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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎66r] (131/434)

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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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(Received on 9th September 1934, With Political Secretary's letter No. 34,
dated the 23rd August 1934.)
Enclosures in Foreign Office covering letter, dated 14th August 1934.
Letter from II. M.’s Minister, Jedda, to the Foreign Office. No. 204
(1951/204/19), dated the 2nd July 1934.
ou are aware that at various times during the past three years, atten
tion has \ cen directed to the possibility of gold being discovered ’ in the
He]az in commercially exploitable quantities. Interest in the sub ect has
been stimulated pnm ipally by the activities of Mr. K. jv Twin lu ll, an
Luitod Males citizen, who has made several stays in the country, at first
as an expert employed by the Saudi Government for various surveys etc.,
and later as a private person with commercial interests. In February of
ast ;yeai he was closely associated with Mr. Hamilton, the representative
sent here bv the Standard Oil Company of California to negotiate the Hasa
Oil concession, and it was understood at that time that he had interested
one or more American concerns, whom he would himself represent, in other
mining enterprises, and more particularly gold mining see inter alia para
graph 15 (c) of the Jedda Report for February 1933 (F. No. 31.-N/33).
His earlier explorations had disclosed the existence of gold, though not
necessarily in important quantities, in various places, notably the North-
Western Hejaz, and two districts not far from Taif and Medina respect-
ive y. Some or all of these places are known historically as sources of ^old
in ancient times. ' 3
2. For some time after February 1933 little more was heard of gold
Nothing appears to have come of Mr. Twitchell’s efforts to interest the
American concerns more actively. He pursued his own activities, however,
and the continued interest of the Saudi Government in the subject was
demonstrated by the inquiry regarding gold mining 'legislation in the
British Empire, which I reported in my despatch No. 372 of the 20th Dec-
emb*r last.
3. Mr. Twitched has now succeeded in obtaining the backing of what
appear Xo be important interests in the United Kingdom. He returned to
Jedda cn the 27th June as representative of the recently formed “Saudi
Arabia Mining Syndicate Limited”, which, it would appear from the
press, has been registered in England as a private company with a capital
of twenty thousand pounds in one pound shares. 1 understand from Mr
I witched that the controlling interest in this new concern is that of the
Anglo-Oriental and General Investment Trust, one of whose directors is on
the board of the Syndicate but that the composition of the Syndicate as a
whoie is unusually varied. Among the other persons and firms interested
are a Mr McDermott and Messrs. Gellatly Hankey and Company Limited
whose Jedda manager confirms information from other sources regarding
their participation on a small scale.
r is Mr ‘ Twitclle ^ appears to be entirely independent
^ tandar<i pJ Company of California. He or thev or both have
indeed been at pains to mark the dissociation. It would have been natural
tor him to stay in Jedda with his only compatriot, the representative of the
Calitornia Arabian (Standard Oil Company, but he has instead taken up
1 tu J 00 *? 1 h °of- 1 believe him t0 also entirely disconnect
ed with Mr. Philby s firm, Sharqieh Limited, who have in the past had some
interest in gold and who still, I believe, control that old-established but now
inert ooocern Midian Limited. As regards his connections in London I
gather that he explored the possibility of working with the Heiaz Develop-
rnent Corporation limited. See the correspondence ending with my des
patch No. (,/ of the 13th March [Serial No. (47)], but was not impressed
813(C) F&PD r ^

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' [‎66r] (131/434), 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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