 
in 
Jerusalem 
on 
20 
February, 
1928 
by 
Lord 
Plumer 
and 
Abdullah 
(for 
full 
text 
see 
Appendix 
D). 
It 
set 
out, 
formally, 
the 
relationship 
between 
Britain 
and 
Trans-Jordan. 
The 
agreement, 
very 
adequately, 
protected 
British 
interests 
in 
the 
area 
and regulated 
British 
relations 
with 
Trans-Jordan 
until 
its independence in 
1946. 
The 
docu- 
went 
set 
out 
the 
position 
and 
responsibilities 
of 
the 
British: 
the 
British 
Resident 
in 
Amman 
was 
to 
act 
for 
the 
High 
Commissioner for 
Trans-Jordan 
(Article 
1) 
and 
the 
British 
Mandatory 
powers 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
were 
entrusted 
to Abdullah 
'through 
a constitutional 
government 
as 
is 
defined 
and 
deter- 
mined 
in 
the organic Law 
of 
Trans-Jordan'. 
33 
Article 
2 
also 
stressed 
the 
separation 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
Palestine 
proper: 
' 
Throughout the 
remaining 
clauses 
of 
this 
Agreement 
the 
word 
"Palestine", 
unless 
otherwise 
defined, 
shall mean 
that 
portion 
263 
of 
the 
area 
under 
Mandate 
which 
lies 
west 
of 
a 
line 
[goes 
on 
to 
define 
line 
from 
Aqaba 
through 
Dead 
Sea 
lid river 
Jordan 
to the 
Syrian 
frontier. 
] 
The 
agreement 
also 
laid down 
that 
Abdullah 
was 
bound 
to 
accept 
British 
advice 
on 
foreign 
policy and 
finance 
(Article 
5 
and 
6), 
judicial 
matters 
and 
freedom 
of religion 
(Article 
9). 
Nonetheless, 
the 
agreement 
gave 
Abdullah 
powers 
of 
legislation 
and 
administration 
with 
overall 
British 
supervision. 
The 
agreement 
fell 
short 
of 
independence, 
but 
unlike 
in 
Iraq, 
this 
was 
not an 
issue. 
As 
far 
as 
the British 
government 
was concerned, 
the 
most 
important 
articles 
were 
those 
dealing 
with 
defence 
and 
finance 
(Article 
10,11 
and 
12). 
35 
These 
allowed 
Britain 
to 
maintain, 
and 
raise 
where necessary, 
armed 
forces 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
although 
the 
cost 
of 
these 
was a charge 
on 
the 
revenues of 
the 
Amirate, 
as 
long 
as 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
unable 
to 
foot 
the 
bill, 
Britain 
undertook 
to 
provide 
a grant 
to 
meet 
the 
excess 
of 
6 36 
over 
revenue. 
The 
agreement 
was published 
locally 
on 
26 
March 
and 
'was 
met 
with 
a 
considerable 
amount 
of 
adverse criticism 
and 
in 
the 
Northern 
district 
some 
demonstrations 
were 
held. 
'37 
However, 
these 
misgivings, 
which 
centred 
around 
Article 
10, 
were 
put 
to 
rest 
by 
assurances 
given 
by 
the 
Amir. 
As 
the 
regular 
report 
of 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
stated: 
Article 
10, 
which 
gives 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
authority 
to 
raise 
and 
maintain 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
such 
forces 
as 
he 
considers 
necessary 
for 
the 
defence 
of 
the 
country 
and 
264 
r 
to 
assist 
the 
Amir 
in 
the 
maintenance 
of 
peace 
and 
order 
has 
been 
constructed 
by 
the 
people 
to 
mean 
conscription 
and service 
in 
any 
part 
of 
the 
British 
Empire. 
It 
is 
unfortunate 
that 
the 
organic 
Law 
which 
has 
now 
been 
passed 
and 
will 
be 
published 
within 
the 
next 
few 
days 
was 
not 
read Y39 
or 
publication 
with 
the 
agreement. 
The 
Organic 
Law 
of 
1928 
laid 
down 
the 
Constitution 
and 
the 
mechanisms 
of self-government 
for 
Trans-Jordan*39 
it 
consisted 
of seven 
parts 
and 
codified: 
the 
Rights 
of 
the 
People; 
the 
Legislature; 
the 
Judiciary; 
Administration; 
the 
Validation 
of 
Laws 
and 
Judgements; 
and a 
General Section 
which 
dealt 
with 
Taxation, 
the 
civil 
list, 
and 
the 
economic 
exploit- 
ation 
of natural 
resources. 
A Nationality 
Law 
was 
also 
promulgated 
on 
1 June 
1928. 
with the 
publication 
of 
the 
Organic 
Law, the 
administra 
tive 
framework 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
finally 
established. 
The 
agitation against 
the 
Anglo-Trans-Jordanian 
agreement 
had 
died 
down 
and 
the 
British Resident 
in 
Amman 
was able 
to 
report 
that 
the 
Organic 
Law 
was 
favourably 
received. 
40 
Nevertheless, 
there 
was still a 
bit 
of unease among 
the 
population 
about 
the 
possibility of conscription. 
When the 
registration of 
voters 
began 
on 
1 
September 
1928 
for 
the 
election 
of 
the 
Legislative 
Asssembly, 
it 
was 
met with some suspicion 
that 
its 
true 
purpose 
was 
to 
produce 
a register 
for 
conscription. 
41 
The Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
showed considerable 
interest 
in 
the 
Agreement 
and 
objected 
to 
the 
fact 
that 
it 
had 
not 
been 
consulted 
before 
it 
was ratified. 
The 
main 
objection 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
was 
265 
that 
'as 
a matter 
of principle 
the 
agreement should 
be 
commu- 
nicated 
to 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League 
for 
approval 
before it 
is 
ratified'. 
42 
Their 
concern 
was 
over 
procedure 
rather 
than 
any 
serious 
objections 
to the 
content of 
the Agreement 
and 
the 
organic 
Law. While 
not criticizing 
its 
content 
M. 
Van 
Rees 
of 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission thought 
that, 
because 
the 
Mandate 
as agreed 
in 
1922 
was not reproduced 
in 
the 
agreement, 
43 
it 'might be 
contrary 
to the 
terms 
of 
the 
existing mandate'. 
The 
British 
Representative, Lt. 
Col. 
Sir 
Stewart Symes 
answered 
this 
by 
saying, 
He 
did 
not 
think, 
however, 
that 
the 
agreement 
could 
be 
considered 
as 
either 
invalidating 
or replacing 
the 
mandate. 
On 
the 
contrary, 
the 
view 
of 
the British 
government 
was 
that 
it implemented 
the 
mandate, 
in 
accordance with 
the 
princip12 
laid 
down 
by 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League. 
In 
any 
case, 
the 
British 
view 
was 
that 
it 
did 
not require 
League 
of 
Nations 
approval and as 
far 
as 
Article 
25 
was 
concerned, 
the Council 
of 
the 
League had 
given 
its 
consent 
when 
it 
approved 
the British 
Memorandum 
of 
26 
September 
1922. 
Mr. Lloyd, 
the British 
Representative 
to the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission, 
said, 
in 
a minute 
to Sir John 
Shuckburgh, 
that 
I 
think 
I 
succeeded 
in 
convincing them 
(Catastini, 
head 
of 
the 
Mandate 
Section 
and 
Gilchrist 
of 
the PMC) 
that, 
on 
a 
point 
of 
principle, 
there 
was 
much 
to 
be 
said 
for 
HMG's 
arguments 
and 
that 
it 
was 
at 
least 
doubtful 
whether 
Counci45approval 
to 
the 
agreement 
is 
necessary. 
The 
British 
were 
concerned 
that 
if 
League 
of 
Nations 
approval 
X66 
was 
required, 
then 
'... 
every 
new 
law 
passed 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
every 
amendment 
of 
an 
existing 
law 
would 
have 
to 
be 
submitted 
to 
the 
Council 
for 
approval 
before 
it 
could 
come 
into 
force. 
