By John Townsend
Britain's second within the center East: used to be it an imperial triumph or a decisive staging submit within the end-of-empire story? Sir Percy Cox (1864-1937) used to be an important determine within the heritage of the British Empire within the heart East, a part of the pantheon with such legends as T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell. As excessive Commissioner in Iraq from 1920 to 1923 he presided over the delivery of contemporary Iraq - the climax of his occupation -- yet left an youngster kingdom fraught with political, ethnic and spiritual difficulties that have bedevilled Iraq and the center East to the current day. John Townsend paints a resounding photo of Britain's worldwide empire and brings Cox to lifestyles as an archetypal patrician proconsul. this is often the 1st significant biography of Cox, according to broad examine in unique assets and lengthy adventure within the sector. It strikingly illustrates the stricken modern heritage of Iraq and the trendy center East and should develop into the traditional paintings on Cox.
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Extra resources for Proconsul to the Middle East: Sir Percy Cox and the End of Empire
A number of notes, including a lengthy memorandum (written before the de Bunsen committee was set up) dated 14 March 1915 by Sir Arthur Hirtzel, Secretary of the Political and Secret Department of the India Office, were submitted to the committee. These documents are an amalgam of the considered thoughts of the India Office, the Viceroy, the Foreign Department of the Government of India and Cox, of course, and as such are of particular interest. Hirtzel’s memorandum, included with the report of the committee as Appendix VI, was entitled “The Future Settlement of Eastern Turkey and Arabia”.
It is also of no small interest as a window on imperial attitudes of the time. This committee, the “Committee on Asiatic Turkey” (otherwise the de Bunsen committee), was chaired by a senior diplomat, Sir Maurice de Bunsen (1852–1932), who had been Ambassador in Madrid from 1906–1913 and in Vienna up to the outbreak of the war. Its members included George (later Sir George) Clerk from the Foreign Office, (he was a senior diplomat heading the Office’s war department), Sir Thomas Holderness, (Permanent Under-Secretary at the India Office) and senior representatives of the Admiralty, the War Office and the Board of Trade.
It is extremely unlikely that Shakespear would have been Proconsul to the Middle East:Layout 1 16 26/03/2010 15:12 Page 16 PROCONSUL TO THE MIDDLE EAST aware of the plans of his host. However, it was difficult to persuade the Turkish government that Britain had had no knowledge of Ibn Saud’s intentions and that there had been some collusion. In any case, Shakespear sent a detailed report to Cox after this meeting, which Cox passed on with his own report to the government of India. The reports were sent on to London with a cautious accompanying note from the government of India:21 It stands to reason that we must keep friends with and come to satisfactory terms with Nejd [Ibn Saud’s territory] as the Amir [Ibn Saud] controls the whole hinterland of the Persian Gulf.
Proconsul to the Middle East: Sir Percy Cox and the End of Empire by John Townsend