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File 2182/1913 Pt 9 'Arabia Policy towards Bin Saud' [‎36v] (70/406)

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The record is made up of 1 item (203 folios). It was created in 27 Dec 1918-2 Jun 1919. 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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Tailing strong and successful pressure being put upon Ibn Baud now, I
submit that King Hussein has no alternative but to put in the field against
4bn Baud all the forces he can collect, the situation is developing into a far
too critical state for him to continue his defensive policy much longer ; y i
Kin- Hussein has lost considerable prestige, Arabs regarding it as necessitated
by fear and weakness and the longer he continues it the more Arabs will join
the Akhvvan, either from necessity or because they consider Ibn Baud s the
winning side, also the nearer the Akhwan will get to Mecca. It must always
be remembered that if Emir Shaker’s forces receive a crushing defeat tlie
Akhwan will probably reach the near neighbourhood of Mecca and capture
Taif, they are now only some 90 miles away from the former town.
It is worthy of note that well-informed Wahabis, who have no love for
King Hussein, such as Mohamed Nasif, the sons of El Fadl (who were in
prison at Mecca) state they would far prefer King Hussein s rule to that of
Ibn Saud and give it as their opinion (which they say is generally shared) that
the reason for King Hussein acting on the defensive and pursuing a weak
nolicv in the Kburma affair is his earnest endeavour to prevent fighting
between Arabs which would endanger the realization of bis struggle for
eventual Arab Unity, They declare that as Ibn Saud s Emirate is based
upon religion he could stop all Akhwan aggression if he wished to. ^
During the last two and-a-half years I have in letters to King Hussein
and in numerous conversations with him “ whitewashed’* Ibn Saud and
constantly urged conciliation on the former.
What real proof has Ibn Saud given to show his entire loyalty to Great
Britain? On the contrary—as stated in my despatch No. 20, dated 24th
November 1918 to your Excellency—he appears to have threatened to sever
relations with us in certain eventualities.
If Ibn Saud has been throughout thoroughly loyal and straightforward
■ with us what is the origin of the information given against him throughout
Arabia from Aden to Damascus and obtained from all kinds of independent
sources ?
I submit that it is extremely likely that Ihn Saud has sub rosa ” been
trying to “ run with the hare and hunt with the hounds **; the only other
explanation (and an extremely improbable one) is that there is a very highly
organised system of propaganda working against him throughout Arabia.
The great services rendered to the Allied cause by King Hussein’s revolt
are well known and I submit that he has given numerous proofs of his steads
fast loyalty to Great Britain and never have I heard that even his own
enemies ever accused him of playing us false ; their only accusation is that he
is too friendly and loyal with us.
These are the two men between whom—as it appears to me —His
Majesty’s Government must choose and choose quickly.
I have the honour to he,
Your most obedient servant,
C. Wilson, Colonel.
His Excellency
General Sir Reginald Wingate,
G.C.B., G.C.V.Q., G.B.E., &c., &c.,
The Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. , Cairo,
No. 332.
His Excellency the British Agent, Jeddah.
My dear friend,
After dutiful respects I regret to tell Your Excellency that the attack on
(he people of Dghabjah by the Akhwan which Shaker had referred to as being

About this item


Part 9 primarily concerns the dispute between Bin Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and King Hussein of Hejaz [Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī, King of Hejaz], and British policy towards both. The item includes the following:

  • a note by 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. 's Political Department, entitled 'Arabia: The Nejd-Hejaz Feud', which laments the fact that relations between Bin Saud and King Hussein have to some extent been reflected in the views of the two administrations with which they have respectively been brought into contact (i.e. the sphere of Mesopotamia and the Government of India in Bin Saud's case, and the Cairo administration in King Hussein's case);
  • reports on the presence of Akhwan [Ikhwan] forces in Khurma and debate as to which ruler has the stronger claim to it;
  • attempts by the British to ascertain whether or not a treaty exists between King Hussein and Bin Saud;
  • a copy of a report by Harry St John Bridger Philby entitled 'Report on Najd Mission 1917-1918', which includes as appendices a précis of British relations with Bin Saud and a copy of the 1915 treaty between Bin Saud and the British government;
  • reports of alleged correspondence between Bin Saud and Fakhri Pasha, Commander of the Turkish [Ottoman] forces at Medina;
  • reports of the surrender of Medina by Ottoman forces;
  • discussion as to whether Britain should intervene further in the dispute between Bin Saud and King Hussein;
  • details of the proposals discussed at an inter-departmental conference on Middle Eastern affairs, which was held at Cairo in February 1919;
  • reports that King Hussein's son Abdulla [ʿAbdullāh bin al-Ḥusayn] and his forces have been attacked at Tarabah [Turabah] by Akhwan forces and driven out.

The principal correspondents are the following:

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1 item (203 folios)
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File 2182/1913 Pt 9 'Arabia Policy towards Bin Saud' [‎36v] (70/406), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 July 2019]

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