'46 
Nonetheless, 
Sir John Shuckburgh 
wrote 
to 
Vito 
Catastini 
to 
clarify 
the 
position: 
Here the 
Palestine 
Mandate 
(as 
approved 
by 
the 
Council) 
remains 
in 
force 
except 
insofar 
as some 
of 
the 
provisions 
have, 
in 
accordance 
with 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
Mandate, 
and 
with 
the 
concurrence 
of 
the Council, 
been 
excluded 
from 
operation east of 
the 
Jordan. The 
new 
treaty 
represents 
in 
effect 
the 
administrative 
measures 
that 
we 
have 
taken 
within 
the 
discretion 
allowed 
us 
by 
the 
Council. 
There 
is 
no 
question 
of 
47 
replacing 
or even 
modifying 
the 
mandate. 
Despite 
this, 
the 
Permanent Mandates Commission, 
in its 
'Report 
on 
the 
Work 
of 
the Thirteenth Session 
of 
the 
Commis- 
sion', 
while seeing 
the 
move 
towards 
self government 
as a 
good 
thing, 
felt 
obliged 
to 
record: 
Since 
the 
Commission 
is 
charged 
with 
the 
duty 
of seeing 
that the 
mandate 
is 
fully 
and 
literally 
carried 
out,. 
it 
considers 
it 
necessary 
to 
point 
out 
that, 
in 
particular, 
Article 
2 
of 
the 
Agreement 
which 
reads 
as 
follows: 
'The 
powers 
of 
legislation, 
and 
of 
administration 
entrusted 
to 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
as mandatory 
for 
Palestine 
shall 
be 
exercised 
in 
that 
part 
of 
the 
area 
under 
mandate 
known 
as 
Trans-Jordan 
by 
His 
High- 
ness 
the Amir 
... 
' 
does 
not seem 
to 
be 
compatible 
with 
the 
stipulations 
of 
the Mandate, 
of 
which 
Article 1 
provides 
that: 
'the 
mandatory 
shall 
have 
full 
powers 
of 
legislation 
and 
of 
administration, 
save 
as 
they 
may 
?g limited 
by 
the terms 
of 
this 
mandate'. 
The 
British 
government 
gave 
an assurance 
to 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
267 
League 
of 
Nations 
on 
1 
September 
1928. 
At the 
opening speech 
of 
the 
fourteenth 
session 
of 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
in 
October 
1928, 
the 
Chairman, 
Marquis 
Theodoli, 
said 
that: 
Lord 
Cushenden's 
statement 
(at 
the Council 
meeting 
of 
1 September 
1928) 
concludes as 
follows: 
'... 
at 
the 
same 
time, 
in 
saying 
this, there 
should 
be 
no 
doubt 
at 
all 
in 
the 
minds 
of 
the 
members 
of 
the 
Council that 
my 
Govern- 
ment 
regards 
itself 
as 
responsible 
to the 
Council 
for 
the 
proper 
application 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan 
of 
all provisions 
of 
the Palestine 
Mandate, 
except 
those 
which 
have 
been 
excluded 
under 
Article 
25. 
' 
I 
consider 
that 
this 
part 
of 
the 
declaration 
constitutes 
a 
very satisfactory 
reply 
to the 
apprehensions 
by 
the 
Commission. 
At 
any 
rate, 
this 
was 
the 
point 
of 
view4? 
f 
the 
Council 
regarding 
this 
question. 
The 
British 
view, none 
the 
less, 
remained 
that the 
agreement 
was 
similar 
to 
any 
other 
legislative 
measure, 
that 
it 
could 
thus 
be 
examined 
by 
the 
Permanent 
Mandates 
Commission 
and 
was 
therefore 
not 
subject 
to 
Council 
approval'. 
50 
The Mandate 
remained 
fully 
in 
force 
and 
both 
sides were 
satisfied. 
An 
interesting 
postscript 
occurred 
when a 
petition 
- 
the 
only 
time 
that this 
occurred 
in 
the 
history 
of 
the League's 
involvement in 
the 
affairs of 
Trans-Jordan 
- 
from 
a 
number 
of 
inhabitants 
of 
Kerak 
and 
Ajlun, 
dated 
24 
November 
1928, 
was 
sent 
to 
the Secretary General 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
(via 
the 
British 
Resident), 
objecting 
to 
the 
1928 
agreement. 
In 
general 
the 
petitioners objected 
to 
the 
general trend 
of 
British 
policy 
in 
the 
area, 
and 
in 
particular 
to 
the 
taking 
over 
of 
the 
administration 
of 
the Hejaz 
railway, 
and 
also 
of 
Command 
of 
the 
Army, 
to the 
costs 
of 
the 
appointment 
of 
268 
bSF 
British 
advisers, 
and 
to 
the 
fact 
that the 
'laws 
are not 
compatible 
with 
the 
customs 
of 
the 
country'. 
51 
The 
petition 
further 
went 
on 
to 
request 
that 
Trans-Jordan 
be 
an 
Independent 
Arab 
state 
under 
Amir 
Abdullah, 
with 
Britain 
providing 
'disinterested 
technical 
help 
for 
the 
advancement 
of 
the 
country'. 
52 
In 
its 
response, 
dated 
27 
May 
1929, 
the 
British 
government pointed 
out 
that 
only 
four 
or 
five 
of 
the 
nineteen 
petitioners 
were men 
of standing. 
53 
The British 
government 
then 
went on 
to 
refute 
the 
arguments 
of 
the 
petitioners, and 
pointed out 
that 
in 
the 
absence of 
qualified 
Trans-Jordanians 
to 
fill 
government 
posts, 
it 
was necessaary 
to 
fill 
them 
with 
{ 
British 
advisers, 
The 
Permanent 
Mandates Commission 
considered 
the British 
argument 
convincing 
and 
pointed 
out 
that 
'the 
institutions 
now 
established 
in 
that 
country 
do 
not 
perhaps 
correspond 
to the 
present 
stage 
of 
development 
of 
the 
54 
population'. 
It 
went on 
to 
say 
that: 
The 
situation 
for 
which 
the 
mandatory 
Power 
is 
blamed 
is 
therefore 
not 
the 
result 
of 
a 
system, 
and 
the 
gradual righting 
of 
it in 
accordance 
with 
their 
desires 
depends 
upon55 
the 
inhabitants 
of 
the 
country 
themselves. 
As 
a result, 
Mr. Orts 
(of 
the 
PMC) 
concluded 
that 
'there 
is 
no 
occasion 
for 
the Commission 
to 
enter 
into 
the 
various 
comp- 
laints 
submitted 
by 
the 
petitioners. 
' 
56 
CONCLUSION 
What 
the 1928 
agreement 
recognised 
was 
a 
set 
of circum- 
stances 
which 
had 
existed 
in 
the 
Amirate 
since 
the 
position 
of 
269 
Abdullah as 
Amir 
was 
established 
in 
1921. 
Namely, 
Abdullah 
had 
a 
large degree 
of 
autonomy 
only 
in 
so 
far 
as 
it 
did 
not go 
against 
the 
over-riding 
interests 
of 
Britain 
in 
Palestine 
and 
elsewhere 
in 
the 
region. 
By 
1928 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
dependent 
on 
Britain 
for 
military 
support 
to 
protect 
the 
territory 
(especially 
against 
raids 
from 
the 
south), 
for 
finance 
for 
the 
budget 
and 
the 
administration 
of 
the 
state, 
and 
for 
general 
political 
support 
for 
the 
position 
of 
the 
Amir. 
The 
1928 
agreement 
finally 
put all 
this 
down 
in 
one 
document. 
I 
0 
270 
CHAPTER NINE 
- 
FOOTNOTES 
1. 
Shwadren, 
B. 
Jordan, 
A State 
of 
Tension 
p. 
166. 
2. 
For 
example, 
it 
was 
agreed 
- 
as a supplement 
to 
the 
1928 
Agreement 
- 
in 
1934 
that 
Amir 
Abdullah 
would 
be 
allowed 
to 
'appoint 
consular 
representatives 
in 
such 
neighbouring 
Arab 
states 
as may 
be 
considered 
necessary'. 
(CMND 
4661 
of 
2 
June 
1934). 
3. 
The 
role 
of 
finance, 
is 
the 
subject 
of 
Chapter 
8. 
4. 
Shwadren, 
Be 
op. cit. 
5. 
League 
of 
Nations, 
The 
Mandates 
System, 
p. 
27. 
