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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎244v] (80/664)

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The record is made up of 1 item (330 folios). It was created in 28 May 1919-13 Jan 1920. 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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of a Boundary Commission. What was required was delimitation,
not demarcation of the boundary. Vv ould it not he possible to bring
about a meeting, either between Hussein and Ibn baud themselves,
or between plenipotentiaries of the two parties, either at Jeddah,
Aden or Cairo ? The first thing to do was to get them to agree
without our interference if possible. If this attempt was unsuccessf -
we could then ask them both to state their case before soi^
impartial officer of high rank, who need not necessarily be an expert.
Colonel Cornwallis suggested that, though it would be difficult
to get King Hussein to state the case about Khurma, for reasons
which had been pointed out by Colonel Wilson, it might make it
easier for him if we simply suggested that he should meet Ibn baud
for the purpose of coming to a general agreement on the various
points which must necessarily arise between two coterminous States.
Mr. Philby thought that if King Hussein were induced to agree
that, in the event of a discussion between himself and Ibn baud not
having a satisfactory result, the whole case should then be laid
before an impartial arbiter, Ibn Saud would have no objection to
meeting him at Jeddah.
Colonel Wilson said that there would be a better chance of the
two parties coming to an agreement if Hussein were represented by
Abdullah, who was more inclined to be reasonable. He did not
think that Hussein would agree to leave the Hejaz and meet Ibn
Saud at Aden or Cairo, but it was possible that he might come down
from Mecca to Jeddah to meet him. He thought it would be better
for Abdullah to meet Ibn Saud. He said that if the meeting took
place at Jeddah it would be necessary for Ibn Saud or his pleni
potentiary to be sent there by sea as neither could well travel
through the Hejaz.
Mr. Philby said that if Ibn Saud were to represent his own case
he would certainly expect Hussein to meet him personally, and
would not agree to meet Abdullah.
Sir Arthur Hirtzel said that 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. had all along
been in favour of bringing the two parties together. He gathered
from certain of the papers that 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. were regarded as
out-and-out supporters of Ibn Saud, and he wished to point out that
this was not so. What they were concerned about was that Ibn
Saud (whose case as stated in Mr. Philby s report had rather
impressed them) should not be thrown over merely because that was
the most convenient course.
The Chairman said that it was clearly desirable to bring about
a meeting if possible. He suggested that Colonel Wilson on ^ is
return to Jeddah should have a frank, face-to-face talk with
King Hussein somewhat on the following lines : He should start by
saying that he had just returned from London, where the whole
question had been discussed by His Majesty’s Government. The
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs had himself taken a great
personal interest in the question, and was very anxious that he
should compose his differences with Ihn Saud. After examining
the arguments put forward on the King’s behalf by Colonel Wilson,
His Majesty’s Government were of opinion that King Hussein had
an excellent case. So excellent did this case appear that they
could not understand why His Majesty declined to state it himself
before some impartial arbiter to be appointed by His Majesty s
Government. If it was the case, as Hussein contended, that his
ownership of Khurma and Turaba was incontestable, there did not
appear to be any valid objection to his producing the proofs which
would convince any arbiter at once of the justice of his claim.
He should realise that there was at present no question of the

About this item


The title provided at the beginning of this item does not relate in any way to the item's contents. Part 10 is in fact concerned with 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 begins with reports that Bin Saud's Akhwan [Ikhwan] forces have advanced to Tarabah (also spelled Turaba in the correspondence) [Turabah], in Hejaz, and includes details of His Majesty's Government's proposed response, which is to inform Bin Saud that if he does not withdraw his forces from Hejaz and Khurma then the rest of his subsidy will be discontinued and he will lose all advantages secured under the treaty of 1915. Included are the following:

  • copies of translations of correspondence between Bin Saud and King Hussein;
  • discussion as to whether the British should send aeroplanes to assist King Hussein;
  • minutes of inter-departmental meetings between representatives of 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 War Office, the Foreign Office, and the Treasury, on the subject of Bin Saud, held at the Foreign Office and chaired by the Foreign Secretary, Earl Curzon of Kedleston [George Nathaniel Curzon];
  • discussion as to how the British should respond in the event of Bin Saud's Wahabi [Wahhabi] forces taking Mecca and advancing on Jeddah, which it is anticipated may result in the evacuation of a large number of Arabs and British Indians;
  • discussion regarding a proposed meeting between Harry St John Bridger Philby and Bin Saud on the Gulf coast;
  • a report by Captain Herbert Garland [Director of the Arab Bureau, Cairo], entitled 'Note on the Khurma Dispute Between King Hussein and Ibn Saud';
  • a document entitled 'Translation of a Memorandum on the Wahabite [sic] Crisis', addressed to the High Commissioner, Egypt, by Emir Feisal [Fayṣal bin Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī], in which Feisal implores the British to take military action against the Wahabi movement;
  • copies of translations of letters addressed to Bin Rashid [Saʿūd bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Āl Rashīd], from Bin Saud and King Hussein respectively, which provide the perspectives of both on recent events at Khurma and Tarabah;
  • a memorandum from the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department, entitled 'Memorandum on British Commitments to Bin Saud'.

The item's principal correspondents are the following:

This item also contains translated copies of correspondence between Hussein and the then High Commissioner at Cairo, Sir Arthur Henry McMahon [commonly referred to as the McMahon-Hussein correspondence], dating from July 1915 to January 1916.

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1 item (330 folios)
Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎244v] (80/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 28 January 2020]

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