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'File 8/7 I Jidda Intelligence Reports' [‎114r] (227/536)

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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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II .—F rontier Questions and Foreign Relations in A rabia.
145. Fuad Bey Hamza had two further conversations with Sir Andrew Ryan
in connexion with the Saudi-Transjordan negotiations at Jerusalem (see
paragraph 117 of the last report), the first conversation taking place on the
2nd July and the final one on the 11th, the day before Fuad Bey sailed for Egypt
on his way to the conference. He was seen off at the landing-stage by
Sir Andrew Ryan, other members of the diplomatic body and Saudi officials in
Jedda. He was followed on the 16th July by Sir Andrew Ryan, who travelled
via Port Sudan. The conference, which was to commence on the 24th, was
successful, and the treaty was signed at Jerusalem on the 27th July. A message
of congratulation from His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom was
communicated to the Saudi Government by His Majesty's Charge d'Affaires, and
a cordial acknowledgment was promptly received in reply.
146. An echo of the Ibn Rifada revolt of May-June 1932 gave rise to a little
uncertainty when it was reported from Jerusalem that Selim Abu Dumeik, a
chieftain of the Beni Atiya, who had been removed early in the year to Palestine
as a measure of precaution, had evaded surveillance at Beersheba on or about the
10th July, that he was believed to be heading for Transjordan, and that an
intensive search was being made for him. The information was communicated by
His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires in a personal letter to Emir Feisal, w r ho replied
at once informing Mr. Calvert that Abu Dumeik had already arrived at the Saudi
frontier, had sued for and had been granted pardon by Ibn Saud. He has since
been lost to view, but his movements appear to cause the Saudi Government
no anxiety.
147. About the same time a personage whose activities are viewed with
much more concern by Ibn Saud also gave occasion for some enquiry.
Khalid-bin-Hithlain, a young and warlike chief of the Ajman who was
implicated in the rebellion of 1929, was stated by Fuad Bey Hamza in a personal
letter to Sir Andrew Ryan to be making preparations to enter Saudi Arabia with
evil intent from Koweit, and it is said that his agents were busy assembling
supplies in Koweit and Bahrein for the purpose. It was soon established that
Khalid-bin-Hithlain was somewhere in the neighbourhood of Kerbela, far enough
away from the scene of his alleged activities, and that there was no sign of his
agents at either Koweit or Bahrein, whose rulers, moreover, readily gave
assurances that preventive measures, were they ever necessary, would be promptly
taken. This information was conveyed to the Saudi Government and evoked a
grateful response.
148. Relations between Saudi Arabia and the Yemen (see paragraph 121
of the last report) have rapidly and seriously deteriorated during the month. On
the 20th July Sheikh Abdullah Suleiman, used as a go-between in the absence of
Fuad Bey Hamza, called on His Majesty’s Charge d'Affaires and delivered a
message from Ibn Saud for His Majesty’s Government, intimating that negotia
tions between the delegations at Sana, opened on the 17th, had immediately broken
down owing to the inordinate demands of the Imam. These demands, which
included the restitution of the territories of the Idrisi, and the districts of the
Beni Qahtan and Hamazan, coupled with the consistently hostile attitude of
Imamic forces in Najran, and the asylum afforded the Idrisi in the Yemen, had
fired Ibn Saud with feelings of the most intense distrust. He charged the Imam
with bad faith, breach of the treaty between them and deliberate provocation
Sheikh Abdullah Suleiman alleged that the Imam and the Idrisi were receiving-
help in the shape of arms and munitions from “ foreign ” sources, and stated he
had come to ask for the advice of His Majesty’s Government in the United
Kingdom in view of the old friendship subsisting between the two Governments.
He left with Mr. Calvert a note from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in which
much the same thing was said in good set terms, the “foreign” sources being
roundly declared to be Italian, proof of which was in the hands of the Saudi
Government. The note also asked for assistance in the matter of supplies.
149. His Majesty’s Government responded, in a note delivered by
Mr. Calvert on the 27th July, by urging counsels of moderation and by drawing
attention to the risks inseparable from an outbreak of hostilities. At the same
time the note made the position of His Majesty’s Government, in the event of
hostilities, quite clear as one of strict neutrality. Appropriate steps were also
taken through Rome to enlist the co-operation of the Italian Government in a
[879 aa—1] b 2

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' [‎114r] (227/536), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/295, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 12 November 2019]

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