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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎187r] (373/434)

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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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Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter No. P. Z. 6118/37, dated the
14th September 1937.
Received on 3rd October 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 37, dated the
1st September 1937.
Letter from Foreign Office, London, to the Secretary, Chiefs of
Staff Sub-Committee, Committee of Imperial Defence, No. E.
5126/22/31, dated the 13th September 1937.
I am directed by Mr. Neville Chamberlain to transmit to you the ac
companying copies of two letters addressed by this department to the Colonial
Office on the 12th August, together with copies of the two telegrams from
Sir Reader Bullard referred to therein, in regard to the claim of King Ibn
Saud to Aqaba and Maan and to a corridor from Saudi Arabia through Trans
jordan territory to Syria.
2. Mr. Chamberlain will be grateful if the strategic aspects of these
demands may be considered by the Chiefs of Staff Sub-Committee and if
he may be furnished with a report thereon at their early convenience.
Enclosure in Admiralty covering letter No. P. Z. 6170/37, dated the 16th
September 1937.
Enclosure in Air Mail letter No. 38, dated the 22nd September 1937, from
Secretary. Political and Secret Department, 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. .
Letter from Admiralty, London, to Foreign Office, S. W. 1, No. M. O.
4444/37, dated the 16th September 1937.
With reference to your letters Nos. E. 4458/22/31 and E. 5126/22/31, dated
the 12th August and 14th September 1937, respectively, enclosing copies
of correspondence concerning the claim of King Ibn Saud to Aqaba and
Maan, I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to
acquaint you, for the information of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,
that they concur in the action that has been taken to refer the strategic
aspects of the matter referred to therein to the Chiefs of Staff Sub-Committee
of the Committee of Imperial Defence for consideration. So far as the Ad
miralty are concerned, no strategical interests of any importance are in
volved in the Gulf of Aqaba, and My Lords see no reason for a Mandated
enclave in the area.
2. With regard to the question of establishing a satisfactory anchorage
of the section of coast lying between the existing town of Aqaba and the
Egyptian frontier, I am to inform you that the head of the Gulf of Aqaba is
subject to occasional very strong south-south-westerly winds which raise a
heavy sea, and that there is no protected port at Aqaba, which is an open
3. There is, however, anchorage water at the north-w r est side of the head
of the Gulf, and it would be possible to build a breakwater for protection
from southerly winds and to make a port there between Aqaba and the
Egyptian Frontier which could form a port of outlet to the Red Sea for the
Arab and Jewish States in the event of Aqaba being ceded to Ibn Saud. A
copy of Chart No. 3595, showing the anchorage and breakwater proposed,
is attached.
Copies of this letter, without enclosure, have been sent to the War Office,
Air Ministry, Treasury, Colonial Office, 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 the Secretary of the
Middle East Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence.
69(C) ExAffairsDept.

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' [‎187r] (373/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 February 2020]

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