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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.' [‎111v] (222/699)

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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Blue Shirts. Maher and Nokrashi will not come into the open yet, as they realise
that the magic of Nahas’s name with the masses would be too much for them at
the present stage; but if the people become dissatisfied through maladministra
tion. and Nahas begins to lose in office the halo which he developed in opposition
under the blows of Sidky’s policemen, then those two masters of secret organisation
and the political plot (it is Nokrashi actually who controls the party machine!^
of the Wafd) might decide to strike at their leader.
14. The chief trouble with Egypt is that its political and civil life is
still controlled by that old clique of politicians who were either brought up in
the traditions of the corrupt Turkish school or received their training in the
demagogic days of the Nationalist movement. A new generation of public-
spirited civil servants is beginning to appear, but it is still small, and it will be
some time before it displaces the older clique. The most outstanding personality
of this new generation is Amin Osman, the new Under-Secretary for Finance,
who before long will be in the Cabinet.
The Egyptian Attitude to the Sudan under the New Regime.
15. For some time to come, at least, the official Egyptian attitude to the
Sudan will, I believe, be correct. Nahas means to behave himself and create a
good impression; and it is unlikely that the implementation of the treaty will
cause us any trouble. The Egyptians will now concentrate on developing ties
with the Sudan—visits, financial help to schools, possibly (though not very likely)
economic projects, &c. Occasionally, of course, we may have embarrassing
incidents, outbursts of indiscretions, &c., such as may very likely attend on the
proposed visit to us this winter of 100 Egyptian students.
There will be at the beginning, that is to say, a good deal of fraternisation,
repeated emphasis on the ties that bind the two countries together, &c. As,
however, the Sudanese themselves would not welcome any suggestion that the
treaty has given Egypt new rights in the Sudan, and as the Egyptians are anxious
not to appear to their darker cousins to be claiming any sort of right over them,
they will, I think, exercise caution and restraint. The Egyptians have been made
to realise (by the Fagr articles, by Sheikh Ahmed Othman-el-Qadi’s conversa
tions in Egypt, &c.), that any over-insistence by them on their share in
the Condominium would stress their character as rulers in Sudanese eyes; and
that the Sudanese would resent their appearance in this role. Hence the stress,
from their side, will be not so much on their active share in the Condominium
as on fraternisation under the protection of the Condominium.
And personally, I believe that any excess of interest they show in the Sudan
during the next few years as a result of the treaty will gradually decrease as
the novelty of the new regime wears off.

About this item


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)

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.' [‎111v] (222/699), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2157, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 February 2020]

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