6. 
Covenant 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
Article 
22, 
para. 
l. 
7. 
Ibid. 
8. 
Ibid. 
9. 
League 
of 
Nations, The 
Mandates 
System, 
p. 
37. 
10. 
CMND 
1785 
Memorandum 
by 
the 
British 
representative, 
Geneva, 
23 
September 
1922. 
11. 
Ibid. 
12. 
FO 
371/7792 
CO 
to 
FO 
13 
November 
1922. The 
date 
of 
its 
publication 
in 
Amman 
25 
May 
1923, 
has 
to 
this 
day, 
been 
celebrated as 
the 
National 
Day 
of 
Jordan. 
13. 
Millar, D. 
H. 
My 
Diary 
at 
the 
Conference 
of 
Paris Vol 
V 
p. 
17. 
14. 
The Hejaz 
railway 
was 
a waqf 
- 
an 
Islamic 
religious 
endowment and 
Jewish 
control 
of 
it 
would 
have 
had 
serious 
repercussions 
throughout 
the 
Muslim 
world. 
15. 
Weizmann 
to 
Churchill/ 
March 
1921 
is 
quoted 
in 
Klieman, 
A. S. 
Foundation 
of 
British 
Policy 
in 
the 
Arab 
World: 
The Cairo Conference 
of 
1921 
(London 
1970), 
Appendix G. 
16. 
Ibid. 
17, 
Der 
XII 
to 
Zionisten Congress. 
quoted 
in 
Nevill 
Barbour 
Nisi 
Dominus 
(London 
1940) 
p. 
104. 
18. 
Klieman. 
op. cit. 
p. 
70. 
19. 
Quoted 
in 
Desmond Stewart 
The 
Middle East: Temple 
Of 
Janus 
p. 
304. 
271 
20. 
CO 
733/78 
Memorandum 
by 
Sir 
John 
Shuckburgh, 
26 
April 
1924. 
21. 
Ibid. 
22. 
Ibid. 
23. 
Monroe, E. 
Britain's 
Moment 
in 
the 
Middle 
East, 
p. 
77. 
24. 
CO 
831/1 
Plumer 
to Shuckburgh, 
21 
December 
1927. 
25. 
CO 
831/1 
Memo 
on 
Trans-Jordan 
by 
Ormsby-Gore, 
23 
January 
1928. 
26. 
Ibid. 
27. 
CO. 
831/1 
Report 
from 
Amman, 
15 
December 
1927. 
28. 
Ibid. 
29. 
CO 
831/1 
FO 
to 
CO, 
26 
January 
1928. 
30. 
CO 
831/1 
Shuckburgh 
to Wilson, 
23 
January 
1928. 
31. 
Ibid. 
32. 
CO 
831/1 
Ormsby-Gore 
to 
PM, 
28 
January 
1928. 
33. 
Agreemen t 
between 
the United 
Kingdom 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
20 
Febru 
ary 
1928. 
CMD 
3488, 
34. 
Ibid. 
35. 
CO 
831/1 
Memorandum 
on 
Trans-Jordan. 
Colonial office 
23 
January 
1928. 
36. 
The 
agreement 
was signed 
in both 
English 
and 
Arabic. 
However, 
from 
points 
of style 
and 
phrasing, 
the 
Arabic 
text 
came 
in 
for 
some 
criticism. 
Plumer 
pointed 
out 
in 
August, 
1928 
that 
due 
to 
these 
stylistic 
errors, 
a now 
Arabic 
text 
would 
have 
to 
be 
signed 
and 
the 
old 
one 
destroyed. 
CO 
831/1 
59408/73 
Plumer 
to 
Amery, 
23 
August 
1928. 
37. 
CO 831/1 
Report 
on 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
17 
May 
1928. 
38. 
Ibid. 
39. 
Published 
in 
the Official 
Gazette, 
19 
April 
1928. 
40. 
CO 
831/1 
Report 
on 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
the 
period 
1 
April 
to 
30 
June 1928,31 
July 1928. 
272 
41. 
CO 
831/1 
Report 
on 
the 
situation 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
the 
period 
1 July 
- 
30 
September 
1928.13 
November 
1928. 
42. 
CO 
831/1 
minute 
Lloyd 
to 
Shuckburgh, 
4 
July 
1928. 
43. 
Minutes 
of 
the 
13 
sessions 
of 
PMC 
12-29 
June, 
1928, 
p. 
44 
Geneva. 
. 
44. 
Ibid. 
p. 
45. 
45. 
CO 
831/1 
Lloyd to 
Shuckburgh, 
4 
July 
1928. 
46. 
CO 
831/1 
Malkin, 
H. W. 
to 
Lord Monteagle, 
11 
June 1928. 
47. 
CO 
831/1 
Shuckburgh 
to 
Vito 
Catastani, 
23 
August 
1928. 
48. 
Report 
of 
the 
work 
of 
the 
13th 
session of 
the Commission, 
Geneva 
1928 
p. 
12. 
49. 
Minutes 
of 
the 
14th 
session, 
26 
October 
- 
13 
November 
1928 
Geneva 
p. 
12. 
50. 
Ibid. 
51. 
Petition from 
certain 
persons 
in 
Kerak 
dated 
November 
24th 
1928 
and petition 
from 
certain of 
the 
inhabitants 
of 
Ajlun 
(Trans-Jordan) 
Annex 
11 
CPM 
855 
pp 
262-72. 
52. 
Ibid. 
53. 
Ibid. 
54. 
Ibid. 
55. 
Ibid. 
56. 
Ibid. 
273 
CHAPTERTEN 
C0NCLUS10N 
From 
a piece 
of 
territory 
in 
1920, 
which 
did 
not 
have 
any 
form 
of 
central 
administration 
or 
any 
logical 
reason 
for 
existing, 
the 
Amirate 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
had, 
by 
1930, 
under 
the 
leadership 
of 
Abdullah 
and 
the 
protection 
of 
the British, 
successfully 
developed 
the 
basic 
infrastructure 
of 
a state 
in 
its 
own 
right. 
From 
almost 
nothing, 
a 
local 
autonomous 
Arab 
administration 
was 
functioning 
to the 
general 
satisfaction 
of 
the 
British 
authorities. 
The 
finances 
of 
the 
state 
were 
in 
order, 
the 
frontiers 
of 
the 
Amirate 
were 
established, 
the 
Arab 
Legion 
and 
the 
Trans-Jordan Frontier Force 
were operating 
smoothly, 
and 
the 
legal basis 
of 
the 
British 
Trans-Jordanian 
relationship 
had 
been 
established 
and set out 
in 
the 
Agreement 
of 
20 
February 
1928. 
From 
the 
British 
point of view, 
the 
experiment was 
a 
success. 
Imperial 
strategic 
interests 
were protected, 
and 
control 
of 
a 
land 
route 
from 
the 
Mediterranean 
to the 
Persian 
Gulf 
was 
under 
British 
control 
at 
little 
financial 
cost 
to 
the 
British 
government. Besides 
its importance 
as 
a 
link 
in 
this 
land 
and 
air 
route, 
Trans-Jordan 
proved5its 
worth 
as a cordon 
sanitaire 
for 
Palestine 
proper. 
The 
peaceful 
conditions 
which 
prevailed 
to 
the 
east of 
the 
river 
Jordan 
were 
an 
important 
factor 
for 
the 
British 
administration 
in 
Jerusalem, 
who 
did 
not 
have 
to 
concern 
themselves 
with 
the 
security 
of 
the 
274 
eastern 
boundary 
of 
Palestine. 
British 
policy 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
amply 
rewarded 
during 
the 
Arab 
unrest 
in 
Palestine 
in 
1929. 
Despite 
a natural 
sympathy 
for 
the Arab 
cause, 
the 
territory 
remained 
peaceful 
and 
most 
British 
forces, 
including 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force, 
were redeployed 
to 
Palestine. 
And 
the 
autonomous 
Arab 
administration 
gave 
the 
British 
some 
satisfaction 
that they 
had 
met, 
in 
part 
at 
least, 
their 
First 
World war 
promises 
to 
Hussein 
that Arab 
independence 
would 
be 
encouraged. 
By 
1930, 
all 
British 
aims 
of 
establishing 
a 
secure 
Arab 
state 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
had been 
successfully 
achieved. 
