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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎50r] (99/434)

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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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dance with the authority contained in Colonial Office despatch, No. 22, dated the
30th May 1929.
(Received by Air Mail under No. P. Z.-2603\34.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated 18th April 1934.
Letter from the Foreign Office, to J. H. E. Woods, Esq., M.Y.O., No. E.-2104|
72 1 25, dated the 17th April 1934.
We have sent you officially in our letter No. E.-2104|72-25 of the 17th April
a copy of Ryan’s confidential despatch No. 76 (737il24|18) of the 20th March
regarding a project for a bank in Saudi-Arabia which has been started by a
certain Mr. Abdul Ghani Ydlibi. Ydlibi is a British subject of Syrian origin
who is head of a small company in Manchester. We had some dealings with him
in 1932 when he was attempting to form a syndicate in order to prospect in oil
and minerals in the Hejaz. His prospects were thought by the Department of
Overseas Trade to be poor and he himself did not inspire confidence. Beside
the bank project referred to in Ryan’s despatch, he is now attempting to secure
from Ibn Saud an oil concession in the neutral zone between Koweit and Saudi-
Arabia on behalf of a syndicate, some at any rate of the members of which are
also connected with the Eastern and General syndicate.
2. He apparently expects to obtain the support of a British bank for his own
bank scheme. If you should learn anything of any moves in this country con
nected with the latter project, we should be glad to know of them and we should
of course 'welcome any observations you may wish to offer on Ryan’s despatch.
3. I am sending copies of this letter to Farrer at the Department of Overseas
Trade, Blaxter at tlie Colonial Office and Laithwaite at the 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. .
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated 17th April 1934.
(Received on 5th May 1334 } with Political Secretary’s letter No. 16, dated
19th April 1934.)
Letter from His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda, to the Foreign Office, No. 67
(666jl24jl6), dated the 13th March 1934. ;■ ,
With reference to my despatch No. 56 of February 27 [Serial No. (33)],
I have the honour to state that l had occasion to call on the Saudi Minister of
Finance on March 11 and took the opportunity of speaking to him further about
the Hejaz Development Corporation, Ltd. I said that the further informa
tion I had received since our last interview added little that was material to,
what I had then told him, but that it certainly confirmed the view that .the com
position of the Corporation was not such as to inspire much confidence. I then
explained that the registration of a company in England was a mere formality,
by which any group of persons could invest themselves wfith a corporate exist
ence, and meant nothing more.
2. Sheykh ’Abdullah Suleyman said that the Government had not wished
to leave the telegram, which he had shown me on February 11, unanswered.
They had, therefore, expressed readiness to receive proposals from any properly
authorised person. ’Abdul Hamid Bey Shedid had not been able to get any
thing definite from the Corporation before he left Jedda, but had since telegraphed
that they were sending a representative who was expected to arrive in Egypt
on March 12 or 13. The Saudi Government had not replied to this telegram.
3. The Minister of Finance mentioned that, apart from their information
from His Majesty’s Government, the Saudi Government had had unfavourable
accounts of the persons concerned in the Corporation from other sources. He
gave me the impression of being quite wary. I gather from Mr. Philbv, who is
doubtless one of the other sources mentioned in the first sentence of this para
graph, if not the only one, that the reason for not answering the latest telegram
from ’Abdul Hamid Shedid is that the Government do not consider that it
complies with the terms on which they had expressed readiness to receive pro
Enclosure 1 to Serial No. (47).
Letter from His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda. to the Foreign Office, No. 76
(7371 124! 16), dated the 20th March 1934.
With reference to my despatch No. 67 of. 13th March [Serial v o. (47)1,
relative to the Hejaz Development Corporation, Ltd., and the proposal to create
Lol 06FD

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' [‎50r] (99/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 February 2020]

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