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'File 61/11 V (D 95) Hejaz - Nejd, Miscellaneous' [‎196v] (409/530)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (261 folios). It was created in 12 May 1932-28 Dec 1933. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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77. Qattdn Family.
(1) Yusuf ihn Salim Qattdn, said to have been originally a servant in a
coffee-shop in Mecca and afterwards of the original Qattan family whose name ,
he took. Became a guide for Javanese pilgrims. Eose to be president of the r
Mecca municipality under the Turks, but was still so uneducated that he was ^
said to be unable to tell " the letter Alif from a telegraph pole." Became Minister ^
of Public Works under King Huseyn. Was said in 1930 to be full of schemes
connected with the pilgrimage and the advancement of his son No. (2) below, r* 1
Has also come to notice as one of the agents concerned with the properties of i^ er
the Sherifian family. jlijjir
(2) 'Alias Qattdn, an ambitious young man of 30 odd, who was himself
president of the municipality in Mecca in 1930 and still occupies that post. L K
He is the right-hand man of Sheykh 'Abdullah Suleyman, Minister of Finance Lg
and is chief organiser of the hotels recently opened at Mecca, Jedda and Medina.'
78. Qusaibi Family. -
An important merchant family in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. . The Legation is l^ili
indebted to the 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 for an account of them, which was ftli
drawn up in June 1931, and of which the following is a summary :— Rj
Said to be descended from a butcher of Eiyadh. Composed of the five P®"
brothers mentioned below; children of the same mother by two brothers, Hasan
and Ibrahim, who married her successively; partners in business and property; iW
engaged in trade between Bahrain their headquarters, Hasa and Nejd.'
Accounted, despite their acquisition of wealth, extremely plebeian and 3]®'
disqualified by Arab custom from intermarriage with women of better birth. pge
(1) 'AMul- Aziz ibn Hasan, simple and wise; the mainstay of the firm; M 0
reputed pious; respected by Ibn Sa'ud. P®
(2) Aldur-Rahman ibn Hasan, more enlightened and a wonderful fellow
for pearl dealing. Possessed of some knowledge of French and English and 5^
accustomed to go to Paris on pearl business. Sensible but conceited.
(3) 'Abdullah ibn Hasan, intelligent and sharp, but of mean and low I 11 ' 81
character and meddlesome. Inclined to be boastful and disliked by Ibn Sa'ud. N®
(4) Hasan ibn Ibrahim, very foolish and gruff and as low a character as (3).
Hot tempered. pill
(5) ipermanently resident in Hasa. Not personally known lion
to Captain Prior. Said to be a good "mixer," but similar in character to pi
(3) and (4). »
III to
When the above information was supplied in 1931 the Qusaibis had great
influence owing to their position as agents of Ibn Sa'ud in Bahrain and buyers of
his requirements for Nejd, as well as to their wealth and their hold on many
to whom they had lent money. Their most distinguished debtor was the King
himself, who owed them in 1930 something like £80,000, and who, although about M
half of this had been paid off by June 1931, still owed them the balance. [7
Abdurrahman was given in the latter year a roving commission to try and raise 58
the wind for the Sa'udi Government in Europe, but failed completely. The m
relations of the Qusaibis with the King no longer seem to be as close as formerly.
They resented the reforms introduced by Muhammad at-Tawil (q.v.). They were Wa
driven by bad business to press the King for money. He has of late employed
other persons to buy for him, but he is not known to have deprived the Qusaibis Np
of their general agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for him at Bahrain. pof
79. Rashid Family. |f^
Former rulers of Hail. Little is known of the remnants of this family once m
so powerful and later so fallen, even before its final collapse, that it was
" accounted infamous, even in such a land of violence as Arabia, for its record
of domestic murders." It deserves attention, however, because of'the possibility
of its reappearance on the scene, e.g., if the Shammar tribes from which it sprang
should go against Ibn Sa'ud. It is understood that, after the fall of Hail, the
King pursued a policy of absorption, not of annihilation and that many persons
belonging to the Beni Rashid, or connected with them, passed into his entourage.
Two lads who are being brought up with his younger children and are included in

About this item


The volume consists of letters, telegrams, and memoranda relating to the Hejaz and Najd. Much of the correspondence is from the British Legation in Jeddah, with regular reports on the situation in that region sent to Sir John Simon, the Foreign Secretary in London. The rest of the correspondence is mostly between the Political Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. in Bushire, the Political Agencies in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Muscat, the Colonial Office, and the Government of India.

The main subjects of the volume are:

  • the change in name from 'The Kingdom of the Hejaz-Nejd and its Dependencies' to 'The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia';
  • the announcement of Ibn Sa'ud's eldest son, Prince Sa'ud, as the heir apparent to the throne;
  • the territorial dispute between Yemen and Saudi Arabia after the latter's absorption of the 'Asir region into its kingdom.

A copy of the 23 September 1932 issue of the newspaper Umm al-Qura is contained in the volume (folios 57-58). It features the Royal Order proclaiming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Other miscellaneous subjects covered in the volume include:

  • relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia;
  • a dispute between Ibn Sa'ud and his agent in Bahrain, al-Quasaibi [‘Abd al-‘Azīz al-Qusaibi], over a debt the former owes the latter;
  • a revolt against Ibn Sa'ud by tribes loyal to ex-King Hussein coming from Sinai;
  • a request for a loan made by Ibn Sa'ud to the British Government;
  • relations between the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia;
  • relations between the USA and Saudi Arabia, including the visit of a Mr Gallant looking for oil concessions;
  • concessions for the building of the railway between Mecca and Jeddah;
  • the prospect of Saudi Arabia joining the League of Nations;
  • the case of two slave girls seeking refuge at the British Legation in Jeddah.

Other documents of note contained in the volume are:

  • a copy of a new customs tariff for Saudi Arabia (folios 122-134)
  • a 'Who's Who' of Saudi Arabia, produced by the British Legation in Jeddah and covering all those deemed important to know by the British (folios 183-200);
  • an envelope containing the torn-out pages of an article in the International Affairs journal (Vol. 12, No. 4, Jul., 1933, pp 518-534) entitled 'Ibn Sa'ud and the Future of Arabia.'

At the back of the volume (folios 245-251) are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 volume (261 folios)

The volume is arrranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The sequence starts on the first folio and continues to the inside back cover. The numbers are written in pencil, circled and 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. Note that following f 1 are folios 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D. The sequence then continues as normal from folio 2. There are two other foliation systems present but both are inconsistent and neither are circled.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'File 61/11 V (D 95) Hejaz - Nejd, Miscellaneous' [‎196v] (409/530), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/568, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

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