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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.' [‎139r] (277/699)

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.

Transcription

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-4-
V
—*
6. ihe situation would be ustfriclly altered if Italy
^controlled t’re Yemen. There would he little to prevent the
capture of Kamarm Island, which is undefended and only 4 mij.es
frol , the mainland, and even without the construction of aerodromes
in peace, the Italians, with the co-operation of tne inh,-.hi .ants,
could ruic'ily develop air bases in the coastal belt after the
outbreak of war. Our shipping would then have to pass even
closer to potential sources of air attack and we should be less
favourably pieced for the development of our counter offensive.
It is, therefore, clear that if Italian influence in the Yemen
secured for them air facilities in Kama ran or on the mainland,
4 - ^+Vw=>r>rn c-p hn^e to use a it would ~>lace
which v/e ourselves ini&ht otherwise no j; ?
us at a disadvantage.
7. Pni i'i T'~' af Br-b-el-Mandeb. The Straits of
Bab-el-M ndeh are only tO miles wide and coast defence guns, if
mounted on both shores, could command the whole width of the
Straits; and at this point Italy already owns part of the
western coast. In 1S35, when the Imam of the Yemen was having
a fort rebuilt at Sheikh Sa’id on the Yemen shore of the Straits,
rumours of Italian interest in this strategic point were current,
.or Italy to construct batteries of heavy coast defence guns on
both sides of the Straits of Bat-el-Kandeb may seem a remote
possibility. At the same time it should not be ignored,
long as Italy controls the territory on only one side of the
b traits, coast defence guns would give her only a limited - ^
advantage. If ever she controlled the territory on both sides,
she might be strongly tempted to establish heavy guns on both
shores.

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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.

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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.' [‎139r] (277/699), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2157, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100041685366.0x000050> [accessed 4 April 2020]

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