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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎253r] (97/664)

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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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3. That all existing jurisdiction in all my territories shall continue in
accordance with the laws of the sacred Mohammedan Shariat,
according to the sect of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal-as-Salafi, and all who
dwell therein shall be subject to them in all matters or (shall be
subject) to the customary law of the towns in which they may be,
whether my own subjects or the subjects of States adjacent to my
territories—by reason of religious obligation we are helpless without it
nor can we exceed it.
4. There shall be no permission to any foreigner to acquire a hand’s-breadth
of my territories (within the defined) boundaries, not even by a
substitute, except alter reference to myself and with my permission.
“ 5. After acknowledgment of the above clauses, that she (Great Britain) will
promise to prevent and to defend from all oppression and aggression
which may come upon or happen to my territories by land or by sea,
from whatever Power it may be.
“ 6. That she (Great Britain) will promise that she will not permit nor
encourage noi accord sanctuary to accused persons or fugitives from
our territories, whether townsmen or nomads.
7. That she (Great Britain) will respect and protect the rights of my subjects,
and deal with them as she deals with her own subjects while they may
^ be (resident) in her territories and dependencies.
“ 8. If she (Great Britain) accepts and acknowledges the foregoing clauses,
then I accept and acknowledge severance of dealings with any other
Power in all (matters of) concessions, interference, and intercourse,
^ except with reference to the Great British Government.
9. I bind myself to protect trade within my territories from all aggression,
and that I will deal (with her subjects) according to the treatment my
own subjects receive in all matters of government and business in her
(Great Britain’s) countries and dependencies.
10. I bind ^myself to the protection (in) the coasts and ports which are under
my Government from all aggression to the subjects of the British
Government and those under their protection.
11. I will forbid the traffic in arms and ammunition, whether by a Govern
ment or by (way of) merchandise, from all the ports which are under
my Government, on condition that if I should be m need of anything
m arms and ammunition I will refer to the British Government in
• order to obtain my wants.”
^ oc y ment ’ Captain Shakespear added some observations of his
own, which have still, after four years, an important bearing on the eventual settlement
ot our permanent relations with Bin Saud after the war :—*
I venture to submit that Bin Saud, in effect, asks for little more than what
has been already conveyed in the Acting Besident’s assurances, if these were
meant to apply to the future and were not limited to the present crisis, and if
they are interpreted liberally and generously. In exchange, Bin Saud offers to
make himselt a British vassal for good. The addition to our responsibilities does
not appear heavy :—
“(a.) The Turkish menaces from the west and north of Nejd, though very
real to Bin Saud, need give us no anxiety—we have no reason to
suppose they will be more successful in the future than they have
been within the last two or three decades, while, guaranteed from
attack by sea, Bin Saud will be in a far better position to meet them
than was possible hitherto. Should they become threatening, strong
diplomatic representations would probably suffice to prevent any
attempt on a scale with which Bin Saud could not cope himself.
(b.) We should probably be called upon to act as arbiters somewhat more
frequently than hitherto between the Arab Sheikhs along the coast
and Bin Saud, a duty largely to the advantage of our own interests.
-n. q later, on the 24th Janfiary, 1915, Captain Shakespear was killed in a battle between
in feaud and Bm Rashid, at whieh he had insisted on being present. No blame attaches to Bin Saud for
inis lamentable event.

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' [‎253r] (97/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 2 April 2020]

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