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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎189v] (378/434)

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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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I am inclined to recommend that however mischievous the Waziris can
be it would be politic to continue to keep them at a distance particularly as
there is now little doubt that the Crown Prince will succeed his father. His
reign may be a short one and a disastrous one but he may find time to twist
the tails of the Wazirs before he lays down the reins of office or is bumped off
the throne. If he cannot do so and if the Wazirs prove too strong for him
there will be time enough to reconsider our policy in regard to them. I
have not yet been able to determine what attaches the Wazirs have with the
Italians but I believe that they would come on bended knee to the Aden
Government before they approached the Italians seriously. However this
country is a peculiar one and it is dangerous to anticipate events.
I have heard little or nothing on my present visit regarding Seyyid
Abdullah’s bid for the Imamate. His relations with the Crown Prince are
as bad as ever and I do not think that there is any chance of improvement.
The Crown Prince is well aware of the Wazir’s aspirations and his watch on
them is relentless as it is menacing.
(e) Seyyid Ali ihn el Wazir. —The Governor of Taiz requested me to
return via Taiz on my way back to Aden as he wanted to speak to me con
fidentially. This I promised to do. (As the overland route was flooded I
could not return via Taiz.)
14. The Army. —It is reliably reported that the King is endeavouring
to introduce a system of conscription in this country.
His idea is to institute a period of four months with the colours and that
on the expiry of this period the trained reservists will be released but not
before fresh batches arrive in San’a to replace them. So far the experiment
has not proved successful as only about 1,600 tribesmen have been enrolled.
I understand the tribes are suspicious and fear that once their tribesmen
have been enrolled they will not be released. The powerful Hashid tribe
has so far stood out against any form of conscription and the King is negotiat
ing with them now.
15. For the training of the conscripts the King has engaged the services
of Hassan Tahsin Pasha who claims to have been G. O. C. of the Hejazi troops
in Jedda during the Saudi-Hejazi war. The Pasha called on me during my
present visit. He claims to have been a divisional commander in the Turkish
Army during the war and says he is 58 years of age. He is either older than
he claims to be or was not a divisional commander during the Great War.
In any event he is full of enthusiasm about his task and states that he has
excellent material in the Zeidi tribesmen for whom the conscription system
has been introduced. I did not like to damp his ardour but I fear he has a
heart breaking task.
Enclosure in Colonial Office letter No. P. Z. 6555/37, dated the 4th October
Received on 23rd October 1937 with Political Secretary's letter No. 40, dated
the 7th October 1937.
Letter from Governor, Aden, to His Majesty’s Principal Secretary
of State for the Colonies, Downing Street, S. W. 1, dated the
7th September 1937.
I have the honour to transmit herewith, for your information, a record
of Mr. Salih Jafar, British Political Clerk Hodeida’s conversations with
certain Yemeni officials on his return journey to Hodeida from Aden via
Taiz, Haiss and Zabid on August 6th to 9th.

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' [‎189v] (378/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 February 2020]

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