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'File 61/11 VI (D 102) Hejaz-Nejd Miscellaneous' [‎53r] (126/522)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (259 folios). It was created in 2 Feb 1931-30 Aug 1934. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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this document is the property of his BRITANNIC MAJESTY'S GOVERNMENT
linair! EASTERN (A rabia ). January 22, 1934.
^' ——
luarrdi; CONFIDENTIAL. S ection 1.
^ [E 504/79/25] No. 1.
^ A. Ryan to Sir John Simon.—{Received January 22.)
Sir, Jedda, January 2,
WITH reference to your despatch No. 333 of the 14th December, I have the
honour to state that, in my opinion, any claim by the Saudi Government to
: Hodeida on the ground that it was formerly Idrisi territory would be untenable,
as untenable as the suggestion that the Idrisi could not validly cede rights further
Mali north to Ibn Saud, without the Imam's consent. When Fuad Bey spoke to
;| et Mr. Calvert of the possibility of a claim to Hodeida, he would appear to have
been using it merely as a makeweight in his demonstration of the reasonableness
11 j ®: of Ibn Saud. I am confirmed in this appreciation by a conversation which I
defiif myself had with Fuad Bey on the 29th December. I pointed out to him, among
)se. is other things, that Hodeida was in fact in British occupation for over three
s, audi- months after the date assigned in the Saudi-Idrisi Treaty of 1926 to the earlier
lesaiii treaty between Ibn Saud and the Idrisi. The date of that treaty is given as the
irnmii 10th Safar, 1339, or about the 22nd October, 1920. The British forces evacuated
Hodeida, which the Idrisi thereupon occupied, at the end of January 1921. I
lings lii cannot discover that the Idrisi had at any previous time held Hodeida, although
dsliipffi he had been given possession of Loheya soon after the armistice with Turkey,
ieir Ml according to the Survey of International Affairs for 1925, vol. I, p. 320.
we li According to p. 322 of the same volume, he was compelled to evacuate Loheya
rienii early in 1925 and Hodeida on the 27th March of that year. So far as Hodeida is
)y iflte concerned, therefore, he would appear not to have been in possession either on the
.except of the Saudi-Idrisi Treaty of 1920 or on the date of the subsequent treaty of
ikill 1926.
3 fori 2. I agree that it is very difficult to apply legal tests to the claims and
flntid counter-claims as to how the frontier between what is now Saudi Arabia and the
nff vol Yemen should be drawn. Some rational conclusions may, however, be deducible
from a study of the history of the Yemen and Asir since 1872, when the Turkish
inaffi Government included both in the newly constituted Vilayet of the Yemen,
(icingi though they separated them, to the best of my belief , between 1908 and 1911. I
[iGofff ^ ave cer tain reasons for the latter belief in a memorandum which I wrote in
ffinfoFi London before returning from leave, but of which I have no copy. Such enquiries
forptf I have been able to make since tend to confirm it. I have before me a calendar
Deft Turkish for the Turkish financial year 1327 (the 14th March, 1911, to the
nhisk ^ a rch, 1912), which, though unofficial, shows clearly that, at that time, there
were on ^ t ^ 0 out tyi n g sanjaks of the Yemen Vilayet, viz., Hodeida and Taiz,
j and that Asir was already an "independent" sanjak, i.e., one directly under
parf ^ ons tantinople, though not administered by a Vali.
3. I am at present engaged in an attempt to put together in outline an
le# historical study of the kind indicated in the preceding paragraph. If Ibn Saud
and the Imam come to a real settlement in the near future it may not be worth
while to pursue this rather difficult task. Should I complete it, I will venture
Bll to the results for verification and correction by experts. For the moment
I content myself with drawing your attention to the fact that the handbooks
drawn up by the Arab Bureau and the Admiralty in 1916-17 describe the Wadi
Ain, which falls into the sea at parallel 16°, as the then limit of Idrisi expansion.,
In my opinion, any subsequent extension of the Idrisi's authority further to the
south must be regarded as having been in the nature of a purely temporary
occupation. I think it will be found, though I am not in possession of the whole
correspondence, that even when His Majesty's Government allowed the Idrisi
to occupy first Loheya and then Hodeida, they were unwilling to commit them
selves to the position that these places were being assigned to him permanently.
Having regard to all that has happened since, I should say that the reasonable
he of a frontier towards the sea would be somewhere from the Wadi Tashar to the
.Wadi Ain.
[6 y-i]

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Content

The volume contains two original files bound together. The first file (folios 1A-207) has the original reference 61/11 VI (D 102) and covers the period 7 November 1933 to 30 August 1934 and relates to Hejaz-Najd affairs. The second file (folios 208-243) has the original reference 61/6 VII (D 95) and covers the period 2 February 1931 to 5 August 1932 and relates to Najd affairs. Both contain letters, telegrams, memoranda, and reports sent 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 High Commissioner in Baghdad (later the British Embassy following Iraqi independence in 1932), the Colonial Office in London, the Government of India, and Ibn Sa'ud.

The main subject of the first file is the territorial dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Contained in the volume are papers concerning Saudi Arabian advances into the territories of 'Asir and Yemen and the subsequent Treaty of Taif that largely settled the dispute. There is also coverage of diplomatic conversations between Italy and Britain regarding the dispute, including secret talks in Rome. Included is the full Arabic text of the Treaty (folios 143-150A) and an English translation (folios 156-177).

Other subjects covered in the first file are:

  • the visit of M. Maigret, the French Charge D'Affairs, to Riyadh to speak with Ibn Sa'ud;
  • the visit of Talaat Pasha Harb;
  • a provisional agreement signed by the United States and Saudi Arabia;
  • the prospect of gold in commercial quantities in the Hejaz.

Notable documents contained in the volume are a report on the heads of foreign missions in Jeddah, and a revised (June 1934) report on the leading personalities in Saudi Arabia.

The subjects covered by the second file are:

  • details and significance of a resurgence in war dancing by the Saudis;
  • the visit of Charles Crane to see Ibn Sa'ud;
  • a request for military assistance made by Saudi Arabia to Turkey;
  • the conditions of entry into Hasa for Hindu merchants.

At the end of each file are several pages of internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 volume (259 folios)
Arrangement

Each of the two separate files which make up the volume is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The sequence starts 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 anomalies: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D; 11A and 11B; 24A; 30A; 132A; 143A; 150A; and 236A. There are two other sequences, both uncircled and incomplete.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 61/11 VI (D 102) Hejaz-Nejd Miscellaneous' [‎53r] (126/522), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/569, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023576504.0x00007f> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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