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File 4327/1911 Part 4 'Turco-Italian War: Red Sea Blockade' [‎57r] (109/140)

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The record is made up of 1 item (70 folios). It was created in Oct 1911-Mar 1912. 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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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty’s Government.!
[November 13.]
Section 1,
r 24N0V^V; ;
No. 1.
Sir G. Lowther to Sir Edward Grey.—(Received November 13 )
(No. 776.) ;
^ r > Constantinople, November 2, 1911.
I HAVE the honour to forward herewith a despatch from acting British consul at
Jeddah, reporting on the state of affairs in the Hedjaz. I have also informed the
resident at Aden that there seems no reason why cargoes of food-stuffs should not he
sent to Jeddah and Hodeidah in neutral bottoms, they not having been declared
I have, &c.
Enclosure in No. 146.
Acting Consid Abdur Rahman to Sir G. Lowther.
(No. 42.)
Sir, Jeddah, October 16, 1911.
WITH reference to the affairs in Hedjaz I have the honour to report that after the
declaration of war between Turkey and Italy two sambuks, one named “ Sharq ” and
the other “Assad,” both carrying Italian flag, were captured in the harbour of Jeddah
by the local Turkish authorities. r lhe owners of these sambuks are Italian subjects
residing in Massowah.
The sambuk “ Sharq” was hound for Confudah, and part of the goods on board
was property of one British Indian merchant named Abdul Cadir Habibullah. I am
in correspondence with the local Turkish authorities for the recovery of the goods
belonging to the British Indian merchant named above.
On the 7th instant two Turkish gun-hoats, “ Aintab ” and “ Ordou,” and one
torpedo destroyer, “ Paik-i-Shevekat,” arrived here from the south. Next da}^ all
three left the port, and their destination is not known here. “
On the 8th October, 1911, four big guns arrived from Taif, each was drawn by
six camels. These guns were afterwards placed on the provisional sand embankment
on the sea coast near the non-Mahommedan cemetery.
The garrison of Jeddah was strengthened on the 8th October by the arrival from
Taif of 238 soldiers with the kaimakam of the forces in the Hedjaz.
Munir Pasha, the commander of the forces in the Hedjaz, also arrived here on the
15th instant from Taif.
I may mention that the Italian consulate here was closed at the request of the
local Turkish authorities on the 2nd October, 1911, and my Russian colleague, in his
capacity as acting Austrian vice-consul, is in charge of the Italian interests.
A telegram was received by the local agent of the Bombay and Persia Steam
Navigation Company on the 10th instant, which reads as follows :—
“ Steamers carrying food-stuff, Hodeidah Jeddah, liable capture by Italian war
ships. British resident, Aden, ordered Humayun Naseri discharge Jeddah cargo.
Arrange take delivery Aden.”
On the receipt of this telegram a sort of scare spread all over the place, and the
price of the food-stuffs went up considerably.
On the following day a meeting of the local merchants was convened under the
auspices of the municipality, and a schedule of rates of food-stuffs was agreed upon,
which is to run unchanged for fifteen days.
The following is the statement of the rates of the principal articles of food as
agreed upon by the meeting as compared with the rates current previous to the receipt
of the telegram containing news of the prohibition of food supply of Jeddah and
[2266 n~ 1]

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Part four consists of correspondence relating to an Italian blockade of parts of the Red Sea coast of present-day Saudi Arabia. Several matters are covered by the correspondence:

  • the classification of Turkish grain ships as contraband of war by the Italians;
  • the Italian blockade of Hodeidah [Ḥudaydah] and reported intention of extending it to Jeddah and Yenbo [Yanbuʻ al-Baḥr];
  • the Italian threat to bombard Hodeidah;
  • the appeal for British protection from the British Indian population of the town;
  • impediments to the embarkation of European goods;
  • the British demand for assurances from the Italians that the blockade will not be extended and British Indian subjects will be safe.

The correspondence is mostly between the Turkish Government, Turkish Embassy in London, 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. at Aden, British Embassies at Constantinople and Rome, and the British Consulate at Jeddah.

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1 item (70 folios)
Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 4327/1911 Part 4 'Turco-Italian War: Red Sea Blockade' [‎57r] (109/140), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/196/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 26 May 2020]

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