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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎149r] (297/434)

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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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sections should be effected at the expense of the line as a whole. Apart from
the political aspect arising out of the question of the ownership of the
sections of the railway in different territories, there is the practical
consideration that both the Palestine—Trans-Jordan section and the sec
tion in Syria have no surplus funds whatsoever, while heavy
expenditure for renewals will soon become necessary. The Gene
ral Manager, Palestine Railways, informs me that if 7,000
pilgrims, each paying £P.12 for ia return ticket, were carried
annually by the railway the costs of the restored line might
just be covered and provision made for some maintenance, but there would
be no margin for renewals. I think, however, that the estimate of 7,000
pilgrims put forward by the Saudi delegates is much exaggerated, for only
relatively few pilgrims, from Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Trans-Jordan,
with a few in transit from India, pass by this route. Consequently I can
not suppose that His Majesty’s Government, or indeed any other source,
would be willing to provide a sum of nearly £P. 200,000 for the repair of
a line which could be expected to earn so inadequate a return. And if
restoration of the railway has any value commercially it is almost exclu
sively as a means to develop the northern Hejaz and to revive Medina, and
to that extent any financial liability should rest entirely on the Saudi
4 . I need hardly say that I should be very glad if an agreed means
could be found for the provision of the required capital. Apart from the
incidental benefits which might be expected to accrue to Palestine and
Trans-Jordan, as explained in my despatch Confidential B of the 14th June,
1934, I think that an agreement leading to the restoration of the line would
favourably affect the political relations between His Majesty’s Govern
ment and King Ibn Saud. But His Majesty’s Government are better able
than I to judge what weight should be given to this consideration.
Letter from the Colonial Office, to the Resident at Aden, dated 7th
December 1936.
I have the honour to refer to Lieutenant-Colonel Lake’s despatch Iso.
426 of the 2nd of September on the subject of the ownership by foreigners
of immovable property in the Yemen, and to inform you that I have been
in consultation with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the
2. Under the Treaty of Sana’a, on which the treaty relations of His
Maiestv’s Government with the Government of the Yemen are based, Hia
Alaiestv’s Government have recognised the complete and absolute indepen
dence of the King of the Yemen, who consequently is free to enact any
internal legislation he may wish. There is nothing in that Treaty to pre
vent him from imposing restrictive legislation on British subjects in the
matter of their ownership of real property in his country, provided all
foreigners are treated in the same way. .
3 1 am unaware of the legal position of foreigners in the Yemen in the
matter of the ownership of such property prior to the notification from the
Kintr of the Yemen to the Governor of Hodeida enclosed m the despatch
under reference. I am advised, however, that it would be contrary to
international law that British subjects and protected persons should suffer
neruniarv loss by reason of the application of a law compelling them to
Cnose of real properties which they have acquired with the permission
o t with the toleration of the Government at that time exercising authority
4 In this case, therefore, I am of the opinion that British subjects and
British protected persons ought not to be compelled to sell their immovable
B if such nronertv has been lawfully acquired, but in any case if
sales are enforced the arrangements made with regard to them should
such as wouW enable the owners to obtain thq proper value of their
830iS) F&FD

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' [‎149r] (297/434), 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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