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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎204v] (408/434)

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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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message about the necessity for mutual comprehension of each other's diffi
culties by the two Governments. I asked His Majesty whether he had not
found, as he rose from being ruler of Riyadh to his present high position,
that at every stage the points of contact with the world increased and poli
tical questions became more complicated, and when the King said that this
was so, I asked whether he could not believe that the affairs of Great
Britain, coming as she did into touch with many countries which did not
concern Saudi Arabia seriously and having possessions all over the world,
were even more complicated than His Majesty’s. Ibn Saud pondered a
moment as though the matter had not struck him in that light before and
said that he agreed, and I hope that the argument helped to convince him
of the truth of my assurance, that it was not from failure to give careful
attention to his proposals that His Majesty’s Government had not been
able to decide upon a policy more satisfactory from his point of view.
13. The matters other than politics which were touched upon at the
interview are dealt with in my despatch No. 182, dated the 18th December.
Throughout the interview Ibn Saud showed the friendliness and desire to
co-operate with His Majesty’s Government which were shown during the
talks in March last when Mr. Rendel was here.
14. I am sending copies of this despatch to His Excellency the High
Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan, His Majesty’s Ambassadors
at Cairo and Bagdad, His Excellency the Governor of Aden and the Hon.
the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in 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. , Bushire.
Memo, from His Majesty’s Minister at Jedda, No. 218/271/'3, dated the
30th January 1938.
Presents his compliments to the Secretary to the Government of India
in the External Affairs Department, New Delhi, and has the honour to
transmit to him the undermentioned documents.
Description of Enclosure.
To Foreign Office, despatch No. 17 of 30th January 1938 and enclo
Law relating to converts to Islam.
Letter from H. M.’s Minister, Jedda, to the. Foreign Office, London,
No. 17 (217/271/3), dated the 30th January 1938.
I have the honour to transmit herewith a translation of a law which
appeared in the “Umm-al-Qura” of January 21st, 1938, prescribing the
formalities to be fulfilled by any recent convert to Islam who wishes to visit
either Mecca or Medina. There is to be set up a religious committee in
Jedda with authority to examine such persons and any documents which
they may produce in support of their claims, and to issue a decree, where the
conversion is adjudged to be genuine, which will authorise the convert to
proceed to the Holy Cities.
2. As you are aware, there have been several cases during the last few
years where persons claiming to have been converted to Islam have been
detained in Jedda for considerable periods while their claims were being
examined, and at least one case, that of Mrs. Sterling, an American lady
(Jedda Report for February 1936 paragraph 76) permission to proceed to
Mecca was eventually refused. Article 4 of the law reserves to the Saudi
Arabian Government “the absolute right to refuse permission to enter the
two sanctuaries to any person suspected of political, military or other
[ulteiior] aims”, and even were this provision wanting, no religious com
mittee would issue a decree involving authorisation to enter Mecca without

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' [‎204v] (408/434), 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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