Lawrence and the Arab Cause at the Paris Peace Conference
1. Margaret Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. xxv.
2. Lawrence of Arabia was released in 1962. It won seven academy awards: Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music and Best Sound.
3. Some standard works on the Peace Conference include Suitors and Suppliants by Stephen Bonsal, A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin and Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillan.
4. Standard works on Lawrence include The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence by Jeremy Wilson and Lawrence and the Arabs by Robert Graves.
5. Books that refer specifically to the claims of the Hashemite Arabs include, Britain, India, and the Arabs, 1914 -1924 by Briton Cooper Busch and A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin.
6. Total casualties were incredibly high with military dead put at somewhere between 7.3 million and 8.5 million. The numbers of wounded were estimated between 14.5 million and 21.1 million. The total number of people mobilized to fight the war were between 65.3 and 65.4 million. Some 22 million civilians had also been killed or wounded.
10. The imperialistic aims and cynicism of both governments remained intact. Yet the Arabs wanted independence; it was their biggest motivator in taking up arms against the Turks. The joint communiqué was widely circulated in the Middle East. By the Arabs, it was interpreted far more literally. They had no knowledge of secret negotiations that the French had entered into with the British that had resulted in the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 and therefore did not have their suspicions aroused by this latest stating of positions.
11. Books that refer to the Sykes-Picot agreement include A Peace to End All Peace by Fromkin and Paris 1919 by Macmillan.
13. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of Lawrence, p. 176.
14. Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, p. 81.
15. Arthur Balfour was Foreign Secretary at the time of the declaration. The rise of nationalism in Europe had caused anti-semitic feeling to be widespread. The world-wide Zionist movement had become a strong lobby in the UK and the US. People like Lloyd George and Balfour were deeply religious and recognized that their faith was rooted in Judaism. The geography and history of Judaism was a powerful argument in persuading them to support the idea of a Jewish homeland based on that geography and history.
17. In 1906, Arthur Balfour was an opposition MP but by the time of the Balfour Declaration he was Foreign Secretary in David Lloyd George's government.
18. The son of a modest timber merchant, Weismann had been born in Russia in 1874. At the time of his birth, he was one of almost seven million Jews (half the world's total) who lived in Russia. To escape anti-Jewish riots and pogroms under Tsarist rule, Weismann had moved to England. But even in Western Europe things began to grow bad for Jews. The rising tide of nationalism made various groups suspicious of any minorities in their midst. Zionism and the causes of Zionism grew. From the second ever Zionist conference, Weismann was to attend every one. For Weismann, the only possible solution to the problems the Jews were facing all over Europe was a Jewish homeland in Palestine. His reasoning was that the holy places that reminded all Jews of the last Jewish kingdom were there.
19. Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. 415.
20. France also was suspicious of what it perceived as the bias towards Germany by American Zionists. This suspicion was based on the fact that Yiddish is a Germanic language. France itself had very few Zionists. Most of the Jewish population considered themselves to be French and owed their allegiance to France rather than some hypothetical foreign land. France also was cognizant of the likely reactions from Arabs in French controlled North Africa and Syria should she be seen as promoting the notion of a Jewish homeland. By not supporting the claims of the Jews, France hoped to assuage any doubts that the Arabs might have regarding her claims in the Middle East.
21. Standard Biographical sources for this paper are Wilson and Graves (see Bibliography).
22. Hogarth was an archaeologist and traveler of the Middle East with particular knowledge of Syria. He was appointed the Keeper of the Ashmoleum Museum in Oxford in 1908. Lawrence was introduced to him in January 1909.
23. Lawrence dedicated his book, Seven Pillars of Wisdom to S.A., the S representing "Syria" and the A "Ahmed Dahoum." His friendship with Dahoum was deep and intense. Although there has been speculation that the friendship was something more than platonic, nothing has ever been proved. The dedication in the book reads:
To S. A.
Death seemed my servant on the road, 'til we were near
Love, the way-weary, groped to your body, our brief wage
Men prayed me that I set our work, the inviolate house,
24. T.E. Lawrence to his family 23rd June 1912. Quoted from The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence by Jeremy Wilson.
