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Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎108v] (223/830)

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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.

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4
si tuation has now been made by the British authorities 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. m
order to ascertain the precise limits of the terntoiy of the Sheikhdom, of
aG nnaKi iu the hinterland of the coastal strip. As a result it has been
established that L district known as A1 Aqal, the Sabkhat Matti salt marshes,
the districts shown on the maps as Bamunah, Uhafrah and Qufat-al-Liwa,
all of which lie outside the area Predominantly covered by the Ahl Hurra tribe,
are within the historic possessions of the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi s Majesty s
pigment are accordingly unable to agree to the eastward prolongation of the
nronosed boundary being carried as near to the sea coast as suggested in the
Saudi memorandum of the 3rd April, since this would m their opinion be
incompatible with their obligation to protect the rights of the Sheikh of
Abu Dhabi Similarly, they can And no justification for the extension of the
daL^of King AbdulAzizls far east as meridian 56° since this would result
in he inclusion in Saudi territory of the steppe country beyond the Great Sands
and of the grazing grounds of tribes owing allegiance either to the Sheikh of
Abu Dhabi or to the Sultan of Muscat. , . , ,
12 You will then inform King Abdul Aziz that the tribal position on the
southern fringe of the Ruba-al-Khali desert and in the northern part of the
Hadhramaut has also been the subject of detailed remyestigationsmce toe state
ment of his boundary claim was received last April. As a result His Majesty s
Government are satisfied that the tribes depending on the Aden Profectorate-and
to particular the A1 Saiar, A1 Manahil, Ahl Kathir and Ahl Mahra-normal y
range not only to the edge of the Great Sands between parallels 17 and 19-
North but for some little distance into the sands themselves. You should explain
that His Majesty’s Government were informed by Fuad Bey Hamza during the
course of the conversations in London last summer, that King Abdul Aziz did not
claim the allegiance of these tribes, and their enquiries have now definitely shown
that the southern and south-eastern limits of the district predominantly
frequented by the Ahl Murra (which they understand to form the basis of the
Saudi claims in this area) do not extend to the edge of the sands, lle !
fliA north Hnd north-west of the line claimed m the feandi
memorandum of the 3rd April.
13 You should then proceed formally to put forward the new otter which
His Majesty’s Government, in the light of the foregoing considerations, have now
resolved to make, emphasising once more that it is made with every desire to meet
the wishes of King Abdul Aziz to the furthest possible extent, but adding m no
ambiguous terms that it represents a final concession which His Majesty s
Government will not be able to increase. I trust that you will thus dispel as far
as possible any impression in the King’s mind that, in now putting forward
proposals much more favourable to him than the two territorial concessions
already offered, His Majesty’s Government would be likely to yield still further
in response to continued bargaining on his part. As you are aware, this is a
point to which 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. attach much importance. You should explain
that the new boundary which you are about to offer has been carefully worked
out, and that, while the geographical historical and political considerations
mentioned in the preceding paragraphs have naturally been taken into full
consideration, the new proposals also take account of the full and detailed infor
mation which His Majesty’s Government have now received from their local
authorities in Arabia regarding the wanderings and habitats of the Ahl Murra
tribe. In the light of this information His Majesty’s Government are prepared
to agree in principle to recognise King Abdul Aziz’s claim to the allegiance 01
the Ahl Murra tribe, and they have endeavoured to align their proposed boundary
so as to include as far as possible within Saudi Arabia the grazing grounds
(“dira”) exclusively or predominantly utilised by the various nomadic sections
of this tribe. A ..
14. As you are aware, 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. at Koweit has recently reported
that the Murra £ c dira ” appears to be bounded on the north, east and south by a line
running from a point south of Hofuf parallel to but inland from the neck of
the Qatar Peninsula; continuing in a south-easterly direction along the southern
edge of the Sabkhat Matti marsh; turning south-south-east at the south-eastern
corner of the Sabkhat Matti; running thence straight across the Eastern Rub -al-
Khali as far as the Sabkhat Mij ora (approximately at the intersection of meridian
54° E. and parallel 20° N.); and thence sweeping westwards, within the southern
limit of the Great Sands, so as just to include the important group of w T ells at

About this item

Content

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)
Arrangement

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
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Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎108v] (223/830), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2136, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100046787905.0x000018> [accessed 15 November 2019]

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