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‘1/1 Volume IV Koweit Saudi Relations’ [‎31v] (71/510)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (247 folios). It was created in 29 May 1935-21 Apr 1936. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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Mr. Rendel pointed out that there was no legal obhgation on a country having
low tariffs to prevent smuggling into a country whose tariffs weie g . The
problem was one of frequent occurrence and, to take an example on a very much
larger scale, had occurred between His Majesty s ^°\ e / n .^ n
States Government in the days of prohibition m the United States. On that
occasion His Majesty’s Government, though under no legal obligation to prevent
the export of liquor to the United States, had, m the interests of good relations,
voluntarily agreed to come to an arrangement under which they co-operated to
check liquor smuggling. In a small way the position was analogous m Koweit,
where the sheikh had now offered to co-operate for the purpose of checking
smuggling into Saudi Arabia. But it was quite impossible for any countiy, e\en
the most highly organised, to guarantee not to allow a single smuggler through,
The Saudi Government’s demand could therefore only be described as
unreasonable. Mr. Rendel regretted that the conference should have broken down
in this unsatisfactory manner when agreement appeared to have been leached on
the main problem. He wished to repeat that this question of Koweiti-Saudi
relations was one to which His Majesty s Government attached particular
importance. It was one of the main objects of His Majesty’s Government to
ensure that Saudi relations with Koweit should now be regularised and set right
on the same lines as had been so successfully followed in the case of Saudi relations
first with Iraq and then with Transjordan. He hoped, therefore, that Fuad Bey
might be able to arrange for the conference to be resumed.
Mr. LAITHWAITE also stressed the desire of the Secretary of State for
India and the Government of India to see this result achieved and the great
importance which they attached to the disposal of the question. As regards the
Saudi Government’s insistence on a guarantee, Mr. Laithwaite said that it seemed 1
clear from the history of the last few years that the Saudi Government were
in a position to impose an effective blockade on the land frontier of Koweit
and to deal with any persons who might be caught smuggling across that land
frontier. That being so, a demand on Koweit for a guarantee such as had been
suggested would seem, to say the least of it, superfluous. He drew Fuad Bey’s
attention to the fact that if the Saudi Government’s demands were to be made
public they could not fail to show King Abdul Aziz in an invidious light, and
indeed might well give the impression that he was not really seeking a settlement.
Mr. Laithwaite added that the Saudi delegates’ difficulties in negotiating, even
with the help of the telegraph, were of course understood by "His Majesty’s
Government, but he reminded Fuad Bey that Koweit was ready to promise
on her honour to do her best to stop the^ smuggling, and he made it clear that
His Majesty’s Government for their part would do all in their power to ensure
that this undertaking was observed. He trusted therefore that Fuad Bey would
be able to suggest some way in which the Saudi Government could be induced to
relax their insistence on an absolute guarantee.
FUAD BEY HAMZA, in reply, explained that, while the Saudi Legation
had received some information as to the progress of the negotiations at Koweit,
they were not yet in possession of full details as to the points on which those
negotiations had broken down. The information now given to him helped to
make the position clearer. Lie now understood that the following proposals had
(a) A system of customs posts through which trade would be canalised.
(b) A system of manifests to be operated in conjunction with the system
of customs posts.
u) An honourable undertaking by Koweit to do all she could to prevent
smuggling across the Saudi border.
This having been confirmed, Fuad Bey undertook to make enquiries by tele
graph of his Government and expressed the hope that he would shortly be in a
position to make some statement on the matter. J
At this point Mr. Laithwaite withdrew.
The meeting then proceeded to discuss the future of the Treaty of Jedda
aband0 “ * Hls Ma ^’ s

About this item


Correspondence and papers concerning relations between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and British officials’ efforts to negotiate the lifting of a trade blockade, imposed upon Kuwait at the orders of the of King of Saudi Arabia, ‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd (Ibn Sa‘ūd). The volume is a direct chronological continuation of ‘1/1 Volume III Koweit Saudi Relations’ (IOR/R/15/5/111), and includes:

  • Further diplomatic exchanges amongst British, Saudi and Kuwaiti officials, relating to the incursion into Kuwaiti territory by an armed Saudi party in May 1935.
  • Saudi assertions that smuggling from Kuwait into Saudi Arabia has increased in the wake of the Kuwait-Saudi conference held in July 1935.
  • The death of the Amir of Hasa [al-Aḥsā’] Abdulla al Jiluwi [‘Abdullāh bin Jilūwī Āl Sa‘ūd] in October 1935;
  • Discussions regarding a proposal, put forward by Ibn Saud, for the recognition of Arafa [’arafa] law between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
  • In early 1936, Saudi Government proposals for a lifting of the blockade, and reports of the Ruler of Kuwait’s agreement in principle to the proposals.

The volume’s principal correspondents are: the Kuwait Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. (Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Richard Patrick Dickson); 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. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. (Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard William Craven Fowle); the British Government’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (Andrew Ryan); the British Chargé d’Affaires at Jedda (Albert Spencer Calvert); representatives of the Government of Saudi Arabia (Fuad Bey Hamza, Yusuf Yasin, Feysal [Fayṣal bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd]); the Ruler of Kuwait (Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ).

Extent and format
1 volume (247 folios)

The volume’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 249; 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.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers; nor does it include the two leading and ending flyleaves.

Additional foliation sequences are present in parallel between ff 4-246; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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‘1/1 Volume IV Koweit Saudi Relations’ [‎31v] (71/510), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/112, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 8 April 2020]

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