25. The results of the survey were published in 1915 as the Annual of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 1914/15. It describes an incredible archaeological survey carried out as cover for a British military mapping operation in southern Palestine just before the outbreak of World War One in 1914. The survey was re-published in 1935 by Jonathan Cape under the title, The Wilderness of Zin (www.pef.org.uk/Pages/Publications/PEF%20Annuals/WildZin.htm).
26. The Jihad was declared against France, Russia and Great Britain. All three of these nations were joined in what was known as the Triple Entente. The Ottoman Empire was dwindling in power at the beginning of WWI. It saw potential threats from its powerful northern neighbor, Russia. Russia had tried in the past to take control of the Turkish Straits thereby securing for its navy warm water access from the Black Sea, through the straits to the Mediterranean and thence out to the world's oceans. The Balkan Wars of 1912 had done nothing to improve relations between the two nations. The Turkish Minister of War, Enver Pasha was impressed by early German victories in what Turkey viewed as the European war. He saw an alliance with Germany as a means of giving victory to Turkey over the Triple Alliance with maybe even the chance to expand the empire and restore its fortunes. Largely through his influence, the Turks signed a secret treaty, known as the Turco-German Alliance, with Germany on 2 August 1914. Turkey formally entered WWI on 28 October 1914 when it bombed Russian Black Sea ports. The Triple Entente declared war on Turkey a week later on 4 November. (campus.northpark.edu/history/webchron/east Europe/turkeycentral.html)
27. The battleship 'Ocean', together with nine other ships carrying a brigade (some 5000 men) and supporting units approached the Shatt al-Arab waterway at the beginning of November 1914. Two days after war was declared by the Triple Entente, the ships entered the water way at Fao and cleared the Turkish fortifications there. On the 22 November, the Anglo-Indian Army marched into Basra. The objective was to protect the supply of oil necessary for the functioning of the Royal Navy.
28. The main oil field in the region was at Masjid-i-Sulaiman, located in southwest Persia. The field had come on-line commercially in 1908 and by 1914, the pipe-line which ran from the field to Abadan some 130 miles away was carrying 275,000 tons annually. (Britain, India and the Arabs 1914 - 1921 by BC Busch, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1971).
29. On 3 February 1915 a force of Turkish troops launched an attack against the Suez Canal. The force was about 20,000 strong but before reaching Suez had had to cross the Sinai Desert with all its equipment. The attack was ill-conceived. Bridging pontoons that had been supplied by Germany were left unused because no one in the Turkish Army had been trained in their use and deployment. The British, from their fortifications on the other side of the canal, were able to pick off troops with impunity. Before retreat was sounded on the Turkish side, approximately 2000 Turkish troops had been killed.
30. The British Army set up a General Headquarters for each theatre of war, often when the build-up of British forces became too large or complex for the forces there to retain adequate command. In March 1916, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) was established. This HQ was formed to command the growing British forces in Egypt. It was originally commanded by Sir Archibald Murray, later by Sir Edmund Allenby. http://www.1914-1918.net/ghq.htm.
31. At the outbreak of the war he was back in the UK working as a civilian completing the Sinai Archaeological Report for the War Office. Before the report was complete however, Lawrence had joined the War Office as a civilian map-maker where he continued to put the finishing touches to the report. In October, 1914, Lawrence was commissioned into His Majesty's armed forces as a 2nd Lieutenant-Interpreter.
32. David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, Howard Fertig, New York, 1972, p. 660.
34. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence, p. 93.
35. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th edition.
36. The average summer temperature in the deserts of Arabia is 45° C, but readings of up to 54° C are common. The heat becomes intense shortly after sunrise and lasts until sunset, followed by comparatively cool nights. In the winter, the temperature seldom drops below 0° C, but the almost total absence of humidity and the high wind-chill factor make a bitterly cold atmosphere. In the spring and autumn, temperatures average 29° C. (reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia30.html).
37. The shore batteries had been set up by the Turks in fixed positions to protect the waterway, it having never been anticipated that an attack would come from the Palestinian desert. Other defenses for the port were light, consisting mainly of small arms for the Turkish forces billeted there. When the attack came, the defenders were taken completely by surprise and the port fell.
