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Coll 6/84 'Yemen: Attitude of Yemeni Govt. towards the Italo-Ethiopian dispute. Policy of H.M.G. in event of Italian occupation of Yemeni territory.' [‎110v] (220/699)

The record is made up of 1 file (348 folios). It was created in 22 Mar 1934-1 Nov 1939. 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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4
impression of England’s vulnerability, so that many people in Egypt, I alestine
and Syria are wondering whether really England s supremacy in the Aieditei-
ranean basin and the East is not approaching its end. Everywhere one comes
across feelings of insecurity and fear—chiefly experienced by intelligent and
thinking persons, for in spite of all the clashes that have occurred since the war
between Near East nationalism and llritish policy, tbeie aie few thinking
individuals in that part of the w’orld who do not ^till believe that British
ascendancv is the ultimate preserver of order and stability in the East, and who
(provided Oreat Britain is whiling to satisfy some of then deepest aspirations)
would not dread the prospect of its being seriously challenged.
3. In order, however, that the Moslem peoples of the Near East should give
their support to England in any conflict that might break out between her and
the Fascist Pow^ers^ one imperative condition must be fulfilled—namely, the
solution (if a solution can be found at this stage) of the Palestine problem in a
manner acceptable to the Arabs. For Palestine has definitely become the focus
of Arab-Moslem feeling all over the Near East—the treatment of her problem
will react profoundly in Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, Arabia and even Egypt.
4. The Arabs of Palestine, supported by their co-religionists in all the
neighbouring Arab States, are now determined to fight to the death against the
policy embodied in the Balfour declarations. They have made up their minds
that they will not allows their country to become a national home for the Jews,
absorbing more and more Jew ish immigrants, and coming more and more under
Jewish political control. The strike they carried out, and the determined self-
sacrificing desperation that was behind it, and that one saw in every Arab
one spoke to in Palestine this summer, is a fairly clear indication of this back-
to-the-wall resolve.
The cessation of the strike is nothing more than an armistice. The country
for the time being w^as tired; 20,000 troops had arrived in Palestine, and the
orange export season was at hand. If the strike was allowed to ruin this season
the country would have been financially weakened to a disastrous degree. Moie-
over, the Royal Commission seemed to offer a chance which the leaders on the
advice of the Arab King decided to take. Should, however, the British Govern
ment refuse to modify their policy—in other words, should they decide to uphold
the policy of the Balfour declaration, it is practically certain that the trou le
will break out again—probably on a larger scale, involving the active co-operation
of the Arabs in Iraq, Transjordan, &c. „
5. In order, howover, to gain the goodwill of the Arabs of the Near East to
an extent that would make Britain’s position among them really secure m t e
none too improbable event of another European war. a more comprehensive am
constructive policy than the mere pacification of Palestine is requned^ 1 e
Arabs still cling ardently to their dream of an Arab State, or, at least a federa
tion of Arab States. They bitterly remember that England promised to help them
achieve this ideal during the war. and accuse her of having betrayed them at the
conclusion of it. It is certain that if another w r ar breaks out, while the Arabs
are still feeling as they are to-day, they will refuse to believe any more pi onuses,
and, while harbouring no love for Italy or Germany, will pursue a purely
opportunist line and seize the occasion to realise their long-cherished ambitions
in whatever way they can do so. To-day there is not a single Arab in Palestine
who has any love for Italy. Yet it is an open secret that the Palestine revolt has
been helped by Italy with money and arms.
6. In view of all this one wonders whether it would not be possible for
Britain and France, acting jointly (since it is the two of them that control the
destinies of the Arabs—and since, moreover, it is more than likely that they will
find themselves once again fighting a common battle in the event of another war),
to sponsor the creation of some sort of an Arab State Federation under their
segis. France has now signed a treaty with Syria—England has a treaty with
Iraq. Palestine is, of course, the chief difficulty, but if that was overcome, even
perhaps without the co-operation of France,* Britain might be able to do
something along these lines.
Egypt and the Treaty.
7. As was to be expected, the treaty has on the whole been well received in
Egypt. The opposition to it among some of the minority groups (one can scarcely
call them parties) is of a largely factious nature—although there are a number

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Content

This file relates to Italian activities in the Middle East, particularly in the Yemen. The correspondence includes discussion of the following:

  • British policy in the event of the Italians occupying Sheikh Said [Ra’s Shaykh Sa‘īd], or any other part of the Yemen.
  • The Yemen's position in the Italo-Abyssinian conflict [Italo-Ethiopian War].
  • Relations between Ethiopia and the Yemen.
  • Italian activities in the Yemen.
  • British suspicions regarding Italian activities in the Yemen.
  • Future British policy in the Yemen.
  • Internal affairs in the Yemen.
  • Anglo-Italian relations in the Middle East, and the likelihood of Italy violating the Rome Understanding of 1927.
  • Ibn Saud's [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] view on Italian activity in the region.
  • The visits of Italian destroyers to Kamaran Island in March 1937 and January 1938.
  • British and French concerns that Italy, following its denunciation of the Franco-Italian Agreement of 1935, seeks possession of the Island of Doumeira [Dumēra Desēt, Red Sea, also spelled Dumeira in the file], currently under French control.

The file features the following principal correspondents: His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, succeeded by Sir Reader William Bullard); the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. , Aden (Sir Bernard Rawdon Reilly); the Governor of Aden (Reilly again); the High Commissioner, Cairo (Sir Miles Lampson); His Majesty's Ambassador in Cairo (Lampson again); His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires, Alexandria (John Cecil Sterndale Bennett); His Majesty's Ambassador in Paris (Eric Phipps); His Majesty's Ambassador in Rome (Eric Drummond); the British Consul General, Jibuti [Djibouti] (Herbert George Jakins); the British Naval Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station (Vice-Admiral Alexander Robert Maule Ramsay); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Anthony Eden); the Secretary of State for the Colonies (James Henry Thomas, succeeded by William George Arthur Ormsby-Gore); officials of the Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, and the Air Ministry.

In addition to correspondence, the file includes the following: copies of extracts from Aden political intelligence summaries; copies of the minutes of meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence's Standing Official Sub-Committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East, dated 26 November 1935, 14 December 1936, and 8 June 1937 respectively; a copy of a translation of a treaty of friendship and commerce between the Ethiopian and Yemeni governments, which was ratified on 21 September 1935.

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 (folios 2).

Extent and format
1 file (348 folios)
Arrangement

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 inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 349; 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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 6/84 'Yemen: Attitude of Yemeni Govt. towards the Italo-Ethiopian dispute. Policy of H.M.G. in event of Italian occupation of Yemeni territory.' [‎110v] (220/699), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2157, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100041685366.0x000017> [accessed 3 April 2020]

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