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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎152r] (303/434)

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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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entry into the Yemen. Philby had no authorisation from Saudi Arabian
Government express or implied to go outside borders of Saudi Arabia.
3. On a map which is a duplicate one given Fuad for frontier dis
cussions I showed Fuad that Shabwa was far south of Ibn Saud’s territory
even if his extreme claims were conceded. Fuad did not deny Shabwa
was in Aden protectorate.
4. Reply did not contain apology but I concluded that is because it
would not fit in with rejection of all responsibility on (sic) Philby.
5. I gather that on his return Philby would be called upon by Ibn Saud
to explain his conduct. You may wish me to inform Minister for Foreign
Affairs that while the extraordinary occurrence is now understood His
Majesty’s Government trust person whose irresponsible conduct might have
caused serious incident harmful to the good relations between the two govern
ments, will be suitably dealt with.
Addressed to Foreign Office, No. 122, repeated to Aden No. 8.
Telegram from the Foreign Office, to Sir R. Bullard, British Lega
tion, Jedda, No. 135, dated the 5th December, 1936.
Your telegram No. 122 [of December 3rd; Mr. Philby’s activities in
Aden Protectorate and the Yemen].
I approve your action, and proposal contained in final paragraph.
For reasons given in your despatch No. 289 [of October 25th] (Serial
No. 88), in which I concur, I do not wish to labour matter, but you should
consider whether to include in any further communication written or oral
to Saudi authorities protest against fact that Mr. Philby was accompanied
on his incursion into Aden Protectorate by armed Saudi forces which
might well have led Protectorate tribes to assume that he w T as travelling
on a Saudi mission. Object would be to show Saudi Government that His
Majesty’s Government are maintaining their position regarding Protectorate
frontier and do not acquiesce in any Saudi encroachment in this area. But
what you have said may be sufficient, and I am content to leave decision to
please report in due course any explanations which Mr. Philby may
Addressed to Jedda, No. 135, repeated to Aden, No. 108.
QlPD-889(S) F.LPD—S —7 5-37—22.

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' [‎152r] (303/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 February 2020]

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