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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth

Port Said

March 22

Another uncensored letter: at half an hour's notice last week I send you a flood of stuff about Alex. Please try and push it through, for I think it is our only chance in face of a French Syria. I hope my letter was clear - because I dashed it off in such a sweat that I had no time to think of it at all.

This week is something else. You know India used to be in control of Arabia - and used to do it pretty badly, for they hadn't a man who knew Syria or Turkey, and they used to consider only the Gulf, and the preservation of peace in the Aden Hinterland. So they got tied into horrid knots with the Imam, who is a poisonous blighter at the best. Egypt (which is one Clayton, a very good man) got hold of the Idrisi family, who are the Senussi and Assyr together, as you know: and for some years we had a little agreement together. Then this war started, and India went on the old game of balancing the little powers there. I want to pull them all together, and to roll up Syria by way of the Hedjaz in the name of the Sherif. You know how big his repute is in Syria. This could be done by Idrisi only, so we drew out a beautiful alliance, giving him all he wanted: and India refused to sign. So we cursed them, and I think that Newcombe and myself are going down to Kunfida as his advisors. If Idrisi is anything like as good as we hope we can rush right up to Damascus, and biff the French out of all hope of Syria. It's a big game, and at last one worth playing. Of course India has no idea what we are playing at: if we can only get to Assyr we can do the rest - or have a try at it. So if I write and tell you that it's all right, and I'm off, you will know where for. Wouldn't you like to be on it?  Though I don't give much for my insurance chances again. If only India will let us go. Won't the French be mad if we win through? Don't talk of it yet.


Source: DG 195-6
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 1 January 2006

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