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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎39r] (77/536)

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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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i
5
£500,000 by His Majesty’s Government to Ibn Sa'ud, “ in return for his renuncia
tion of certain matters which affect his independence, such as the appointment of
an English adviser to supervise the organisation of his finances ”
Forgetting the hints and requests and negotiations of last year for financial aid
from London and Amsteidam, the editor concluded : “ The Government of His
Majesty have not contracted a loan with anybody, thank God, and they cannot
tolerate interference in any matter which concerns their complete and full inde
pendence.” M. van Leeuwen is due to arrive in April.
12 . The market value of the Sa’udi riyal fluctuated during the quarter between
17 and 15 to the gold sovereign and 13 and 11J to the £ sterling, with a strengthening
tendency due to the approaching pilgrimage.
13. Economic Situation. —Eamadhan is normally an expensive and busy
month, when the merchants and shop-keepers expect to do well. This year there
was absolute stagnation in Mecca and conditions were little better in Jedda. The
populations of the towns were too crippled with debt to move. Such information
as was received about the tribes indicated that their condition was still no better
than that of utmost misery described in paragraph 17 of the November-December
report.
14. Economic Devebpment. —Mr. Twitched returned to the Hejaz on January
18th from his prospecting tour in Nejd and the Hasa, the main results of which
are still hidden. It is known, however, that he advocates the sinking of wells
along the Jedda-Itiyadh-Hufuf road and the construction of a harbour at Ras
Tanura on the Hasa coast. In the latter half of February he examined some ancient
workings near Medina called “ Mahd Dhahab ” or “ Got of Gold ”, which are
supposed to date from Harun-ar-Rashid’s days. He considers it worth while to
employ up to 100 men in sampling the site. His confederate, Mr. Moseley, working
alone on quartzes near Taif, does not seem to have found anything worth report
ing. He left early in March for the United States of America and Mr. and
Mrs. Twitched sailed for the Yemen on March 7th, leaving voluminous
reports and recommendations in the hands of Ibn Sa’ud and his Council. The
former apparently resented being given advice for which he had not asked. The
latter passed the reports round amongst their more commercially-connected
friends, no doubt with suitable safeguards against the time when concessions
should be granted and the work of development began. If mere cupidity were
enough, this would be the wealthiest country in the world. But wdiere energy
and ability is needed, there is no power and no might save in God alone.
15. Customs. —The Jedda customs receipts for the first three Moslem months
of the financial year which began on December 11th last were, according to un
official information supplied to the Legation, Piastres Miri 4,925,558-30, equiva
lent at the rate of exchange then ruling to £27,400 gold. Other Red Sea ports of
the kingdom, e.g., Yanbu, took perhaps half as much again, which would bring the
total to about £40,000 gold. 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. Customs were framed out in
January last for 11 lakhs of rupees to Muhammad-at-Tawil, once Prime Minister
of the Hejaz, during the reign of King ’Ali. He was sent to the Hasa by Ibn
Sa’ud in the autumn of 1930 to reform the customs administration (Jedda report for
September to November 1930, paragraph 4). In February, however, Muhammad-
at-Tawil apparently had to ask that the figure of 11 lakhs should be reduced, as he
was unable to raise the amount. He visited Jedda in March after a year and a
half’s absence in Nejd, wither he has now returned unwillingly at the King’s orders.
In his present frame of mind it is quite possible that he may try to escape the coun
try, once back on 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. coast, and seek freedom by way of Bahrain.
16. Wireless System. —None of the monthly instalments of £l,000 have been
paid to the Marconi Company since last August. It is understood that they have
now been relegated to item 5 of the “ budget ”, entitled indebtedness, payable if
and when funds admit. Meanwhile the work of installation proceeded slowly.
Mr. Boucicault is believed to have completed the J-kilowatt station at Qaf o:
Qaryat al Milh, the ‘‘ Salt-villages ” in the Wadi Sirhan. Kurdy Bey has started
work on the main 6-kilowatt station at Mecca.
MC144FD

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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' [‎39r] (77/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100025543724.0x00004e> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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