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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎5v] (10/536)

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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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6. The Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs visited Jedda on July 6
for two days, on July 15 for the inside of the day, on July 25 for a day,
and not again until August 31. On July 7, 8, and 15, His Majesty’s
Minister had the opportunity of discussing current affairs before his departure
on leave On July 27 Faud Bay contented himself with ringing up His Majes
ty’s Charge d’Affaires, and having nothing special to say he returned to Taif.
His visit of August 31 was unannounced but productive of a certain amount
of discussion which falls to be dealt with in a later Report.
7. Finance .—The silver dollar (riyal) sank another point in July to
fifteen to the pound sterling although still quoted officially as standing at
ten. Some twenty thousand pounds worth of the nickel coinage (halalas) has
been locked up in a room in Mecca and its withdrawal from circulation, in
the form of a forced loan Jrorn the merchants, has served to maintain the
value of the current remainder.
8. To Ibn Sa’ud’s request of June 17 for help from His Majesty’s Gov
ernment to bring a British Bank into the country as a State Bank (May-June
Report, paragraph 4), His Majesty’s Minister was instructed on July 14th
to reply that His Majesty’s Government regretted that they were unable to
depart from their long established practice of non-intervention in trans
action between foreign Governments and British banks. Meantime, how
ever, the King had empowered Sheykh Abdurrahman Qusaibi, who was visit
ing England, to interview banking firms in London, thus anticipating the
advice with which His Majesty’s Government had amplified their reply. As
a result of the Hejazi Minister’s conversation at the Foreign Office, it was
arranged that his Secretary should accompany the Sheykh to the Depart
ment of Overseas Trade to discuss matters. They there stated that they
were already in touch with the Eastern Bank and the Ottoman Bank. They
were given an introduction to Barclays Bank. No success is known to
have attended their efforts to present the matter as a business proposition.
9. Sheykh Abdurrahman seems, however, not to have been idle in
Holland. Following up the appeal made in Jedda to the acting Dutch Chargd
d’Affaires (May-June Report, paragraph 4), he appears to have made some
headway in Amsterdam, for the manager of the “Dutch Bank” in Jedda—a
branch of the Nederlanrische Hendel Nautschippij, informed His Majesty’s
Charge d’Affaires at the end of August that his principals seemed to be
seriously contemplating a loan of half a million sterling to Ibn Sa’ud, to be
secured on customs receipts and conditional by suitable concessions in
matters of the handling and control of all public moneys in the Hejaz. Mr.
Jacobs regarded the purely economic and financial bases of such an arrange
ment as sufficiently sound and cited custom figures for the Hejaz which
ranged round the million mark (sterling) during the past three years. But
the political future worried him profoundly and he was inclined to advise
his principals that Ibn Sa’ud could not be relied upon to maintain peace and
his own position for a further period sufficient to secure such a loan.
10. Meanwhile the Hejazi Government wer unable to get credit any
where. The Dutch Bank would give none, pending the negotiations, nor
would Messrs. Gellatly, Hankey and Company, Limited, with whom the
Government had been unwilling "to renew their former contract for shell ban-
zine. The Director-General of Finance had therefore to look elsewhere
for the fuel needed by Ibn Sa’ud and his Government. He entered into
negotiations in July with the Soviet Legation for the supply of benzine on
deferred terms of payment. The negotiations were long and tiresome, the
Russians seeking to use the Government’s need of motor fuel as a lever where
with to remove the existing embargo on all Russian goods (in spite of which
a few goods do enter and are dutied four-fold). They failed in this en
deavour but they nevertheless signed a benzine contract, probably in order
to keep a foot in the part-open door to further negotiations. The terms of
the contract are understood to be purchase by the Hejazi Government from
Sojuenofti Export (Soviet Naphtha Export) of sixty thousand eight-gallon
cases of benzine at six shillings and six pence a case, c.i.f., and forty thou
sand eight-gallon cases of kerosene at five shillings and three pence a case
c.i.f., the total cost of thirty thousand pounds to be paid in four equal in
stalments at two-month intervals, the first on delivery. As an immediate

About this item


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)

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.

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English in Latin script
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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎5v] (10/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 September 2019]

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