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'File 8/15 Arab Series - 1933-1939' [‎209r] (417/434)

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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. Copies of this despatch and of its enclosure are being sent to His
Majesty’s Ambassador at Cairo, His Majesty’s Ambassador at Bagdad,
and His excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine and Transjordan,
Extract from a Note on a Conversation with M. Naidyonojf.
The pilot, Ciccu, is ignored by the Saudi pilots, who do not even say.
good-morning to him (? on orders from the King). When Naidyonoff
asks them why this rudeness they indicate that they don’t want any Italians.
But one form of insult is no longer inflicted on Ciccu : he used to have to
walk to the aerodrome, but Abdullah Sulaiman (Minister of Finance and
Director of Defence) has now supplied him with a car. The only person
who is friendly to Ciccu is Said-al-Kurdi, who is learning Italian from
him, because, he says, it is bound to be useful in the next, war, whichever
side Saudi Arabia is on.
Said-al-Kurdi is the only person who has a glimmering of understand
ing of aviation, its uses, needs, limitations, etc. Abdullah Sulaiman is
hopeless, but Kurdi listens, and also learns from experience.
Kurdi is always telling Naidyonoff that if only the Saudi aeroplanes
could fl} along the Transjordan frontier, so that the tribes there could see
that the Saudis had an air force, there would be an immediate rising in
Transjordan, which would spread to Palestine, and the Saudi tribes would
take part. Naidyonoff asked Kurdi whether this was Ibn Saud’s policy.
Kurdi said no, but if the movement started he would not stop it, but would
have to back it up.
Kurdi is very unpopular, but he is a single-minded fanatic on this
subject and the young people listen to him. There is a tremendous amount
of propaganda of this kind going on, designed to show that times are very
difficult for His Majesty’s Government and that the opportunity should not
be lost. Naidyonoff said that we ought to watch “night and day” in Trans
( 21 )
(Received on the 9th April 1938, with Political Secretary's letter No. 12,
dated the 2Mh March 1938.)
Enclosure in Foreign Office covering letter, dated the 17th March 1938.
Cypher telegram from Sir R. Bullard (Jedda), No. 63, dated the 11th
March 1938.
My despatch No. 181 of December 18th.
Ibn Baud sent word a few days ago that he had been obliged to accept
Italian present of arms and that these would be received shortly. Accord
ing to Euad consignment would consist of guns and specimens of various
weapons, e.g., rifles and what are perhaps sub-machine guns with three
Italians to explain their use. If specimens are satisfactory orders may
be passed. The message was accompanied by an assurance from the King
that no material advantage would ever affect his friendship for His
Majesty’s Government. I said His Majesty’s Government knew that and
referred to my comments of December 18th and said that these had been
approved by His Majesty’s Government.
2. Consignment landed March 9th.
I88(S) ExASairsDept.

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' [‎209r] (417/434), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/310, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 12 November 2019]

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