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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎91r] (181/536)

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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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39. On the 19th March, Sir Andrew Ryan sent Fuad Bey a personal and
confidential letter containing a systematic statement regarding measures taken
by His Majesty’s Government to counteract anti-Saudi machinations in countries
under their control or influence. Fuad Bey's reply was warmly appreciative.
40. There was no trouble on the Transjordan frontier in March, but the
projected meeting between Captain Glubb and Sheikh Abdul Aziz-ibn-Zeyd again
did not come off. Some correspondence passed regarding the recent conduct of the
Governor of Tabuk in collecting “commission on loot," i.e., retaining a heavy
percentage of returnable camels. The Saudi Government sent to the Legation on
the 14th February a revised version of an earlier and very cavalier answer to a
protest regarding intrusions into Transjordan by Saudi officials and soldiers last
autumn. Fuad Bey had asked for the return of the first note in deference to
representations as to the unfavourable impression it would create. The revised
version, though still unsatisfactory, was a great improvement on the first.
41. The Iraqi representative in Jedda has not been happy, less apparently
because of any really serious trouble between Iraq and Saudi Arabia than because
his Government press him to attempt the solution of too many questions simul
taneously. The scheme for a motor route for pilgrims between Nejef and Medina
makes slow progress. The Iraqi Government are also keen on a settlement of the
vexed question of property owned by the Hashimite family in the Hejaz, a subject
which may perhaps engage attention during the projected negotiations between
Saudi Arabia and Transjordan.
42. The arrangements for the surrender of the Idrisi to Ibn Saud (para
graphs 21 and 22 of last report) hung fire throughout the month. There has
been much reticence on the subject, but there have been no other overt signs of
tension between King and Imam.
III.— Relations with Powers outside Arabia.
43. Relations between His Majesty's Minister and the Saudi Government,
i.e., Fuad Bey Hamza, were sweeter than sugar throughout the month. The main
subject of discussion was the Saudi-Transjordan recognition formulae. Ibn
Saud has been accommodating to an extent wffiich affords a further indication of
the nervousness mentioned in paragraph 36 above. On the 4th March a local
policeman entered the Legation offices in circumstances which necessitated a
protest on grounds of violation. After an unsuccessful effort to get an adequate
apology from the Governor of Jedda suitable satisfaction was obtained from the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ibn Saud gave a proof of goodwill in March by
authorising the return to Jedda of a man, partly in the Legation service, who had
been deported last year in consequence of a charge of having made an alcoholic
44. Fuad Bey gave Sir Andrew Ryan on the 18th March a general account of
the position between Soviet Russia and Saudi Arabia since 1931. He stated that
no general agreements had been reached on the lines described by the Soviets, but
admitted that the Saudi Government had removed the embargo on trade from
Russia, subject to its not being started pending the elaboration of machinery for
the marketing of Russian goods.
45. The Netherlands Charge d'Affaires (see paragraph 23) returned from
Sana in the last days of March. The French Charge d'Affaires returned rather
earlier, stating, not unplausibly, that he had only gone to Syria to have a
permanently-damaged eye seen to.
46. The Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs arrived in Jedda on
pilgrimage on the 6th March and went on a day or two later to Medina. He is
understood to be on leave and it is not known whether he had brought the
instrument of ratification of the Saudi Afghan Treaty of May 1932.
IV.— Miscellaneous.
47. H.M.S. Penzance visited the Farzan Islands on the 22nd-24th March.
Owing to a misapprehension in Jedda as to the instruction of His Majesty's
Government, the visit was not notified to the Saudi Government by the Legation,
with the result that the local sheikhs and Amir, though very polite, demurred to
the visit, as not having been authorised by their superior authorities.

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' [‎91r] (181/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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