For 
Abdullah, 
it 
was 
also 
a success, 
because 
he 
gained 
for himself 
a 
state 
when 
he 
could quite 
easily 
have 
ended 
up 
as 
an 
exile 
following 
the 
disappearance 
of 
the 
Hashemite 
Kingdom 
of 
the Hejaz. 
He 
had 
a 
large 
degree 
of 
autonomy, 
yet 
after 
1924 
he knew 
and accepted 
the 
limitations 
upon 
his 
own 
freedom 
of 
action. 
The 
British 
protective 
umbrella 
and 
advice 
gave 
him 
the 
opportunity 
to 
establish 
his 
authority 
in 
the 
territory. 
By 
giving up 
his 
claim 
to 
Syria 
in 
1921, 
he 
was 
able 
to 
consolidate, 
with 
British 
assistance, 
his 
position 
in 
Amman. 
His 
aspirations 
to the throne 
of 
Syria 
remained, 
as 
witnessed 
by 
his later 
scheme 
of 
a 
Kingdom 
of 
Greater 
Syria 
during 
the 
Second 
World 
War, 
but he 
seemed 
largely 
content to 
bide 
his 
time 
as 
Amir 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
His 
relationship 
with 
the British 
was 
close 
and 
remained 
so 
throughout 
the 
mandate 
period 
and 
after 
Trans-Jordan 
became 
an 
independent 
kingdom 
on 
22 
March 
1946. 
Y 
275 
The 
dedication 
of 
the 
British 
officials 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
also 
played 
an 
important 
role 
in 
the 
consolidation 
of 
the 
Amirate 
under 
Abdullah. 
People 
such 
as 
Peake, Cox, 
and 
Glubb 
after 
his 
arrival 
in 
1930, 
were 
the 
work-horses 
who 
helped 
to 
first 
establish 
the 
infrastructure 
of 
the 
state 
and 
ensured 
that Trans-Jordan 
developed 
in 
an 
orderly 
fashion. 
Without 
them, the 
organs 
of government 
could not 
have 
functioned 
for 
long. 
One 
of 
the 
legacies 
from 
the 
British 
mandate 
period 
is, 
of course, 
the 
Arab Legion, 
now 
the Army 
of 
Jordan 
(though 
the 
English 
name 
has 
changed, 
the 
Arab 
has 
not, 
it 
still 
remains 
the 
al 
Jaysh 
al 
Arabi), 
probably 
the 
most 
efficient 
of 
the 
armed 
forces 
of 
the 
Arab 
world. 
The 
first 
ten 
years 
of 
its 
existence 
determined 
how 
Trans-Jordan 
was 
to 
develop 
in 
future 
years, 
and 
explains 
why 
it, 
alone 
of all 
the 
Hashemite 
kingdoms, 
survives 
into 
the 
late 
twentieth 
century. 
Admittedly, the 
conditions 
that 
prevailed 
in 
the territory 
were 
much 
simpler 
than those 
that 
existed 
in 
Palestine 
and 
Iraq. It 
had 
a small 
population, 
economic 
resources 
were 
minimal, 
and 
the 
social 
structure 
was 
largely 
homogenous, 
so 
that 
although 
it 
was an artificial 
creation 
it 
managed 
to 
survive 
the 
upheavals 
of 
the 
Middle 
East 
after 
the Second 
World 
War. 
The 
fact 
that 
the 
Hashemite 
regime 
had 
a 
large 
degree 
of autonomy 
from 
the 
very 
beginning, 
plus 
the 
fact 
that 
Britain 
remained 
firm 
on 
the issue-of 
excluding 
Jews from 
settling 
in 
the 
area, 
played 
no 
small 
part 
in 
the fact 
that 
the 
Kingdom 
has 
survived 
to 
the 
present 
day. 
The 
British-Hashemite 
'special 
relationship' 
which 
existed 
276 
from 
the 
formation 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
was 
developed 
and 
strengthened 
throughout 
the 
mandate 
period,, 
yet 
remains, 
even 
though 
obviously 
in 
a modified 
form, 
a 
feature 
of 
the 
Middle 
East 
political scene 
today. 
r. 
277 
APPENDIXA 
EXPENDITURE 
ON 
THE ARAB 
LEGION 
IN 
TRANS-JORDAN: 
1921 
- 
30 
I. 
ARAB 
LEGION 
BRITISH 
GRANT-IN-AID 
1921 
- 
22 LE 
100,000 
(mostly 
for 
Arab 
Legion) 
1922 
- 
23 LE 
100,000 
19 
23 
- 
24- 
E 
1924 
- 
25 
?E 
106,751 
LE 77,572 
1925 
- 
26 
?E 
136,723 
LP 
103,957 
1926 
- 
27 
?P 
106,087 
?P 
66,000 
1927 
- 
28 
LP 
102,856 LP 
45,000 
1928 
- 
29 LP 
100,412 
LP 
40,000 
1929 
- 
30 ?P 
99,951 
LP 
40,000 
In 1926 
the Pal 
estinian 
Pound 
(on 
par 
with 
L 
Sterling) 
replaced 
the Eg 
yptian 
Pound 
which was worth 
slightly 
more. 
II 
GRANT-IN-AID 
FOR 
THE 
TJFF 
1928 
- 
29 LP 27,644 
1929 
- 
20 
?P 
31,475 
1930 
- 
31 ?P 33,452 
Sources: 
British Government 
report 
to 
League 
of 
Nations 
on 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
1930. 
CO 
733 
Papers. 
278 
APPENDIXB 
SUMMARY OF REVENUE 
AND EXPENDITURE IN TRANS-JORDAN 
1921 
TO FINANCIAL 
YEAR 
1930 
-1 
(INCLUDING 
GRANTS-IN-AID) 
PERIOD 
REVENUE 
(inc. 
G-in-A) 
1921-2 
*?150,000 
1922-3 
*L150,000 
1923-4 
*L150,000 
1924-5 
L280,673 
1925-6 
?282,459 
1926-7 
?302,520 
1927-8 
?282, 
'073 
1928-9 
?307,555 
1929-30 
?316,147 
1930-1 
?367,516 
EXPENDITURE 
GRANT-IN-AID 
TJFF 
GRANT-IN 
-AID 
L300,000 
?E180,000 
- 
?300,000 
?E 90,000 
?300,000 
?E 
150,000 
?274,868 
L 
77,572 
?274,573 
? 
103,957 
?274,920 
? 66,000 
?318,260 
? 45,000 
?318,950 
? 
40,000 
?338,460 ? 
40,000 
?350,532 
L 84,000 
?27,644 
131,475 
?33,452 
TOTAL: 
?2,238,943 
?2,150,543 ?876,529 ?92,571 
(1924-1930-1)(1924-1930-1) 
(1921-1930-1) 
(1928-31) 
excluding 
grant-in-aid 
approx. 
figures. 
SOURCES: 
BRITISH GOVERNMENT 
Report to League 
of 
Nations 
on 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
1930. 
CO 733 
Papers 
1921-4. 
Note: 
As 
no 
accounts 
existed 
for 
1921-2 
to 
1923-4, 
Revenue 
and 
Expenditure 
figures 
are 
only 
estimates 
(from 
CO 
733 
papers). 
279 
APPENDIXC 
N0TE 
GENEVA 
September 
23rd, 1922, 
ARTICLE 
25 
OF 
THE 
PALESTINE 
MANDATE 
Territory 
known 
as 
Trans-Jordan 
NOTE 
BY 
THE 
SECRETARY 
GENERAL 
The 
Secretary-General 
has 
the 
honour 
to 
communicate 
for 
the 
information 
of 
the 
Members of 
the 
League, 
a 
memorandum 
relating 
to 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
Palestine 
Mandate 
presented 
by 
the 
British 
Government 
to 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League 
on 
September 16th, 
1922. 
The 
memorandum 
was 
approved 
by 
the 
Council 
subject 
to the 
decision 
taken 
at 
its 
meeting 
in 
London 
on 
July 
24th, 1922, 
with 
regard 
to the 
coming 
into 
force 
of 
the 
Palestine 
and 
Syrian 
mandates. 
