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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎208v] (416/434)

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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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of the belief that, if a serious revolt broke out in Transjordan, it would
attract the spontaneous participation of the Saudi tribes on the border, and
when once the movement had begun Ibn Saud would have to allow it to con
tinue or perhaps even to take part in it.
3. There is no doubt that at present Ibn Saud does not want anything
of the sort to happen. If he had not been really attached to the view which
he has professed on several occasions during the last eighteen months, viz.,
that his interests and those of His Majesty’s Government are identical, he
would hardly have acted as he has done in regard to Palestine. The import
ant question is how far he will continue to adhere to that view if there
is no radical change in the Palestine policy of His Majesty’s Government.
1 have recently recorded my opinion that he continues to support His
Majesty’s Government as far as he can because he cannot believe that in the
long run they will carry out a policy grossly unjust (from his point of view)
to the Arabs, and that his strong professions of friendship must not be
regarded as a blank cheque. He has recently pointed out that his help in
bringing about a restoration of order in Palestine so that the Royal Com
mission could carry out its work, and later in inducing the Palestine Arabs
to give evidence, resulted in disappointment for the Arabs, and has said
that while he is ready to assist in bringing about an atmosphere in which the
technical commission can begin its labours he cannot this time take the
initiative. In fact, he assisted His Majesty’s Government and the Arabs
got nothing out of it (again from their point of view, and his), and whereas
last time he gave his assistance because of his general belief in the “justice”
of His Majesty’s Government, he cannot afford to do that again. Of course,
it may be that His Majesty’s Government have no further need of his good
offices. I am not assuming that they are necessary to His Majesty’s Gov
ernment, but am merely using the history of Ibn Baud’s attitude on the point
to show that his position seems to have become more difficult
ru o aS seems . ^ V ident, the Palestine question has gradually forced
Ibn baud i^to a position where he cannot be as helpful as he would like to
be to His Majesty’s Government, can it be guaranteed that, if the situation
does not soon turn more to the advantage of the Arabs, he will not be obliged
to tecome I es s and less friendly ? I would not give any such guarantee, fnd
I thinlc it would be a mistake to trade too far upon his wish to maintain
the ^riendhest relations with His Majesty’s Government. What will con
stitute in Arab eyes a favourable turn is a difficult problem, but I fear that
no scheme which does not call a final halt to Jewish expansion in Palestine
in some way or other will have a chance of acceptance by the Arabs. I must
admit that I myself favoured partition as a solution even before the Roval
Commission began its work, as placing a limit on Jewish expansion in "the
most definite way Whether the suggested scheme of partition would have
aroused less hostility among the Arabs if the reservations made in the
despatch of the 23rd December, 1937, had appeared in the Statement of
1 diicy in July is an academic question, but of the strength of the hostility
now there is no doubt. The mam difficulty is perhaps the complete dm
belief which Arab spokesmen profess to have in the ability of His Maiesty’s
Government to keep the Jews within any limits which may be fixed Ibn
Saud does not go so far as to say that His Majesty’s Government are under
the thumb of the Jew, but he has expressed a vehement surprise at what
he considers the unnatural and, indeed, irreligious combination of the Jews
with His Majesty s Government And the religious factor has great in-
fluence with him, both because of his personal convictions and of his vulne
rabihty to criticism, both at home and abroad, on this score
5. These remarks have grown out of what may well seem the foolish
vapourings of a pan-Arab visionary of no influence. I do not share th^
view that the flight of six Saudi aeroplanes along the border would suffice
to cause a revolt m Transjordan, but the suggestion that a revolt in Tran,
Jordan might attract Saud, tribes and eventually win the acquiescence if
not the support of Ibn Saud, is not necessarily to be scouted forever because
we can scout it for the moment. ■ ause

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' [‎208v] (416/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 February 2020]

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