38. In Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence wrote, "I could see that if we won the war the promises to the Arabs were dead paper. Had I been an honourable adviser I would have sent my men home, and not let them risk their lives. … Yet the Arab inspiration was our main tool in winning the Eastern War. So I assured them that England kept her word in letter and spirit. In this comfort they performed their fine things: but, of course, instead of being proud of what we did together, I was continually and bitterly ashamed." (Dell, 1935, p. 279).
39. Sir Gilbert Clayton wrote to Lawrence in September 1917, "From all I can hear the Sykes-Picot agreement is in considerable disfavour in most quarters … I am inclined … to think that it is moribund … In brief, I think that we can at present leave it alone as far as possible with a very fair chance of its dying of inanition." (Wilson, p. 445).
40. Lawrence wrote his account of the entry into Damascus in Seven Pillars of Wisdom. "In their envelopment of Damascus the Australians might be forced, despite orders, to enter the town … One night was given us to make the Damascenes receive the British Army as their allies …So by midnight … we had four thousand of our armed men in the town … When dawn came … we drove up the long street to the Government buildings … They told me Chauvel (General Sir Henry Chauvel, commander of the Australian forces) was coming; our cars met in the southern outskirts … Meanwhile I made myself responsible for public order: only begging [Chauvel] to keep his men outside." (Dell, 1935, pp. 639-43).
41. In Chapter 31 of Seven Pillars of Wisdom Lawrence describes how he becomes judge and executioner in order to avoid a blood feud between factions after one man shot and killed another of a different tribe.
42. Ibn Saud had been consolidating his position in the Eastern and central regions of the Arab Peninsula. His Wahhabi form of Islam conflicted with the Sunni form practiced by Hussein.
43. Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud was an Emir in central Arabia. Before the war he had expressed willingness for his Kingdom to become a British client state. At that time, the British were in no position to exert any influence within the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, representatives from the Indian Political Service (a part of His Majesty's Foreign Office) had fostered a friendship with Ibn Saud. He was a rival warlord to Hussein of Mecca and when war broke out, Britain found herself supporting rival warlords who both had designs on the entire Arabian peninsula.
44. Major General Sir Frederick Sykes, addressing a meeting of the London Chamber of Commerce on 7th January, 1919 stated that "Public confidence in the safety and security of flying must be engendered so that aviation could take its proper place in relation to older transport. Britain's immediate targets must be the routes to India, Cape to Cairo, European services, and short-haul runs at home." Harald Penrose, Wings Across the World - An Illustrated History of British Airways (London: Cassell, 1980), p. 9.
45. Wahhabi was a more fundamentalist version of Islam than the Sunni variation practiced by Hussein. The Wahhabi form of Islam was puritanical and uncompromising.
46. Ibn Saud did not believe that Hussein and the Sunnis were worthy guardians of Islam's two most holy shrines in Mecca and Medina.
47. Communications between Lord Kitchener and Abdullah, son of Hussein had resulted in promises being made to the Arabs as early as January 1915.
48. "Imperial rule was the very raison d'être of the Anglo-Indian community, and the Government of India was intensely hostile to native independence movements … nationalist fervour [in India] had led to a spate of 'anarchical crimes' between 1907 and 1909 … Trouble had broken out again in 1912 … During 1914 native revolutionary activities in India had once again increased.
"The attitude of the Government of India towards schemes for Arab independence was wholly coloured by these domestic problems … The Indian administration had imperial ambitions … in Mesopotamia. The fertile plains between the Tigris and the Euphrates only needed efficient irrigation to yield an immense surplus of grain which might greatly relieve the dangers of famine in India." Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence (New York: Atheneum, 1990), pp. 160-61.
49. The French position was one of discussing a settlement of the Middle East that concentrated on the borders of the region rather than the interior. They saw these negotiations as being about the future of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Mesopotamia, none of which, in their view, concerned Feisal or the Arabs that he claimed to represent. Despite the fact that the Arabs had marched into Damascus, the French did not recognize the Arab claim that Syria should form part of an independent Arab state. They saw Feisal as a puppet of the British, sent to Paris by them merely to undermine the French claims on Syria. Lawrence was treated with equal suspicion by the French. Here was a man who could turn a simple Arab against the benevolent French and thus against any claim they might have to Syria. For his part, Feisal was not happy at the prospect of France having any control over Syria; he preferred any outside influence to be British.
