Bagdad (Jun. 12)
The supplementary agreement between Great Britain and the Government of Iraq (Mesopotamia), based on the treaty signed on October 10th, 1922, between His Majesty, the King of Iraq and His Brittanic Majesty, has been, at the eleventh hour, ratified by a majority of 38 to 25 in the Mesopotamian Parliament. Eight members abstained from voting.
The agreement, as signed April 30th, 1923, and published here today, treats of the problems of the military defense of the country, its judicial status and the financial arrangement between the mandatory power and the government of Iraq.
The agreement provides that both governments recognize the principle that the government of Iraq shall, not later than four years from the date of its ratification, accept full responsibility for the maintenance of internal order and the defense of the state of Iraq from external aggression. The material support now being rendered by England to the government of Iraq shall, in accordance with this agreement, be progressively reduced. Any support which may be rendered to the government of Iraq by the government of Great Britain shall take the form of the presence in Iraq of either an Imperial garrison or a local force maintained by Great Britain.
Great Britain pledges itself to the following: 1, to furnish military and aeronautical instruction to Iraq officers in Great Britain; 2, to provide in sufficient quantities arms, ammunition, equipment and aeroplanes of the latest available model for the Iraq army; 3, to provide British officers whenever they may be required by the Iraq government. The cost of all this will be met by the Iraq government.
The Iraq government undertakes to grant to the Commanding Officer of the British forces in Iraq the authority to carry out such inspections of the Iraq army and other local forces as he may consider necessary, and to submit to the King of Iraq, through the High Commissioner, his recommendations concerning the steps he considers necessary for their improvement.
The government of Iraq agrees to give full consideration to the wishes of the High Commissioner regarding the movements and disposition of the Iraq army. The Iraq government also undertakes to provide protection for aerodromes and landing grounds, as the High Commissioner may require.
Concerning the financial arrangements, the governments recognize the principle that the entire cost of the civil administration of
Iraq shall be paid for out of the Iraq revenues, and the government of Iraq shall, at the earliest possible date, accept full financial responsibility for the maintenance of the order and defense of Iraq. The government of Iraq undertakes to devote not less than 25% of the revenue towards the cost of defense.
The works of public utility, such as irrigation, roads, bridges, posts, the telegraph and telephone, are to be transferred to the Iraq government for value, which shall constitute a debt to be liquidated by means of a terminable annuity calculated to pay both the principal and the interest of 5%, during a period of twenty years. Four years after the ratification of the “Treaty of Alliance” the ownership of the railway system shall, in default of prior sale or disposition, be transferred to the Iraq government on terms to be mutually agreed upon. The port of Basra shall be transferred to a trust which will be set up with the authority of the Iraq government, subject to the approval of Great Britain.
The support and assistance given by Great Britain to Iraq shall not, in any case, take the form of a contribution by Great Britain to the cost of the Iraq army, or for local forces maintained and controlled by the government of Iraq. Similarly the government of Iraq shall not contribute to the cost of the Imperial garrison of Great Britain in Iraq.
Concerning the judicial status, the agreement, based on Article IX, of the principal treaty, provides for the “safeguard of the interests of foreigners in sections of the non-application of the immunities and privileges enjoyed by them under capitulation and usage,” and sets forth that the King of Iraq undertakes to employ British legal experts in the Mesopotamian courts, and to grant them judicial powers under the laws of Iraq.
After the ratification of the treaty a resolution was passed stating that Iraq is unable to fulfill the responsibilities imposed upon it by the treaty, but is confident that Great Britain does not intend to oppress Iraq and that, trusting the British High Commissioner’s assurance of the possibility of modifying ratify the instrument, provided His Majesty, thereupon, commences to negotiate modific ations on the basis of the committee’s report. The resolution concludes:
“This treaty is invalid if Great Britain does not protect Iraq’s entire rights in the Mosul Vilayet.”
The agreement is to be communicated to the League of Nations.