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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.' [‎277v] (554/699)

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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2
Ibn Saud’s present outlook. The King watches, as best he can, events in Euiope.
but he has little true comprehension of them, much less of such concepts as that
of collective security or any sort of security upheld by moral force. He has little
real interest in Abyssinia, and has seen in the recent conflict not so much a wai
between Italy and an African Power as a struggle between Italy and breat
Britain. He sees in the result a sweeping victory for Italian force in this sti uggle.
Obsessed, as he has been for years, with the fear of Italian ambitions in the ffed
Sea, he fears that that force may in the future be turned against the Aiabian
Peninsula. As a Moslem ruler still engaged in consolidating his position m
Arabia and jealous of his hardly-won independence, he has no genuine love for
Great Britain, a Power which blocks his way in various directions, m the
east and south of the peninsula, but he has much less to fear from British policy
on this side of it than he thinks he has to fear from that of Italy.
5. The only fortunate feature of this is that Ibn Sand probably believes
that it was not so much the ability as the will to save Abyssinia that was wanting
in the attitude of His Majesty’s Government as conceived by his simple mi nd. He
probably still believes that a breach with them would be fatal to him, and hopes
against hope that they would see him through in the event of a breach between
him and any other European Power. He dare not go against Great Britain. He
dare not offend Italy. Neutrality ’ is more than ever his slogan, because, as I
have said, he has seen not a war in Africa, but a conflict, not yet ended, between
Great Britain and Italy. He does not yet know what its effects in Arabia may
be. and it is with reference to this struggle that he clings to the slogan.
I have, &c.
ANDREW RYAN.

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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.' [‎277v] (554/699), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2157, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100041685367.0x00009d> [accessed 30 March 2020]

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