Coll 6/67(3) 'Boundaries of South Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [376r] (758/830)
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.
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Shin 1930 med iT ° f P ro P° sals “ade by Ibn Saud to the
that time orosnero ^ 0 To ^ 1 \ owever > smce then - Saudi Arabia was at
tnat time prosperous. In present conditions the maintenance of customs nosts
would be too costly and the danger of smuggling too great I said that until
last spring Ibn Sand had maintained a verf effeltlve eSrgo^n ^
hould customs 11 noT tT 6 " ° Wing t0 ab ” ormal tribal movements.’ Why
P° , t C p 11 P° st , s , | e m 1 ore expensive than the prevention of trade'*
Sheikh Hafiz insisted that they would be too costly and would not prevent
He U fted g the anat^of T 6 Pa ^ ent ° f t 1 "" 1 ? Sum ^ the sheikh ‘o Ibn Sud
He c ed e analogy of Transjordan, where he thought the Amir Abdullah
received a lump sum payment from Palestine in respect of customs duties and
recalled a time (I think he said in 1916) when Feisal-ad-Dawish used to collect
certain dues m Koweit himself and provide caravans with rafiks to ensure their
safe access to the Mutair country. I glanced at the political objection to an
SKtn w £«"• ,1 ” Sh “ th - *—* *»• "O’*™ -
9 Sheikh Hafiz said he had heard of my complaint of the lack of
opportunities for regular intercourse with the Saudi Ministry for Foreign
Affairs^ I explained my views of this subject, to which I had again drawn
Fuad Beys attention on the 20th-21st January, after I had waited six weeks
lor an opportunity of oral discussion of important subjects. Sheikh Hafiz told
me secretly that arrangements had been made for Fuad Bey to reside in Jedda
and that they would take effect after the pilgrimage (I did not disclose the fact
that luad Bey had confided to me the same secret).
10 . On my turning to other questions, Sheikh Hafiz mentioned the Hejaz
Railway. 1 said that this was well m hand, and that I foresaw no difficulty in
establishing the bases of a technical conference, as proposed by his Government
11 . Sheikh Hafiz referred to the future of the Treaty of Jedda. I asked
what was the King’s outlook. Sheikh Hafiz said that His Majesty would like
some modification, but in regard to a very limited number of points only, in fact
only the question of language and slavery. I said that the question of slavery
might be very difficult. Sheikh Hafiz said that he thought the King would be
prepared to create a special court to deal with slave cases, but he did not know
the details of this proposal.
12. I mentioned the Transjordan frontier, but spoke guardedly, explaining
that I was not conversant with all the aspects of the matter. There had been
difficulties about Hazim, and there was now a fresh difficulty about Thaniyya
Taraif, which I understood to be close to the southern end of the Transjordan-
Nejd boundary close to where the Transjordan-Hejaz boundary turned off. As
regards the latter, I said there was one thing I did not quite understand.
Fuad Bey had said in London that unless the Aqaba Maan question could be
settled, the Saudi Government would prefer to have no discussion at all about
the Transjordan-Hejaz frontier. The Aqaba Maan question was insoluble, but
I did not see why we should not try to overcome practical difficulties in regard
to the de facto frontier, just as we might try to overcome practical difficulties in
regard to the legal Transjordan-Nejd boundary. Sheikh Hafiz intimated that
the King did not wish to reopen the Aqaba Maan question, but he did not take
my point about the de facto frontier. On my asking whether he thought it would
be worth while to try and clear up difficulties in regard to the Transjordan-Nejd
frontier on the ground, he replied with some emphasis in the affirmative.
13. Towards the end, Sheikh Hafiz observed that his was a small
Government. They had come out of the desert and were unversed in diplomacy.
I suggested that they sometimes wanted to rush ahead too fast, as if they were
for all practical purposes, as they unquestionably were in the legal sense, in the
same position as European Powers. I gave as an instance controversy over the
Government of India dispensaries and expounded my views at some length,
stressing the fact that the Government of India were satisfying a great need
which the Saudi Government were at present unable to meet. I had aimed at
maintaining the present position, subject to certain arrangements which would
show respect for the position of the Saudi Government. I was all for
collaboration with the Saudi medical authorities, but saw great objection to their
exercising effective control. Sheikh Flafiz was generally sympathetic towards my
point of view, and expressed the hope that the matter could be settled easily
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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