50. Clemenceau and Lloyd George had met in London in December 1918 in order to sound each other out privately before the Americans arrived and before the glare of publicity that would be the order of the day once the Peace Conference got underway. Lloyd George had adopted the stance of there being no room for France in Syria. This provoked a reaction from the French that led to them obstinately insisting that Sykes-Picot be honored.
51. Britain had informed King Hussein and Prince Feisal of her intention to support a Jewish homeland just before the Balfour Declaration was made public.
52. In his autobiography, Wilson records the following conversation (as recorded by Lawrence) between Feisal and Jean Gout, Assistant Director of the Asian Section of the French Foreign Ministry:
Feisal: "I cannot understand why I am omitted from the list of representatives to the Congress."
Gout: "It is easy to understand. You are being laughed at: the British have let you down. If you make yourself on our side, we can arrange things for you … We recognize you only as a visitor and honoured guest, not as having any connection with the Peace Conference. The fault is yours; you came here without permission of Picot, or informing him. You acted on local advice, which had nothing to do with you. For this reason, we regard you as son of the King of Hejaz only."
(UK Government Foreign Office papers at the Public Record Office, Kew, London)
53. Macmillan writes, "[Lloyd George's] closest advisers found him 'very intransigent'. He wanted to exclude France as much as possible from the Middle East, even at the cost of breaking previous promises. And that meant above all Sykes-Picot." Paris 1919, pp. 382-83.
54. Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. 383.
55. Sir Arthur Hirtzel, of the Anglo-India Office, advised accommodating France: "I suggest that our policy now is to play the honest broker between French and Arabs. We should tell Feisal frankly that we cannot support him beyond a certain point; that he must come to terms with the French." Wilson, p. 600-01.
56. In a memorandum dated 11th March, 1919, Clayton wrote, "The French will certainly meet with great obstruction, and possibly armed resistance from the Arabs who will doubtless be supported by the Arabs of the Hejaz sphere. Great Britain, as the controlling Power in Palestine, will be pressed by France to enforce the neutrality of the Bedouin in the Palestine hinterland and to close the lines of communication between Hejaz and Damascus. Our influence with the Arabs will have been greatly impaired, firstly by the fact that we shall be held to have sold Syria to the French, and secondly by our support of the unpopular Zionist programme." Wilson, p. 602.
57. J. T. Shotwell, At the Paris Peace Conference (New York: Macmillan, 1937), p.178.
58. Lawrence had once been asked if his attire was appropriate. He is said to have replied, "When a man serves two masters and has to offend one of these, it is better for him to offend the more powerful. I am here as official interpreter of the Emir Feisal, whose uniform this is."
59. In Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence wrote, "I could see that if we won the war the promises to the Arabs were dead paper. Had I been an honourable adviser I would have sent my men home, and not let them risk their lives. … Yet the Arab inspiration was our main tool in winning the Eastern War. So I assured them that England kept her word in letter and spirit. In this comfort they performed their fine things: but, of course, instead of being proud of what we did together, I was continually and bitterly ashamed." (Dell, 1935, p. 279).
60. It is rumored that during these sessions Feisal would quote the Q'uran and Lawrence would extemporize; that is until someone recognized the trick and gave away the game.
61. David Lloyd George wrote, "[the Arab] contribution in the conquest of Palestine and Syria was almost insignificant compared with that of the British Empire. The Arabs only claimed that their army mustered in all a force of 100,000 light cavalry. Eastern arithmetic is proverbially romantic. The authenticity and inspiration of the sacred books are fortunately not dependent on the accuracy of their figures. The number of troops which Britain put into the Turkish campaign varied from time to time, but the aggregate British forces which attacked Turkey on all fronts and which finally overwhelmed its resistance numbered 1,400,000 men." Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II (New York: Howard Fertig, 1972), p. 668.
62. Stephen Bonsal was the confidential aide of Edward House who was himself a trusted adviser to President Wilson.
63. Mantoux was respected by the delegates for his ability to smooth out many rough places in the impassioned appeals of the nationalistic speakers.
64. Bonsal, Suitors and Supplicants, pp. 33-34.
65. These names appear in the Foreign Relations of the United States, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, Volume III, p. 888.
