Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [107v] (221/830)
The record is made up of 1 volume (411 folios). It was created in 7 Feb 1935-20 Dec 1935. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
limits within which Saudi Arabia and the other Arab States concerned would
respectively be free to exercise full sovereignty. Fuad Bey Hamza replied that
his Government considered that the only basis for a settlement was to establish
and allocate the grazing grounds in accordance with the political allegiance of
the desert tribes concerned. He maintained that the statement of King Abdul
Aziz’s demands was drawn up on the basis of the grazing grounds of four tribal
groups, in particular of the widespread Ahl Murra tribe, who acknowledged
Saudi sovereignty; and, in support of the line claimed by King Abdul Aziz,
he communicated the names of 161 wells said to be owned by that tribe!
Fuad Bey criticised the concessions offered by Flis Majesty’s Government as being
purely arbitrary and not in accordance with the material facts of the situation in
the desert. The Saudi Government had, he said, worked out, after the most
searching investigation and enquiry, a carefully plotted and rational boundary
which took account of the political and tribal situation, and they were prepared
to provide detailed evidence in support of their proposal; he insisted therefore
that the next move lay with His Majesty’s Government, and that, if they did not
agree with Saudi claims, it was for them to produce a detailed statement of their
criticisms. Hitherto, he asserted, His Majesty’s Government had merely replied
to the Saudi proposals by the simple counter-offer of an arbitrarily limited narrow
area which failed to take account of the material facts.
5. His Majesty’s Government are reluctant to acquiesce in a continuance
of the deadlock reached in the conversations with Fuad Bey Hamza last summer,
without making any further attempt to reach an agreed settlement. As you
yourself have advised, so long as this frontier question remains in its present
indefinite state it stands in the way of the general and lasting settlement of
Anglo-Saudi differences which His Majesty’s Government are anxious to bring
about. Moreover, the rapid development of oil exploitation on the Arabian shore
of 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. renders it very desirable that a definite limit should be drawn
between territories which would be recognised as being under the sovereignty of
King Abdul Aziz on the one hand, and as being under that of the rulers of
Qatar, of the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. States and of Muscat on the other. You will recollect
that only in September last His Majesty endeavoured to stop the grant of an oil
concession by the Sheikh of Qatar to the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, on the
ground that part of the concession area was included in his territorial claims.
If the frontier is not settled there is a risk that similar difficulties may arise from
the exploitation of the oil deposits in the Trucial Sheikhdoms if oil concessions
should be granted therein.
^ . c ^ ea F therefore, that every effort should be made, especially at
fi, 6 j?f eser h cri t lcai juncture in world affairs, to reach an agreed settlement of
e dispute, to put an end to an uncertain and unsatisfactory situation, and to
remove a source of friction which has already had an unfortunate effect upon
the general course of Anglo-Saudi relations. With this object in view His
^ a J est .y. s Government, after obtaining fresh information from the British
authorities of 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. and of the Aden Protectorate, have reconsidered
tde whole question, and they are prepared to go to the extreme limit of concession
in the endeavour to formulate new proposals to meet the claims of King Abdul
‘ z \ z 111 ^ le g rea test possible measure. They have accordingly decided to
authorise you to seek a favourable opportunity during the course of vour forth
coming visit to Riyadh to resume negotiations in the matter, if possible with
ig Abdul Aziz himself, but otherwise with his Ministers, and to furnish
you with the following instructions for your guidance.
^ J; t Y ° U Wil !A gin A inJ A min g Kin g Abdul Aziz that, as a result of the
conversations with Fuad Bey Hamza last summer in London, the whole question
1618 111 f 0llt V/ astern has been fully reconsidered by His
Arihf! 7 8 Government, after consultation with the local 1 British authorities in
In P aitlc ular His Majesty s Government have re-examined the boundary
t y i ^ l V Aziz, as described in the memorandum communicated
FnYl "Ra r 6 r r^i 1 aSt ’ m tie ^ht °f the detailed evidence supplied by
° f ^ he ar g uments advanced by him in the course of discussion,
f v her "u f .T matl0n collecte d by the British authorities in the areas
AhRAcHr’a'p Y0U Wl t j :len ex press in general terms the earnest desire of His
Majesty s Government to go as far as possible to meet the wishes of King Abdul
nn ^a izf 11 a f llcable settlement of the question, laying stress at the same time
ong-s andmg treaty obligations of His Majesty’s Government towards
About this item
This volume primarily concerns British policy regarding the south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia, specifically those bordering Qatar, the Trucial Shaikhdoms, Muscat, the Hadramaut and the Aden Protectorate.
It includes interdepartmental discussion regarding the approach that the British Government should take in reaching a settlement with King Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] over the demarcation of the boundaries.
References are made to various existing and proposed lines, including the 'blue line' and the 'violet line' – boundary lines that formed part of the Anglo-Ottoman Conventions, concluded in 1913 and 1914 respectively, a 'green line' and a 'brown line', which represent more recent territorial concessions proposed by the British to Ibn Saud, and a 'red line', which is referred to as the Saudi Government's claim for its country's south-eastern boundary.
The volume features the following principal correspondents: 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 Craven William Fowle); the 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. , Bahrain (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Gordon Loch); His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Samuel Hoare); the Acting Chief Commissioner, Aden (Lieutenant-Colonel Morice Challoner Lake); officials of the Colonial Office, the Foreign 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 Government of India's Foreign and Political Department.
The correspondence includes discussion of the following:
- The extent of territory that the British should be prepared to include in any concession made to Ibn Saud.
- The abandonment of the idea of a proposed 'desert zone'.
- The future of the Treaty of Jedda of 1927.
- Meetings held at the Foreign Office with Fuad Bey Hamza, Deputy Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Hafiz Wahba, Saudi Arabian Minister in London, during June and July 1935.
- The eastern boundary of the Aden Protectorate.
- The possibility of the British Government employing Bertram Thomas to carry out enquiries and investigations regarding the question of Saudi Arabia's south-eastern frontiers.
- Wells and territories of the Al Murra [Āl Murrah] tribe.
- Preparations for Sir Andrew Ryan's forthcoming visit to Riyadh for negotiations with Ibn Saud.
- Abu Dhabi's claim to Khor-al-Odeid [Khawr al ‘Udayd].
- Details of a British aerial reconnaissance of the Qatar Peninsula, which took place on 11 October 1935.
In addition to correspondence the volume includes the following: copies of the minutes of meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence's Standing Ministerial and Official Sub-Committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East, dated 15 April 1935 and 24 September 1935 respectively; photographs of the Qatar Peninsula, taken during the aforementioned aerial reconnaissance; a map showing the route of the aerial reconnaissance.
The volume includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 4).
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (411 folios)
The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 411; 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.
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- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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