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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎135v] (270/434)

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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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Memorandum No. 84 (1486/236/19), dated the 14th August 1936.
His Majesty’s Charge d’Affaires at Jedda, presents his compliments to
H. E. the Viceroy of India (F. and P.), Simla, and has the honour to trans
mit to him a copy of the despatch to the Foreign Office, No. 246 of 14th
August 1936, relating to Saudi Currency.
Enclosure to Serial No. (65).
Letter from the British Legation, Jedda, to the Foreign Office, No.
246 (1484/236/19), dated the 14th August 1936.
With reference to Sir Andrew Ryan’s despatch No. 95-E., of March
29th last, I have the honour to report certain further developments in the
currency situation in Saudi Arabia.
2 . 500,000 new riyals arrived early in May and some appeared in cir
culation almost immediately. The Government have, however, shown great
caution in introducing the new currency and to this caution, accord
ing to an official of the Jeddah branch of the Dutch banking concern,
the Nederlandache Handels Maatschappij, mav be attributed the
present comparative stability of the riyal, both in relation to the gold pound
and to the Egyptian paper pound. It is also stated that the Government
are resolved to maintain the present rate of 20 riyals to the gold pound,
but whether this will be possible when the pilgrim season creates an added
demand for local currency may well be conjectured.
3. Up to date only two new half and no new quarter riyal pieces have
passed through the hands of the Legation accounting officer, although
according to a notice which appeared in the newspaper “Saut-ul-Heiaz"
on June 23rd, the old half and quarter pieces ceased to be legal tender on
that date but could be exchanged against gold, at standard rate, if present
ed at the Ministry ofTTnance within two months. The reason given for
this order was the risk of confusion between the old half riyals and the new
riyals, as the latter are only a little larger than the former.
4. The authorities seem to have been fairly successful in their attempt
to withdraw the old’currency as two large shipments to London have been
made recently through Messrs. Collatly, Hankey & Co. (Sudan) Ltd. On
July 29th, 250.000 and on August 5tli, 125,000 riyals were despatched bv
Khedivial Mail steamer. A certain number of one riyal pieces were, I
understand, included in the second shipment.
5 . I am sending a copy of this despatch to the Deoartment of Over
sea Trade, Government of India (Foreign and Political Department) and
( 66 )
Enclosure in Admiralty covering letter No. M.-03884/36, dated the 25th
August, 1936.
Extracts from a Report of Proceedings of H. M. S. Londonderry
covering the period 30th May— 29th June.
Hodeida. 2nd to 5th June.
4. Soon after our arrival, Mr. Saleh Jaffar, M.B.E., the political
clerk, accompanied by the General Officer Commanding, Hodeida; Captain
of the Port and one of the Governor’s suite, called on board.

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' [‎135v] (270/434), 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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