66. 'Mandatory' referred to a Western Power that had been mandated by The League of Nations to assist another nation (considered not yet ready to govern itself) attain independence and self-governance. Nations that were formerly part of the German and Ottoman Empires were to find themselves the subject of Mandates.
67. Bonsal, Suitors and Suppliants, p. 40.
68. This was a Christian community that aligned itself to Catholic Rome rather than Orthodox Constantinople. They claimed links with France as far back as the Crusades.
69. The cause of Arab independence presented a fine example of the idealized regard for the aspirations of all people to enjoy self-determination. The Americans were sympathetic to the cause, even if they weren't ready with practical support to help attain the prize.
70. Charles Mee, Jr. cites the following, "One day … Chekri Ghanem, 'an Arab-looking gentleman with a long, forked, grey beard' spoke on behalf of some Syrian interests. … In the middle of the speech, one of the young American aides slipped a note to Wilson, saying that Ghanem had not been in Syria for thirty-five years, having lived in France all that time." The End of Order - Versailles 1919 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1980), p. 59.
71. Paris Midi in an editorial dated 7 March 1919.
72. During a meeting in London in December 1918 between Lloyd George and Clemenceau, Clemenceau asked Lloyd George what, "I specially wanted from the French. I immediately replied that I wanted Mosul attached to Irak, and Palestine from Dan to Beersheba under British control. Without any hesitation he agreed. Although that agreement was not reduced into writing, he adhered to it honourably in subsequent negotiations." David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, p. 673.
73. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 600.
74. G.F. Clayton, memorandum, 11th March, 1919. Lloyd George papers F/205/3/9. Reproduced from Wilson, pp. 601-02.
75. Bonsal wrote, "The date of this secret treaty (Sykes-Picot) should be carefully noted. It was signed and sealed eleven months before the day on which, it is asserted by the opposition senators in Washington, that Mr. Balfour was standing in the White House and pleading with President Wilson for an opportunity to unburden his soul and tell the world about the secret misdeeds of Old World diplomacy." When Balfour delayed discussing the Syrian issue at the Peace Conference, following the announcement of the death of Sir Mark Sykes, Bonsal wrote, "And so it was ordered, to the relief of many who recognized that Anglo-Saxon diplomacy was in for an unhappy hour." Suitors and Supplicants, pp. 43-44. Wilson reiterated the American position on 20 March 1919 when he said, "The point of view of the United States of America was, however, indifferent to the claims both of Great Britain and France over peoples unless those peoples wanted them. One of the fundamental principles to which the United States of America adhered was the consent of the governed." David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, pp. 659-90. On page 48 of Suitors and Supplicants, Bonsal described the Arab claims to independence as a "just cause".
76. Bonsal wrote on 29 March 1919, "[Feisal] read to House the protocol of the promises the British made to his father … on October 24, 1915. … Then he read the Sykes-Picot agreement of May 1916, providing for a very different and a very definite partition of the Arab lands. … no white man could listen to them without deep regret. … The President was interested and would use his good offices toward a favorable solution, but the Arab lands were far from the American sphere and acceptance of responsibility in Asia would be quite a departure from American tradition." Suitors and Suppliants, pp. 48 - 49.
77. Bonsal, Suitors and Suppliants, p. 41.
78. At the meeting on 11th February, 1919, Balfour rebuked Hankey, "And now Hankey, what is the next item on the agenda? And do please see to it that I get the proper papers and that the important paragraphs are flagged." Suitors and Supplicants, p. 42.
79. "M. Pichon then recalled the negotiations between the French Government and Lord Milner on the subject of the area to be occupied by the French troops. He ended:
'French opinion would not admit that France could be even partly excluded after the sacrifices she had made in the war, even if she had not been able to play a great part in the Syrian campaign. In consequence, the minimum that France could accept was what had been put forward in the French Government's note to Mr. Lloyd George, the object of which had been to give satisfaction to his desire for the inclusion of Mosul in the British zone.'
"Mr Lloyd George said that M. Pichon had opened as though the question of the mandate for Syria was one between Great Britain and France. There was, in fact, no such question so far as Great Britain was concerned. Lloyd George, p.686.
