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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎5r] (9/536)

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The record is made up of 1 file (266 folios). It was created in Jul 1931-Dec 1934. 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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CONFIDENTIAL.
I. INTERNAL AFFAIRS.
1. Ibn Sa’ud .—Having left the Mu’abda Palace at Mecca on Sunday,
June 28, Ibn Sa’ud arrived at Riadh on Saturday July 4. It seems to
have been a right royal removal and, incidentally, that is the way the money
goes. An advance party in one hundred and fourteen box-cars and lorries
carried the heavy baggage. More than sixty such cars are said to have
been required for the silver dollars which the King is to popularise in Nejd,
but this item of news need not be taken whole. Whatever the exact figures,
they were enough vastly to impress the populace of Hejaz, Seven hundred
motor vehicles in all is the estimate of the Indian Vice Consul, who was m
Mecca shortly before the start, and they must have been needed; for with His
Majesty went his brothers the Amir Muhammad, the Amir Abdullah, the
Amir Ahmad, and the Amir Musa’id, together with all their households;
his sons the Amirs Sa’d Fahad, Mansur, Abdullah, Bandar, Musa’id, Abdul
Muhsin, Sultan, Mash’al, Abdurrahman, Mutiyib, and Talal; his nephew
Khalid ibn Muhammad; and all the little Rashidis. His second son and
Viceroy of the Hejaz, the Amir Faysal, accompanied him to A1 Maya, a
two days’ journey, whence he returned to Mecca. His eldest son and Vicerov
of Nejd, the Amir Sa’ud, with two more sons, the Amirs Muhammad and
Khalid not to mention his cousins, came a two days’ journey to meet him
at Marat and escorted him into Riadh. His reception there “our pen fails
to describe”, concludes the editor of the “Umm-al-Qura”, who is generally
a ready writer.
2. It should be added that Ibn Sa’ud did not singly travel en famila.
He was accompanied by his Secretair and Chief of his political diwan,
Sheykh Yusuf Yasin, all the officials of his royal diwan, two doctors, and
the Tripolitan refugee Khalid Bey al Qarqini. He was followed by Mr.
Philby and two mobile Marconi wireless sets.
3. The stay in Nejd is to last about six months. In the middle of
August the “Umm-al-Qura” announced that the King was just then leav
ing Riadh for a few weeks in the Hasa, but it appears that the troubles
to North and South, referred to later, here kept him at Riadh, where he is
in direct wireless commuication with Taif. If. rumour is to be believed,
he has already made heavy demands on his Director-General of Finance
for cash, amounting on one occasion to twenty thousand pounds, of which
five thousand pounds were collected from one still wealthy Sheykh and the
money-changers at Mecca. ' ,
4. In the Hejaz it is,generally felt that the King, having concentrated
his attention on Hejazi affairs for over a year (his first prolonged stay in
this part of his dominions since his conquest of it in 1925), has left them in
a hopelessness. It has even been suggested that he has run away from
them. Undoubtedly he was tired, in all probability discouraged, and as
likely as not looking for relief in his native Nejd, where there was also pos
sibly some need to consolidate his position in person. His absence has left
the Hejaz half of this kingdom like a water-logged and half-dismantled ship
lacking any particular signs of a wind to blow it either into port or further
on the rocks. It is hard to say who has been governing the country for the
last two months. Probably the Director of Finance, since government seems
to have reduced itself to withholding of all pay and salaries and a succes
sion of attempts to raise the wind.
5. Ministry of Foreign Affairs .—The Amir Faysal moved the seat of
“government” from Mecca to Taif on July 6th for the summer. He has
continued to be a nonentity in both features of his double role as Viceroy
and Minister for Foreign Affairs. His impartial love of women and boys
is, from all accounts, undiminished. The Beduin falls to these luxuries
of town life as an African to gin.
L807(C)F«fcPD

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Content

The file contains intelligence reports on the Kingdom of Hejaz, Najd and its Dependencies (after September 1932, Saudi Arabia) written by the British Legation at Jeddah.

Between July 1931 and December 1932 the reports are issued every two months, with the exception of the January-March 1932 and April 1932 reports. From January 1933 the reports are sent on a monthly basis.

Between July 1931 and December 1932, each report is divided into sections, numbered with Roman numerals from I to IX, as follows: Internal Affairs; Frontier Questions; Relations with States outside Arabia; Air Matters; Military Matters; Naval Matters; Pilgrimage; Slavery; and Miscellaneous. Each section is then further divided into parts relating to a particular matter or place, under a sub-heading. Some reports contain an annex.

From January 1933, when the reports become monthly, they take a new format. Each is divided into sections, as follows: Internal Affairs; Frontier Questions and Foreign Relations in Arabia; Relations with Powers Outside Arabia; Miscellaneous (often containing information on slavery and the pilgrimage).

Most reports are preceded by the covering letters from the Government of India, who distributed them to Political Offices in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and elsewhere, and the original covering letter from the Jeddah Legation, who would send them to the Government of India and Government departments in London. From May 1933, most reports were sent directly to the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain from Jeddah.

Up until January 1933, each report began with an index giving a breakdown of the sections with references to the corresponding paragraph number. From January 1933 onwards no index is included.

Extent and format
1 file (266 folios)
Arrangement

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover and terminates at the back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are 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. An additional incomplete foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 6-11; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎5r] (9/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100025543724.0x00000a> [accessed 23 September 2019]

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