MEMORANDUM 
BY THE 
BRITISH 
REPRESENTATIVE 
1. 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
Mandate 
for 
Palestine 
provides 
as 
follows: 
"In 
the territories 
lying between 
the 
Jordan 
and 
the 
eastern 
boundary 
of 
Palestine 
as 
ultimately 
determined, 
the 
Mandatory 
shall 
be 
entitled, 
with 
the 
consent 
of 
the 
Council 
of 
the League 
of 
Nations, 
to 
postpone 
or withhold 
application 
of 
such 
provisions 
of 
this Mandate 
as 
he 
may 
consider 
inapplicable 
to 
the 
existing 
local 
conditions, 
and 
to 
make 
such 
provision 
for 
the 
administration of 
the territories 
as 
he 
may 
consider 
suitable 
to those 
conditions, 
provided 
no action 
shall 
be 
taken 
which 
is 
inconsistent 
with 
the 
provisions 
of 
Article 
15,16 
and 
18. 
" 
2. 
In 
pursuance of 
the 
provisions 
of 
this 
Article, 
His 
Majesty's 
Government 
invite 
the Council 
to 
pass 
the 
following 
resolution: 
- 
"The 
following 
provisions of 
the 
Mandate 
for 
Palestine 
are 
not 
applicable 
to the 
territory 
known 
as 
Trans-Jordan, 
which 
comprises 
all 
territory 
lying 
to 
the 
east 
of 
a 
line drawn 
from 
a point 
two 
miles 
west of 
the 
town 
of 
Akaba 
on 
the 
Gulf 
280 
", 
of 
that 
name 
up 
the 
centre 
of 
the 
Wady Araba, 
Dead 
Sea 
and 
River 
Jordan to 
its 
junction 
with 
the 
River 
Yarmuk; 
thence 
up 
the 
centre of 
that 
river 
to 
the Syrian 
Frontier. 
" 
Preamble. 
- 
Recitals 
2 
and 
3. 
Article 
2. 
- 
The 
words 
"placing 
the 
country 
under 
such 
political 
administration 
and 
economic 
conditions 
as 
will 
secure 
the 
establishment 
of 
the 
Jewish 
national 
home, 
as 
laid 
down 
in 
the 
preamble, 
and". 
Article 4. 
Article 6. 
Article 
7. 
- 
The 
sentence 
"There 
shall 
be included 
in 
this 
law 
provisions 
framed 
so 
as 
to 
facilitate 
the 
acquisition 
of 
Palestinian 
citizenship 
by 
Jews 
who 
take 
up 
their 
permanent 
residence 
in 
Palestine. 
" 
Article 
11. 
- 
The 
second sentence of 
the 
first 
paragraph 
and 
the 
second paragraph. 
Article 
13. 
Article 
14. 
Article 
22. 
Article 
23. 
I 
In 
the 
application 
of 
the Mandate 
to 
Trans-Jordan, 
the 
action 
which, 
in 
Palestine, 
is 
taken 
by 
the 
Administration 
of 
the latter 
country, 
will 
be 
taken 
by 
the Administration 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
under 
the 
general 
supervision 
of 
the 
Mandatory. 
3. 
His 
Majesty's Government 
accept 
full 
responsibility 
as 
Mandatory 
for 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
undertake 
that 
such 
provision 
as 
may 
be 
made 
for 
the 
administration 
of 
that 
territory in 
accordance 
with 
Article 
25 
of 
the 
Mandate 
shall 
be in 
no way 
inconsistent 
with 
those 
provisions 
of 
the 
Mandate 
which 
are 
not 
by 
this 
resolution 
declared 
inapplicable. 
281 
APPENDIXD 
THE 
AGREEMENT 
BETWEEN 
THE 
UNITED KINGDOM 
AND 
TRANS-JORDAN 
20 
FEBRUARY 
1928 
ARTICLE 
1 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
that 
His Britannic Majesty 
shall 
be 
represented 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
by 
a 
British 
Resident 
acting on 
behalf 
of 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
for 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
that 
communications 
between 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
and all 
other 
Powers 
on 
the 
one 
hand 
and 
the 
Trans-Jordan Government 
on 
the 
other shall 
be 
made 
through 
the British 
Resident 
and 
the High 
commissioner 
aforesaid. 
His Highness 
the Amir 
agrees 
that the 
ordinary 
expenses 
of civil 
government 
and 
the 
administration 
and 
the 
salaries 
and 
expenses 
of, 
the British 
Resident 
and 
his 
staff will 
be 
borne 
by 
Trans-Jordan. 
His Highness the Amir 
will 
provide 
quarters 
for 
the 
accommodation 
of 
British 
members of 
the 
staff 
of 
the British 
resident. 
ARTICLE 
2 
The 
powers 
of 
legislation 
and of administration entrusted 
to 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
as 
Mandatory 
for 
Palestine 
shall 
be 
exercised 
in 
that 
part of 
the 
area 
Mandate 
known 
as 
Trans- 
Jordan 
by 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir through 
such 
constitutional 
government 
as 
is 
defined 
and 
determined 
in 
the 
Organic Law 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
any 
amendement 
thereof 
made 
with 
the 
approval 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty. 
Throughout 
the 
remaining clauses 
of 
this 
Agreement the 
word 
"Palestine", 
unless otherwise 
defined, 
shall 
mean 
that 
portion 
of 
the 
area 
under 
Mandate 
which 
lies 
to 
the 
west of 
a 
line 
drawn 
from 
a point 
two 
miles west of 
the town 
of 
Akaba 
on 
the 
Gulf 
of 
that 
name 
up 
the 
centre 
of 
the 
Wady 
Araba, 
Dead 
Sea 
and 
River 
Yarmuk; thence 
up 
the 
centre 
of 
that 
river 
to 
the 
Syrian 
frontier. 
ARTICLE 
3 
His Highness 
the Amir 
agrees 
that 
for 
the 
period 
of 
the 
present Agreement 
no 
official 
of 
other 
than 
Trans-Jordan 
nationality 
shall 
be 
appointed 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
without 
the 
concurrence 
of 
His Britannic 
Majesty. 
The 
numbers 
and 
conditions 
of 
employment 
of 
British 
officials 
so 
appointed 
in 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
government 
shall 
be 
regulated 
by 
a 
separate 
Agreement. 
ARTICLE 
4 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
agrees 
that 
all 
such 
laws, 
orders 
or 
regulations 
as may 
be 
required 
for 
the 
full 
discharge 
of 
the 
international 
responsibilities 
and 
obligations 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
in 
respect of 
the 
territory 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
282 
shall 
be 
adopted 
and 
made, 
and 
that 
no 
laws, 
orders 
or 
regulations 
shall 
be 
adopted 
or 
made 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
which may 
hinder 
the 
full discharge 
of 
such 
international 
responsibilities 
and 
obligations. 
ARTICLE 
5 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
to 
be 
guided 
by 
the 
advice 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
tendered 
through 
the 
High 
Commissioner 
for 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
all 
matters 
concerning 
foreign 
relations 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
as 
well 
as 
in 
all 
important 
matters affecting 
the 
international 
and 
financial 
obligations 
and 
interests 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
in 
respect 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan. 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
undertakes 
to 
follow 
an 
administrative, 
financial 
and 
fiscal 
policy 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
as 
will 
ensure 
the 
stability 
and 
good 
organisation of 
his 
Government 
and, 
its 
finances. 
He 
agrees 
to 
keep 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
informed 
of 
the 
measures 
proposed 
and adopted 
to 
give 
due 
effect 
to 
this 
undertaking, 
and 
further 
agrees 
not 
to 
alter 
the 
system 
of 
control 
of 
the 
public 
finances 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan 
without 
the 
consent 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty. 
ARTICLE 
6 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
that 
he 
will 
refer 
for 
the 
advice 
of 
His 
Britannic 
majesty 
the 
annual 
Budget 
law 
and 
any 
law 
which concerns 
matters 
covered 
by 
the 
provisions 
of 
this 
Agreement, 
and 
any 
law 
of any 
of 
the 
following 
classes, 
namely: 
- 
1) 
Any 
law 
affecting 
the 
currency 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
or 
relating 
to 
the 
issue 
of 
bank 
notes. 
2) 
Any 
law 
imposing 
differential 
duties. 
