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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎16r] (31/434)

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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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This forecast proved false but there have been faint indications of a slow move
ment in that direction. Ibn Sa’ud has tended to lead a somewhat easier life than
of old. He has left more in the hands of his advisers, though he still controls
them all in major matters. He has accepted new constitutional forms, which,
though they appear to us rather illusory at present, are not wholly unreal. Last
year he made new secretarial arrangements at Riyadh, which involved the transfer
to the Amir Sa’ud of his own chief secretary, Ibrahim ibn Muammar, who has
now gone as Charge de’Affaires to Baghdad.
4. I collect these indications for two reasons. Slight as they are, they lend
support to the idea that Ibn Sa’ud may end his active career, or at any rate his
public career, by abdication rather than by death. Secondly, and this is of more
mterest to His Majesty’s Government, such an intention would help to explain
the rather marked tendency which Ibn Sa’ud has shown during the past year
to seek to compose various differences which might militate against the success
of a new ruler ; to disarm hostility among his own subjects ; and to reduce the
possibilities of quarrel with neighbouring countries like ’Iraq, Transjordan, the
Yemen and perhaps even Kuwait.
5. I sought a further audience with tbe King on June 11, to discuss business.
I will report what passed separately in connexion with the subjects I raised, in
so far as it may be necessary to record it. The King broached no subject of his
6. Ibn Sa’ud returned to Mecca late on June 12. During his short stay
His Majesty gave a great deal of time to Captain H. C. Armstrong, who is writing
his biography and whom he consented, as a result of correspondence through
the Sa’udi Minister in London, to receive in Jedda. Captain Armstrong arrived
on June 7. He had a general conversation with the King on June 10, and had four
further audiences on June 11 and 12 of an average duration of some two hours
each. The King has been most forthcoming and both parties appear to be
exceedingly pleased with each other. I have avoided any appearance of promoting
Captain Armstrong’s enterprise but he is staying with my wife and me on the
strength of old friendship.
7. I am sending copies of this despatch to His Excellency the Viceroy of India
(Foreign and Political Department), His Majesty’s Ambassador at Baghdad,
His Majesty’s High Commissioners at Jerusalem and Cairo, the Hon’ble the
Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. 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. , Bushire, and_to His Majesty’s Chief Com
missioner at Aden.
( 30 )
(Received on 22nd July 1933, with Political Secretary's letter No. 27, dated the 6th
July 1933.)
• Letter from His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda, to the Foreign Office, No. 110,
DATED THE 16TH May 1933.
No. 1.
In paragraph 32 of the Jedda report for March (F. 81-N./33), enclosed in my
despatch No. 102 of the 7th April, I mentioned that Ibn Sa’ud had given a dinner
to notable pilgrims on the evening of the 31st March. As you are aware, this is
now a regular feature of each year’s pilgrimage season. On the present occasion,
the King entertained some hundreds of guests of various nationalities, including
several Indians. I understand from my Indian Vice-Consul that the attention
shown both to Shia and to Indian pilgrims has been a feature of this year’s
pilgrimage. In the case of the Indians the King and the Minister of Finance,
who is largely responsible for dispensing such attention, had the advantage of
the presence of Jemal Pasha Ghazzi, who has been conducting since last year an
intensive pro-pilgrimage campaign in India and was able to make play with
the intimacy he had established there with various participants in this year’s
tu ^ ^ le s cus tom to speak at great length at these annual banquets.
The published version of his address on the present occasion occupied a page and
a half of the Umm-al-Qura of the 6th April. I enclose a short summary prepared
in the Legation. ^

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' [‎16r] (31/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 26 February 2020]

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