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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎158r] (315/434)

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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 18 to S. No. (1).
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the merciful.
2nd Shaaban, 1355,
(October 21st 1936).
From His Majesty the Imam Yahya bin Muhammad Hamid-ud-Bin,
to His Excellency Sir Bernard Reilly, K.C.M.G., C.I.E., O.B.E.,
Resident, etc.
We extend to your Excellency our respects.
We beg to call your kind attention to an incident which we regret to
report to Your Excellency and which has happened during your absence
from Aden on leave. This incident has caused all kinds of doubt and un
easiness in all parts of the country and a great deal of surprise and amaze
ment due to our ignorance of its reason.
Mr. Philby, wl o has chosen to reside in the Hejaz for some years, claimed
in the month of July last to be the representative of Great Britain and thus
earned for himself the immunities and privileges accorded to Political Re
presentation. He brought a group of armed men and, with them, crossed
the Yemini Boundary in ears near Najran and came down to the Hadhramaut
where he told them (the Hadhramis) different stories. He claimed that he
would construct a motorcar road between the Hejaz and the Hadhramaut
and that he would erect in some places stations and buildings. We have
heard from certain people that Mr. Philby encouraged our people to take
aggressive measures against the Yemeni Government and its territories. He
entered Marib and Jof and said different things. Mr. Philby is a British sub
ject and is still under British protection. His entrance into our country
with armed men without permission violates international regulations as
does his wandering about within our country and the making of declarations
against our Government. His strange conduct has excited our people and
W e are sure that Great Britain never permits or encourages any such
unwarranted behaviour.
We therefore earnestly beg Your Excellency to request your Govern
ment, who is aware of every single thing that happens, to inquire carefully
into the matter and to be good enough to inform us of the real reason for
this strange incident. We also request the British Government to inflict
a suitable punishment on Mr. Philby and to assure the non-repetition of such
an incident in the future.
In conclusion we extend our respect and wishes for your good health.
Enclosure 19 to S. No. (1).
Cypher telegram from the Acting Resident, Aden, to the Secretary
of State for the Colonies, No. 67, dated 31st August 1936.
(Repeated to Jedda).
My telegram No. 64, dated the 30th August, Philby with two Saudi
servants is at present in Mukalla which he reached via Terim and Shihr while
his main party is in Shabwa. Apparently one of his cars broke down near
Shibam and he has now telegraphed to Aden for spares which will be forwarded
to him. I have asked him to inform me of his future movements.
Enclosure 20 to S. No. (1).
Cypher telegram from the Secretary of State for the Colonies, to
the Acting Resident at Aden, No. 72, dated 1st September 1936.
(Repeated to Jedda).
Your telegrams of 30th and 31st August. I agree to letter being sent to
Philby on lines proposed in your telegram of 24th August if you are satisfied
that he w^as accompanied by Saudi armed party. You should also inform
65(C) ExAffairsDept.

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' [‎158r] (315/434), 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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