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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎167r] (333/434)

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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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and naval circles about the obvious strategic advantages which Italy
might obtain if she secured a foothold in the Yemen. It was no doubt
unnecessary to attach excessive importance to such remarks, but this kind of
talk had unquestionably created a great deal of uneasiness in certain quarters.
5. Signor Crolla said that any such uneasiness was entirely unjustified.
Italy had her hands more than full in Abyssinia, and the last thing she wanted
was an Arabian adventure. In any case, her policy was to adhere firmly to
the undertakings of the Rome understanding of 1927, and he wished to give
a formal and categorical assurance to this effect. The Italian Government for
their part had, he repeated, certainly felt some uneasiness at Captain Seager’s
journey. There had been reports to the effect that he had discussed with
the Imam the possible cession or lease of certain points on the Red Sea Coast.
These rumours, though' they were unconfirmed, had given rise to much sus
picion as to the attitude of His Majesty’s Government. Signor Crolla was
told that these stories were entirely ridiculous. It was just as much to
the interest of His Majesty’s Government as to that of Italy to adhere strictly
to the undertakings contained in the Rome understanding. The last thing
which His Majesty’s Government could have contemplated was to have
attempted, in violation of those undertakings, to obtain any cession or lease
of bhis sort from the Imam, even if there had been any prospect of the Imam
considering such suggestions. In any case. Signor Crolla could regard what
was being said to him as a formal assurance that nothing of the sort had ever
been contemplated, and that such action would be entirely contrary to the
basic principles of the policy of His Majesty’s Government in Arabia,
which were the strict maintenance of the independence and integrity of the
two Arabian States, that is to say of Saudi Arabia and the Yemen. Signor
Crolla, after expressing appreciation of this assurance, said that he felt that
the detente in Anglo-Italian relations ought to be extended to the middle
East as well, and that he w r ould like to see the Rome understanding of 1927
developed. He was given no encouragement to pursue this line, but he went
on to explain that the Italian Government attached importance to the
observance of the provisions in the Rome understanding for Anglo-Italian
6 . I am sending copies of this despatch to His Majesty’s Representatives
at Cairo and Jedda.
( 20 )
(Received on 10th April 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 12, dated
23rd March 1937.)
Enclosure in Colonial Office covering letter dated 22nd March 1937.
Letter from 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. , London, to the Under Secretary of State,
Foreign Office, No. 78193/37, dated 10th March 1937.
I am directed by Mr. Secretary Ormsby Gore to acknowledge the
receipt of your letter No. E 7835/2617/91 of the 15th February [S. No. (18)]
regarding the question of British J Consular representation in the Yemen,
and to request you to inform Mr. Secretary Eden that, in view of the objec
tions therein raised, Mr. Ormsby Gore feels that he must accept the view
that the proposal should not be pursued for the time being.
2 . I am to add, however, that the additional duties cast on the adminis
trative staff at Aden by the continuance of the present arrangements for com
munication with the Yemen afford further justification for the permanent
addition to that staff of the officer whose appointment is now under considera
3. Copies of this letter are being sent to the Admiralty, War Office,
Air Ministry, 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. and Treasury.

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' [‎167r] (333/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 February 2020]

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