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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎81r] (161/434)

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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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17. The forthcoming visit of H. M. Tae King of Italy was immediately dis
cussed with the Chief Commissioner, when it was found that some uncertainty
prevailed as to the policy whi h should be adopted for his reception.
On the one hand a telegram from the Secretary of State for India (No. 2455—■
the equivalent of A miralty message timed 1416/20) indicated the pleasure of His
Britannic Majesty to be that full honours and compliments should be rendered,
whether His Majesty was travelling incognito or otherwise, provided that his
Standard was flying, while a further message ^No. 2484) stated that such would be
the case.
On the other hand, the Italian Consul had received information that the Stand
aid would not be flown, and that His Majesty desired to land privately* He wa 8
therefore requested to obtain confirmation of this fact, pointing out that it was at
variance with the information received from London, and to st te that should the
Standard not be flown, no royal honours would be accorded (“ Penzance's
message timed 2132/25.)
18. On the following day (26th) the Secretary of State informed the Chief
Commissioner (telegram No. 2521) that no notification had been received of any
change in the King’s plans. Further passages in the message were taken to indicate
that the intimation that the Standard would be flown had originated from His
Majesty and had been accompanied by a personal letter of thanks to His Britannic
This message was followed and reinforced on 27th by a further one (No. 2537),
stating that information from His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy at Rome was to
the effect that Italian officials stated that it was His Majesty’s invariable practice
to fly bis Standard, and that, in their opinion, the Italian Consul had been misin
formed. It was conside ed by the Embassy that Italian wishes would be met by
the reception of His Majesty with a gun salute, and that, as he wished his visit to
be private, he should be spared all imnecessary ceremony ashore, other than the
parading of a Guard of Honour.
On the same day, however, the Consul obtained a positive statement from the
Roval Yacht that the Standard would not be flown. As this was in answer to the
enquiries referred to in paragraph 17, it was held to constitute a clear indication
that His Majesty did not desire to be received with any ceremony, and the Consul
was therefore asked to state that in deference to these wishes honours would not
be rendered.
The main situation thus appeared to be clear, and was reported in my message
timed 1237/27.
19. A minor complication, however, arose from the fact that at a Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India.
Meeting that evening (27th) the Consul announced that the escorting cruiser
“ Gorizia ” was flying the flag of Admiral of Division Conte Luigi Mira glia. In
the absence of the Royal Standard it appeared to me evident that his flag should
be saluted by “ Penzance ”, although the presence of His Majesty, admittedly
in a private capacity, made such a procedure appear somewhat illogical unless
what l take to be the strict interpretation of the situation, ws., that in the absence
of the Standard, His Majesty was not, from a ceremonial aspect, present in the
yacht, was constantly borne in mind.
The Consul was therefore asked to ascertain the wishes of the Rear Admiral
as regards the marks of respect to be paid to him and I reported the matter in my
message timed 0107/28, receiving in reply Admiralty message 1352/28.
20 . On the evening of the 28th I was summoned to a further conference at the
Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. at which the Chief Commissioner quoted three further messages receiv
ed during that day from the Secretary of State (Nos. 2541, 2542 and 2554). These
were to the effect that the earlier reports that the Standard would not be
flown has caused considerable surprise in London and that His Britannic Majesty s
Embassy at Rome had notified that the Master of Ceremonies, in a personal inter
view. had again emphasised that His Majesty invariably flew his Standard and
would expect gun salutes, and, if he landed, a Guard of Honour, notwithstand
ing that his visit was of a private nature.

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' [‎81r] (161/434), 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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