XIX-. XX .

5.2.3. - , -. 17 1909 .

Page 95.

Copy of Telegram.

From Viceroy Calcutta 17th Dec: 1909.

Received at London Office 4.14 p.m.

Received in Political Department 18 Dec. 1909.

Foreign, Secret. Your Telegram of 30th November. Visit Russian Buddhist to Dalai Lama through Darjiling.

Visit would upset Prime Minister of Nepal and seem undesirable at present time. Tibet is evidently in unsettled state. Telegram has been received from Trade agent in Gyantse, dated 10th Dec: -

Yesterday evening the Renpon gave three telegrams to Norbhu for translation and dispatch. One of them was to Wei wu pu protesting against actions of Len and asking to recall of Chao and new troops. The others were to Great Britains European ministers asking for political assistance. I forbade Norbhu from having anything to do with them. Renpon had already approached me on subject of British intervention and I had discouraged him. I understand that similar telegrams have been sent via Calcutta. Details follow by post. (Telegram ends).

It is clearly desirable to prevent visit if this can be done without prejudice to our relations with Russia. The present occasion is most inappropriate for the unusual concession of allowing a Russian Buddhist to enter Tibet from our territory. We suggest reply might be that we have adopted an attitude of discouraging our (?Buddhist) subjects from going to Tibet and our position might be misunderstood if we allowed a Buddhist to enter Tibet via Darjiling. I any case it would seem desirable that we should first ascertain whether Chinese and Tibetan authorities would have any objection.

Page 97


It will be observed that the Russian Embassy in forwarding this application does not make any recommendation.

There are no precedents, and the case is not clearly provided for by treaty. Art. II of the arrangement runs as follows: -

Il est bien entendu que les Buddhistes tant sujets Britanniques que Russes peuvent entrer en relations directes sur le terrain strictement religieux avec le Dalai Lama et les autres representants du Bouddhisme au Thibet; les Governements de la Grande Bretagne et le Russie sengagent, pour autant quil dependra deux, a ne pas admettre que ces relations puissant porter atteinte aux stipulations de present Arrangement.

The correspondence at the time shows that pilgrimages were contemplated, but the pilgrimages of Buriats, not of Buddhists from European Russia who owe no particular spiritual allegiance to the Dalai Lama. As regards Buriats the G. of I. themselves had no objection: see their telegrams of 13th July/06.

Sevelii Montianow will not, of course, require a permit to travel in India. but he must have a pass to cross the frontier, under Bengal Eastern frontier Reg.n 1873.

If the application is not expressly supported by the Russian Govt there seems no reason for complying with it, to do so may create an inconvenient precedent. But, before refusing, it is proposed to consult the Govt of India.

[It is not clear what Mr. Stewart means in his d.o. letter by saying that the F.O. do not consider that the request has any connexion with the Anglo-Russian convention. If it were not for Art. II quoted above it would not be entertained at all.]

| Russian (5/6) | Dalai Lama (3/5) | Calcutta (2/2) | Darjiling (2/1) | India (2/4) | Russia (2/3) | Tibet (2/7) | British (1/3) | Buriats (1/2) | Chao (1/1) | China (1/5) | Great Britain (1/2) | Len (1/1) | London (1/1) | Montianow (1/2) | Nepal (1/1) | Norbhu (1/1) | Stewart (1/1) | Thibet (1/4) | Wei wu pu (1/1) |

. .
( XIX . - 1917 .)

: . . 1. , , , . . 2. , , , : . . .

Andrey Bazarov and Nikolay Tsyrempilov
Catalogue of Tibetan gSung 'bum Collection of Centre of Oriental Manuscripts and Xylographs of the Institute of Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan studies of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences. Volume I. Non-dGe lugs and Early dGe lugs sections

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