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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎88r] (175/434)

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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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H B f!i rly TK rie « d1 ^ terms r*, h Ibn Saud > but when in 1926 he attempted to visit the
licjaz, Ibn Sand nevertheless politely requested him not to InnH TT •
ed^ at Beirut. Wc P know^thr g ofan y ™bS^vmgbee^ r ^
to him by Ibn Saud as alleged in the Princess’s letter. g oeen promised
Wales rlightlssL? (die'sheHf ‘‘th" the P ^ Ce ^ su Sg ests ‘^t the Prince of
waies mignt assist the bhenf through some Mussulman perhaps ” Have von
any observations to make on this point or on the letter in general * Sub ect to
(Received on the 9th March 1935, with Political Secretary’s letter No. 8, dated the 21 si
February 1935.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter dated 13th February 1935 .
Letter from the Foreign Office, to the Secretary to His Royal Htchnvso
thePrince of Wales, No. E. 498/498/35, oateb the 12th Febroary
oo a i ara SOrry t} J at there , has b / en some dela y in replying to your letter of the
22nd January enclosing a letter from the Princess Fatma Haider to the Prince of
Wales, but it has been necessary to consult our own archives on certain noint*
connected with the Sherif Ali Haider and also to ask 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. whether they
uul any obser\ations to offer on the Princess’s letter from the Moslem point of view
It may be useful for you in the first place to have a brief account of the Sherif
He belongs to an ancient family of the Hejaz, which claims descent from Mahmot
and members ot which ha.vp frpmiAnfKrxi. P u
nyr • c • -a» r —v — pclou 44 C 1 U me oince oi virand Stienf of
Mecca, a position of varying political power but of great religious nr Pa to,„ ,T
out the Mohammedan world Sherif Ali Haider, used formerly to ve at Co !
T,?tT P p e h W f M 6 7 OVk i m Wi t h the ‘ Youn S Turks ’ a ' ld was at one time a
u visli Cabinet Mimster. In or about 1917 he was appointed Grand Sheriff of
Mecca by the Ottoman Government, to supersede King Hussein, who had gone
over to the Allies. He was, however, naturally unable to take up his post in the
Hejaz which was in revolt against the Turks. Early in 1926 he tried to obtain
British support in obtaining the post of Regent or Governor of the Hejaz under King
tbn Saud, who had by that time driven King Hussein’s family out of Arabia but His
Majestv s Government were unwilling to intervene in a politico-religious question
of this kind he appears to have been, and certainly claimed to be, on fairly friendly
terms with Ibn Saud although, when he attempted in 1926 to pay a visit to the
Hejaz Ibn Saud politely requested him not to do so. We have no knowledge of
any subsidy or promise of a subsidy to him from Ibn Saud, apart from the complaint
contained in Princess Fatma’s letter. We have referred this point to Sir Andrew
Ryan at Jedda, who has some personal knowledge of the family : it need not how-
evd affect the question of the reply to be returned to the Princess. Since 1920
he Sherif has lived at Beirut with his English (or Irish) wife (nee Dunn) whom he
married at Constantinople. He has several sons, the eldest of whom is married to
a daughter of the er-Sultan of Turkey, while another studied at St Andrew’s
university. a
We have nothing against the Sherif, who, so far as we know, is a respectable
person and is genuinely in reduced circumstances. On the other hand, we have no
political reason for wishing to assist him, and in fact anv assistance which could be
construed as many way coming from a British official source might prove embarras-
Mng. I he 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. have no comments to offer from their point of view Unless
therefore, His Royal Highness is personally disposed to assist the Sherif indirect^
we cm only suggest that a regretful reply in the negative should be returned to
Princess Fatma’s request. u

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' [‎88r] (175/434), 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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