Skip to item: of 434
Information about this record Back to top
Open in Universal viewer
Open in Mirador IIIF viewer

'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎108v] (216/434)

This item is part of

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.


This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.

Apply page layout

m i ?
Memorandum No. 193 (2883/147/29), dated the 30th November 1935.
His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires at Jedda, present^ liis compliments
to H. E. the Viceroy of India (F. and P.), and has the honour £o transmit
to him the under-mentioned documents.
To Foreign Office, despatch No. 344 of 304h November 1935, regard
ing Economic situation in JSaudi Arabia.
Enclo. to S. No. (69).
Letter from H. M.’s Charge d’affaires, Jedda, to the Foreign Office,
No. 344 (2881/147/29), dated the 30th November 1935.
In my despatch No. 370 (3200/61/34), of the 11th December, 1934
[S. No. (11)], 1 had the honour to submit a brief review of the general
financial and economic situation in Saudi Arabia. I now propose, after
an interval of almost twelve months, to attempt a similar appreciation,
necessarily as brief and perhaps as fragmentary as in previous years, in
view of the absence of reliable statistics and the lack of authoritative
sources of information.
2. Whilst during the previous twelve months, Saudi finances were
heavily engaged in meeting and satisfying the demands of the Saudi-
Yemen war and its settlement, the period under review may be held to have
witnessed the liquidation of the immediate legacies of the conflict and a
renewal of the activities of the Minister of Finance, now less pre-occupied
with the duties of his second office of Deputy Minister of Defence, to find
fresh sources of revenue to repair the seriously deplenished financial re
sources of the state.
3. Some relief was afforded early in the year by a further increase in
the nuityber of foreign pilgrims performing the Hajj in 1935. Not only
did this figure increase from 25,291 in 1934 to 33,898 but an exceptional
number of distinguished personages and well-to-do pilgrims visited the
Hejaz this year, a matter of some point when the general level of wealth
amongst incoming pilgrims has fallen so markedly in these lean years.
The beneficent effects of the increase brought comfort to all classes in the
Flejaz, but complaints were not wanting that the Government had appro
priated to themselves the lion’s share of the pilgrimage harvest, and dis
tress, even amongst merchants, motor-car proprietors and pilgrim-guides,
all of whom might have been expected to have benefitted most by a larger
pilgrimage, was only partially alleviated. Certain foreign companies in
Jedda, however, had a more satisfactory year,, upon completing their
accounts after the Hajj, both Messrs. Gellatly, Hankey & Co. (Sudan)
Ltd. and Messrs. Sharqieh, Ltd., being able to record some improvement,
the latter having achieved a reasonably good profit albeit, according to Mr.
Philby, a “paper” one. *
4. Customs receipts form the other main item of Saudi revenue, and
during the twelve months under review, these, although no official figures
are available, may be expected to have risen in sympathy with the increase
in the numbers of pilgrims. Other sources of revenue are of subordinate
importance; concessions have not yet commenced to yield steady revenue for
operations by the California Arabian Standard Oil Company for the pro
duction of oil in Hasa though promising, have not yet been completely suc
cessful, and gold-mining operations by the Saudi Arabian Mining Syndi
cate upon which I have reported separately, have not yet reached the pro
duction stage, though here also there are believed to be grounds for opti
mism. As statistics of any description are, in the absence of official figures
«yf gome interest I give for what they are worth estimates, given in the

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
View the complete information for this record

Use and share this item

Share this item
Cite this item in your research

'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎108v] (216/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 February 2020]

Link to this item
Embed this item

Copy and paste the code below into your web page where you would like to embed the image.

<meta charset="utf-8"><a href="">'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [&lrm;108v] (216/434)</a>
<a href="">
	<img src="!280,240/0/default.jpg" alt="" />
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it. in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images

Use and reuse
Download this image