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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎161r] (321/434)

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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 to letter No. 283, dated 2nd November 1936.
Brief Summary of a Statement made by Sheikh Yusuf Yasin to His Majesty's
Minister on October 5, 1936.
FRIENDSHIP with His Majesty’s Government had long been the basis of
Ibn Sand’s foreign policy. He had been in relations with them since the early
days of his career and was grateful for their support. In particular, he was
grateful for the help they gave him at a moment when the Turks were about to
attack him. They asked the Turks to give them a few months’ notice before
the beginning of hostilities, so that British subjects and their property might
be removed from Nejd, and, in the interval, he was able to come to terms with
the Turks. Ibn Saud now saw danger in three quarters : near, farther off,
and remote, viz., Italy, Turkey and Germany. (N.B.—Germany was not
mentioned again.) The Italians had been the last to recognise Saudi Arabia,
and their conduct in regard to Asir and the Yemen had been very suspicious,
but at the time of the Ethiopian dispute there had been a complete revolu
tion in their policy towards Saudi-Arabia. Italy had recently wished to give
Ibn Saud arms and munitions to the value of perhaps £1 million. He had
not wanted to accept, but, to avoid giving offence, he had accepted a few
aeroplanes. He had informed Sir Andrew Ryan, and had asked whether
His Majesty’s Government could give him assurances. He regretted that
they had not been able to do more than refer him to the Rome understanding
of 1927.
The Turks were ancient enemies of the Arabs, and resented the rise to
Independence and importance of people whom they regarded as savages.
It was fear of the Turks that had impelled him to initiate the^negotiations that
had ended with the treaty with Iraq. (Here Sheikh Yusuf Yasin made
a brief but very cordial reference to Iraq.)
Difficulties with Transjordan arose from time to time (Sheikh Yusuf
hinted that these were due to the incurable levity of character of the Amir
Abdullah) but Ibn Saud did not want trouble there. He had always been
conciliatory, and he trusted that with the help of His Majesty’s Government
such difficulties as arose would always be settled satisfactorily. As to Syria,
Ibn Saud had made a point of keeping on good terms with the French.
In regard to Palestine, Ibn Saud had no other aim than to see peace re-estab
lished between two parties, both of whom were his friends.
The statement ended with conventional but strong assurances of friend
(Received on 30th January 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 2, dated
14th, January 1937.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter No. E.-8002-7186-25, dated 5th
January 1937.
Letter from British Legation, Jedda, to the Right Hon’ble Anthony
Eden, No. 315, dated 7th December 1936.
Colonel Etherton and Lt.-Col. Micklem, about whom I had the honour
to receive your instructions conveyed in Foreign Office telegram No. 129,
dated 19th November, left yesterday for the Sudan, whence they
proposed to return to London by air. They have not secured the mining
concession which was the object of their journey. From other sources I
gather that the Saudi Arabian Mining Syndicate Ltd. succeeded in preventing
the grant of the concession to Selection Trust Ltd., though it does not
appear that the Syndicate have obtained it for themselves. Lt. Col. Mick
lem speaks of the last Saudi offer as being still open, but professes to be dis
illusioned as to the value of the concession and to hope that his Board will
not close with the offer. One of his objections is that the area concerned

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' [‎161r] (321/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 February 2020]

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