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'File 61/11 VI (D 102) Hejaz-Nejd Miscellaneous' [‎110v] (241/522)

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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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from addressing to King Ibn Saud a formal communication of their recognition
of his sovereignty over Asir. The position in international law appears to His
Majesty's Government to be as follows :—
Prior to the conclusion of the Treaty of Mecca of 1926, the Idrisi was an
independent ruler exercising sovereignty over certain territories in South-West
Arabia. By the Treaty of Mecca, the Idrisi handed over to King Ibn Saud the
entire control over his foreign relations, while retaining the government of the
internal affairs of his country, apart from financial matters, which were also
handed over to Ibn Saud. The result of the Treaty of Mecca was to establish a
protectorate by Ibn Saud over the territories of the Idrisi as they existed at that
date, and the Idrisi became unable, owing to the fact that he no longer possessed
the control of foreign affairs, to alienate to any other Power any of his territories.
As a result of the treaty of 1926 the Idrisi ceased to possess the status of an
independent person under international law.
In 1930, as the result of negotiations which culminated in letters of the
10th October from the Idrisi and from his Council to King Ibn Saud, and as 1
further defined in an arrangement contained in a report signed on the
16th November by representatives of King Ibn Saud and of the Idrisi, the Idrisi
handed over to King Ibn Saud the internal government of his territory; and these
arrangements were put into force by an order issued by King Ibn Saud on the
20th November, 1930, under which the Idrisi territory was governed by a direct
representative, appointed by King Ibn Saud under the title of Emir, assisted by
an elected legislative council, the Idrisi merely retaining the nominal position of
head of the Idrisi territory under Ibn Saud, with some powers of veto over the
decisions of the Emir and the Legislative Council, subject to the final decision of
King Ibn Saud. It appears to be perfectly clear that, as the result of the arrange
ments made in 1930, King Ibn Saud acquired full and complete sovereignty over
the territories of the Idrisi, and that the form of government set up therein became
merely part of the internal constitution of the territories of the Kingdom of the
Hejaz and Nejd and its Dependencies as it was then called.
The territories over which King Ibn Saud thus acquired sovereignty were the
same territories as those over which he had acquired a protectorate under the
Ireaty of Mecca of 1926, namely, all the territories which were under the
sovereignty of the Idrisi, at the moment of the conclusion of the Treaty of Mecca,
is appeared to His Majesty's Government at the time—and still appears to
^been the position at that date. They considered further that King
^ vi s / overei g llt y over these territories was effective in international law
and did not require any express or implied recognition by any other Power to
render it legally complete and effective.
It was on these grounds that His Majesty's Government (when the question
f if 1 m l "A f r H CUS v OI 'i W n 1 the Italian Government in 1931 as a result of a request
* e ^ az t, 0 ! Go\ernment, which involved entering into correspondence
their rWVin^ ^ erS c01 ? ce ™ n g Asir) decided that there could be no question of
in deW ipp m ll reco ^ nise ^e sovereignty of King Ibn Saud over Asir, but that,
from sendincr tn fh W tt ° n a ^ an Government, they could agree to refrain
nition Thl ^ e ,l^ zl Government a formal communication of their recog-
however to L vp T ^ Embass y' s n ote of the 24th July, 1931, appears,
suggest in Daraorn nil 11 J ril ^ l ^ erst00 ^ by the Italian Government, who seem to
pretation of thp T r December last that the inter-
degree of confiiot with S Ff S ^ ^ as now been given them, involves some
conversations held in P a enient ® ^ ia( ^ e by the British representatives during the
Welt AraMa It ^ 1927 re g ardi ^ affairs in the Red Sea and South-
the Italian Government 0 'miVht 7 becai *f e there seemed some danger that
His Majesty's Government Sf K misunderstand the attitude which
into corresDondenpp 1, b( i und to ado Pt in 1931 in entering
recognising, bv imDlicaHrm v g Saud's Government over Asir, and thus
desirable to explain thp nnc'f 18 sover f 1 S nt y 9 v er that territory, that they felt 11 '
can only regret that the Italiai^C ■ Italian Government beforehand. They
the attitude underlvinp- thp on vernment appear to have failed to understand
Embassy's note of'the^th Juiy 19^ 0Se t by ^ Ma -"i est y' s Government in the
13th August, 1931, concurring the'rein 7 replled to tlieir note

About this item


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)

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' [‎110v] (241/522), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/569, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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