3) 
Any 
law 
whereby 
persons 
who 
are 
nationals 
of 
any 
States 
Members 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
or of any 
State 
to 
which 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
has 
agreed 
by 
treaty 
that the 
same 
rights 
should 
be 
ensured 
as 
it 
would 
enjoy 
if it 
were 
a 
member 
of 
the 
said 
League, 
may 
be 
subjected 
or 
made 
liable 
to 
any 
disabilities 
to 
which 
persons 
who are 
British 
subjects 
or 
nationals 
of 
any 
foreign 
State 
are not 
also 
subjected or 
made 
liable. 
4) 
Any 
special 
law 
providing 
for 
succession 
to 
the 
Amir's 
throne, 
or 
for 
the 
establishment 
of a 
Council 
of 
Regency. 
5) 
Any 
law 
whereby 
the 
grant 
of 
land 
or money 
or other 
donation 
or gratuity 
may 
be 
made 
to 
himself. 
6) 
Any 
law 
under 
which 
the Amir 
may 
assume sovereignty 
over 
territory 
outside 
Trans-Jordan. 
7) 
Any 
law 
concerning 
the 
jurisdiction 
of 
the 
civil 
couorts 
over 
foreigners. 
8) 
Any 
law 
altering, 
amending 
or 
adding 
to 
the 
details 
of the 
provisions 
of 
the 
Organic 
Law. 
ARTICLE 
7 
Except 
by 
agreement 
between 
the two 
countries 
there 
shall 
be 
no customs 
barrier 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan, 
and 
283 
the 
Customs 
tariff 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
shall 
be 
approved 
by 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty. 
The 
Government 
of 
Palestine 
shall pay 
to 
the Trans-Jordan 
Government 
the 
estimated 
amount 
of 
customs 
duties levied 
on 
the 
part 
of 
the 
goods 
entering 
Palestine 
from 
territory 
other 
than Trans-Jordan 
which 
subsequently 
enters 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
local 
consumption, 
but 
shall 
be 
entitled 
to 
withhold 
from 
the 
sums 
to 
be 
paid 
on 
this 
account 
the 
estimated amount 
of 
custom 
duties 
levied 
by 
Trans-Jordan 
on 
that 
part 
of 
the 
goods 
entering 
Trans-Jordan 
from 
other 
than 
Palestine territory, 
which 
subsequently 
enters 
Palestine 
for 
local 
consumption. 
The 
trade 
and commerce 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
shall receive 
at 
Palestinian Ports 
equal 
facilities 
with 
the trade 
and 
commerce 
of 
Palestine. 
ARTICLE 
8 
So 
far 
as 
is 
consistent 
with 
the 
internationalobligations 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
no 
obstacle 
shall 
be 
placed 
in 
the 
way of 
the 
association 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
for 
customs 
or 
other 
purposes 
with 
such 
neighbouring 
Arab States 
as 
may 
desire it. 
ARTICLE 
9 
His Highness 
the Amir 
undertakes 
that 
he 
will 
accept 
and 
give 
effect 
to 
such 
reasonable provisions 
as 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
may 
consider 
neccessary 
in 
judicial 
matters 
to 
safeguard 
the 
interests 
of 
foreigners. 
These 
provisions 
shall 
be 
embodied 
in 
a 
separate 
Agreement, 
which 
shall 
be 
communicated 
to 
the 
Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations, 
and pending 
the 
conclusion 
of suuch 
Agreement, 
no 
foreigner 
shall 
be 
brought 
before 
a 
Trans-Jordan 
Court 
without 
the 
concurrence 
of 
His 
Britannic Majesty. 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
undertakes 
that 
he 
will accept 
and 
give 
effect 
to 
such 
reasonable 
provisions as 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
may 
consider 
necessary 
in 
judicial 
matters 
to 
safeguard 
the 
law 
and 
jurisdiction 
with regard 
to 
questions 
arising 
out 
of 
the 
religious 
beliefs 
of 
the 
different 
religious 
communities. 
ARTICLE 
10 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
may maintain 
armed 
forces 
in 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
and 
may 
raise, 
organise 
and control 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
such 
armed 
forces 
as may 
in 
his 
opinion 
be 
necessary 
for 
the 
defence 
of 
the 
country and 
to 
assist 
his Highness 
the 
Amir 
in 
the 
preservation 
of 
peace and order. 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
agrees 
that 
he 
will not 
raise or 
maintain 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
or 
allow 
to 
be 
raised 
or 
maintained 
any 
military 
forces 
without 
the 
consent 
of 
Ilia 
DritAnnic 
Majesty. 
ARTICLE 
11 
His 
Highness 
the Amir 
recognises 
the 
principle 
that 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
forces 
required 
for 
the 
defence 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
is 
a charge 
on 
the 
revenues 
of 
that 
territory. 
At 
the 
coming 
into 
force 
of 
this 
Agreement, 
Trans-Jordan 
will continue to 
bear 
one-sixth 
of 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
Trans-Jordan 
Frontier 
Force, 
284 
J 
and will 
also 
bear, 
as soon 
as 
the 
financial 
resources 
of 
the 
country 
permit, 
the 
excess 
of 
the 
cost 
of 
the 
British 
forces 
stationed 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 
so 
far 
as 
such 
forces 
may 
be 
deemed 
by 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
to 
be 
employed 
in 
respect 
of 
Trans- 
Jordan, 
over 
the 
cost 
of 
such 
forces 
if 
stationed 
in 
Great 
Britain, 
and 
the 
whole 
cost 
of 
any 
forces 
raised 
for 
Trans- 
Jordan 
alone. 
ARTICLE 
12 
So 
long 
as 
the 
revenues 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
are 
insufficient 
to 
meet such 
ordinary 
expenses 
of administration 
(including 
any 
expenditure 
on 
local 
forces 
for 
which 
Trans-Jordan 
is 
liable 
under 
Article 
11) 
as 
may 
be incurred 
with 
the 
approval 
of 
His Britannic 
Majesty, 
arrangements 
will 
be 
made 
for 
a 
contribution 
from 
the 
British 
Treasury 
by 
way 
of 
grant 
or 
loan 
in 
aid of 
the 
revenues 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
His Britannic Majesty 
will 
also 
arrange 
for 
the 
payment 
of 
the 
excess 
of 
the 
cost of 
the 
British 
forces 
stationed 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
and 
deemed 
by 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
to 
be 
employed 
in 
respect 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
insofar 
and 
for 
such 
time 
as 
the 
revenues 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
are 
insufficient 
to 
bear 
such 
excess. 
ARTICLE 13 
His Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
that 
all such 
laws, 
orders 
or 
regulations 
as may 
from 
time 
to time 
be 
required 
by 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
for 
the 
purposes 
of 
Article 
10 
shall 
be 
adopted 
and made, 
and 
that 
no 
laws, 
orders 
or 
regulations 
shall 
be 
adopted 
or made 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
which 
may, 
in 
the 
opinion 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty, 
interfere 
with 
the 
purposes 
of 
that Article. 
ARTICLE 
14 
His Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
to 
follow 
the 
advice of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
with 
regard 
to the 
proclamation 
of 
Martial 
Law 
in 
all or 
any part 
of 
Trans-Jordan 
as may 
be 
placed 
under 
Martial 
Law to 
such 
officer or 
'officers 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's 
Forces 
as 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
may 
nominate. 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
further 
agrees 
that 
on 
the 
re-establishment 
of 
civil 
government 
a 
special 
law 
shall 
be 
adopted 
to 
indemnify 
the 
armed 
forces 
maintained 
by 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty 
for 
all 
acts 
done 
or 
omissions 
or 
defaults 
made under 
Martial 
Law. 
ARTICLE 
15 
His 
Britannic Majesty 
may 
exercise 
jurisdiction 
over 
all 
members 
of 
the 
armed 
forces 
maintained 
or 
controlled 
by 
ilia 
Britannic 
Majesty 
in 
Trans-Jordan. 
For 
the 
purposes 
of 
this 
and 
the 
five 
preceding 
Articles, 
the 
term 
"armed 
forces" 
shall 
be deemed 
to 
include 
civilians 
attached 
to 
or employed 
with 
the 
armed 
forces. 
