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Coll 6/65 'Relations between Saudi-Arabia and the Yemen.' [‎195r] (389/917)

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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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2 -
Mr. Saleh Jaffer forwarded the letter with a covering
note to the Amir, requesting him to investigate the matter in
order that justice might be done.
8 . During the afternoon of the 21st the representatives
of Messrs. Besse and Messrs. Liveratos were in touch with He jib
Salha ififfendi, secretary to the Minister of finance, and in
conversation with him they offered to pay the full duty demanded,
provided that he would guarantee that in the event of the Italian
Firm failing to comply, the money would be refunded.
Kejib appeared Impressed by the proposal, and in
company with Saleh Jaffer (in a purely private oapaeity as
witness) they all proceeded to call upon the Minister of Finance.
This official, however, took a different view, and in a stormy
interview he insisted that if payment was not fo rthcoming, he
would immediately seize the value of the duty, in kind.
9. Later in the evening the three Firms received a further
communication from the Director of Oustoms, stating that if
payment was not previously made, he would force the looks of the
stores at 0900 on the following morning, and would remove the
required percentages from their stocks.
10. Shortly before 0900 on the 22nd the three
representatives attended at the house of the Director of Oustoms.
Both Messrs. Basse and Messrs. Idveratos agreed to pay immediately
if their Italian colleague would do likewise, this attitude being
in accordance with instructions received from tdieir Principals.
The Italian, however, was unable to accept the
responsibility for such a decision, and asked for one hour’s
grace to enable him to consult his Government’s commercial agent,
Sign. Jemlceli. The Customs officials were not prepared to
grant this request, and on his departure instructions were given
to force the padlocks on the stores and to oommence the removal
of the requisite quantities of kerosene.
11. Although I neither consider it ay duty to interfere
in a purely commercial dispute, nor had I, even now, been
a Pproached by Messrs. Besse, I was of the opinion that an
incident such as this could not be allowed to pass without
official comment, while I also realised that the Italian reactions
might be suoh as to provoke a situation out of all proportion to
the true gravity of the case. I therefore proceeded at once to
discuss the matter with the Italian S.N.O., who decided to land
immediately in order to ascertain the latest developments, it
being understood that he should take no action until I arrived
later with the French Commanding Officer.
It was clear that he took a serious view of the forcing
of the looks, and considered that it amounted to a violent and
unjustified assault on the property of an Italian subject.
12. I then called on my French colleague, both in his
capacity of Commanding Officer of one of the Guardships, and also M
as the representative of the Power which here assumes respon
sibility for the welfare of Greek subjects, and at 1400 I landed
with him.
13. IXiring the forenoon the Ba’udis had completed the
removal of the goods demanded from Besse’s store (400 oases) and
from that of Liveratos (250 oases), and had also commenced
operations on the Italian store, whence 5000 oases were required.
Work had, however, stopped before this quota had been reached.
I learned later that this pause was due to the representations
of the Italian Agent to the Minister of Finance, as a result of
which a delay of 24 hours had been granted.

About this item


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.' [‎195r] (389/917), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2132, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 September 2019]

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