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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎161v] (322/434)

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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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begins over two hundred miles from the Red Sea Coast and that transport
difficulties would therefore be very great. The area is apparently the one
which lies just beyond the Syndicate’s eastern boundary and which is coveted
by the Syndicate as a valuable supplement to the concession they already
2 . The negotiators seem to have found the Saudi authorities lukewarm,
presumably because of the other bidders. There was no official of standing
within reach, and they had to negotiate through the Director of Public Works
in Jedda, Najib Salha, who only a few years ago was a clerk in the employ
of Messrs. Gellatly Hankey here. Towards the end of their stay, however,
they at least had the satisfaction of a long interview with Fuad Bey, who had
by then returned from abroad and from his subsequent visit to Mecca.
3. As your telegram did not reach me until the afternoon of November
20th and Colonel Etherton was due the next day, I assumed that he was arriv
ing by aeroplane in any case and that what was required was merely a noti
fication to the local authorities. The notification was given, but Colonel
Etherton had been trying in Cairo to get permission from the Saudi Govern
ment for the aeroplane to land in Jedda, and failing to get permission he and
his companion flew to Port Sudan and crossed by steamer, arriving at Jedda
several days later than if they had travelled from Egypt by sea. Colonel
Etherton also failed, in spite of an appeal he made to Fuad Bey, to get per
mission for the aeroplane to come to Jedda to fetch him and Col. Micklem and,
they crossed to the Sudan and proceeded by air from there. I knew of
their difficulty in this matter, but believing that if a company which was a
possible source of income to Ibn Saud could not by its own efforts obtain
permission for an aeroplane to land here, support from the Legation would
almost certainly be ineffective and that in any case, since the Saudi authorities
are not likely to make this privilege general, intervention on this occasion
might be a cause of embarrassment if similar applications should be received
in future. The question however calls for examination, and I am studying
4. A copy of this despatch is being sent to the Department of Overseas
( 10 )
{Received on 8th February 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 3, dated
21st January 1937.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated 12th January 1937.
Letter from British Legation, Jedda, to the Right Hon’ble Anthony
Eden, No. 314, dated 6th December 1936.
With reference to Sir Andrew Ryan’s despatch No. 156 (1447/132/14)
dated 26th May 1933, regarding the distribution of wireless stations in Saudi
Arabia, and to subsequent despatches on the same subject ending with Mr.
Calvert’s No. 210 (1734/157/9), dated 22nd July 1933, I have the honour
to inform you that according to a report published in the “ Saut al Hejaz ”
on November 17th, two new wireless stations which are entirely unaffected
by atmospherics have been erected at Riyadh and Abha. The report adds
that the Saudi Government are endeavouring to obtain a number of other
sets of this type for erection in various places.
2. The only other information on this point that J have been able to
obtain has been furnished by representative of the firm of Sharqieh Ltd.
who state that Messrs. Marconi did not supply these new sets. They also
gave a piece of information which was new to the Legation, viz., that a German
interested in wireless installation visited Jedda last spring and is believed
to have disposed of at least one set here—a set mainly designed for
reception but able to transmit up to short distances useful for local purposes.

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' [‎161v] (322/434), 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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