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'File 61/14 VII (D 51) Relations between Nejd and Iraq' [‎7v] (29/416)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (205 folios). It was created in 20 Jul 1928-31 Dec 1928. 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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22. The other point (see paragraph 13 above)
relates to the, surrender of refugee offenders.
This is not a new theme, and reference to my
Report on the negotiations at Bahra will show
that Ibn Sa'ud's request had been rejected in
deference to the views of the Iraq Government.
I have been given to understand, however, that
the Iraq Government would be willing to recon
sider their attitude on this matter.
23. The exchange of notes laying down the
agreed terms of suspension of conversations was
nearly prevented by an unfortunate development
four days previous to my departure. Draft
notes had been agreed upon in conversation and
Ibn Sa'ud had left for Mecca, but before they
could be officially exchanged I received an indig-
jiajit letter from Ibn Sa'ud dated the 22nd May,
supplemented by a verbal statement conveyed to
me by his advisers, The gist of these communi
cations was to the effect that Ibn Sa'ud had just
received a detailed and circumstantial report
informing him that on the 25th pr 26th April
eight armoured cars had visited Aiwij and tried
to persuade tribes to migrate into Iraq ; -hat a
few days later three aeroplanes had flown over
Lh}a and dropped bombs ; and that on or about
the same date, other aeroplanes had flown over
t;he Bashuk area.
24. Ibn Sa'ud's letter of the 22nd May is
attached to this report (Annexure 7) but in his
verbal protest, which was couched in much
stronger terms, he stated that i—*
а) he wished His Majesty's Government to
enquire fully into the causes of the
incursion which had taken place after
peaceful conversations had been
agreed upon and even after nay depar
ture from London, and to fix the
blame upon those responsible,
б) he did not wish it thought that mere
compensation would satisfy him,
c) he reserved all his rights until a satis
factory explanation had been fur-r
(d) he made this communication verbally,
as he did not wish to embarrass me
more than he could help.
25. It was obvious that Ibn Sa'ud was incensed
to such a degree as to make it certain that, unless
he received some satisfaction, he would refuse
to sign the conditions of suspersion and thus
involve a definite rupture. I therefore wrote to
him on the same day (see my letter of the 22nd
May, Annexure 7) * agreeing that any such inci
dents as those of which he complained would be
contrary to the spirit of our negotiations and
promising to report the matter without delay with
a view to obtaining explanations and further
information. In the meantime, I telegraphed to
the High Commissioner at Baghdad to request a
statement of the facts. [See my telegram No.
69 of the 22nd May (S. No. 238 in F. No. 63-N.|
28), Annexure 7].* On the following day I
received a reply from Sir Henry Dobbs from
which it appeared that, although *no bombs had
jbeen dropped and explanations of the o.ction
taken were given in detail, the frontier had in
fact been cpossed on the occasions mentioned.
[See Sir H. Dobbs' telegram No. 925 of the 23rd
May (S. No. 249 in F. No. 63-N.128) Annexure
7].* Ibn Sa'ud's main complaint to the effect
that his frontier had been violated afresh, even
after peaceful negotiations had been mutually
agreed upon was thus shown to be based on fact ;
and, in view of his extreme indignation and the
critical nature of the situation thereby created,
I was convinced that to put forward the High
Commissioner's explanations and arguments at
that moment would be worse than useless and
would probably make a rupture inevitable. I
therefore, added nothing further to my letter of
the 23rd May, which at least had the result of
easing tfhe situation sufficiently to secure Ibn
Sa'ud's signature to the conditions of suspen
sion (see my unnumbered telegram, An
nexure 7).*
26. Ibn Sa'ud will doubtless raise the ques
tion again when we resume conversations and
I shall have to give him an answer. I suggest,
in that event, furnishing him with the explana-
tjons supplied by the High Commissioner of
Iraq. These explanations, however, are not
likely to satisfy him, and in all the circum
stances I am of opinion that it would be proper,
and most certainly politic, to accompany them
by a suitably worded expression of regret.
27. During the course of our conversations
I made it clear to Ibn Sa'ud that the Iraq Gov
ernment would require to be compensated for
♦he lives and property destroyed in the attack
on Busaiya Post, and would also expect that
the loss of life and livestock occasioned to Iraq
tribesmen by the subsequent raids should be
made good in accordance with the procedure
laid down in the Banra Agreement, [F. No. 149
(4)-N.|26]. His Majesty did not make any
direct reply to this statement, and I did not
think it advisable to pursue the question pend
ing settlement of the main point of difference ;
but his advisers made it quite clear that the
Najd Government proposed to submit a heavy
counter claim in respect of losses suffered by
Najdi tribesmen during the course of the opera
tions carried put by the Royal Air Force.
28. I shall now proceed to report on tthe pro
gress made in the discussion of the subsidiary
questions. In paragraphs 14 to 24 of your
letter under reference, mention is made of seven
questions affecting the relations of Ibn Sa'ud
with His Majesty's Government. The first
relates to Italy's new position in Arabia.
On that subject I had a long conversation with
the King, which is summarised in the Record
of Proceedings (Annexure 2, minutes of 9th
meeting) and more fully reported in the des
patch which I shall have tjhe honour to address
to you separately.
29. The second relates to the position of the
Sharifian rulers of Iraq and Transjordan and
their traditional hostility to Ibn Sa'ud. This
ouestion which has long been a thorn in the
lat-ter's side was frequently touched upon by
him in our conversations. At the very first meet
ing I had with him, he gave bitter expression tq
his conviction that the scheming hand of King
Faisal could be detected behind the present
trouble, and that the dropping of warning
notices and bombs had been cleverly prompted
by the King of Iraq who was a past master in
the art of alienating Arab tribes and under
mining his (Ibn Sa'ud's) ascendancy over them.
*Not received.

