Found in the British Archives:
‘Reply of His Majesty’s Government to the Memorial of Seven Syrians in Egypt, July 1918
HIS Majesty’s Government have considered the memorial of the seven with the greatest care … The areas mentioned in the document fall into four categories:-
1. Areas in Arabia which were free and independent before the outbreak of war.
2. Areas emancipated from Turkish control by the action of the Arabs themselves during the present war.
3.Areas formerly under Ottoman dominion occupied by the allied forces during the present war.
4. Areas still under Turkish control.
In regard to the first two categories, His Majesty’s Government recognise the complete and sovereign independence of the Arabs inhabiting these areas, and support them in their struggle for freedom.
In regard to the areas occupied by Allied forces, His Majesty’s Government draw the attention of the memorialists to the texts of the proclamation issued respectively by the General Officers Commanding-in-Chief on the taking of Baghdad (19th March 1917) and Jerusalem (11th December, 1917). These proclamations embody the policy of His Majesty’s Government towards the inhabitants of those regions. It is the wish and desire of His Majesty’s Government that the future government of these regions should be based upon the pinciple of the consent of the governed, and this policy has and will continue to have the support of His Majesty’s Government.
In regard to the areas mentioned in the fourth category, it is the wish and desire of His Majesty’s Government that oppressed peoples of these areas should obtain their freedom and independence, and towards the achievement of this objective His Majesty’s Government continue to labour.’
(pages 16 & 17 of a series of memoranda contained in the Archives)
(1922 memo on Syria- Palestine. Lord Curzon to a colleague);
‘This brings into clear relief what I fear is the unhappy truth – namely that France, England and America have got themselves into a position over the Syrian problem so inextricably confused that no really neta and satisfactory issue is now possible for any of them.
The situation is affected by five documents, beginning with our promise to the ruler of the Hedjaz in 1915; going on to the Sykes-Picot agreement with France of September, 1916; followed by the Anglo-French Declaration of November, 1918; and concluding with the Covenant of the League of Nations of 1919; and the directions given to the Commission sent out to examine the Arab Problem on the spot – directions which, it must be observed, were accepted by France, Britain and America, though the Commission itself was, in the end, purely American in composition. These documents are not consistent with each other … Each can be quoted by Frenchmen, Englishmen, Americans, and Arabs when it happens to suit their purpose. Doubtless each will be so quoted before we come to a final arrangent about the Middle East.’ … (my emphasis)
In 1915 we promised the Arabs independence; and the promise was unqualified except in respect of certain territorial reservations. In 1918 the promise was repeated by implication …
NOTE: this dispels the Zionist claim that trans-Jordan was regarded as part of their ‘Palestine’. Taken with the reply to the ‘Seven Syrians’ it is clear that the stated intention was for the inhabitants of the region to be governed by people of their choice.
Why is the Middle East in such a mess…..?