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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎15v] (30/434)

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The record is made up of 1 file (214 folios). It was created in 31 Aug 1933-20 Mar 1939. It was written in English and French. 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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Office Memorandum from the Office of the Private Secretary to the
Viceroy, Nb. 1321-G. P., dated the 13th July 1933.
Transferred to the Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign De
No reply has been sent to the enclosed.
Enclosure 1 to Serial No. (29;.
Memorandum No. 61 (1703/199/10), dated the 14th July 1933.
His Majesty’s Minister at Jedda presents his compliments to His Excellency
the \ iceroy of India (F. and P.) Simla, and has the honour to transmit to him the
undermentioned documents.
Description of Enclosure.
Name and Date. Subject.
To Foreign Office, No. 182 of 14th June 1933. Visit of Ibn Sa’ud to Jedda.
Copies sent to—
Baghdad under No. 1704/199/10 of 14th June 1933.
Jarusalem under No. 1705/199/10 of 14th June 1933.
Cairo under No. 1706/199/10 of 14th June 1933.
Bushire under No. 1707/199/10 of 14th June 1933.
Aden under No. 1708/199/10 of 14th June 1933.
Enclosure 2 to Serial No. (29).
Letter from His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda, to the Foreign Office, No.
182 (1702/199/10), dated the 14th June 1933.
With reference to my despatch No. 119 of April 18, I have the honour to state
that Ibn Sa’ud again came to Jedda early on June 10, in anticipation of an early
departure for Riyadh. He gave his usual series of formal audiences to heads of
foreign missions that morning, beginning with me, as the Soviet Minister was in
Mecca. His Majesty appeared to be in good form and was as affable as usual.
I presented Mr. Calvert.
2. Following on general conversation of the usual anodyne character, the
King observed that the autumn was his busy time in Nejd, as it was there that the
leading people flocked about him, each expecting the personal attention of the
sovereign. He went on to say that within a year to two his son Sa’ad might
be trained enough to relieve him of this burden. I took the opportunity of con
gratulating His Majesty in person on the action he had so wisely taken to provide
for the future of the throne. The King, in thanking me, stressed the fact that
he had not taken the initiative but yielded to the appeals of his people.
3. The King’s remark about the Amir Sa’ud derives some significance from
a report which reached me on June 3, in a form too uncertain to be worth reporting
at the time that the King was contemplating abdication and was only .waiting for
the return of the mission he had sent to the Yemen. Without wishing to exaggerate
the probability of such an event at some not too distant date, I think that it should
be borne in mind as a possibility. To a European it may seem unlikely that
a man of 53 with Ibn Sa’ud’s past should contemplate such a step at the height
of his achievement. I am not sure, however, that it would be alien to his character
to retire in favour of the son, whom he has so spectacularly installed as Heir
Apparent, hoping perhaps to guide the steps of his successor during the remainder
of his own life. It is nearly three years since Fuad Bey spoke to me of the King’s
desire to reduce his burden of responsibility and “ to reign rather than to rule ”,

About this item


The file contains the Foreign Office confidential prints of the Arabia Series for the years 1933 to 1938. It includes correspondence, memoranda, and extracts from newspapers. The correspondence is principally between the British Legation in Jedda and the Foreign Office. Other correspondents include British diplomatic, political, and military offices, foreign diplomats, heads of state, tribal leaders, corporations, and individuals in the Middle East region.

Each annual series is composed of several numbered serials that are often connected to a particular subject. The file covers many subjects related to the affairs of Saudi Arabia.

Included in the file are the following:

  • a memorandum on Arab Unity produced by the Foreign Office dated 12 June 1933 (author unknown), folios 11-13;
  • a memorandum on petroleum in Arabia produced by the Petroleum Department dated 5 August 1933 (author unknown), folios 23-26;
  • a record of interviews with Ibn Sa‘ūd, King of Saudi Arabia, conducted by Reader Bullard and George William Rendel between 20 and 22 March 1937;
  • a memorandum on Yemen by Captain B W Seager, the Frontier Officer, dated 20 July 1937;
  • several records of proceedings of ships on patrol in the Red Sea, including that of HMS Penzance , Hastings , Colombo , Bideford , and Londonderry .

Folios 213-15 are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 file (214 folios)

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 217; 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 foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 2-215; 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 and French in Latin script
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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎15v] (30/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 February 2020]

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