About this item


The volume consists of letters, telegrams, and reports relating to affairs between the British Mandate of Iraq and the Kingdom of Najd. The majority of the correspondence is between Leo Amery, Secretary of State for the Colonies, Austen Chamberlain, Foreign Secretary (both in London), Henry Dobbs, High Commissioner in Iraq, Lionel Haworth, 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 Bushire, Cyril Barrett, Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. in Bahrain, James More, Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. in Kuwait, Ibn Sa'ud, King of Hejaz-Najd and its Dependencies, John Glubb, Administrative Inspector in Iraq, Gerald De Gaury, Special Service Officer in Kuwait, and the Government of India.

The volume covers the period of unrest after a revolt by the Ikhwan during which there was a perceived threat of attacks against Iraq and Kuwait. The causes of and solutions to the crisis are suggested and debated amongst the different offices and departments of the British Government. Subjects raised are:

  • intelligence of tribal movements and activities, particularly those of the Ikhwan tribes of Mutair, 'Ajman, and 'Utaibah, and the threat and occurrence of cross-border raids, all gathered from reports by John Glubb, as well as local rumour and reports;
  • issues concerning the defence of Kuwait (naval protection, air reconnaissance and bombing, a land force);
  • the friction between civil and military authorities;
  • the second meeting (August 1929) between Gilbert Clayton and Ibn Sa'ud to try and reach an agreement;
  • the thoughts, motivations, and capabilities of Ibn Sa'ud;
  • a second meeting between Ibn Sa'ud and Ikhwan leaders in Riyadh to try and resolve the crisis;
  • the idea of a blockade of Hasa ports to force the Najdi tribes into submission.

Other subjects included are:

  • the sale of arms to Kuwait;
  • Sa'id al-'Aiyash, a Damascus journalist who plans to travel to Riyadh.
Extent and format
1 volume (205 folios)

The volume is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

This volume comes in two parts: the first part is a bound volume; the second part is a small file.

Foliation: The sequence starts on the volume's title page and continues through to the inside back cover. It resumes on the front cover of the file and continues through to the inside back cover. The numbering is written in pencil, circled, and positioned in the top right corner of each folio. There are the following anomalies: 1A-1C; 114A; 182A-182D; and 191A. There is a second, incomplete sequence that is also written in pencil in the same place, but is uncircled.

Condition: folio 150 bottom right corner torn away, obscuring some text.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'File 61/14 VII (D 51) Relations between Nejd and Iraq' [‎7v] (29/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/583, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 November 2019]

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