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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎201v] (402/434)

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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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their political opinions but asked whether the crimes for which they were
hanging and imprisoning Arabs would have been committed if it had not
been for the policy of His Majesty’s Government. I know a reply of a
kind to this question but none that will convince Ibn Saud or any other
4. Despatch by bag today.
Addressed to Foreign Office telegram No. 5 of January 5th; repeated to
Cairo telegram No. 1, Baghdad telegram No. 1, Jerusalem telegram No. 1.
( 8 )
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated the 18th January 1938.
Letter from Sir R. Bullard, to Mr. Eden.—(Received December 29),
(No. 177), dated the 29th December 1937.
Jedda, December 7, 1937.
It appears that certain Arabic newspapers in Egypt published a tale,
which has been reproduced in the Syrian and Iraqi press, alleging that Ibn
Saud, out of deference to the feelings of Great Britain, had refused to
allow a general Arab congress to be held in Mecca, and that if he persisted in
this refusal a congress would probably be held in some other Arab country.
I have the honour to inform you that the TJmm-al-Qura of the 3rd December
denies this report in an article, which is to the following effect: —
2 . This report is entirely without foundation. No application for such
a congress was ever made by any person or body of persons. It would not
be unreasonable to say that such an application was made and rejected
(though, in fact, nothing of the kind happened), but it is fantastic to sug
gest that the application could be rejected out of deference to the wishes
of the British. The rumour must have been intended to discourage and
divide the Arabs at the very moment when they feel the need for concord
and unity. Its author must know that the Government of His Majesty is
not a negligible force and that the person of His Majesty is the cen tre of
the circle of Arab countries and the symbol of Arab aims, and L1R5T conse^~
quently the dissemination of false news about Flis Majesty must profit the
enemies of the Arabs and of Islam. Every keen Arab and Moslem should
know the truth, that the King is not moved by caprice or covetousness; he is
the man of the Arabs, conscious of his racial and religious duty and devoting
himself and his possessions to the promotion of the truth and the faith. He
does not like self-advertisement or propaganda. He never embarks upon
any matter affecting the interests of Arabs or Moslem interests unless he is
sure that he will not have to draw back unsuccessful. He has experience
of the world and knows the harm of futile demonstrations. The Govern
ment and the people of Saudi Arabia naturally attach the greatest import
ance to the Palestine question, not from any personal ambition but because
it is an Arab and a Moslem question. It is fitting that an Arab Shara'
Moslem Government and a country where the divine inspiration was reveal
ed and Islam originated should take anxious thought for all matters affect
ing the Arabs and the Moslems in all the territories which they inhabit.
On the other hand it is fitting that the country which contains the two Holy
Sanctuaries and is based on piety and divine worship alone should be left to
itself in such matters and safeguarded from suspicion, so that the will of
God alone may be done.
3 . I am sending copies of this despatch to His Excellency the High Com
missioner for Palestine (No. 1728/384/476) and His Majesty’s representa
tives at Cairo and Bagdad (Nos. 1729/384/476 and 1730/384/476)

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' [‎201v] (402/434), 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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