Transjordan memorandum
The Transjordan memorandum was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 on September 16, 1922. The memorandum described how the British government planned to implement the article of the Mandate for Palestine which allowed exclusion of Transjordan
The Emirate of Transjordan was a former Ottoman territory in the Southern Levant that was part of the British Mandate of Palestine...

 from the provisions regarding Jewish settlement.


The British Mandate administration in Jerusalem only ever covered the area west of the Jordan, while the area east of the Jordan was administered by the British representative in Ma'an, Captain Alex Kirkbride
Alec Kirkbride
- Biography :He began his military career as an officer in the army of General Allenby from 1916 to 1921. In 1920, after the Battle of Maysalun and the fall of Faisal's government of Syria left Transjordan with no central authority, he was dispatched by the British government to Transjordan to help...

 until the arrival in November 1920 of Abdullah bin al-Hussein
Abdullah I of Jordan
Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan [‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Husayn] عبد الله الأول بن الحسين born in Mecca, Second Saudi State, was the second of three sons of Sherif Hussein bin Ali, Sharif and Emir of Mecca and his first wife Abdiyya bint Abdullah...

, the future Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

. Article 25 of the British Mandate for Palestine stated that in the territory to the east of the Jordan River, Britain could 'postpone or withhold' the articles of the Mandate concerning a Jewish National Home:


On September 16, 1922, Lord Balfour
Arthur Balfour
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

, representing the United Kingdom, reminded the Council of the League of Nations of Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine (which had been previously approved but had not yet come into effect). Article 25 allowed for the exclusion of Transjordan from unspecified provisions of the Mandate. He then told the council that the British government now proposed to carry out this article as had always been intended by the League of Nations and the British government. He then presented a memorandum for approval.

The memorandum began by quoting Article 25 of the Mandate. Then it said "In pursuance of the provisions of this article, His Majesty's Government invite the Council to pass the following resolution: The following provisions of the Mandate for Palestine are not applicable to the territory known as Transjordan, which comprises all territory lying to the east of a line drawn from a point two miles west of the town of Akaba on the Gulf of that name up the centre of the Wady Araba, Dead Sea and River Jordan to its junction with the River Yarmuk: thence up the centre of that river to the Syrian frontier." Then it listed articles 4, 6, 13, 14, 22, 23, and parts of the Preamble and Articles 2, 7 and 11, and concluded with "In the application of the Mandate to Transjordan, the action which, in Palestine, is taken by the Administration of the latter country will be taken by the Administration of Transjordan under the general supervision of the Mandatory. His Majesty's Government accept full responsibility as Mandatory for Transjordan, and undertake that such provision as may be made for the administration of that territory in accordance with Article 25 of the Mandate shall be in no way inconsistent with those provisions of the Mandate which are not by this resolution declared inapplicable." The council then approved the memorandum.

From that point onwards, Britain administered the part west of the Jordan as Palestine, and the part east of the Jordan as Transjordan. Technically they remained one mandate, but most official documents referred to them as if they were two separate mandates. In May 1923 Transjordan was granted a degree of independence with Abdullah as ruler and Harry St. John Philby
St. John Philby
Harry St John Bridger Philby CIE , also known as Jack Philby or Sheikh Abdullah , his Arabic name, was an Arabist, explorer, writer, and British colonial office intelligence officer...

as chief representative.

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