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The Arab Bureau was a section of the Cairo Intelligence Department during the First World War.

It was constituted on the initiative of Mark Sykes and it was meant to make British decision making with regard to Arab affairs more unified and effective. Sykes and his friend Gilbert Clayton wanted British Egypt to control the Arab world. They were opposed in their aims by the Foreign Office and Horatio Kitchener and by the Government of India (Charles Hardinge and Austen Chamberlain) who did not want to relinquish their claims of control.

The result was a compromise and the resulting bureau was given no independence but was part of the Cairo Intelligence Department

David Hogarth, a Naval Intelligence officer, was named head of the Arab Bureau and Kinahan Cornwallis his deputy. George Stewart Symes, Philip Graves, Gertrude Bell, Aubrey Herbert and T. E. Lawrence were also part of the Arab Bureau.

References

  • A Peace To End All Peace , David Fromkin, Avon Books, New York, 1990
  • Arabian Personalities of the Early Twentieth Century with a new Introduction by Robin Bidwell (reprints from Bureau's Handbooks ) The Oleander Press 1986 ISBN 0906672392

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