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File 2182/1913 Pt 10 'N.W. Frontier: Proposed Russian zoological expedition' [‎313r] (217/664)

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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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[This Cocuxneat is the Property of His Britannic Maiestvs Gnvsrnm^nt 1 j. 6 ]^y-
Colonel Wilson to Major Young .—(
■ugMst 26f)sia» l
My dear Young, The Rest, Ellington Road,7*aplow, Bucks, August 23, 1919.
I SEND you herewith some notes on the ownership of Khurma which I wrote
on my way home. , .
1 would be very much obliged if you would kindly bring them to the notice of
the authorities concerned. I regard this question of Khurma as being of very special
importance/ and it merits the serious consideration of His Majesty’s Government at an
early date.
Sincerely yours,
Enclosure in No. 1.
Some Notes on the Ownership of Khurma.
1. THE Emir Ibn Saud claims that Khurma is within the boundaries of his
Emirate of Nejd. As far as I am aware, practically no evidence has been produced by
Ibn Saud to substantiate his claim.
2. All the evidence obtained from notables in Jeddah and in Mecca (some of them
Wahabis), from tax collectors of the Turkish Government, greybeards of the Buqum
and Subai tribes, and others is unanimous on the point that Khurma district for genera
tions has been under the jurisdiction of the Emirs of Mecca, with the exception of the
period during which the holy cities were occupied by the Wahabis early in the
nineteenth century. /
3. Assuming Ibn Saud’s contention to be correct, io follows that the Emirs of
Khurma are subjects of, and owe allegiance to, Ibn Saud alone, and it is relevant to
consider how far the conduct of Emir Khali-ibn-Eluwai has been consistent with such
alleged allegiance.
4. Late in 1916 King Hussein, hearing that Khalid was getting too enthusiastic
about the recently formed Akhwan, sent him orders to come to Mecca ; he came, and
was kept under “ open arrest ” as he refused to return to the orthodox fold.
At the request of Emir Abdulla he was allowed to go to the former’s camp at
Wadi Ais, where I met him in April 1917.
Emir Abdulla states that he had long talks with Khalid about the Akhwan sect,
and towards the end of 1917—being satisfied with the latter’s professions of loyalty—
obtained the reluctant consent of King Hussein to the return of Khalid to resume his
duties as Emir of Khurma.
5. With reference to the Cadis of Khurma, I offer the following remarks :—
After the suppression of the Wahabi revolt early in the nineteenth century, a
proportion of the inhabitants of several villages, amongst them Khurma, clung to the
new faith (Wahabism).
The W ahabi belong to the Hambali division of the Moslem religion, and owing to
the number of Wahabis in Khurma the Emirs of Mecca usually appointed a Hambali as
the official cadi.
Emir Abdulla informs me that the present cadi is from Wadi Dawasir, and was
appointed in the ordinary course by the Emir of Mecca (King Hussein), who paid his
salary and those of his assistants. It is not impossible that' the cadi also received
some salary from Ibn Saud.
In 1917 it was reported to King Hussein that the cadi was preaching the W^ahabi
creed, &c. He was ordered to Mecca, where he was given a serious lecture by King
Hussein, and returned to his post at Khurma. As he still continued pyeaching^the
Wahabi faith, he was sent for to Mecca a second time, and appears to h^ve satisfied
King Hussein with his protestations of loyalty, &c.
[555 cc—1] U
I m

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.

Extent and format
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' [‎313r] (217/664), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/390/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 July 2019]

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