80. The idea for the commission had been suggested by Dr Howard Bliss, a distinguished missionary of Syrian birth and Principal of the American University in Beirut. He had been invited to address the Council of Ten on the same day that Emir Feisal had, 6 February, 1919.
81. "President Wilson suggested that an inter-Allied commission should visit Syria in order to establish the wishes of the people. This decision, which the Foreign Office had long been hoping for, promised to absolve the Cabinet from any further embarrassment over the question. Britain would go on maintaining a position of strict neutrality, yet the commission was certain to find that France was unacceptable to the great majority of Syrians as a Mandatory Power. Feisal's wishes would then be granted." Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 609.
82. "M. Clemenceau said he adhered in principle to an inquiry, but it was necessary to have certain guarantees. The inquiry must not confine itself to Syria. Mandates were required for Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, and other parts of the Turkish Empire as well as Syria. The peoples of these districts were not isolated. They were all connected by historical and religious and other links, including mutual feuds, and old quarrels existed between all of them." David Lloyd George, p. 693.
83. David Lloyd George, p. 691.
84. Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. 394
85. "Within days, a considerable body of opinion at the Conference had been mobilized against the Commission scheme. An unofficial meeting between interested parties from France, and Britain was arranged by the editor of The Times, Wickham Steed. At this meeting … no official minutes were taken, but an account given by Steed to the American Delegation shows that the real objective was to find a solution to the Syrian problem which would not involve sending a Commission to the Middle East." Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence, p. 610.
86. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence, p. 613.
87. David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, p. 697.
88. King was serving as President of Oberlin College in Ohio at the time of his appointment to the Commission. Crane was a Chicago businessman and a trustee of the Robert College in Istanbul. "For 42 days during the Summer of 1919, King and Crane undertook a strenuous schedule that combined hospitality and official business, touring the region by automobile, horse and railway. The Commission, which included former Oberlin history faculty member Albert H. Lybyer and Donald M Brodie, a member of the class of 1911, received 1,863 petitions and approximately 19,000 signatures, and heard presentations by representatives from about 1,500 villages, including numerous oral statements recorded by interpreters." www.oberlin.edu/newserv/stories/kingcrane.html.
89. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 614.
90. "By the time the Commission had reported at the end of July, the Treaty of Versailles had been signed and President Wilson had returned to America. The Report was so hostile to the French claims in Syria that the President decided not to send it to the Peace Conference on Turkey." David Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, p. 697.
92. "Upon being urged to explain his views of a Syrian settlement, Colonel Lawrence admitted that the proposal to send a Commission to Syria had been prompted by the failure of the French authorities to approach the Emir Feisal in a conciliatory way and that it would undoubtedly be far better if the Commission could sit in Paris and come to an agreement upon general principles before going to Syria in order to clear up by investigations on the spot any details of procedure and local organization." D. Hunter Miller, My Diaries of the Conference of Paris, Volume 7 (New York: Appeal Printing, 1924), p.169.
93. "He left for Oxford immediately, but arrived too late and shortly afterwards returned to Paris. A week later he went home again, and it was only then that the Hejaz Delegation learned what had happened. Feisal wrote in his diary, 'The greatest thing I have seen in him, which is worthy of mention as one of his principal characteristics, is his patience, discretion, zeal and his putting the common good before his own personal interest. When he came to take leave I asked the reason for his departure. He said, "I regret to say that my father has died and I want to go and see my mother." I enquired when his father had died and he said, "A week ago - I received a telegram saying that he was ill, and left straightaway, but when I arrived I found that he had died two hours previously. I did not stay in England until the funeral because I realized that you were here alone and that there is much work to be done. I didn't want to be far from you, in case things happened in my absence. I didn't tell you this at the time in case it upset you, so I tell you now. I shall return on Friday." Consider such honesty, such faithfulness, such devotion to duty and such control of one's personal feelings! These are the highest qualities of man, which are to be found in few individuals.' Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 610.
94. Wilson writes in his autobiography, "The Feisal-Clemenceau meeting eventually took place in mid-April, but it only served to show that the gap between the two sides was as wide as ever. Lawrence minuted: 'In a nutshell, nothing has passed. Clemenceau tried to make a bargain with Feisal to acknowledge the independence of Syria in return for Feisal's statement that France was the only qualified mandatory.
