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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎174r] (347/434)

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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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this should tend to deter other nations from disturbing the peace of the world
and should therefore be of advantage to His Majesty, it made it more difficult
than it would otherwise have been to give His Majesty direct assistance in
matters of aviation. Nevertheless, if His Majesty would make specific
suggestions, they would be examined most carefully and sympathetically.
12. The subject was again referred to at a later meeting the same day.
Mr. Rendel repeated his warning about the peculiar difficulties created by the
pre-occupation of His Majesty’s Government with their scheme of rearmament,
and spoke of the necessity for co-ordination of skilled men with suitable
machines if time and money spent on training and equipment were not to be
wasted, and of the possibility that Saudi Arabia, having a very small urban
popidation among which to find men with a suitable preliminary training in
mechanical work, &c., might find it more difficult than,, Egypt, to pro
duce suitable candidates for aviation work. Sir Reader Bullard suggested
that, whereas it might suit the Italians to undertake the training of any
number of Saudis because of the political effect it might be expected to have.
His Majesty’s Government would be reluctant to embark on any scheme that
would not have a reasonable chance of success. He also asked the King what
^ His Majesty thought would be the effect upon the Italians of any close rela
tionship between His Majesty’s Government and Saudi Arabia in matters of
aviation. Was there any reason to think that this might encourage them to
seek to extend their influence elsewhere, e.g., in the Yemen ? It was true
that the Italians had themse’ves wished to identify themselves closely with
Saudi Arabia in aviation affairs, but how far was that merely a phase of the
war with Ethiopia and their hostility to His Majesty’s Government on that
point ? The King said that the Italians still wished to be allowed to develop
Saudi aviation, and implied that he didn’t care what they thought. He
added bitterly that the pilots trained in Italy were no good. At one point
in the conversation the King said that if Iraq shook itself free of Turkish
influence he would not mind having some Iraqis to help in aviation later on.
13. It was arranged that Sheikh Yusuf Yasin should prepare for His
Majesty’s Minister a note of the Saudi requirements in aviation matters. This
note, Ibn Saud was assured, would receive the most careful attention.
Third Interview, March 21.
14. The King said that he wanted to speak about his future in relation to
His Majesty’s Government. He began with a long and rather pointless
account of the negotiations for the Saudi-Iraq Treaty of Friendship and
Alliance. In so far as it has a point it was intended to show the Iraqis as
rather slippery customers. At Riyadh, said the King, Naji-al-Asil suggested
to Ibn Saud that Iraq should deal with His Majesty’s Government in the
matter of Palestine on behalf of Ibn Saud, and that Ibn Saud should deal
with the Imam about his adhesion to the Saudi-Iraq Treaty. Ibn Saud
had expressed surprise at this request, and had said that both States must
^ act together in both matters. He spoke of what appeared to be a similar
attempt to side-track him in the matter of securing the adhesion of the Imam
to the treaty. He then spoke of the surprise he had felt at the Iraqis wanting
to insert in the treaty a reference to the League of Nations, of which Saudi
Arabia was not a member, and added that the Imam would never consent to
sign anything in which there was a reference to the League. Mr. Rendel
explained that members of the League could not assume any obligation which
might be incompatible with their existing obligations under the Convenant,
and that they were therefore bound to make a reservation to that effect in
any treaty involving military assistance, &c. Moreover, Iraq was also bound
by the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of Alliance, which, as His Majesty’s Government
had pointed out to the Iraqi Government, involved a similar reservation on
the part of Iraq. Mr. Rendel said that, of course, such a reservation would
not affect a party not a member of the League, and that consequently neither
Saudi Arabia nor the Yemen would be affected by such a reservation on the
part of Iraq.
15. The King then said that he had often been asked whether th^
States of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. could not adhere to the Saudi-L
65.Cl ExAffahsDept

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' [‎174r] (347/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 February 2020]

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