'11/5 Negotiations with Ibn Saud regarding Boundaries of Saudi Arabia' [61r] (121/430)
The record is made up of 1 file (212 folios). It was created in Mar 1944-4 Sep 1949. It was written in English. 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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FC^SBiaiT OF^C^, o/./.l.
22nd lukpch, 1947 *
In recoct montde ttx. question of the frontier between
Saudi Arabia and Qatar baa come up here In connexion with
the activities of Petrcletm Qonoesslons Limited in ^etar and
the Arabian American Oil Company in >audl Arabia f and you should
know what has been happening*
2* At one of a eeriea of meetings In London in November
1946 between united States State Department Aepresen ta wives and
the Einletry of ^uei anti Power on oil natters generally, at
which the Foreign office was also represented, the daudi—^atar
Boundary question was raised by the Americans who felt that it
was desirable, if possible, to avoid difficult political
Issues being raised as a result of the activities of the oil
companies in the "no man's land" at the base of the Qatar
Peninsula# The iiinistry of Fuel and Power suggested that the
British and American Departments concerned should find out from
their respective oil comphnie* rhat their development plane in
the disputed area were likely to be and this was agreed upon#
jubaequently, and rather over our heads - although the idea had
been mooted, we had not agreed to it nor had the 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. -
the Ministry of Fuel and Power took up .i th their United atates
opposite numbers, before their return to the United atates, a
suggestion of their own that the Anericar and British Departments
should make a private agreement with their respective oil
companies not to operate in the disputed area at the neck of the
}atar snlnsuXa except with the approval of the two Governments#
3# The grave objection^to all this from the Foreign
Office view point is, of course, that if Ibn duua hears that
we, at an official level, have been discussing with the
Americans what he regards as hia territory he will be very
annoyed as he was in 1938 when a somewhat similar misunderstand!!*
arose with him over Qatar (Bastem (Arabia) print: L.2203/2203/25
of the 3Cth Junti, 1940, paragraph 58 } •
4. .Ve have warned the Ministry of Fuel and Power and the
Smbassy in Washington of the dangers involved but, of course, the
damage may have been done# .IS learn that the btate Department
did pass the suggestion on to at&i.tco who however quite naturally
took the line that they felt entitled to proceed with
exploration or development they might wish in territories which
Ibn iaud regarded as belonging to him# V.hat ?/e are afraid
of i^ that Aremco may now go and say a one thing to Ibn ^aud which
will set the cat among the pigeonSg^
5# i’hie is the position up to cate# «e should be glad
to have your early views on the whole matter and in particular
on whether you think the time has no* come to say anything to ,
Ibn Baud# It might, for example, be possible to seek from Ibar.
3aud,a reaffirmation of the vague unde racking grudgingly given in
1937 - see paragraphs 50 and 51 of Foreign office print above
referred to# Cur difficulty is that, however much we may wish to
avoid futile wrangling on this issue, there is the definite risk
L. B. Graff tey-anith , Eaq., C.M.O., O.B.iv.,
About this item
The file comprises correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to questions over the position of Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontier adjoining Qatar and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. shaikhdoms, notably Abu Dhabi. Negotiations over the frontier had long been deferred by British Government officials, as a result of the Ruler of Saudi Arabia ‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd’s [Ibn Saud] firm stance in negotiations before the Second World War. However, the need for a resolution became increasingly apparent as a result of ongoing oil exploration in Saudi Arabia by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), and exploration in Qatar and Abu Dhabi by Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL). The principal correspondents in the file include: representatives of the 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. , Foreign Office, Ministry of Fuel and Power; the British Legation at Jedda; the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain; and 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. .
The file includes:
- correspondence, dating from 1944 and 1945, between British Government officials 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. , 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. and Foreign Office, discussing the previous difficulties encountered in negotiating Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontiers with Ibn Saud, and the agreement that further negotiations be left until after the event of Ibn Saud’s death (ff 2-29);
- correspondence from late 1945 through 1947, between Government officials on the possible establishment of a neutral zone between Aramco’s concession area in Saudi Arabia, and PCL’s concession area in Qatar. Also, there is some discussion of Aramco’s proposals to begin seabed exploration off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia (ff 36-59);
- PCL’s request for permission to conduct seismic surveys at the southernmost limit of their concession area in Qatar (ff 76-95);
- reports of Aramco survey parties making incursions into PCL’s concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (ff 104-127);
- Government criticism of PCL’s delay in exploiting its concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (f 133);
- preparations in August 1949 for the reopening of frontier negotiations with the Saudi Government in Jedda. Papers include: a copy of a confidential memorandum with map, dated 2 February 1948, on the south-eastern frontier of Saudi Arabia, prepared by J E Cable of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office (ff 164-169; copy also at ff 87-91); three further confidential memoranda with maps, prepared by the Eastern Department in 1940, outlining past and present negotiations on the position of the south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia (ff 170-180, ff 181-185, ff 186-188); proposals to send representatives from Qatar and Abu Dhabi to the Jedda negotiations (ff 190-203).
- Extent and format
- 1 file (212 folios)
The file’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 204-212) mirror the chronological arrangement.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover and terminates at the inside back cover; 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. This file has the following foliation anomaly: 111A. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 4-203; these numbers are also written in pencil, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence, but they are not circled. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.
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