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File 2182/1913 Pt 9 'Arabia Policy towards Bin Saud' [‎142v] (282/406)

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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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(2) that the leading Shaikhs of the tribe should come m and make formal
.submission to Ibn Sand, who undertook to pardon their past offences on con
dition of their settling’ peacefully in such locality as he might appoint; or
(3) that, in the event of their declining both of the above alternatives,
they must remove themselves forthwith from any British or Kuwait territory,
in which they might be, thereafter to be treated as enemies wherever found.
This arrangement I communicated in my telegram No. M-4, dated the
2nd December, 1917, informing Sir P. Cox at the same time that, subject to
his approval, Colonel Hamilton, on his return to Kuwait, would announce the
terms imposed on it to the tribe.
I am not quite clear as to the subsequent course of Colonel Hamilton’s
dealings with the tribal leaders, but from a note on the tribe written in Sep
tember, 1918, by Captain P. G. Loch, then 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 Kuwait, it is
clear that his negotiations broke down and that another attempt to find a
.solution of the difficulty was made in February, 1918, when an agreement was
signed by Colonel Hamilton, Shaikh Salim and Dhaidan ibn Hitlain, the
leading (hitherto proscribed) Ajman chief already referred to, whereby the
tribe was given an asylum in the neighbourhood of Zubair on the following
conditions, namely: —
(1) That the whole tribe should take up its residence within the Occupied
Territories, i.e., at Zubair or elsewhere as appointed; and
(2) that the tribe should on no account re-enter the limits of Kuwait ter-
ritory. Moreover, though it was not expressly so stipulated in the agree
ment, it was clear that an obligation to refrain from all molestation of Ibn
Saud’s territory or tribes was imposed upon the Ajman by these terms—indeed
they could not raid into Najd without passing through Kuwait territory and
thus transgressing the second of the abovementioned conditions.
Thus once more the British Government entered into a pact with the
Ajman tribe and from the beginning the arrangements seemed foredoomed
to failure.
In the first place* after the signature of the agreement, the Ajman shewed
themselves to be in no hurry to comply with the condition of taking up their
residence at Zubair, and Snaikh Salim made no heroic efforts to enforce or
hasten their departure from Kuwait territory; Ibn Saud made constant com
plaints regarding their continued presence in Kuwait and I made corresponding
representations to 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. .
In due course some show of evacuation of Kuwait territory was made by
the tribe, which, however, had no sooner taken up its residence in its new
quarters near Zubair, than it proceeded to make Kuwait territory a leaping-off
ground for a series of raids into Najd, which took place at frequent intervals
throughout the summer months. The first raids were against the Subai
encampments in Hasa, the Mutair camps were also visited and, towards the
•end of the period under report, the raiders began to go as far afield as Hafar
al Atsh, Mubayidh and other places not far distant from Ibn Saud’s own
It is unnecessary to deal in detail with these raids which met with but a
modicum of substantial success and in due course provoked counter-raids by
the Mutair, Subai and other elements until, towards the end of the period
under report, the whole of the Summan area was in a ferment of unrest
through which I passed on my return to the coast, when I had a good oppor
tunity of contrasting the security obtaining almost evervwhere in "ibn Saud’s
own territories with the danger and excitement prevalent on the borderlands
of Kuwait jurisdiction.
During the whole of these months Ibn Saud, who, by his agreement with
us, was debarred from taking steps to deal with the Ajman nuisance, while
I was pressing him to disregard all minor matters in favour of the vigorous
prosecution of the offensive against Hail, maintained an attitude of constant
.and not altogether unjustified querulousness, on which I reported with faithful
regularity but without success.
It was clear that the Deputy Civil Commissioner at Basrah, who was
ultimately responsible for the enforcement of the solemn pact of the Ajman
was neither disposed to treat the matter (which he regarded as part of the
regular game of tribal raid and counter-raid), seriously nor in a position to
enforce such parts of the agreement as proved distasteful to the Ajman In
these circumstances matters rapidly reached an impasse, for which tlm™
seemed to be no reasonable solution.
Meanwhile Ibn Saud was preparing to open his offensive against Hail
and I pressed that hostages should be taken from the Ajman to prevent anv
possible hostile movement on their part, but even this proved impracticable and
finally it was recognised that nothing could be done to enforce the observance
by the Ajman of the conditions imposed on them. In these circumstances it
was decided :

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' [‎142v] (282/406), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 16 October 2019]

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