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'File 61/11 VII (D 122) Hejaz-Nejd Miscellaneous' [‎54r] (120/454)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (223 folios). It was created in 23 Jun 1934-30 Apr 1936. 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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EASTERN (A rabia).
[E 7797/79/25] No. 1.
^ Mr. Calvert to Sir John Simon.—{Received December 31.)
(No. m.)
^ Jedda, December 10, 1934.
.RELATIONS between Saudi Arabia and the Yemen, since the recent dispute,
have to all appearances pursued an uneventful course and have ceased to occupy
the forefront of public attention locally. Nevertheless reports, vague but
persistent, have not been wanting that all is still not well in the Yemen. Frontier
difficulties are hinted at, and perhaps somewhat exaggerated stories are current
of the restiveness of the Seif-ul-Islam Ahmad, said to be under arms still at
Sada and chafing under the restrictions imposed by his father the Imam.
2. I have been disposed to attach little importance to these rumours, and
it is perhaps unnecessary to treat them seriously. My French colleague,
M. Maigret, spoke to me yesterday, however, on this subject, and whilst admitting
that his own information was indefinite, expressed the opinion that there
undoubtedly did exist trouble it was, at present, difficult to diagnose. He hoped
to leave Jedda shortly on a three weeks' visit to Sana, and expected to be able
to arrive at a more accurate appreciation of the situation in the Yemen during
that time.
3. The unrest may be of purely internal significance, and may be a natural
reaction after the Imam's ill-success in the late war Avith Saudi Arabia. The
press of both countries have, however, not entirely allayed misgivings recently
by protestiDg with vigour that the two countries are now on the most friendly-
terms, and denying with emphasis the "false reports " put about by interested
persons to the contrary. The Umm-al-Qura of the 23rd November quoted an
article from the Sana newspaper the Iman in which reports of the concentration
of troops on the Saudi-Yemen frontier were categorically denied. Peace and
tranquillity prevailed; conditions had returned to normal; and concord reigned
between the " two Moslem sects " (presumably the Zeidi and Shafi sects of the
Yemen). From the Hejazi press, the Iman continued, it was understood that a
similarly fortunate situation existed in this country. The Umm-al-Qura
delightedly welcomed the article with lengthy variations on the themes of Arab
brotherhood, the Treaty of Taif and the wiles of unscrupulous mischief-makers
inspired by hatred and jealousy of the Arabs and of Islam. I do not propose to
transmit to you a translation of this article.
4. It may not be out of place here to inform you, in regard to the Saudi-
Yemen treaty settlement, of the insistence with which Mr. Philby continues to
express his conviction that Ibn Saud did in fact receive a war indemnity from
the Imam. Fie has more than once reverted to the subject. Ibn Saud, Mr. Philby
stated quite recently, has for some two or three months been paying daily to his
tribal visitors at Riyadh (as I have recorded in Jedda reports for October and
November last) large sums in cash and kind, which my informant estimated at
an average of 40,000 Maria Theresa dollars a day, or an approximate total over
the whole period of about £100,000 gold. Where has this money come from if not
from the Imam ? £100,000 would probably be the amount of the indemnity,
I still feel unable to share Mr. Philby's conviction, and I find that the French
Charge d'Affaires, to whom Mr. Philby has spoken in a similar strain, is equally
sceptical. M. Maigret considered that Ibn Saud, to content the tribes disappointed
of loot in the war, has probably had to make serious inroads on the Royal Treasury,
and expressed his belief, from his personal knowledge of the Imam s character,
that the latter would have continued the war, by no means lost to him after
the fall of Hudeida, rather than have pa.rted with so considerable a sum of money.
5. I am sending copies of this despatch to Flis Majesty's Ambassador at
Rome and His Majesty's Chief Commissioner at Aden.
J J I have, &c.
, / ^ December 31, 1934.
S ection 3.
[281 hh—5]

About this item


The volume contains letters, telegrams, and memoranda relating to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Most of the correspondence is between the British Legation in Jeddah, the Foreign Office in London, the Political Residencies in Bushire and Aden, the Political Agencies in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Muscat, the High Commissioner in Trans-Jordan, the British Embassy in Baghdad, the Colonial Office in London, the 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. in London, the Government of India, and Ibn Sa'ud.

The volume covers a wide range of subjects, including:

  • the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, including issues of the translation of the Treaty of Taif;
  • the planning, development, and financing of roads;
  • the differing characters of two of Ibn Sa'ud's sons, Amirs Sa'ud and Faisal;
  • the appointment of new ministers in the Saudi Arabian government;
  • the slave trade in the region;
  • an Egyptian commercial and financial mission to the country led by Talaat Pasha Harb;
  • a general amnesty for all 'political offenders' given by Ibn Sa'ud;
  • new regulations on foreign ownership of property;
  • Ibn Sa'ud's effort to improve the Saudi Arabian standing army;
  • the French upgrade of their Consulate in Jeddah to a Legation;
  • the general financial situation in Saudi Arabia;
  • the proposal to restore the Hejaz Railway, including the lead up to a conference on the matter in Haifa in October 1935;
  • an attempt on Ibn Sa'ud's life in Mecca;
  • Saudi-Soviet relations;
  • the activities of the Saudi Arabia Mining Syndicate;
  • Amir Sa'ud's visit to Europe;
  • the death of 'Abdullah ibn Jiluwi, Amir of Hasa;
  • the prospect of Saudi Arabia joining the League of Nations;
  • new Saudi regulations on the importation, sale, and possession of firearms;
  • officer training for Saudis and Yemenis in Iraq;
  • the introduction of a special import tax at Jeddah to fund local schools;
  • Anglo-Italian relations;
  • the proposal to renew the Treaty of Jeddah of 1927;
  • unrest in Hasa due to the imposition of a 'jihad tax' on those who did not take part in recent fighting on behalf of the Kingdom.

Notable in the volume is an interview with Fuad Bey Hamza, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, extracted from the newspaper Ayyam (folio 34).

At the back of the volume (folios 207-213v) are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 volume (223 folios)

The volume is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The sequence begins on the first folio and continues through 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. There are the following irregularities: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D; 88, and 88A; 165 and 165A. There is a second foliation system that is uncircled and inconsistent.

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English in Latin script
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'File 61/11 VII (D 122) Hejaz-Nejd Miscellaneous' [‎54r] (120/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/570, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 November 2019]

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