ARTICLE 
16 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
undertakes 
that 
every 
facility 
shall 
be 
provided 
at 
all 
times 
for 
the 
movement 
of 
His 
Britannic 
Majesty's 
forces 
(including 
the 
use 
of 
wireless 
and 
285 
land-line 
telegraphic 
and 
telephonic 
services 
and 
the 
right 
to 
lay 
land-lines), 
and 
for 
the 
carriage 
and storage 
of 
fuel, 
ordnance, 
ammunition 
and 
supplies 
on 
the 
roads, railways 
and 
waterways 
and 
in 
the 
ports 
of 
Trans-Jordan. 
ARTICLE 
17 
His Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
to 
be 
guided 
by 
the 
advice 
of 
His Britannic 
Majesty 
in 
all 
matters concerning 
the 
granting 
of 
concessions, 
the 
exploitation 
of 
natural 
resources, 
the 
construction 
and 
operation of 
railways, 
and 
the 
raising of 
loans. 
ARTICLE 
18 
No territory 
in 
Trans-Jordan 
shall 
be 
ceded 
or 
leased 
or 
in 
any way 
placed 
under 
the 
control 
of 
any 
foreign Power; this 
shall not 
prevent 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
from 
making 
such 
arrangements 
as 
may 
be 
necessary 
for 
the 
accommodation 
of 
foreign 
representatives 
and 
for 
the 
fulfilment 
of 
the 
provisions 
of 
the 
preceding 
Articles. 
ARTICLE 
19 
His 
Highness 
the 
Amir 
agrees 
that, 
pending 
the 
making 
of 
special extradition 
agreements 
relating 
to 
Trans-Jordan, 
the 
Extradition 
Treaties 
in 
force 
between 
His Britannic Majesty 
and 
foreign 
Powers 
shall 
apply 
to Trans-Jordan. 
ARTICLE 20 
This 
agreement 
shall 
come 
into force 
so soon 
as 
it 
shall 
have 
been 
ratified 
by 
the 
High 
Contracting Parties 
after 
its 
acceptance 
by 
the 
constitutional 
Government to 
be 
set 
up under 
Article 2. The 
constitutional 
Government 
shall 
be deemed 
to 
be 
provisional 
until 
the 
Agreement 
shall 
have been 
so 
approved. 
Nothing 
shall 
prevent 
the High Contracting 
Parties 
from 
reviewing 
from 
time 
-to 
time the 
provisions 
of 
this 
Agreement 
with 
a 
view 
to 
any 
revision which may 
seem 
desirable 
in 
the 
circumstances 
then 
existing. 
ARTICLE 21 
The 
present 
Agreement 
has been drawn 
up 
in 
two 
languages, 
English 
and 
Arabic, 
and 
the 
Plenipotentiaries 
of 
each 
of 
the 
High 
Contracting 
parties 
shall 
sign 
two 
English 
copies and 
two 
Arabic 
copies. 
Both texts 
shall 
have 
the 
same 
validity, 
but 
in 
case 
of 
divergence between 
the 
two 
in 
the 
interpretation 
of 
one 
or 
other 
of 
the Articles 
of 
the 
present 
Agreement, 
the 
English 
text 
shall prevail. 
286 
APPENDIXE 
LEADINGPERS0NALITIES 
Abdullah 
bin 
Hussein 
Second 
son of 
Hussein 
bin 
Ali, 
Sherif 
of 
Mecca 
and 
King 
of 
the Hejaz. 
Amir 
of 
Trans-Jordan, 
1921-46, 
King 
1946-51, 
Chief 
British 
Representatives 
in 
Amman 
Abramson, A. 
Lawrence, T. 
E. 
(Acting) 
Philby, 
H. 
St. 
B. 
Cox, 
Lieut. 
Col. 
C. H. F. 
April 
- 
October 
1921 
October 
- 
November 
1921, 
and 
Special 
Adviser 
on 
Arab 
affairs 
for 
the Colonial 
Office, 1921-2, 
November 
1921 
- 
April 
1924 
April 
1924 
- 
1939 
High 
Commissioners 
(residing 
in 
Jerusalem) 
Samuel, 
Sir 
Herbert 
Lord 
Plumer 
Chancellor, Sir-John 
1920-5 
1925-8 
1928-31 
Secretaries 
of 
State 
for 
the 
Colonies 
Churchill, 
W. 
S. 
The 
Duke 
of 
Devonshire 
Thomas, 
J. L. 
Lora 
Passfield 
1921-2 
1922-4 
JaRRa_J? 
- 
November 
1924 
1529-31 
Other 
Personalities 
Mentioned 
in 
this 
Thesis 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud 
Sultan 
of 
Nejd 
and 
King 
of 
the 
Hejaz; 
King 
of 
Saudi 
Arabia. 
Adil 
Irlan 
Chief Chamberlain 
to Abdullah, 
prominent 
member 
of 
Istiglal. 
Sultan 
Pasha 
al-Adwan 
Sheikh 
of 
the Adwan 
Tribe. 
Ahmed 
Hilm 
) 
Syrian 
exiles 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
Ahmed 
Murriwid 
in 
1924. 
287 
Ali 
Rida 
al 
Rikabi 
Pasha 
Chief Minister 
in 
Trans-Jordan, 1922 
and 
1924-6. 
Sultan 
Atrash 
Leader 
of 
the 
Druze 
rebellion 
in 
Syria 
in 
1925. 
Brian, H. S 
Official 
in 
Director 
of 
Colonial Audits' 
Office, 
Jerusalem. 
Brunton, 
Captain 
C. D. British 
representative 
in 
Amman, 
1920-1. 
de 
Caix, 
Robert 
Acting 
French High Commissioner 
in 
Beirut, 
1922-3. 
Camp, 
Major 
I. N. 
British 
representative 
in 
Al Salt, 
1929-1. 
Clayton, 
Sir 
Gilbert 
Chief 
Secretary, 
the 
Government 
of 
Palestine, 
1922-5; 
special envoy 
to 
Abdul 
Aziz 
bin 
Saud, 1925 
and 
1927. 
Cox, 
Sir Percy 
High Commissioner 
to 
Mesopotania, 
1920- 
39. 
Lord 
Crewe 
British 
Ambassodor 
iin 
Paris 1922-8. 
Deedes, 
Wyndham 
Chief 
Secretary 
of 
the Government 
of 
Palestine, 
1920-3. 
Fuad 
Salim 
Syrian 
exile 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1924. 
Gerrard, 
L. E. 
Air 
Officer Commanding, 
Palestine. 
Glubb, 
J. B. 
Commander 
of 
the Mobile 
Reserve 
Force, 
1930; 
later 
Commander 
of 
the Arab 
Legion. 
Gouraud, 
General 
Henri 
Maurice 
French 
High 
Commissioner 
in 
Syria, 
and 
Commander 
of 
the French 
Army 
in 
the 
Levant, 
1919-22. 
Griffin, 
Major 
A. 
C. 
Deputy 
Director 
of 
Railways, 
Iraq. 
Hassan 
Khalid 
Pasha 
Abul Huda 
Chief 
Minister, 1926-9. 
Holt, 
Major 
A. 
L. Iraq 
Railways, Official 
and 
Companion 
of 
Philby 
on 
his 
Wadi 
Sirhan 
trip. 
Alan 
S. 
Kirkbride 
Assistant 
representative 
in 
Al 
Salt, 
1920-1. 
288 
Alec 
S. Kirkbride 
British 
representative 
Kerak, 
1920-1; 
First 
Assistant 
to 
Henry 
Cox, 
British 
Resident, 
1939-46. 
Luke, 
H. 
C. 
Chief 
Secretary 
of 
the 
Government 
of 
Palestine 
under 
Sir John 
Chancellor. 
Mithgal 
al 
Fayiz 
Sheikh 
of 
the 
Beni 
Sakr 
tribe. 
Monckton, 
Captain 
R. F. P. 
Assistant 
British 
representative 
Irbid, 
1920-1; A. D. C. 
to 
Sir 
Herbert Samuel. 
Muhammed 
bin 
Rashid 
Head 
of 
the 
Ibn Rashid 
dynasty 
of 
Jabal 
Shammar. 
Nabil 
al 
Azmeh 
Syrian 
exile 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1924. 
