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Coll 6/70 'Saudi Arabia: Relations with Germany (Dr Grobba)' [‎45r] (89/179)

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The record is made up of 1 file (88 folios). It was created in 30 Nov 1928-8 Dec 1941. 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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advise him not to receive Dr. GroDba.
4. You should therefore thank Ibn Saud for his friendly
action in consulting his majesty's Government. They uould
naturally much prefer, so far as their o\ r m interests are concerned,
that Dr. Grobba should not be admitted to Saudi •.rabia. Since Ibn
Saud has asked for a frank expression of their views they have no
hesitation in saying so. Furthermore, Dr. Grobba proved a most
successful intriguer and propagandist while German minister in
Bagdad and did not hesitate to work, not merely against British
interests in that country, but also against the Iraqi Government
in power. (This part of your message could be amplified on the
basis of Sir B. Dewton s telegram, omitting however, the passage
about Shekib Asian's activities). It is admittedly a much more
serious diplomatic step to declare an already accredited hinister
persona non grata in the absence of definite proof of misbehaviour
(which may not in the circumstances be available) than to do so in
respect of a new minister whose agreme nt is being sought. But
notwithstanding this consideration and without prejudice to your
judicious preliminary remarks to the Amir Feisal, His majesty's
Government would advise Ibn Saud in all the circumstances, and in
his own interests as much as their own, to reply that he has been
unfavourably impressed by the stories reaching him of Dr. Grobba's
activities in Bagdad and would prefer not to receive him. At the
same time His Uajesty’s Government appreciate the difficulty of Ibn
Saud's situation and would certainly not hold it against him if he
found himself compelled to receive Dr. Grobba after all.
5. 'The question of receiving German representatives generally
is rather difficult. It is convenient for His Ilajesty's
Government that Ibn Saud should remain neutral in the present war.
In fact any suggestion to the contrary is bound to be embarrassing
for various reasons, including Italian suspicions and the

About this item


This file concerns relations between the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd (later Saudi Arabia) and Germany. The material in the file dates from two periods: 1928-30 and 1939-41. Notable correspondents include the following: the British Agent at Jeddah (Herbert George Jakins); the High Commissioner, Egypt (George Ambrose Lloyd, Lord Lloyd); His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires to Jedda (Cecil Gervase Hope Gill); His Majesty's Ambassador in Cairo (Miles Wedderburn Lampson); His Majesty's Ambassador in Bagdad [Baghdad] (Sir Basil Cochrane Newton); His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, Sir Reader William Bullard, and later, Hugh Stonehewer Bird); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Anthony Eden); officials of the Foreign Office.

The correspondence includes discussion of the following:

  • The conclusion of a treaty of friendship between Germany and the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd in April 1929.
  • The appointment of a German Consul in the Hejaz in 1931.
  • Anglo-Yemeni relations.
  • Reports in 1940 that Mussolini has been approached by Hitler with a request that the Italian Government should ask Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] to allow German diplomatic representative Dr Fritz Konrad Ferdinand Grobba to take residence Jedda.
  • Whether Ibn Saud should be urged by the British to refuse to receive Dr Grobba.
  • Italy's request for Saudi diplomatic representation in Rome.
  • Ibn Saud's requests for financial assistance from the British Government.
  • The reported arrival of eight German officers (in civilian disguise) in Iran, in late 1940.
  • Reports in 1940 of wireless communication between Riyadh and Germany.
  • Reports in November 1941 of pro-German Arabs having attempted to persuade Ibn Saud to call for an Arab congress to be held in Mecca or Medina during the pilgrimage.

In addition to correspondence the file includes a copy of an English translation of the aforementioned treaty.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 2).

Extent and format
1 file (88 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 89; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 6/70 'Saudi Arabia: Relations with Germany (Dr Grobba)' [‎45r] (89/179), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2143, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 October 2019]

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