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' [‎162v] (324/434)

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

( 12 )
(Received on 8th February 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 3, dated
21st January, 1937.)
Letter from the Admiralty, London, to the Under Secretary of State,
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. , No. M. 05702/36, dated 12th January 1937.
I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to trans
mit for the information of the Secretary of State for India in Council an ex
tract from a report of proceedings of H. M. S. Danae during passage from
Ports-mouth to Singapore from the 25th August to 28th October, 1936.
Enclosure 1 to S. No. (12).
* * * *
17. Although the now famous Maffey Report found there was little to
fear from an occupation of Abyssinia by Italy, the view of Europeans, Arabs
and Somalis in the Red Sea area appears to be that the conflict between
Italy and Great Britain i? all but certain to break out within the next few
years. They only differ on the subject of time : when it will become impossi
ble for Great Britain to acquiesce further in their lines of communications
to Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean and their territories in Africa and
Arabia being threatened by the Black Army of Italy. In 1935 Italy pre
pared for a war against the Abyssinians, they say ; in 1939 or 1940 she will
prepare for a war against British territories, possibly when Britain is already
engaged in the Far East or in Europe.
18. Points of interest which arose in conversations may be summarised
as follows :—
(a) Although the King of the Yemen is anti-Italian, he is old. His
Prime Minister is strongly pro-Italian and the King’s son is
being educated at Asmara by the Italians.
(b) A great deal of pro-Italian propaganda is going on in the Yemen
and considerable sums of money are being spent by the Italians
in this territory.
(c) Tw r o Battalions of Yemen troops have been formed as part of the
Italian Army of Abyssinia.
(d) A number of Somali Battalions are also being formed. Recruits
are being paid 300 lira a month. It is reported that
this pay is attracting even British Somali seamen: out of
45 told recently to report only 2 came forward.
(e) Imports into Abyssinia are being confined to Italian products
and manufactures. British goods are being refused entry.
The economic position of Italy and her Colonies makes such
action necessary.
(f) The Italian troops are discontented and the majority are to be
repatriated. The future Italian Army in Abyssinia is to con
sist of 40,000 Italian and 160,000 black troops. With this
Army it is not thought that Italy will find it difficult to sub
jugate the country. Their ‘ frightfulness ’ against the black
population is likely, as in Libya, to have the desired effect.
(g) Great Britain has ‘ lost face ’ greatly in the whole native area
of North East Africa and Arabia. The people are not interested
in -what is said, but in what happens, and Italy has seized
Abyssinia despite the opposition of Great Britain.
19. The view appears to be held generally that Great Britain is only
too prone to believe the unfriendly actions and statements of a foreign power
to be bluff. That the policy of Italy in the Red Sea is definitely aimed at
damaging the strategic position of Great Britain. That in a war with Italy

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' [‎162v] (324/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 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;162v] (324/434)</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