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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎21v] (42/536)

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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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76. Slave Trade. —Also as a result of the inter-departmental consult-
tation referred to in paragraph 73, the following instructions in regard to
searches for slaves in the Red Sea were issued by His Majesty’s Govern
ment on September 2nd : —
Suppression of Slave Trade,
There is no longer any general Convention in force according the right
of search for slaves, but the Convention of the 10th September, 1919, re
vising the General Acts of Berlin (1885) and of Brussels (1890), states that
the signatories (U. S. A., Belgium, British Empire, France, Italy, Japan,
Portugal) will endeavour to secure the complete suppression of slavery in
all its forms, and of the slave trade by land and sea. It can also be* argued
that the obligations of the General Act of 1890 still apply to countries who
were parties to it but not of the 1919 Convention, and therefore to Turkey
and the States who have succeeded her. The latter would, however, pro-
bably refuse to admit this. A further legal basis of a similar kind could
possibly be found in the Anglo-Turkish Treaty of 1881 for the suppression
of the African slave trade. A more definite legal basis in respect of Hejazi,
Asiri and Nejdi vessels is provided by Article 7 of the Treaty of Jedda in
1927 in which Ibn Sa’ud undertook “to co-operate by all the means at his
disposal with His Britannic Majesty in the suppression, of the slave trade”.
2. Treaties are still in force under which H. M. Ships can search
vessels of the following countries for slaves, viz., Borneo,, Egypt (vessels
under 500 tons), Italy, Liberia, Muscat, Persia, Spain (vessels under 500
tons), and Bahrain and the Trucial Sheikdoms Abu Dhabi, Babai,
Shargah, Ajman, Um-al-Qaiwain and Ras-al-Khaima).
3. By custom, however, native vessels within the Red Sea may be
searched for slaves outside the territorrial waters of French and Italian
colonies whatever flag they may be flying. Searches in the territorial
waters of the Hejaz proper (as distinct from Asir), i e., north of Dahban,
should, however, be conducted with great discretion and should not take
place at all in the vicinity of important ports.
4 . Care must also be taken to avoid giving offence to the French and
Italian authorities by undue restraint on dhows legitimately sailing under
their colours. The authority to fly the flag should be carried by the dhow.
5. Search must always be carried out in the manner laid down in the
Slave Trade Instructions, Vol. I.
6. The main traffic in slaves is believed to cross from the African to
the Arabian shore in the narrower waters at the Southern end of Red Sea,
proceeding thence up the Arabian coast, inside the islands and reefs as
far as possible, to the trading ports.
7. Runaway Slaves. —The Arabs regard slaves as recognised servants,
and to give refuge to runaways is liable to cause great irritation. On the
other hand, it is against British principles to refuse these peoples refuge.
Commanding Officers are. therefore, to consult British Consular or Pchti-
c a l representatives in Arabia as soon as possible as to action to be taken.
77 Manumissions. —One Abyssinian woman was manumitted locally
in September by agreement with'her owner. Two male slaves took refuge
in the Legation in October; one left of his own accord to work for himself,
the other, a Sudani, was repatriated to Suakin.
7 q Mr. Furlonge returned from a short sick leave on the 9th
September. Captain Lewis returned from England on the 10th October.

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' [‎21v] (42/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 November 2019]

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