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VI. The Strategic Background to the Anglo-Russian Entente of August 1907

  • Beryl J. Williams (a1)

Abstract

In July 1905 Lord Kitchener, the Indian chief of General Staff, wrote at the krequest of the viceroy a memorandum entitled A note on the Military policy of India, which was in due course sent to England for consideration by the home government. Its plea was for a consistent policy with regard to the North-West Frontier. At the moment, Kitchener complained, this was ‘apt to change with every ministry and almost with every minister, while each incoming Viceroy probably develops a policy of his own’. The main danger facing India was uncompromisingly described as ‘the menacing advance of Russia towards our frontiers’.

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References

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1 Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.30 (henceforth referred to as ‘Kitchener's note’). Sir Arthur, G., Life of Lord Kitchener (London, 1920), II, 151–9.

2 Ibid. p. 146.

3 Kitchener to Clarke, 24 January 1906, Sydenham MS. B.M. Add. 50935.

4 Arthur, op. cit. II, 206.

5 Ibid. 146.

6 Morley, J., Recollections (London, 1917), II, 241–2.

7 British Documents, II, nos. 11 and 12.

8 Ibid. iv. app. ii.

9 Scott to Lansdowne, February 1902, copy in P.R.O. Cab. O. 17/60.

10 Terenzio, P., La Rivalité Anglo-Russe en Perse et en Afghanistan jusqu' aux accords de 1907 (Paris, 1947), pp. 113–35.Krasnyi Arkhiv, vol. 1 (Moscow, 1933).

11 For the most recent and most detailed account of the foreign policy of the Balfour administration see Monger, G. W., The End of Isolation (London, 1963).

12 Ripon to Fitzmaurice, 3 July 1907, Ripon MS. B.M. Add. 43543.

13 Newton, J., Lord Lansdowne (London, 1929), p. 242.

14 Dugdale, B., A. J. Balfour (London, 1936), 1, 389–91.

15 G. W. Monger, op. cit. p. 94.

16 Hardinge to Lansdowne, November 1904. B.D. IV, no. 26.

17 MacDonald to Lansdowne, 25 May 1905, B.D. IV, no. 117.

18 Same to same, 15 July 1905, B.D. IV, no. 135.

19 Hardinge to Lansdowne, 5 July 1905, F.O. 1701, no. 432.

20 See B.D. IV. For the naval importance of the renewal see Monger, op. cit. pp. 200-1.

21 Balfour to Lansdowne, 30 June 1905, Balfour MS. B.M. Add. 49729.

22 Gwynn, S. (ed.), The Letters and Friendships of Sir Cecil Spring Rice (London, 1929), 1, 395–6.

23 Sir A. Nicolson, Diplomatic Narrative (unpub.), 1, 68–9.

24 C.I.D. minute, 25 May 1906, P.R.O. Cab. O. 2.2/I.

25 Minto to Morley, 12 June 1906. Morley MS. I.O. Eur. D. 573/8.

26 The Military Resources of the Russian Empire, 1907, W.O. 33/419, p. 292.

27 Quoted in Cambon to Pichon, 27 October 1910, no. 401, M. des A.E., N.S. (Europe), 28.

28 W.O. 33/419, P. 286.

29 Nicolson to Hardinge, 8 May 1907, F.O. Carnock MS. supplementary vol. 1906–10; Hardinge to Nicolson, 15 May 1907, ibid. 1907, vol. 1; Nicolson to Spring Rice, 20 May 1907, Spring Rice MS. vol. 1.

30 Nicolson, Diplomatic Narrative, 1, 2; Nicolson to Grey, 2 August 1906, Carnock MS. S.V.

31 W.O. 33/419, p. 282.

32 Kitchener's note, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.30.

33 W.O. 33/419, p. 274. This document has been referred to above, and as far as I know has never been published. It was printed in book form by the War Office General Staff and has several maps as appendices. There is no indication of individual authors.

34 Ibid. p. 275.

35 Ibid. p. 287.

36 Kitchener's note, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.30; see also W.O. 33/419, pp. 288-91.

37 Fleming, P., Bayonets to Lhasa (London, 1961), p. 308.

38 Kitchener's note, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.30.

39 Clarke to Kitchener, 6 June 1906, Kitchenei MS. P.R.O. 30/57.34.

40 Esher to Kitchener, 16 Aug. 1906, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.33.

41 Nicolson to Spring Rice, 14 August 1907, Spring Rice MS. vol. I.

42 Minto to Morley, 12 June 1906, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/8.

43 Kitchener's note, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.30. See also his revision of the note 25 August 1906 in Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/37d.

44 Even although the numbers required were later raised (Cab. O. 6/1; 2/1). See Monger, op. cit. pp. 95-6.

45 Brett, M. V. (ed.), Journals and Letters of Viscount Esher (London, 1934), II, 187–8.

46 Parliamentary Debates, 4th ser., vol. 146, pp. 154-5.

47 Cab. O. 17/60.

48 Clarke to Kitchener, 26 May 1906, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.34.

49 Cab. O. 2. 2/1.

50 Morley to Minto, 19 April 1906, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/1.

51 Parliamentary Debates, 4th Ser., vol. 153, p. 675.

52 Morley to Minto, 30 March 1906, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/1.

53 Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/8.

54 Cab. O. 17/60.

56 Morley to Godley, 19 March 1906, Morley MS. Eur. F. 102/8.

57 Morley to Minto, 16 January 1906, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/1.

58 Clarke to Kitchener, 6 April 1906, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.34.

59 Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/37d.

60 Grey to Asquith, 5 February 1909, Asquith MS. 21.

61 Marder, I. A. J., Fear God and Dread Nought (London, 1952), 1, 320–1.

62 Halevy, E., History of the English people in the Nineteenth Century (London, 1961 ed.). VI, 158–9.

63 Cab. O. 1.7.

64 J. S. Steiner, ‘Great Britain and the Creation of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance’, Journal of Modern History (March 1959).

65 F.O. 371/168.

66 Brett, op. cit. 11, 179.

67 English Historical Review (July 1962).

68 Cab. O. 4.2 and 2.2/1.

69 Brett, op. cit. 11, 188.

70 L. Abrahams, Report in Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/37d.

71 See Crisp, O., ‘The Russian Liberals and the 1906 Anglo-French loan to Russia’, Slavonic Review, XXXIX (1960-1961).

72 W.O. 33/419.

73 Morley MS. Eur. D. 573.37.

74 Brett, op. cit. II, 218.

75 Esher to Kitchener, 15 February 1907, Kitchener MS. P.R.O. 30/57.33.

76 Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/37g. Cab. O. 6/3.

77 Morley to Minto, 19 September 1907, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/2.

78 Cromer to Balfour, 15 October 1903, Balfour MS. B.M. Add. 49749.

79 Morley to Minto, 20 March 1908, Morley MS. Eur. D. 573/5.

80 I should like to thank Professor W. N. Medlicott of the London School of Economics for help and advice during the preparation of this article.

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