Skip to item: of 434
Information about this record Back to top
Open in Universal viewer
Open in Mirador IIIF viewer

'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎158v] (316/434)

This item is part of

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.


This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.

Apply page layout

him that in any event it would have been preferable for him to have informed
British authorities of his intention to visit Protectorate before visit took
Enclosure 21 to S. No. (1).
Letter from Secretary of State, Colonial Office, to Under Secretary
of State, Foreign Office, No. 78150/36, dated 19th November 1936.
I am directed by Mr. Secretary Ormsby Gore to refer to the letter from
this Department of the 7th November enclosing copies of correspondence
relating to the activities of Mr. Philby in the Aden Protectorate and to
transmit to you, for the information of Mr. Secretary Eden, a copy of a
further despatch and enclosure from the Resident at Aden.
2. Mr. Ormsby Gore is of opinion that the reports contained in this and
previous despatches, copies of which have been transmitted from time to
time to the Foreign Office, are sufficient indication that Mr. Philby did not
confine his activities in the Aden Protectorate to those of an ordinary travel
ler, but that in the course of his visit he persistently spread political propa
ganda in favour of the Saudi Government. Mr. Ormsby Gore further con
siders that the circumstances justify a strong protest being made to the Saudi
Government, and I am accordingly to request that, if Mr. Eden sees no ob
jection His Majesty’s Representative at Jedda be instructed to make repre
sentations on the following lines :—
(1) His Majesty’s Government consider that it was in any circumstances
impolitic and discourteous on the part of Mr. Philby to enter the Aden Pro
tectorate accompanied by Saudi personnel without first informing the Re
sident at Aden and seeking permission, and that in the present case, in which
the Saudi party which accompanied him was armed, his action was quite
unwarrantable. In spite of the Acting Resident’s request that he should
withdraw his party, he deliberately attempted to penetrate further into the
(2) It is apparent that Mr. Philby, in the course of his journeys in the
Protectorate sought to convince the people of the advantages which would
accrue to them if they were to come under the rule of the Saudi Government,
and even suggested that the Saudi Government would be prepared to render
assistance to them if it were asked for. He generally gave the impression
that parts of the Protectorate were a “ No Man’s Land ” which would one
day be absorbed into the Saudi Kingdom. In his statements concerning
the designs of the Wahabi King to construct a motor road from Mecca to the
Hadhramaut, he appears to have ignored the fact that before any such work
were undertaken it would first be necessary to consult the British Govern
ment, since a large part of the territory through which the road would pass
is under the protection of His Majesty.
(3) It is clear that Mr. Philby’s visits to certain of the local Sheikhs
were unsolicited and that his activities in their territories were regarded by
them as being an unwarrantable interference in their local affairs. More
over, the statements which he made appear to have given rise to a feeling
of apprehension amongst certain of the local Sheikhs that some arrangement
for the control of this area might have been reached, unknown to them, bet
ween His Maiesty’s Government and the Saudi Government. It appears
that this feeling was shared by the King of the Yemen. In view of the en
tirely false impression created by Mr. Philby it was found necessary to insert
a notice in the issue of the Protectorate Gazette for October to the effect
that no permission of any sort was accorded to Mr. Philby for his journey
into the Protectorate and that His Majesty’s Government lent no countenance
whatever to the statements he was reported to have made there.
(4) His Majesty’s Government feel that the attitude adopted by Mr.
Philby and the statements made by him during his visit to the Protectorate
are not in accord with the friendly relations existing between His Majesty’s
Government and the Saudi Government.

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
View the complete information for this record

Use and share this item

Share this item
Cite this item in your research

'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎158v] (316/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 February 2020]

Link to this item
Embed this item

Copy and paste the code below into your web page where you would like to embed the image.

<meta charset="utf-8"><a href="">'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [&lrm;158v] (316/434)</a>
<a href="">
	<img src="!280,240/0/default.jpg" alt="" />
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it. in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images

Use and reuse
Download this image