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'File 1/A/38 II Negotiations with Bin Saud re: Eastern boundary of Saudi Arabia with Qatar & Trucial Oman.' [‎98v] (201/472)

The record is made up of 1 volume (232 folios). It was created in 27 Feb 1935-13 Oct 1935. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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Mr Rendel pointed out that there was no legal obligation on a country having I
low tariffs to prevent smuggling into a country whose tariffs were high. The
problem was one of frequent occurrence and, to take an example on a very much I
larger scale, had occurred between His Majesty’s Government and the United
States Government in the days of prohibition in the United States. On that |
occasion His Majesty’s Government, though under no legal obligation to prevent
the export of liquor to the United States, had, in the interests of good lelations, j
voluntarily agreed to come to an arrangement under which they co-operated to
check liquor smuggling. In a small way the position was analogous m Koweit,
where the sheikh had now offered to co-operate for the purpose of checking
smu crc ding into Saudi Arabia. But it was quite impossible foi any country, e\en |
the most highly organised, to guarantee not to allow a single smugglei thiough, j
The Saudi Government’s demand could therefore only be described as |
unreasonable. Mr. Rendel regretted that the conference should have broken down
in this unsatisfactory manner when agreement appeared to have been reached on
the main problem. He wished to repeat that this question of Koweiti-Saudi |
relations was one to which His Majesty s Government attached particular JJ
importance. It was one of the main objects of His Majesty’s Government to ■
ensure that Saudi relations with Koweit should now be regularised and set right i
on the same lines as had been so successfully followed in the case of Saudi relations j
first with Iraq and then with Transjordan. He hoped, therefore, that Fuad Bey
might be able to arrange for the conference to be resumed.
Mr. LAITHWAITE also stressed the desire of the Secretary of State for
India and the Government of India to see this result achieved and the great j
importance which they attached to the disposal of the question. As regards the j
Saudi Government’s insistence on a guarantee, Mr. Laithwaite said that it seemed j
clear from the history of the last few years that the Saudi Government were |
in a position to impose an effective blockade on the land frontier of Koweit j
and to deal with any persons who might be caught smuggling across that land |
frontier That being so, a demand on Koweit for a guarantee such as had been
suggested would seem, to say the least of it, superfluous. He drew Fuad Bey’s
attention to the fact that if the Saudi Government’s demands were to be made
public they could not fail to show King Abdul Aziz in an invidious light, and||j
indeed might well give the impression that he was not really seeking a settlement.
Mr Laithwaite added that the Saudi delegates difficulties in negotiating, even j
with the help of the telegraph, were of course understood by His Majesty s
Government, but he reminded Fuad Bey that Koweit was ready to promise j|
on her honour to do her best to stop the smuggling, and he made it clear that I
His Majesty’s Government for their part would do all in their power to ensure I
that this undertaking was observed. He trusted therefore that Fuad Bey would 1
be able to suggest some way in which the Saudi Government could be induced to 1
relax their insistence on an absolute guarantee. I
FUAD BEY HAMZA, in reply, explained that, while the Saudi Legation
had received some information as to the progress of the negotiations at Koweit, I
they were not yet in possession of full details as to the points on which those |
negotiations had broken down. The information now given to him helped to
make the position clearer. He now understood that the following proposals had I
been made :— I
la) A svstem of customs posts through which trade would be canalised. I
{b) A system of manifests to be operated in conjunction with the system i
of customs posts. I
(c) An honourable undertaking by Koweit to do all she could to prevent
smuggling across the Saudi border. I
This having been confirmed, Fuad Bey undertook to make enquiries by tele
graph of his Government and expressed the hope that he would shortly be in a
position to make some statement on the matter.
At this point Mr. Laithwaite withdrew.
The meeting then proceeded to discuss the future of the Treaty of Jedda
and the connected question of the suggested abandonment by His Majesty*
Government of their right of manumission.

About this item


The volume concerns the definition of the eastern boundary of Saudi Arabia with Qatar and Trucial Oman, and negotiations over the boundary between British officials and Ibn Saud (also referred to as Bin Saud) [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd, King of Saudi Arabia].

The principal correspondents are 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 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. , Bahrain; HM Minister, Jedda [Jeddah] (Sir Andrew Ryan), later the Chargé d'Affaires, Jeddah (Andrew Spencer Calvert); and senior officials of the Foreign Office, 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 Government of India, and the Colonial Office.

The papers cover: Anglo-Saudi negotiations over basing the frontier on the Blue Line [a line drawn by British and Turkish officials in 1913 from the Gulf of Uqair to parallel 20 degrees North, in the Rub al-Khali], and its extension on the side of Aden, the Violet Line; British proposals to base the frontier on a new line, the Green Line; further papers concerning the eastern, south, and south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia; the effect of the proposed boundaries on the sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi; Foreign Office records of discussions between HM Minister, Jedda (Ryan) and the Deputy Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Fuad Bey Hamza [Fu’ād Ḥamzah]), June-July 1935 (folios 85-102); papers concerning territorial claims of Ibn Saud in eastern and south-eastern Arabia, July 1935 (folios 103-108); investigations into tribal matters (e.g. folio 117); geological surveys and the likely presence of oil in the area (passim); the Qatar boundary (especially folios 136-173); the Qatar oil concession, September 1935 (folios 174-178); and papers concerning an air reconnaissance by British officials, with the assistance of the Royal Air Force (RAF), in order to determine certain key points on the proposed border in the area south of Qatar, October 1935 (folios 196-223).

The Arabic language content of the papers consists of fewer than ten folios, mainly copies of correspondence between Ibn Saud and the Ruler of Qatar [Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī].

The date range gives the covering dates for the main items of correspondence; the earliest dated document is an enclosure to the first item of correspondence, dated 22 February 1935, and the last dated addition to the file is an entry in the notes on folio 229 dated 22 October [1935].

Extent and format
1 volume (232 folios)

The papers are arranged in chronological order from the front to the back of the file, except where enclosures of an earlier date are filed after their relevant covering letter, and terminate in a set of notes (folios 224-229). Serial numbers in red and blue crayon, in the form 'SNo:', followed by the number, refer to entries in the notes.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 234; 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 6-229; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 1/A/38 II Negotiations with Bin Saud re: Eastern boundary of Saudi Arabia with Qatar & Trucial Oman.' [‎98v] (201/472), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/158, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 October 2019]

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