The McMahon to Hussein Correspondence

The McMahon to Hussein Correspondence

Sir Henry McMahon wrote to Sharif Hussein on October 24th 1915. It was this letter that convinced Palestinians that Britain would support their right to their own homeland (Palestine) once the Ottoman Empire had been defeated. Hence why the Arabs gave their military support to the British in the Middle East during World War One. The letter contained the following land details:

“The two districts of Mesina and Alexandretta and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs and Aleppo cannot be said to be purely Arab, and should be excluded from the limits demanded (by the Arabs).With the above modification, and without prejudice to our existing treaties with Arab chiefs, we accept those limits.

As for those regions lying within these frontiers wherein Great Britain is fee to act without detriment to the interests of her ally, France, I am empowered in the name of the government of Great Britain to give the following assurances and make the following reply to your letter.

1) Subject to the above modifications, Great Britain is prepared to recognise and support the independence of the Arabs in the regions within the limits demanded by the Sherif of Mecca.

2) Great Britain will recognise the Holy Places against all external aggression and will recognise their inviolability.

3) When the situation admits, Great Britain will give to the Arabs her advice and will assist them to establish what may appear to be the most suitable forms of government in those various territories.

4) On the other hand, it is understood that the Arabs have decided to seek the advice and guidance of Great Britain only, and that such European advisors and officials as may be required for the formation of a sound administration will be British.

5) With regards to the vilayets of Baghdad and Basra, the Arabs will recognise that the established position and interests of Great Britain necessitate special administrative arrangements in order to secure these territories from foreign aggression to promote the welfare of the local populations and to safeguard our mutual economic interests.”