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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎188r] (375/434)

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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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6 . The King is fit enough but looks tired : he has aged a lot since I saw
him in October last. He is in full possession of his faculties and still attends
to the minutest affairs of State. It would be useful to cite an example of
this. During my audience on July 17th last we were interrupted by the
entrance of the Prime Minister who sought authority to order an official car
from the State garage for the King’s 13th son. This authority was granted
and he was told to address a note in this sense to the Director of Motor Trans
port. The King suspended our audience while he watched Qadhi Abdullah
draft the note : when it was completed he was shown the draft which he
slightly amended, initialled, and, as is usual in this country, throw on to the
floor for action.
7. The Wazir family are still an element to be considered in the matter
of the succession but as the Crown Prince increases his influence and makes
his position felt in the Zeidi highlands—and there is no doubt that he is doing
so—so much must the Wazir star wane. Seyyid Ah ibn El Wazir, the Go
vernor of Taiz district has not been in the Zeidi highlands for 14 years and
is naturally out of touch with the highlander whose memory is always a short
one. Seyyid Abdullah ibn El Wazir, Governor of Hodeidah, in his turn
spends most of his time in the Tihama and also lacks contact with the Zeidi
element who prefer faces and deeds, however unwelcome, to memories and
past exploits. Seyyid Muhammad ibn El Wazir, Governor of Dhamar, is a
fine looking Governor but little political importance can be attached to him.
I believe the Wazirs fancy that they have much more influence with the
Shafei tribes than they actually do in fact. The Governor of Taiz, for
instance, once told me that he was perfectly well assured of his Shafeis’ loyalty
but I begin to doubt it now. In any event when the present King dies I do
not doubt that the Yemeni Shafei tribes on the Taiz border will be restive
and give us trouble whether or not the present Governor of Taiz directs their
movements into deliberate aggression against our tribesmen.
8 . Italian Activities in the Yemen .—I have no fresh information to re
port regarding Italian activities in this country. Doctor E. Dubbiosi, the
organising head of Italian activities in this country, returned from leave only
three days ago. During his absence, Doctor Ferri, who left the country
about a month ago, and Doctor Cicconi, an alleged high jumper of interna
tional repute some years ago, who was in private practice at Trinidad two
years ago, acted for him. In this interim period they appear to have been
content to act merely as paymasters to their agents in this country. It is
unfortunate that I must leave San’a shortly as Doctor Dubbiosi has doubtless
arrived with fresh instructions and it would have been interesting to observe
whether any new form of renewed activities were envisaged.
9. Doctor Cicconi, who speaks English quite well, told Petrie that he
anticipates trouble with Dubbiosi as the latter is a reserved taciturn creature
strictly opposed to any form of social activity ; and Cicconi is a man about
town who likes his innocent little parties and recreations.
10. The Italian colony in the Yemen now numbers eleven souls. They
are :—
(а) Doctor E. Dubbiosi .
(б) Doctor Cicconi .
(c) Signor Kiccuci and wife
(d) Signor dementi and wife •
(e) Signor Chapressi , .
(/) Signor Fausto . »
((?) Signor Nevio Gione , •
(h) Signor Murucci . .
. Chief Italian doctor in the Yemen.
Italian Surgeon San’a.
. Clerk to Doctor Dubbiosi and undoubtedly his
right hand man in political work. On Petrie’s
authority I have it that he has nothing to do
with the medical work. He lives in one of
the most secluded parts in San’a in a house
which would be an ideal centre for the visits
ot agents. He is a native of Florence where
his family own vineyards. In age he is about
50, speaks Arabic and indifferent French :
has worked for years in Mogadiscio.
. Messrs. Lazzerinis’ agent in San’a. His wife
who is a Swiss speaks perfect English and has
spent six years in the United Kingdom.
. Senior Italian engineer in The Yemeni Govern
ment workshops in San’a.
. Second Italian engineer in The Yemeni Gov
ernment workshops in San’a.
. Italian doctor in Taiz : recently replaced Doctor
. Italian doctor in Hodeida.

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' [‎188r] (375/434), 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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