open for sea going ships to pass through. On May 25th we arrived at Basra, and cast anchor amongst a mass of shipping in mid stream; there were several captured vessels the largest of which was the Austrian Lloyd “Frans Ferdinand”. Basra is often said to be the “Venice of the East” no doubt because small waterways run into the town and small open boats called “bellums” <resembling gondolas> paddled by Arabs are the means of locomotion on them; it is no doubt equally smelly. Mostly inhabited by the Arab, that low & cowardly savage, Basra is a most picturesque spot, thousands of date palms rising out of which, is the town of flat-mud roofed dwellings with an occasional mosque with a blue tiled dome. <The Population, consisting mostly of Arabs with a few Armenians is about (sic) >. The bright sunshine & clear blue sky on this scene pictures to one the true oriental town; but like all oriental towns it is better if viewed from afar, for within it is filthy. The chief industries are date packing, raw hides & wheat. Beyond sending a few officials there, the Turk takes no interest in the Iraq, everything is in disorder, as it is everywhere where the Turk rules; the Arab tribes are beyond their control; there is no law or order, but in their stead bribery & corruption in the worst form.