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Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎375v] (757/830)

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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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i r
2. I said 1 understood that the King was opposed to the idea of general
negotiations. Sheikh Hafiz confirmed this. I said that I was in communication
with His Majesty’s Government. My own view, I explained, was that general
negotiations would have been useful, because they might have facilitated a
settlement of the question of the eastern frontiers. Otherwise I was not sure
that it mattered very much. r
3. When we approached particular questions, Sheikh Hafiz mentioned
Bahrein. I explained the present position. I mentioned the fact that His
Majesty’s Government had preferred not to over-elaborate the agenda, but had
indicated two main heads, putting the question of direct shipments to Hasa first.
If the local conference took place, it would be possible to disabuse the Saudi
Government of false fears regarding our attitude, fears which had envenomed a
question, the settlement of which did not otherwise appear to me to present
insuperable difficulties.
4. In the course of our conversation about Bahrein transit, I asked
Sheikh Hafiz whether he could tell me privately about the position of
Muhammad-at-Tawil. I explained that, while it was not for us to suggest a
Saudi representative at the local conference, we had always hoped that Tawil
might be employed, as he understood the business and knew the people of
Bahrein. I now heard rumours of two kinds, viz., that Tawil had quarrelled
violently with Ibn Jiluwi and that there was friction between him and the
California Arabian Standard Oil representatives. It was said that the trouble
was the real reason for the despatch of the Deputy Minister of Finance and
Khalid-al-Qarqani to Hasa. These things, I said, did not concern me but 1
wondered whether they might affect the possibility of Tawil being employed for
the Bahreih Transit Conference. Sheikh Hafiz denied the rumour of a quarrel
between Tawil and Ibn Jiluwi. He admitted vaguely that there was some other
trouble, but did not think it would affect the Bahrein negotiations. (As a matter
o± tact, 1 know from Standard Oil sources that there has been much friction
e ween an d the company s representatives. The companv’s agent here
seems to think that business concerning their affairs will be taken out of Tawil’s
hands, but that he will retain his other functions)
m S A* kh Hafiz ^ated that the thought the King would be prepared to
^Vin^awsv Jl TTt lT 1 ? Ue ! tlC ’, n ° f J the eastern fronti ers. I said (without
r, ?■ V a 'i that Fuad Bey had said to me unofficially) that, while the Kin<'
the local "riders"or he? re t0 “ terf f e His Majesty's Government an§
apnroach lich f the , rU k rs themselves, he had alarmed us by an
brethren’’ and on ° lm P T that looked on those rulers as “Arab
Dretnren and on ourselves as outsiders. Sheikh Hafiz referred to the nresenoe
"h “ at the negotTatlons^egaX™
jin • . V suggested that a letter from the rulers (i e a letter
sTffiTe’^irkedtLvhTTh™ fir’ th0Ugh he dld not sa y tht^ terms" would
by treaties, which had been commuSedTo IbTlafif rT ' 6 b T <1 t0 1
the Treaty of Jedda. 1 d t0 lbn ^ aud after the conclusion of
issue would be o^ a^tribff ba^K t ^ le ^ est n ? eans of settling the question at
his own Government might hav^^affgeratedTd° f tribe f' H , e adm if; ted that
irssa *S' ““.a««sjjys n
uibi .»M ^ *S»S. •Kn' O,
•rib- ™ t lV”b=i^S whether, H
boundaries. He was not vprv eir dnas could be used as territorial
settlement on a tribal basis Vs tn^fh 01 d ^ 1 S ip?- mt ’ s 6 em ed to think that a
would amount to a territorial snttlni ^ esirability of which he was emphatic,
possibility which 0dtlmed the masons of economic
situation indeterminate 7 althouo-h it had 6 onlv^p 811 ^ 1316 t0 leaVe the territorial
when prospects of oil in Hasa 7 b f° me , lai P or tant quite recently,
possibilities further afield. C 5 Q ai > had directed attention to
the other hand, ^^Lough^The Koweh P bf T C d ° f the frontier question. On
g t tile Koweit blockade question most difficult. He
t - ; 1
k ! ir 1

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
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Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎375v] (757/830), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2136, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 January 2020]

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