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Coll 6/65 'Relations between Saudi-Arabia and the Yemen.' [‎113r] (225/917)

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The record is made up of 1 file (457 folios). It was created in 30 Apr 1934-27 Jan 1938. It was written in English and French. 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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7. I have not yet had time to study Chapter XIV, which deals with the
\am and with Najran. The divergence of views regarding these has been so
complete and both parties are, to my mind, on such weak ground that I do not
expect the documents to prove of much use either way, but, if I find them to be
of sufficient interest, I will submit a further report on them at leisure.
8 . The Imam \ ahya is a master of obscure language. Ibn Saud is more
capable of precision, but can be equally obscure on occasion. They both, as you
know, overlay most of what they say with blankets of pious verbiage. I trust,
therefore, that you will make allowance for the imperfection of this despatch,
which I have prepared at a time of great pressure from rough translations of
highly peculiar texts. 1 have endeavoured to isolate the points which seem to
have most bearing on the present dispute, in case the recent happy turn of events
should result in a rational general settlement free from the ambiguities of the
9. In this connexion I would revert to my despatch No. 1 of the 2nd January
relative to the possibility of a Saudi claim to Hudeyda and connected matters.
In that despatch I expressed the view that a study of historical events since 1872
might be a useful contribution to an examination of the claims and counter-claims
of the two rulers. I have found that to be really useful such a study should go
much further back, and, while I have collected a good deal of material. I have
found it quite impossible to complete and collate it. I he most I can hope to do is
to pioduce at some future time a paper of some historical interest, even though
a settlement between Ibn Saud and the Imam should deprive it of practical
utility. ‘ 1
10. In the meanwhile the facts which 1 have collected are of use in shaping
my own views. If I were revising my despatch No. 1 of 2nd January, I should
amend it in various particulars. I should not, however, alter my view that
Ibn Saud has a good case for claiming both ports of Asir; that he would have a
very poor case for claiming as against the Imam, on historical or legal ^rounds
the littoral beyond a point somewhere not far south of the Wadi Tashar; and that
neither he nor the Imam has any strong claim to Najran. as against the local
tnbes. As regards Hudeyda, I find myself supported by no less an authority than
Ibn Saud himself, who, in the conversation reported in Sir G Clavton’s desnatch
of the 16th July, 1928, to the Colonial Office, said: “ That he would leave the
Imam in possession of Hudeyda, to which he recognised the Imam’s clear right.”
. sending copies of this despatch and the English enclosures to His
Majesty s Ambassador at Rome and the Chief Commissioner at Aden.
I have, &c.
Enclosure 1 in No. 1 .
Contents of the Saudi Green Book on the Saudi-Yemen Conflict. Published on
April 29, 1934.
Introduction. Added just before publication, explaining the final reasons
for publishing the book.
Chapter I. Short general introduction.
Chapter II. First Saudi Mission to Sa/m.—Arrived 3 Dhul Hiiia 1345
Left about 30th July, 1927. Documents 1 and 2 .
Chapter III. Second Saudi Mission to Sana .—Sittings lasted from
20 Jumada ath-Thani, 1346, to 21 Rajab, 1346, when the Imam received the
mission and announced his intention of sending back with them a Yemeni mission
to Ibn Saud. Documents 3 to 6 include extracts from proc'es-verbaux and'the
Imam s letter to the King of 2 Shaban, 1346.
Chapter IV ' Vis . it °f Y/ ' meni Mission to Mecca.—Arrived during Eama-
dhan 1346 (began on the 22 nd February, 1928), and stayed apparently until some
time m June 1928. Documents 7 to 10 .
Chapter V. The Anva Incidents .—11 to 20 relate to the period
fiom September 1931 up to the end of the negotiations following the incident in
December 1931 the ratification of the treaty then concluded and the proposed
despatch of a further Saudi mission. ^ 1
[131 g-3] B 2

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This file concerns Saudi-Yemeni relations, beginning with the final weeks of hostilities between the two countries before going on to cover peace negotiations and the reoccupation of Hodeidah (also transliterated as Hodeida) by the Yemeni authorities, following the gradual withdrawal of Saudi troops.

Related matters discussed in the correspondence include the following:

In addition to correspondence the file includes the following:

  • Extracts from Aden, Bahrain, and Kuwait political intelligence summaries.
  • Copies of an English translation of the Treaty of Taif.
  • A copy of an English translation of the Treaty between King Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and the Idrisi [Sayyid Muḥammad bin ‘Alī al-Idrīsī], signed on 31 August 1920.
  • Copies of extracts from reports from the Senior Officer of the Red Sea Sloops, as well as copies of reports from the commanding officers of HMS Penzance and HMS Enterprise respectively.

The file features the following principal correspondents: His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, succeeded by Sir Reader William Bullard); His Majesty's Chargé d'Affaires to Jedda (Albert Spencer Calvert); the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Philip Cunliffe-Lister); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir John Simon); the Senior Officer of the Red Sea Sloops; the Commander of HMS Penzance ; His Majesty's Ambassador in Rome (James Eric Drummond); the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Yemen; officials of the Colonial Office, the 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. , the Foreign Office, the Admiralty.

Although the file includes material dating from 1934 to 1938, most of the material dates from 1934. The French material consists of three telegrams addressed to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by Yemen's Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The file includes two dividers which give a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. These are placed at the back of the correspondence (folios 2-3).

Extent and format
1 file (457 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 458; 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 and French in Latin script
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Coll 6/65 'Relations between Saudi-Arabia and the Yemen.' [‎113r] (225/917), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2132, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 September 2019]

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