March 28, 1921 The Shame of Winston Churchill

On March 1st 1921,

On March 1st, I (Emir Abdullah) left Maan by train for Amman. I then received a note from Sir Herbert Samuel, British High Commissioner, inviting me to Jerusalem to meet the British Secretary of State for the Colonies(e.g. Winston Churchill). I accepted the invitation, and the date was fixed.

Lawrence of Arabia

The meeting took place as arranged. On the English side there were Mr. Winston Churchill, Sir Herbert Samuel, Mr. Deedes the Chief Secretary for Palestine, and Colonel Lawrence, while on the Arab side, there were Auni Abd al-Hadi and myself. He (e.g. Churchill) then mentioned how Britain had endeavored to prevent the events that took place between France and the Arabs (e.g. the French Mandate) and went on to communicate his government’s advice to me.

Amir Faisal ibn Husain should leave Syria and put himself up as a candidate for the Kingship of Iraq, as France would never work with him. I should therefore influence my father to accept the nomination of Faisal and the people of Iraq to accept him. I myself should remain in Trans­jordan in full agreement with Great Britain and carry on a policy of appeasing the French.

I held a meeting with my colleagues, and we came to a unanimous agreement. At the appointed time the following day, I informed the Secretary of State (e.g. Winston Churchill) accord­ingly, and it was decided that the British High Com­missioner in Palestine should visit Amman to lay the foundations of our new administration, with its various departments – finance, education, justice and so on.

In April 1921, the first government of Transjordan was formed at Amman, with Rashid Bey Tali, The Administrative Secretary, presiding over the Council of Advisors.

Source: Memoirs of King Abdullah January 1, 1950. p.199-205. By Philip P. Graves