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Coll 6/50 'Saudi Arabia: Saudi Relations with the Soviet.' [‎17r] (33/100)

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The record is made up of 1 file (48 folios). It was created in 6 Jun 1932-20 Jun 1938. 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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EASTERN (Arabia).
[E 980/980/25]
No. 1.
Sir A. Ryan to Sir John Simon.—(Received February 12.)
(No. 27.)
Sir, Jedda, January 29, 1935.
WITH reference to my despatch No. 92 of the 23rd March, 1933, regarding
the relations between the Saudi Arab Government and the Soviet, I have the
honour to state that a Soviet official named Guertik has been attached for com
mercial work to the Soviet Legation here for three or four weeks past. I gathered
at first that he might be a permanent addition to the staff, but it now seems more
likely that he will not stay long and is merely on a tour of inspection. This is
borne out by a statement in the Aden Intelligence Report for the fortnight ending
the 2nd January that he is expected at Hodeida shortly. He is there described
as “ inspector-general of Russian oil business.”
2. The following is a summary of an account given of M. Guertik by the
local manager of Messrs. Gellatly, Hankey and Co. (Sudan) (Limited) : He
appeared to be agreeable, unaggressive and less reserved than many Soviet officials.
He disclaimed any idea of launching a commercial offensive and declared : ‘ c Je ne
veux pas la lutte.” He discussed with Mr. Black the position in regard to certain
staple imports here and appeared to recognise that in some lines, e.g., sugar and
petrol, the Soviet trading organisations would find it difficult to compete in Saudi
Arabia at present prices. M. Guertik seemed to be interested in the marketing of
Soviet manufactured goods and actually sounded Mr. Black as to whether Gellatly,
Hankey and Co. (Sudan) (Limited) would accept an agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. for their sale.
3. It may be worth mentioning that another Russian commercial expert
named Kondrachoff recently visited Jedda. He is a member of the Soviet Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company.
in the Yemen and stayed here only a short time, awaiting an opportunity of
proceeding to Russia via Port Sudan.
4. Apart from the above facts, I have observed no recent signs of any special
activity on the part of the Russian Legation here. The Soviet Government may,
however, be planning a fresh commercial campaign and there have been some
indications of a desire on the part of the Legation to cultivate relations with the
powerful Saudi Minister of Finance. On the other hand, there was a story last
October that the Soviet Minister gave as one reason for hesitating to commit
himself to a ten years’ contract for a house the possibility that his Government
might at any time abolish his post.
5. I take the opportunity of mentioning that the personnel of the Soviet
Legation, not including M. Guertik, is now composed as follows :— 1
Nezir Turakoulov, Minister, Moslem, with a non-Moslem wife.
Shakir Ismailoff, Moslem, with wife, possibly Moslem.
Dr. Toukov-Rowanski, doctor, with wife, non-Moslems.
Morsen, dentist.
6. I am sending copies of this despatch to the Department of Overseas
Trade, His Majesty’s Chief Commissioner, Aden, and to the Government of India
(Foreign and Political Department).
I have, &c.
[331 m—2]

About this item


This file concerns relations between the Government of the Hejaz and Nejd (Saudi Arabia from September 1932 onwards) and the Soviet Union. It largely consists of copies of correspondence received by the Foreign Office from His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, succeeded by Sir Reader William Bullard) regarding Saudi-Soviet relations and the activities of Soviet representatives in Saudi Arabia. Other prominent correspondents include His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires to Jedda (Cecil Gervase Hope Gill), His Majesty's Ambassador in Moscow (Esmond Ovey), and officials of the Foreign Office, 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. , and the Government of India's Foreign and Political Department.

Matters discussed in the correspondence include:

  • The visit of the Hejazi delegation, headed by Emir Feisal [Fayṣal bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd], Foreign Minister for the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd, to Moscow, and later, via Turkey, to Tiflis [Tbilisi] and Baku, in May-June 1932.
  • Soviet trade interests in the Hejaz.
  • Concerns expressed by Sir Andrew Ryan in July 1932 that the Soviet representative in Jedda could seek to consolidate Soviet relations with Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and encourage the latter to take a strong line regarding Transjordan.
  • Unconfirmed reports of a Saudi-Soviet trade agreement in early 1933.
  • Notes on the character and previous career in Jedda of the newly appointed (as of January 1936) Soviet minister at Jedda, Kerim Khakimov.
  • News in May 1938 that the Government of the Soviet Union has decided to close its legations in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, reportedly as a gesture of disapproval of the Anglo-Italian Treaty [Anglo-Italian Agreement], but considered by the Foreign Office to be part of a general policy of reducing the number of its foreign contacts.

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 (48 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 50; 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. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 2-49; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 6/50 'Saudi Arabia: Saudi Relations with the Soviet.' [‎17r] (33/100), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2117, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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