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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎32v] (64/536)

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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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54. Denmark .—There being no Danish representative here. His
Majesty’s Government were asked to have enquiries made by the Legation
as to the fate of an adventurous Dane, with results that are told in para
graph 31. • ,
i. ]
55 Ilejaz Air Force Machines .—Following on the crash of one machine
(Scptember-October Report, paragraph 6) and the departure of the last
British pilot (ibidem paragraph 62), the four Wapitis remained in their
hangar throughout November and December. No one was in particular
charge of them. The British engineer who looks after the local sea-water
condensers was occasionally asked to look at them; he reported that the
engines were apparently sufficiently well greased but that the fabric and
stays were suffering from moth and rust respectively. The roof of the
hangar then fell in; the machines were moved to an adjacent spot where they
were kept under lock and key and a cover of cotton sheets.
56. HejazAir Force Personnel.—On November 7th the Under-Secretary
for Foreign Affairs gave a private hint to His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires
that if His Majesty’s Government were to propose that a British aviation
mission should be sent to the Hejaz, he would be prepared to urge Ibn Sa’ud
to accept it. The position, he explained, had changed since the King had
refused an offer of even partial assistance in 1927, and Fuad Hamza was
now so anxious to avoid the impression of Anglo-Hejazi estrangement which
would be given by their engagement of a personnel other than British, that
be was ready to act as indicated. He was not in a strong enough position
to do more. ' ;
57. To this suggestion, and to the King’s definite proposals reported in
paragraph 67 of the September-October Report,,. His Majesty’s Government
replied on November 14th. They pointed out firstly, that their willingness
to select new personnel for the Hejaz Air Force was based on the Hejazi
Government’s proposals of June 17th (May-June Report, paragraph 56),
which were superseded by the King’s proposals referred to above. These
had been sympathetically considered but could not be accepted. The King’s
request that the personnel should be “under his orders for every purpose”
could not be complied with-for reasons already stated (September-October
Report, paragraph 66, first sentence), while the alternative proposal to
engage British personnel for instruction and maintenance and non-British
personnel for operations could not be accepted, as it would be unworkable in
practice owing to divided responsibility. His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires
was also informed that even the June proposals, if revived, would have to
be subject to major conditions, (a) that the personnel should not be employed
for warlike operations or against rebels, the Government of India having
ievi\ed their previous objections on this point, and (b) that no foreign per
sonnel should be engaged for flying the aircraft for which British personnel
would be responsible. Moreover, the lack of instructional machines, the
language difficulty, etc., were in any case serious obstacles to the success of
the scheme; while complications over the payment and treatment of the
personnel w^ould have been inevitable in view of the state of the Hejazi
finances. The scheme would thus in anv case have had to be abandoned.
The suggestion of an air mission had alreadv been tentatively considered;
but it would not meet Ibn Sa’ud’s apparent desire to use the pilots against
possible enemies or rebels, while its cost, no part of which His Maiesty’s
Government could bea** in the existing crisis, would be greater than that of
an unofficial personnel. i ■ *
58. The decisions regarding Ibn Sa’ud’s later proposals and the air
mission suggestion were duly communicated to him through Fuad Hamza.
On November 22nd the latter forwarded a message from the King regretting
His Majesty’s Government’s decision, re-affirming that he did not wish to
use the personnel for warlike operations against anvone but must have them
under his orders whenever necessary for defence, and stating that while he

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' [‎32v] (64/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 November 2019]

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