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Coll 6/19 'Arabia: (Saudi Arabia) Hejaz-Nejd Annual Report.' [‎6r] (12/540)

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The record is made up of 1 file (268 folios). It was created in 18 Apr 1931-18 May 1945. 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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[62—62] B 2
Relations with Foreign Powers.
11. King Ibn Sand continued to remain His Majesty’s Government’s firm
friend and consulted them, as always in the past, on all major matters affecting
the external and internal affairs of his kingdom. His trust in them remained
unshaken, although anxiety about the future darkens the horizon. With the
Americans he kept his relations on a friendly but not too intimate basis and, while
naturally welcoming their increased assistance to his country, made it clear to
his sons and officials and to the Americans themselves that he regarded His
Majesty’s Government as his first friends and would always do so. Ibn Saud is
cautious towards the Americans for to him the shadow of Zionism looms behind
all their activities in the Middle East; on the other hand, he is prepared to reap
j such advantages as he can from a rich friend like America.
12. The great Allied victories of 1944, culminating in the invasion of
France, were sincerely welcomed by the King, who, as our staunchest friend in
the Middle East in this war, has stood firm even in the darkest hour.
13. Relations with Egypt suffered somewhat owing to Nahas’s discourteous
treatment of the King, and it may be that King Farouk had this in mind when,
towards the end of the year, he asked to visit Ibn Saud. The latter agreed, but
preferred to postpone the meeting until after the pilgrimage, i.e., towards the end
of January.
14. 'There was some tension in Saudi relations with Iraq at the beginning
of the year owing to the frontier measures adopted by the Iraqi Government to
prevent the smuggling of sheep from Iraq. Ibn Saud was highly incensed and
threatened retaliatory action, but the measures were subsequently relaxed. The
joint Saudi-Iraqi commission appointed to settle minor frontier disputes worked
smoothly and efficiently during the year. The Haram incident at Mecca during
the 1943 pilgrimage did not make Ibn Saud any more popular with Iraqi Shias
and, mainly as a result of Shia agitation, only some 400 Iraqi pilgrims came on
the Haj j in 1944 compared with 1.500 the previous year. Needless to say Ibn Saud
was not perturbed at this development.
15. Owing to the King’s close personal friendship with Shukri Kuwatli
relations with Syria were excellent. The King’s influence, moreover, played a
large part in Syria’s relations with other Arab States and the Great Powers.
During the year the Saudi Consulate-General in Damascus was raised to a
legation. Although no Syrian representative had yet been appointed to Saudi
Arabia at the end of the year the head of the Syrian pilgrimage delegation
described himself as temporary representative of his Government and issued visas
for Syria. The French Legation, who have hitherto represented Syrian interests
in Saudi Arabia, did not object. As regards the Lebanon, the King early in the
year wished to appoint Hussain al Uwaini, his trade agent in Beirut and a
notorious character, as first Saudi Minister to the Lebanon, but, on His Majesty’s
Government’s request, abandoned the proposal.
16. The Haram incident during the 1943 pilgrimage nearly provoked a
break in Saudi relations with Persia. In reply to a telegram from the Shah,
King Ibn Saud sent a letter justifying his action and there the matter appeared
to rest, but relations remained at best strained for the rest of the year. The ban
imposed by the Persian Government on pilgrims for the 1944 pilgrimage indicated
the mood they were in.
17. Evidence of Ibn Saud’s keen interest in, and possible designs on, the
»Yemen was to be seen in the despatch of a special envoy to Sana’ to advise the
Imam to improve his relations with Britain and to warn him to put his house in
j order. The envoy, on his return, reported great dissatisfaction among the people
( with the Imam’s regime and a strong desire to place themselves under the rule
of Ibn Saud.
18. With the Amir Abdullah of Transjordan the King maintained
outwardly correct and friendly relations and there were no serious frontier
disputes. The Amir, however, indulged in some gratuitous criticism of the way
Ibn Sand allowed American companies to operate on the soil of the Holy Lands.
Ibn Saud sent the Amir a firm reply refuting his criticisms and telling him not
to listen to false rumours. The King also had cause to complain during the year
to His Majesty’s Government of some wild statements which the Amir "was
reported to have made regarding a possible invasion of Saudi Arabia by his
19. On His Majesty’s Government’s advice the King agreed to recognise the
Provisional French Government. Relations with Turkey were normal.

About this item


This file contains copies of annual reports regarding the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd (later Saudi Arabia) during the years 1930-1938 and 1943-1944.

The reports were produced by the British Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, succeeded by Sir Reader William Bullard) and sent to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (and in the case of these copies, forwarded by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the Under-Secretary of State for India), with the exception of the reports for 1943 and 1944, which appear to have been produced and sent by His Majesty's Chargé d’Affaires at Jedda, Stanley R Jordan.

The reports covering 1930-1938 discuss the following subjects: foreign relations; internal affairs; financial, economic and commercial affairs; military organisation; aviation; legislation; press; education; the pilgrimage; slavery and the slave trade; naval matters. The reports for 1943 and 1944 are rather less substantial. The 1943 report discusses Arab affairs, Saudi relations with foreign powers, finance, supplies, and the pilgrimage, whilst the 1944 report covers these subjects in addition to the following: the activities of the United States in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East Supply Centre, and the Saudi royal family.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 file (268 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 269; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located at 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 present in parallel between ff 2-12 and ff 45-268; these numbers are also written in pencil but are not circled.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 6/19 'Arabia: (Saudi Arabia) Hejaz-Nejd Annual Report.' [‎6r] (12/540), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2085, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 October 2019]

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