Nuri Sha'lan 
Sheikh 
of 
the 
Ruwalla 
Tribe. 
Oliphant, Lancelot 
Under Secretary 
of 
State 
in 
the 
Foreign 
Ofice, 
1921. 
Ormsby-Gore, W. 
Under Secretary 
of 
State 
in 
the 
Colonial 
Office. 
Osborne, D. A. 
Official 
in 
the Foreign 
office, 
Othman 
Kasmi 
Syrian 
exile 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1924. 
Peake, 
F. G. 
Officer Commanding 
the 
Arab Legion, 
1921-39. 
Playfair, 
H. 
C. Air Commodore, 
Officer 
Commanding 
RAF, 
Palestine. 
Rendel, 
C. W. 
Official 
in 
the Foreign 
Office. 
Sami 
Sarraj 
Syrian 
exile 
expelled 
from 
Trans-Jordan 
in 
1924. 
Sheikh 
Shaker 
bin 
Zayd 
Cousin 
of 
Abdullaht 
Head 
of 
the 
Department 
of 
Tribal 
Administration. 
Shute, 
Lieut. 
Col. 
C. 
A. 
First 
Officer 
Commanding 
of 
the 
TJFF. 
Shuckburgh, 
Sir 
John 
Assistant 
Under 
Secretary 
of 
State 
in 
the 
Colonial 
Office, 
1921-31. 
Somerset, 
Major 
the 
Hon. 
F. R. 
(Lord 
Raglan) 
British 
representative 
Irbid, 
1920-1. 
289 
I 
;?t 
Storrs, Sir Ronald 
Civil Governor 
of 
Jerusalem, 
1920-6. 
Symes, G. S. 
Chief Secretary 
of 
the 
Government 
of 
Palestine 
under 
Lord 
Plumer, 
Thomas, 
Bertram 
Assistant 
Chief 
British 
Representative 
under 
Philby. 
Vernon, 
R. 
Assistant 
Secretary, 
Colonial 
Office. 
Wilson, 
Sir 
Samuel 
Permanent 
Under 
Secretary 
of 
State, 
Colonial Office, 
1925-33. 
Young, 
Major 
Hubert 
Assistant 
Secretary 
of 
the 
Middle 
East 
Department 
of 
the Colonial 
Office, 1921- 
7. 
290 
APPENDIXF 
FAMILY 
TREE 
OF THE 
HASHEMITES OF TRANS-JORDAN 
HUSSEIN 
Sherif 
of 
Mecca 
King 
of 
the 
Hejaz 
until 
1924 
i 
I 
ALI 
I 
ABDULLAH 
FEISAL 
ZAID 
King 
of 
the 
Born: 
1880, 
King 
of 
Syria; 
Hejaz 
?mir 
of 
Trans 
1919-20 
1924-5 
-Jordan, 
1921-46 King 
of 
Iraq, 
King, 
1946 
1921-33 
Murdered, 
1951 
TALAL 
King 
of 
Jordan 
1951-2 
HUSSEIN 
King 
of 
Jordan. 
1952- 
291 
N 
Damascus 
0 
1020304050 
I 
Scale 
in 
miles 
SYRIA 
FRENCH 
MANDATE 
IRAQ 
Irbid 
j 
Al 
Salt 
Zerka 
"Azrak 
1? 
7! 
Amman 
Jerusalem 
4 
fr 
RAN 
-JORDAN 
PALESTINE 
`", 
Kerak 
o 
Ga`? 
o? 
N 
Sinai 
Moon 
Desert 
Akaba 
Ld 
to 
Medina 
AMIRATE 
OF 
DURING 
"Kof 
" 
Jauf 
TRANS-JORDAN 
THE 
1920s 
-"-"- 
Boundary 
between 
Palestine 
and 
Trans-Jordan 
Approximate 
area 
sought 
by 
Zionists 
for 
Jewish 
settlement 
292 
?? 
BIBL10GRAPHY 
I 
PRIMARY 
SOURCES 
COLONIAL 
OFFICE 
CO 
733/1 
- 
134 
PALESTINE 
: 
ORIGINAL 
DESPATCHES 
(January 
1921 
- 
1927) 
TRANS-JORDAN 
: 
ORIGINAL 
CORRESPONDENCE 
1928 
- 
1930 
1921 
-7 
Middle 
Eastern 
Confidential 
Print 
(Middle 
East) 
CO 
831/1 
- 
10 
CO 
727/1 
- 
14 
CO 
732 
CO 
935 
FOREIGN 
OFFICE 
FO 
371/65 
91 
31 
CABINET 
OFFICE 
CAB 16 
24/174 
Eastern 
General 
Arabia 
Palestine 
CID 
Memoranda 
LEAGUE 
OF 
NATIONS 
Minutes 
of 
the Permanent 
Mandates 
Permission 
1924-30 
Minutes 
of 
the Council 
of 
the 
League 
of 
Nations 
OFFICIAL 
PUBLICATIONS 
ADMIRALTY: 
NAVAL INTELLIGENCE 
DIVISION, 
GEOGRAPHICAL 
HANDBOOK 
SERIES, 
PALESTINE 
& 
TRANS- 
JORDAN 
Oxford 
1943 
ADMIRALTY 
: 
WESTERN ARABIA AND THE 
RED 
SEA 
Oxford 
1946 
DOCUMENTS 
ON 
BRITISH 
FOREIGN POLICY 
COMMAND 
PAPERS: 
CMD 
1195 
Dec. 
1922 
Anglo-French 
Convention, 
1920 
CMD 
1785 
Dec. 
1922 
MANDATE 
FOR PALESTINE: 
T. 
J. 
APPLICATION 
CMD 1910 
1923 
Anglo-French 
Boundary 
Agreement 
CMD 2566 
Nov. 
1925 
Hadda 
Agreement 
CMD 
2951 20 
May 
1927 
Jedda 
Agreement 
CMD 
3488 
20 
Feb. 
1928 
Anglo 
- 
Trans-Jordan 
Agreement 
293 
1928 
Organic Law 
HANSARD 
Seton, 
C. 
R. 
W. 
Legislation 
of 
Transjordan 
1918 
- 
1930 
London 
1931 
PRIVATE 
PAPERS 
COLLECTION, 
SUDAN 
ARCHIVE, 
UNIVERSITY 
OF 
DURHAM 
CLAYTON, 
Sir 
Gilbert 
PRIVATE 
PAPERS 
COLLECTION, 
MIDDLE 
EAST CENTRE, 
ST. 
ANTONY'S 
COLLEGE, 
OXFORD. 
MONCKTON, 
Major 
R. 
F. P. 
SAMUEL, 
Sir 
Herbert 
RYAN, 
Sir Andrew 
PHILBY, 
H. 
St. J. B. 
SOMERSET, 
Major 
the 
Hon. 
F. 
R. 
(Lord 
Raglan) 
TEGART, 
Sir 
Charles 
THE IMPERIAL 
WAR MUSEUM 
PEAKE, 
The 
papers 
of 
Lieutenant-Colonel 
F. 
G. 
WYNNE, 
Captain F. 
R. 
Ph. 
D. Thesis 
GOLDNER, Werner Ernst. 
The 
rule of 
Abdullah 
Ibn Hussein, 
King 
of 
Jordan 
in 
Arab Politics, 1914-1951 
1954, 
Stanford 
University. 
294 
II 
SECONDARY 
SOURCES 
A) 
Books 
ANTONIUS, 
George 
ARURI, 
Nasser 
H. 
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Arab 
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Arab 
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BARBOUR, 
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LAKER, 
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1979) 
COLLINS, Robert 
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An 
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DEARDEN, Ann 
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El-EDROOS, 
Brigadier S. A. 
The 
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1908- 
1979 
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FADDAH, 
Mohammed 
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Ibrahim 
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1974) 
GILBERT, 
Martin Winston 
Churchill IV 
1917- 
22. 
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Parts 
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GLUBB, 
John 
Bagot The 
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1948) 
GRAVES, 
Philip P. 
Memoirs 
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GRUNWALD, 
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GUBSER, 
Peter 
Jordan 
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HOCKING, 
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1925) 
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KIRKBRIDE, A. 
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Memoirs 
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The Middle 
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a8 
E 
0??1' 

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