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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎166r] (331/434)

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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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an extension of the area of the Saudi-Arabian Mining Syndicate’s present
concession. It may be presumed that the new area is that for which Colonel
Etherton and Colonel Micklem unsuccessfully sought a mining concession last
month (see my despatch No. 315 of the 7th December), an area in which may
lie the legendary Najadeh gold mine, of which mention has been made in pre
vious reports, and the promising Jebel Hilit district, which lies just outside
the limits of the present concessionary area of the syndicate. My
informant said that, as part of the price of a new concession, Mr. Twitched
was prepared to offer to build a first-class motor road from Riyadh to the
Hejaz for which undertaking the syndicate already have the necessary road
making machinery in the country.
3. It is now possible to confirm that the Saudi Arabian Mining Syndicate
made a loan, of an unknown amount, to the Saudi Arab Government during
the summer of 1936, as reported in Jedda despatch No. 268 of the 12th Sep
tember last. A member of the syndicate’s staff recently stated that the Saudi
Arab Government were finding it difficult to fulfil the condition to liquidate
this loan in monthly payments.
4. Copies of this despatch are being sent to the Department of Overseas
Trade and Transjordan.
( 18 )
{Received on 6th March 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 7, dated 18th
February 1937.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter dated 16th February 1937.
Letter from Foreign Office, London, to Under Secretary of State
Colonial Office, No. E. 7835/2617/91, dated 15 th February 1937. ’
With reference to Conclusion (e) of the 48th meeting of the Middle East
(Official) Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence, held on the
14th December 1936, by which the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office
are invited to pursue the question of British Consular representation in the
Yemen, I am directed by Viscount Halifax to state that, as the result of a
careful examination of this proposal in the Foreign Office, a number of serious
objections have become apparent.
2 . In the first place, were the King of the Yemen to admit British Consular
representation he would not be able to refuse the same treatment to the Italian
Government. It seems more than probable that the result would be a race
in which each Government would strive to outstrip the other in the size and
influence of its Consular establishments, and that His Majesty’s Government
would either have to meet the expense involved in maintaining a more im
posing establishment than the Italian Government or stand by and see the
Italian Government acquire precisely that position which it is desired to pre
vent them from acquiring. ^
3. But in any case the recent refusal of the Imam as reported by His
Majesty’s Ambassador at Bagdad in his despatch No. 616 of the 31st December
last (a copy of which was sent to you in the Foreign Office letter E-362 / 34/93
of the 4th February), to consent to the establishment of an Iraqi Diplomatic
Mission either at Hodeida or Sanaa suggests that it is most unlikely that
he would agree to the establishment in his country of British Consular offices
Even if he were to give his consent, it would probably be long before a Consul’
on whose doings a fierce light would from the start be directed, could live
down the suspicion with which he would be regarded and evolve an alternative
system of intelligence and reporting of equal efficiency to that by means
of which the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. at Aden at present obtains information regardino-
events in the Yemen. ° A °
4. In the second place the establishment of Consular representation in
the \ emen presents difficulties from an administrative point of view, since
the climate and living conditions are such that special conditions of service
55(C) ExAffairaDept.

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' [‎166r] (331/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 February 2020]

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