Records of Jordan 1919–1965

ISBN:  (13) 978-1-85207-645-0      Extent:  14 volumes, 10,000 pages

Editor:  J. Priestland     Published: 1996
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available

Archive Editions presents the definitive document collection on the creation and development of today´s Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan. Here are 14 volumes comprising some 10000 pages of detailed records on Jordanian relations with neighbour states providing invaluable background for the Middle East peace process.
Records of Jordan 1919-1965 provides documentary evidence of key events and issues in the first 45 years of Jordanian history including: the creation of Transjordan; the formation of boundaries with Syria and Iraq; boundaries with Hijaz and Nejd and relations with Ibn Saud; the reigns of Abdullah and Talal, and later the reign of King Hussein; post-war relations with Arab states, US and Britain; the relationship between King Hussein and President Nasser; the status of Jerusalem; Jordan Valley water problems; concerns with the Baghdad Pact, the Arab League and the United Nations; the role of King Hussein in the Arab-Israel conflict; issues concerning the creation of the PLO; regular detailed information on King Hussein´s administration and personal survival.


Extract From the Editor´s Preface
The documents relating to the British Mandate from 1920 deal with the problems of establishing the boundaries of Transjordan and particularly the tensions between Ibn Saud and King Abdullah over Ibn Saud´s claims to Aqaba and Ma´an. In 1946, Transjordan achieved independence, although it was still financially dependent on Britain, a dependence which was formalised by the military annex in the Anglo-Transjordan Treaty.
Abdullah´s moderate position towards Israel, however, was challenged within Jordan and by neighbouring Arab states. The formal union between Eastern and Western Jordan of 1950 increased the influence of West Bank opinion on Jordanian politics and led to a deterioration in relations between Jordan and Israel. In 1951 Abdullah was assassinated and his successor Talal abdicated due to mental illness. This political instability was exacerbated by the influx of refugees from Palestine.
In 1953 Hussein was crowned king and presided over an increasingly pro-Egyptian and pro-soviet political orientation. Jordan refused to join the American-sponsored Baghdad Pact and signed a military agreement with Egypt and Syria. By February 1958 Jordanian policy had changed and had become more sympathetic to the West. Jordan and the pro-Western Kingdom of Iraq announced their unification, but the union was short-lived. Revolution in Baghdad on 14 July 1958 and the assassination of the Iraqi Royal family led to the dissolution of the union and the greater reliance of Jordan on the United States, Britain and Israel for her defence. In 1961 Jordanian-Egyptian relations deteriorated due to King Hussein´s haste in recognising the new regime in Syria after the coup d´etat which resulted in her withdrawal from the UAR.
The papers of 1965 document the increasing rift between Hussein and the PLO, and the danger which the organisation presented to Jordan´s fragile stability. They also show Jordan´s increasing dependence on the United States for financial support and efforts to achieve a stable relationship with the UAR and Saudi Arabia during the Yemeni conflict.
While an attempt has been made to ensure that this collection presents as comprehensive a picture as possible, in the earlier period this is more difficult to achieve as many records have not survived and many files on sensitive issues are still closed to the public.


This collection includes a selection of Foreign Office and Colonial Office records tracing the history of the state of Jordan from its establishment as the British Mandate of Transjordan at the San Remo Conference of 1920 to the year 1965, after which British Government files remained closed at the time of going to press. A small amount of Cabinet Office Papers are also included. The documents illustrate the sensitive political and strategic position of Jordan and its rulers´ attempts to maintain stability and independence in the face of superpower rivalry and political turbulence, both domestic and regional.


Highlights from the Volumes
Volume 1: 1919-1922
  • Territorial adjustments in the Middle East
  • Character of Emir Abdullah
  • Status and fortune of the Hashimites
  • The embryonic state of Transjordan
  • Emir Abdullah and Syria
  • Defence and finance
  • Wahhabi influence in Transjordan
Volume 2: 1923-1926
  • Proposed treaty with Hussein
  • Rebellion of the Adwan
  • The Arab Legion
  • The Kuwait Conference 1924
  • Boundaries with Hijaz, Nejd, Iraq
  • Abdication of King Hussein
  • Boundary settlement with Ibn Saud
  • Rebellion in Syria
Volume 3: 1927-1932
  • The Ma´an-Aqaba question
  • Tribal affairs
  • Terrorist activity
  • The Ottoman debt
  • Civil unrest
  • Ibn Rifada revolt
Volume 4: 1932-1939
  • Position of Transjordan in Arab world
  • Relations with Saudi Arabia: tribes and frontiers
  • Emir Abdullah: relations with Jews
  • Oil affairs, the Aqaba-Haifa pipeline
  • Proposals for partition of Palestine
Volume 5: 1939-1947
  • Constitution of Transjordan
  • Attitude to the war
  • Arab unity and the Arab League
  • Attitude to partition of Palestine
  • Relations with Britain and USA
  • Possible union of Transjordan with Iraq
  • King Abdullah and Greater Syria
Volume 6: 1948-1950
  • Anglo-Transjordan Treaty revision
  • The future of Palestine
  • Settlement of refugees
  • Relations with Egypt, Iran, etc.
  • Jordan-Israel border incidents

Volume 7: 1950-1953

  • Assassination of King Abdullah
  • Negotiations with Israel and UN
  • The Arab Legion; Glubb Pasha
  • Constitution of Jordan
  • The Royal Family - departure of King Talal
  • The Royal Family - accession of King Hussein
  • Evidence of communism in Jordan
Volume 8: 1953-1955
  • Jordan-Israel border dispute
  • Dispute over Jordan river water
  • Jordan Valley scheme
  • Status of Jerusalem
Volume 9: 1955-1956
  • The Baghdad Pact
  • Strength of Israeli armed forces
Volume 10: 1956-1958 
  • Military aid to Jordan
  • Future of Arab Legion
  • Position of King Hussein
  • Relations with US: the Eisenhower Doctrine
  • Assassination of Iraqi royal family: impact on Jordan
Volume 11: 1958-1960 
  • Proposal for union of Jordan and Iraq
  • Mount Scopus and the Jerusalem boundary
  • Defence of Jordan
Volume 12: 1960-1962
  • Reports on King Hussein
  • Relations with Arab states
  • Jordanian foreign policy
  • Coup in Syria
Volume 13: 1962-1963
  • Relations with US and UK
  • Relations with Arab States and Arab League
  • Frontier disputes with Israel, UN involvement
  • Jordan River and irrigation questions
  • Dismissal of Governor of Jerusalem
  • Public relations of King Hussein
Volume 14: 1963-1965
  • Cairo talks on Arab unity
  • Anglo-US contingency plans for Jordan
  • Arab policy towards Palestine
  • The Jordan Arab Army
  • King Hussein´s travels