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'File 61/11 I (D 41) Relations between Nejd and Hejaz' [‎4r] (20/600)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (295 folios). It was created in 19 Apr 1923-6 Nov 1924. 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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Draft of Proposed Treaty.
Londoii, {By Air Mail),
Sir Herbert Samuel, High Commis
sioner for Palestine, accompanied by Lady
Samuel, arrived in London on June 26
for his annual period of leave, and was
met at Victoria Station by representatives
of the Colonial Office. Until his return
the duties of the High Commissioner will
be discharged by Sir Gilbert Clayton, I
Chief Secretary of the Palestine adminis
It is under>tooa that while Sir Her
bert Samuel is m^London the Duke of
Devonshire, Secretary of State for the
Colonies, will take occasion to discuss with
bim the situation created by the inability
of the Arab members of the Palestine
Advisory Council to take part in the
business of the Council until an assu
rance has been given that tlfey would not
thereby associate themselves with the
Constitution as set up by the 0«der in
Council of 1922.
Should it be found impossible to
satisfy the Arab members on this point
it may be necessary to recon titute the
Advisory Council; but p ovi^ion has
been made for this, as for a 1 ! contingen
cies, the Amendment Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers).
recently published; and as announced in
the House of Com mo »s on the 18th June,
the Government will support the High
Commissioner carrying onthead'iiinistra-
tion of the country in harm ny with its
declared policy, whether or not a particu
lar Community (or its representatives)
abstains from co-operation '
The draft of the proposed Treaty bet
ween Great Britain and the King of the
Hejaz is still under discussion between
the Eoreign Office and Dr. Naji el Assil,
King Hussein's Envoy. The Treaty is
designed not only to consolidate the
interests of the negotiating parties, but
to ensure, as far as ^ possible, permanent
peace among the A'rab peoples. It will
not involve any modification of the
obligations into which His Majesty's
Government have entered under the
Mandate for Palestine. The text of
Article II, is given as follows in the
official summary of the draft Treaty,
published in Jerusalem :—
" His Eritaunic Majesty undertakes
to recognize and support the independence
of the Arabs in 'Iraq and Trans-Jordan,
and in the Arab states of the Arabian
Peninsula, exclusive of Aden. As
regards Palestine, hia Britannic Majesty
has already undertaken that nothing will
be done in that country which may pre
judice the civil and religious rights of the
Arab community. In the event of the
Governments of any or all of these terri
tories expressing the desire to enter into
an association for customs or other pur
poses with a view to an ev* ntual confede
ration his Britannic Majesty wil 1 , if
requested to do so by the parties con
cerned, use his good offices to further
their desire.
" His Hashimite Majesty recognizes
the special position of his Britannic
Majesty in 'Iraq, Trans-Jordan, a-d
Palestine, and undertakes that in such
matters as come within the influence of
his Hashimite Majesty concerning these
countries, he will do his best to co -operate
with his Britannic Majesty in the fulfil
ment of his obligation."

About this item


The volume consists of letters, telegrams, and memoranda relating to relations between Najd and the Hejaz. The majority of the correspondence is between Reader Bullard, the British Agent in Jeddah, the Political Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. in Bushire, the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. in Bahrain, the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. in Kuwait, the High Commissioner in Baghdad, the Colonial and Foreign Offices, both in London, the High Commissioner in Jerusalem, the Government of India, and Ibn Sa'ud himself, or his representatives.

Most of the volume covers events leading up to, and immediately after, the Ikhwan's capture of Taif, including Hussein ibn 'Ali's abdication and his son 'Ali's attempts to retain control of the Hejaz. There is a detailed report of the capture of Taif by Bullard (folios 186-201, 273-281). The documents reflect British concern with the reaction of Indian Muslims, with duplicates of correspondence regularly forwarded to numerous offices back in India. Some papers are about the effort to evacuate British Indian refugees and pilgrims from the region.

Other subjects covered in the volume are:

  • the build-up to and ultimate failure of the Kuwait Conference of 1923-24;
  • King Fuad of Egypt's suspected financial backing of Ibn Sa'ud's takeover of the Hejaz;
  • the defining of the Hejaz-Trans-Jordan border;
  • the motivations and movements of St John Philby and Rosita Forbes, both of whom were thought to be trying to gain entryinto Central Arabia.

Notable in the volume are a newspaper cutting from The Times of Mesopotamia , dated 13 July 1923, regarding treaty negotiations between Britain and King Hussein (folio 4), and extracts of letters from Ameen Rihani to Ibn Sa'ud that had been intercepted by the British and which offer advice on foreign policy.

Extent and format
1 volume (295 folios)

The volume is arranged chronologically. The internal office notes at the back of the volume (renumbered as folios 247-258) include a chronological list of the main contents, together with a simple, running index number from 1 to 111. These index numbers are also written on the front of the documents they refer to, in red or blue crayon and encircled, to help identify and locate them within the volume.

Physical characteristics

Main foliation sequence: numbers are written in pencil and circled, in the top right corner on the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. The numbering, which starts on the front cover of the volume and ends on the inside back cover, is as follows: 1A-1D, 2-262.

Secondary and earlier foliation sequence: the numbers 1 to 322 are written in pencil in the top right corner on the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio, except for the internal office notes at the back of the volume, which are paginated in pencil from 1 to 23. Published copies of four British Government reports at the front of the volume (renumbered as folios 2-63) also have pencilled page numbers written on them.

Condition: broken spine cover.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 61/11 I (D 41) Relations between Nejd and Hejaz' [‎4r] (20/600), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/564, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 8 April 2020]

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