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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎18r] (35/434)

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The record is made up of 1 file (214 folios). It was created in 31 Aug 1933-20 Mar 1939. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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{Received on 5th August 1933, with Political Secretary's letter No. 29, dated
20th July 1933.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter dated 17th July 1933.
^Letter .from His Majesty's Minister, Jedda, to the Foreign Office, No. 147,
dated the 20th May 1933.
Since I wrote my despatch No. 331 of the 2nd August last [Serial No. (101)
in F. 9-N.|32], incidental reference only has been made in reports from this
Legation to M. van Leeuwen, the Dutch expert who entered the service of the
Saudi Government in April 1932 as financial adviser. I have now to record ins
final departure from Jedda on the 18th May.
2. M. van Leeuwen returned from sick leave in or about October last. This
leave interrupted what was to have been a year of continuous service, to be
followed by a period of leave on full pay before his contract finally expired. I
believe it was agreed that he should draw no salary for the period of his absence
last year, and should make up for the time lost by serving for an additional three
months at the end of the year originally contemplated.
3. Unfortunately M. van Leeuwen’s health has continued to be precarious.
He has had several" bouts of illness during the spring, and this has been the
immediate cause of his leaving for good. It must be attributed in pmt, however,
to the hopelessness of his position in the Administration here. I do not think
that he has at any time been allowed to do more than write academic reports, and
it has been increasingly evident of late that he could plav no effectiv e role in a
department dominated by the personality and methods of Sheikh Abdullah
4 Things were not improved bv M. van Leeuwen’s condemnation of the
National Bank scheme (F. 85-N.|33) "projected by the ex-Khedive and his asso
ciates. By the time this was launched he had lost patience to such an extent that
he abandoned his previous attitude of discretion and expressed his adveise
opinion to outsiders like myself. Saudi circles were very ready to think that Ins
hostility to the scheme was due to apprehension lest it should damage the posi
tion of the Netherlands Trading Society, which is, as you know, the only orga
nised bank here and in which he was formerly employed. The suspicion may
have been increased by the fact that, for reasons of health, he had gone to stay
indefinitely wfith the Netherlands Charge d Affaires.
5 It was to be foreseen that no adviser could reorganise the finances of this
country in a year, least of all in a year so inauspicious as one beginning m April
1932 when they were already in a desperate condition and the whole world as
well was in a mess. It is, however, lamentable that M. van Leeuwen, of whose
capacity I cannot judge, but who was an honest and industrious man should not
have had a chance of doing anything at all. He had no axe to grind, and I do
not think that the Netherlands authorities made any attempt to use liim tor then
own purposes. The Dutch Charge d’Affaires has assured me that since he
presented M van Leeuwen to the King he has scrupulously refrained from
meddling in his affairs, and has not seen his report^. I believe this to he tme,
and I shall be all the sorrier for M. Adriaanse if, as is possible he has to concern
himself with the final settlement of account between the Saudi Government and
their late adviser.
(Received on 5th August 1933, with Political Secretary's letter No. 29, dated
20th July 1933.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated 18th July 1933.^
Letter prom His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda to the Foreic.n Office, No. 185
(1734]161|5), DATED THE L TH J UNE LMA
T have the honour to transmit to you herewith, with reference to Foreign
Office despatch No. 289 (E. 35381527125) of the 22nd July, 1931, the translation
of a further Regulation of the Sa’udi Arab Government on firearms and their
importation^into this country which appeared in the “ ITmm-al-Qura, No. 442, of
the 2nd June. " , ^ *
2. I am sending copies of this despatch and enclosure to the Department of
Overseas Trade.
Lc57 IFD

About this item


The file contains the Foreign Office confidential prints of the Arabia Series for the years 1933 to 1938. It includes correspondence, memoranda, and extracts from newspapers. The correspondence is principally between the British Legation in Jedda and the Foreign Office. Other correspondents include British diplomatic, political, and military offices, foreign diplomats, heads of state, tribal leaders, corporations, and individuals in the Middle East region.

Each annual series is composed of several numbered serials that are often connected to a particular subject. The file covers many subjects related to the affairs of Saudi Arabia.

Included in the file are the following:

  • a memorandum on Arab Unity produced by the Foreign Office dated 12 June 1933 (author unknown), folios 11-13;
  • a memorandum on petroleum in Arabia produced by the Petroleum Department dated 5 August 1933 (author unknown), folios 23-26;
  • a record of interviews with Ibn Sa‘ūd, King of Saudi Arabia, conducted by Reader Bullard and George William Rendel between 20 and 22 March 1937;
  • a memorandum on Yemen by Captain B W Seager, the Frontier Officer, dated 20 July 1937;
  • several records of proceedings of ships on patrol in the Red Sea, including that of HMS Penzance , Hastings , Colombo , Bideford , and Londonderry .

Folios 213-15 are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 file (214 folios)

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 217; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 2-215; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎18r] (35/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 March 2020]

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