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'File 61/11 IV (D 77) Hejaz-Nejd, Miscellaneous' [‎85r] (179/366)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (182 folios). It was created in 17 Feb 1930-4 Apr 1932. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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EASTERN (A rabia).
[E 3931/2064/25]
August 7, 1931
Section 1.
No. 1.
Mr. A. Henderson to Mr. Hope-Gill [Jedda).
(No. 308.)
Sir, Foreign Office, August 7, 1931.
WITH reference to my telegram to Sir A. Ryan, No. 113 of the 14th July,
relative to the request of King Ibn Sand for the assistance of His Majesty's
Government in connexion with his desire to employ a British bank as a State
bank in the Hejaz, I have to inform you that the Minister of the Hejaz and Nejd
called at the Foreign Office on the 21st July and raised this question. He
explained that King Ibn Sand was anxious to stabilise his currency and to set the
finances of his country on a firm basis. His Majesty therefore desired to
establish a State bank, and was most anxious to secure the services of a British
bank for this purpose. He had accordingly decided to send a representative to
England to interview suitable banking firms, and the representative selected,
M. Abdur Rahman Qusaibi, was arriving in London that morning.
2. Sheikh Hafiz Wahba was informed that Sir Andrew Ryan had already
reported King Ibn Saud s request for the assistance of His Majesty's Government
in this matter, and that the necessary instructions had already been telegraphed
to Sir A. Ryan with regard to the reply to be returned to His Majesty's enquiry.
In that telegram Sir A. Ryan had been instructed to explain that, whilst His
Majesty's Government fully appreciated and sympathised with the financial
difficulties of the Hejazi Government, it was impossible for them to depart from
their long-established practice of non-intervention in transactions between foreign
Governments and British banks. In any case, in England, unlike certain other
countries, the banks were wholly independent bodies, whose decisions His
Majesty's Government were not in a position to influence. The banks would
therefore reach a decision on any proposition which might be put before them on
its commercial merits and not on political grounds. In these circumstances, His
Majesty's Government had suggested that King Ibn Saud should appoint a repre
sentative in London to explore the matter with the banks direct. It appeared,
from what Sheikh Hafiz Wahba had said, that the King had already anticipated
this advice.
3. The sheikh stated that he recognised the inability of His Majesty's
Government to intervene with British banks, as explained above, but hinted that
King Ibn Saud would be prepared to offer very substantial commercial concessions
to any bank willing to consider the business. He also explained that, while the
King personally, and he himself, were eager to put any business in British hands,
the Russians were making efforts to establish themselves commercially in the
Hejaz and interested persons were trying to persuade the King to deal with them.
4. The Minister was informed in reply that His Majesty's Government were
aware that the Russians had been selling goods in parts of Arabia at a very low
price. If they attempted to do this in the Hejaz it would not be possible for this
country to compete with them, as British trade was in private hands and was
run on a commercial basis. It was, of course, entirely for King Ibn Saud to
decide whether or not he should encourage Russian activities in his dominions.
5. As a result of this conversation, it was arranged that M. Zade, of the
Hejazi Legation, and M. Abdur Rahman Qusaibi should discuss the position at
the Department of Overseas Trade on the 23rd July with members of that Depart
ment. They then stated to the representatives of that Department that they
were already in touch with the Eastern Bank, with which M. Abdur Rahman
Qusaibi had had commercial dealings at Bahrein, and had also had a preliminary
discussion with the Ottoman Bank. They would be glad if the Ottoman Bank
could be informed that the Department of Overseas Trade were fully cognisant
of the project.
. [219 g-1]

About this item


The volume contains letters, telegrams, and memoranda relating to Hejaz affairs. Most of the correspondence is between the British Legation in Jeddah, 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 Bahrain and Kuwait, the Foreign and Colonial Offices in London, and the Government of India.

The majority of the volume concerns the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Hejaz-Najd and its Dependencies, especially the financial difficulties it was experiencing at the time and attempts to counter them.

Other subjects covered are:

  • the prospect of the Kingdom joining the League of Nations;
  • the appointment of a Minister in London;
  • al-Qusaibi's proposed visit to London;
  • the different uses of the title "Sheikh";
  • American recognition of Ibn Sa'ud as King;
  • the mineral prospecting of the American millionaire Mr C. R. Crane;
  • American appraisal of the water situation in the region;
  • the religious policing activities of the Committee of Virtue in the Hejaz;
  • the arrest of two members of the royal family between Kuwait and Zubair;
  • the territorial dispute between Ibn Sa'ud and Yemen;
  • relations between Ibn Sa'ud and Italy.

A notable document within the volume is a confidential report on the heads of all foreign missions in Jeddah (folios 163-164).

At the back of the volume (folios 165-170) are office file notes.

Extent and format
1 volume (182 folios)

The volume is arranged chronologically. There is a partial and non-alphabetical list of subjects at the front of the volume (folio 2). The list identifies some of the earlier subject correspondence in the volume and where it occurs, according to its original numbering, as folios 17 to 41a.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The sequence starts on the first page with ff 1A-1D and then continues from f 2 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. The are the following anomalies: f 38A; f 91A; f 108A; f 128A; f 146A; there is no f 119.

There are two more sequences that are inconsistent and incomplete.

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English in Latin script
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'File 61/11 IV (D 77) Hejaz-Nejd, Miscellaneous' [‎85r] (179/366), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/567, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 November 2023]

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