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'Relations between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Sheikh of Koweit' [‎1r] (1/20)

The record is made up of 1 file (10 folios). It was created in 1934. It was written in English. 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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—o-fc- H f }■ \* ti*
3 6-
THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT
SECRET.
(14377)
Relations between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and
the Sheikh of Koweit.
[E 6077/16/91]
1.—Final Record of a Meeting held at the Foreign Office, on October 5, 1933.
THE following were present at the meeting :—
Mr. G. W. Rendel (m the Chair), Foreign Office.
Mr. K. R. Johnstone, Foreign Office.
Sir A. Ryan, His Majesty's Minister at Jedda.
Lieutenant-Colonel T. C. Fowle, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. .
Mr. J. G. Laithwaite, 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. .
The meeting had before it Sir Andrew Ryan's note of the 16th August,
regarding the attitude of King Ibn Saud towards Koweit (see Appendix A).
Mr. Rendel outlined the present political situation of Koweit. The Sheikh
was tied to His Majesty's Government by his treaty engagements, but at the same
time was being courted both by Ibn Saud and by Iraq. It was clear that the
sheikhdom was not in a position which in the ordinary way would enable it to
stand alone either as a political or as an economic entity, and that it must there
fore depend on some stronger Power. He understood that it was the policy of His
Majesty's Government, in view of the strategic importance of Koweit, not to allow
it to be absorbed by any foreign Power, but, so far as was possible, to maintain
their present treaty relationship with the Sheikh.
Mr. Laithwaite suggested that Koweit was at the present moment of more
vital importance to His Majesty's Government than it had been at any time, since
it had bulked so prominently as the terminus of the Bagdad Railway before the
war. This was the result first of the development of the air route to India and
Australia, which had made the Gulf as important imperially from the air stand
point as was the Suez Canal for naval reasons, and, secondly, owing to the expira
tion of the mandatory regime in Iraq and the uncertainty of the future relations
of His Majesty's Government with that country. So long as Iraq had been under
British control, there had been a natural tendency to give it prior consideration
and the less important question of Koweit had been kept comparatively in the
background. But now that Iraq had attained full independence, the position was
changed and Koweit had once again assumed major importance. Geographically,
Koweit occupied a key position at the head of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , and one trom
which the Gulf could be controlled. In the event of war we could probably safely
assume that Koweit would be on our side and her territory would afford us a base
of operations of definite value, to the use of which, on the assumption in question,
no objection could be raised on the ground that we were violating her neutrality.
Further, with the development of the Arabian coast air route to the East, Koweit
was likely to prove more and more vital as a station on that route, especially if our
relations with Iraq should at any time become so strained that we were unable to
rely on the use of the Iraqi aerodromes for the purposes of that route.
Colonel Fowle suggested that in point of fact it might one day be possible to
avoid the use of Iraq altogether, and fly direct from Palestine to Koweit, as the
range of the aircraft using the Arabian route increased.
Mr. Rendel concurred with Mr. Laithwaite's estimate of the position as
regards Iraq. In view of recent events in Iraq it was possible that our whole
relationship with that country might have to be modified, and he considered that
both the future of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty and of the position of the Royal Air
Force in Iraq must be regarded as doubtful. On the general point at issue, he
7329 [9823] b

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Content

This secret memorandum, printed by the Foreign Office, contains a record of a meeting held at the Foreign Office on 5 October 1933 to discuss relations between Great Britain and the Sheikh of Koweit [Kuwait], Aḥmad bin Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ, particularly in regards to Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Aziz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Āl Sa‘ūd]. The following were present at the meeting: Mr George William Rendel (Chair), Eastern Department of the Foreign Office; Mr K R Johnston, Foreign Office; Sir Andrew Ryan, His Majesty's Minister at Jeddah; Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard Craven William Fowle, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. ; and Mr John Gilbert Laithwaite, 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. .

The memorandum also includes three appendices:

  • 'Appendix A. Note by Sir Andrew Ryan. Ibn Saud's attitude towards Kowait', dated 16 August 1933 (folios 3v-4r);
  • 'Appendix B. Provisional Note. Obligations of His Majesty's Government towards the Sheikh of Koweit', 11 October 1933, by Sir John Gilbert Laithwaite (folios 4-6), which includes sections entitled 'A. Nature of the undertakings given', 'B. Constitution of the undertakings given to the Sheikh', and 'Conclusion', with references to various correspondence in the right hand margin;
  • 'Appendix C. Supplementary Note. Question of Liability for the Protection of Koweit against Aggression from Outside. 1928-1929', by Sir John Gilbert Laithwaite, dated 6 February, 1934 (folio 6).

There are also a number of enclosures which include correspondence between folios 6 and 10.

Extent and format
1 file (10 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: The foliation sequence commences at the front cover, and terminates at the inside back cover; 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.

Pagination: The volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Relations between His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Sheikh of Koweit' [‎1r] (1/20), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B431, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023493289.0x000002> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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