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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎119r] (237/434)

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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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Enclosure to Serial No. (23).
Letter from His Majesty’s Minister, Jedda to the Foreign Office, No.
77 (488/411/8), dated the 18th March 1936.
With reference to my despatch No. 59 of February 28th [Enclosure to Serial
No. (20)] relative to the recent proceedings of Ibn Saud, I have the honour to state
that the King would appear to have taken part in the pilgrimage normally, except
that unusual police precautions were taken to obviate the possibility of his being
attacked in the same way as last year.
2. The King gave his usual dinner to notable pilgrims on February 29th and
delivered his usual speech. To judge by the report published in the Umm-al-Qura,
the speech presented few features of interest. It abounded in the cust mary
commendations of Islam. His Majesty reproached Moslems with saying much and
doing little. Jews and Christians, he observed, were in the habit of not acting in
accordance with their professions. Moslems should not follow their example.
He adjured all Moslems and in particular Arabs to bethink themselves, to return
to the right path and to be united. Many of his co-religionists, he went on, held
that the reason why Moslems were backward was that they did not follow the ways
of civilisation. This was an error, because Islam did not prevent its adherents from
adopting anything useful, provided it did not touch their faith. He urged fidelity
to religious duties, the most important of which was the performance of the pil
3. The same issue of the paper quoted elsewhere an utterance of the King at
the banquet, which does not appear in the main report of his speech. This referred
to the closeness of the relations between the peoples of Nejd and Iraq, which were
of old standing. He spoke of the Nejdi origin of many inhabitants of Iraq. Iraq
and its people were, he said, dear to him and to all his subjects. Their progress
brought pleasure to his heart and he wished them advancement and success. This
passage may have some political significance in connexion with the present negotia
tions between the two countries, which, as you know, were suspended for the
pilgrimage and the ensuing festival.
4. The King was not so absorbed in his religious duties at pilgrimage time as
to be indifferent to developments abroad. Fuad Bey Hamza surprised me by
ringing me up on the first day of the festival to enquire about a report that the
Negus, had, in some way or other, which I did not quite grasp, made a move for
peace. When I told him what I knew of the appeal to both combatants by the
Committee of Thirteen, he explained that the King was worried by the difficulty of
getting trustworthy news of what was happening. It seems odd that the Saudis
should be able to take so little advantage of their wireless sets. They seem to listen
in principally to Cairo. Several days after my direct conversation with Fuad Bey
on March 4th, they were still worried and consulted Mr. Philby, who telephoned to
his wife, who had recourse to mine, who was able to supply some particulars about
wavelengths and all that.
5. I am sending copies of this despatch to the Government of India and
Memorandum No. 27 (454/86/14), dated the 11th March 1936.
His Majesty’s Minister at Jedda presents his compliments to H. E. the Viceroy
of India (Foreign and Political Department), and has the honour to transmit to
him a copy of despatch to the Foreign Office, No. 71, dated the 11th March
1936, regarding the stranding of the s.s. “ Kawsar ” on a reef near Jedda.
Reference to 'previous correspondence :
Jedda printed despatch No. 181 of 12th November 1935 [Serial No. (67) ift
File No. 1-N./35J.

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' [‎119r] (237/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 February 2020]

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