'Feisal refused. He said first that it wasn't true. France hardly understood the mandatory system. Secondly, if he said so he would only have to go away to Mecca, since he could not make his people [in Syria] agree with him. The French had now, by means of the Commission, to deal with the people, not with him'." The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, pp 610-11. (T. E. Lawrence, minute, 3 May, 1919. Foreign Office 608/93 fo. 197.).
95. Lloyd George recorded the findings of the King-Crane Commission in his memoirs. The report summed up the Syrian objections to the French by listing their beliefs that the French were not religious, possessed an inferior education system to the British, had demonstrated their contempt for indigenous peoples as illustrated in Algeria and Tunisia and that the French were inclined towards colonization, whereby they substitute the French language as a replacement for the native tongue and make people Frenchmen. Lloyd George continued, "Neither the Americans nor ourselves were prepared to accept a mandate for Syria. We had made it clear repeatedly, not merely to the French Government, but to General Allenby and to the Emir Feisal, that we would under no conditions entertain the idea … We were bound, by the agreements entered into by [Sykes-Picot] in 1916, to that measure of control to the French; but we were equally bound, in an agreement entered into with the French and ourselves, to see that the cities of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo should be within the Arab sphere. We could not indefinitely keep a large body of troops in a country for which we were not going to undertake any responsibility as a mandatory. I therefore strove to … evacuate Syria, and to hand over the military occupation to the French … Ultimately an agreement was concluded on 13 September 1919, by which the evacuation of the British Army in Syria was to be concluded by 1 November, 1919." Lloyd George, Memoirs of the Peace Conference Volume II, pp. 697-99.
96. Bonsal, Suitors and Supplicants, p. 49.
97. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 614.
98. Letter to the Editor, The Times, 11 September 1919.
99. "In deciding to whom to hand over responsibility for garrisoning the various districts in the evacuated area, regard will be had to the engagements and declarations of the British and French Governmenrts, not only between themselves, but as between them and the Arabs.
"In pursuance of this policy, the garrison in Syria west of the Sykes-Picot line and the garrisons in Cilicia will be replaced by a French force and the garrisons at Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo will be replaced by an Arab force." Aide-mémoire in regard to the Occupation of Syria, Palestine and Mesopotamia pending the decision in regard to Mandates. 13 September, 1919, Foreign Office 608/106. (Reproduced from, Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 619.).
100. Letter to Lloyd George dated 19th September 1919, quoted in Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, pp. 619-20.
101. 1919 June - Elections for a Syrian National Congress are held across the former Ottoman province. The new assembly includes delegates from Palestine. 1920 8 March - The National Congress proclaims Emir Faysal king of Syria "in its natural boundaries" from the Taurus mountains in Turkey to the Sinai desert in Egypt. news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/middle_east/country_profiles/827580.stm.
102. "On the morning of May 6, the Allies casually took the decision that set in train the events that destroyed, among many other things, Smyrna itself, [Eleutherios] Venizelos', [the Prime Minister of Greece,] great dream and Lloyd George's governing coalition. In the Council of Four, Lloyd George pressed for a decision on Smyrna. If they did not act, he said, the Italians would get away with grabbing a piece of Asia Minor. Greek troops were available; they could be told to land wherever there was a danger of disturbances or massacres. 'Why not tell them to land now?' replied Wilson. 'Do you have any objection?' 'None,' said Lloyd George. Clemenceau put in: 'I don't have any either. But must we notify the Italians?' 'Not in my opinion,' said Lloyd George. The Italians, who returned to the Peace Conference the following day, were told that their allies had been obliged to take action in their absence to prevent imminent massacres. When Sidney Sonnino, [the Italian Foreign Minister,] asked why the Great Powers had not sent their own contingents, Clemenceau claimed that it would be difficult to place them under a Greek general." Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. 421.
103. "From June 1919 onward, the fate of the remainder of the Ottoman empire depended less and less on what was happening in Paris and more and more on Atatürk's moves. Two different worlds - one of international conferences, lines on maps, peoples moving obediently into this country or that, and the other of a people shaking off their Ottoman past and awakening as a Turkish nation - were heading towards collision." Macmillan, Paris 1919, p. 434.
104. Wilson, The Authorized Biography of T. E. Lawrence, p. 613.
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