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Coll 6/21(2) 'Saudi Arabia: Relations with H.M.G.: Saudi Legation in London and British Minister in Jeddah. Prolongation of Treaty of Jedda.' [‎10v] (20/761)

The record is made up of 1 file (379 folios). It was created in 14 Jan 1935-12 Apr 1947. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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7. In one of our interviews, at which the resident Middle East Supply Centre
representative and the recently appointed British transport adviser attended,
Ibn Sand showed great understanding of the difficulties which faced His Majesty's
Government in their endeavour to keep Saudi Arabia supplied with even their
minimum requirements in food and especially transport. His Majesty felt,
however, that he must stress the vital necessity for keeping his transport system
in proper working order as on it depended not only the feeding of the population
in outlying districts but the maintenance of public security throughout his vas|ph*
8. I cannot close this, my last report from Jedda, without acknowledging
my debt to Mr. Wall whose knowledge of the language and .sympathetic insight
have contributed, so greatly to the atmosphere of friendship and perfect under
standing which has always obtained at my interviews with King Abdul Aziz.
9. I am sending copies of this despatch with its enclosure to His Majesty’s
Minister of State, Cairo, the Secretary to the Government of India in the
External Affairs Department, His Majesty’s Ambassador, Cairo, His Majesty’s
Ambassador, Bagdad, the High Commissioner for Palestine, the Governor of
Aden, His Majesty’s Minister, Tehran, His Majesty’s Minister, Beirut, and the
Honourable 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. .
I have, &c.
Memorandum of Conversations between His Majesty King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud
and His Majesty's Minister at Jedda, December 6-10, 1942.
HIS Majesty, contrary to his usual practice, came to Jedda before the
pilgrimage this year. He arrived early in the morning of the 5th December,
and received the members of the Diplomatic Corps the same morning, each
mission being received separately, as has been done since the outbreak of war.
His Majesty’s Minister accompanied by his staff was received at 10-45 a.m.
The conversation was confined entirely to formal compliments and lasted
ten minutes. His Majesty was suffering from a slight cold which had given?
him a sore throat and made his voice somewhat husky. ,
A private interview was arranged for His Majesty’s Minister at the King s
request every morning while he was in Jedda. “ Even though there may be no
business to discuss,” said the King, “ I love talking. On one occasion, when
His Majesty’s Minister had expressed a fear that he had taken up a good deal
of His Majesty’s time, the King replied : “ We have no business except with you,
we came to Jedda this time just to talk to you.
His Majesty’s Minister w T as accompanied by Mr. Wall as interpreter, oheikh
Yusuf Yasin was present at all the interviews, and the Amir Feisal at most of
them. One interview at which questions of supply were discussed was attended
by Hamad-al-Suleiman, Deputy Minister of Finance, and Najib Salha, of the
Ministry of Finance, who has been specially appointed to deal with supply
matters. Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin, resident representative of the Middle East
Supply Centre, and Major Shoosmith, the transport adviser, were also present
at this meeting. The Amir Mansur, Ibn Saud s seventh son (by his favouiite
wife, Umm Tallal, whom he had brought to Jedda with some of her smaller
children), was present at one interview. Sir John Dashwood attended one
The interviews took place in the main reception room of the palace : a vast
and windy hall with the furniture so arranged that it is almost impossible to
hear anything spoken except by the person on your immediate left or right. The
King sat in the middle chair of a row placed across one end of the room, with
His Majesty’s Minister on his right and the Amir Feisal, Yusuf Yasin and the
others a good way down one side of the room, just within, or peihaps just out
of, hearing. When it was necessary for any of them to join in the conversation
they could only do so by coming forward 1 and squatting on the carpet in front
of the King. (There was no loss of dignity in this, for the King and his people
have carried the manners of the tent into their palaces.)
Before conversation began the crowd of armed and richly garbed bodyguard
was waved away through various doors and windows by a slight gesture of the
King’s hand.

About this item


This file, like the previous volume (IOR/L/PS/12/2087), concerns relations between the British Government and the Government of Saudi Arabia.

The file largely consists of copies of Foreign Office correspondence, mainly between His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan, Sir Reader William Bullard, Hugh Stonehewer Bird, and Stanley R Jordan successively) and officials of the Foreign Office. Other prominent correspondents include the following: the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; His Majesty's Chargé d’Affaires to Jedda (Albert Spencer Calvert, succeeded by Alan Charles Trott); His Majesty's Ambassador in Baghdad (Sir Kinahan Cornwallis); Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd]; Amir Faisal [Fayṣal bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd], Minister of Foreign Affairs for Saudi Arabia; officials of the Colonial Office and the War Office.

The correspondence documents the progression of negotiations for a general settlement between the two governments, which would result in the initial prolongation of the validity of the Treaty of Jedda (the treaty signed between Britain and Ibn Saud in 1927, which initially expired in September 1934) for a period of seven years from 1936 (and for another seven years from 1943).

In addition to discussing matters relating to the proposed general settlement (e.g. the eastern and south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia, slavery regulations, arms traffic, and Saudi debts), the correspondence also documents various visits and meetings, including the following:

  • The visit of Amir Saud [Āl Sa‘ūd, Sa‘ūd bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz, heir apparent of Ibn Saud] to Britain (17 June-1 July 1935), accompanied by Fuad Bey Hamza, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for Saudi Arabia.
  • Further meetings at the Foreign Office between Fuad Bey Hamza, Hafiz Wahba (Saudi Minister in London), Sir Andrew Ryan, George William Rendel (Head of the Foreign Office's Eastern Department), and other Foreign Office officials, in July 1935, following on from meetings in September 1934.
  • Sir Andrew Ryan's meetings with Ibn Saud in Riyadh in December 1935 and in Jedda in February 1936.
  • Four interviews held between Ibn Saud, Sir Reader William Bullard and George William Rendel, in Jedda, during March 1937.

Also discussed are matters relating to the Second World War, including:

  • An exchange of letters between Ibn Saud and the British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, in early 1939, which principally relate to Ibn Saud's concerns regarding his country's security in the event of the beginning of general hostilities.
  • German radio broadcasts in Jedda during the first few weeks of the Second World War and their possible effect on the Jedda population.
  • The possibility of Iraq and Saudi Arabia formally joining the Allies in the Second World War.

In addition to correspondence the file includes the following: a copy of a programme for Amir Saud's visit to Britain (ff 339-348); exchanges of notes (in English and Arabic) between the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the British Legation at Jedda, confirming the prolongation of the Treaty of Jedda, dated 1936 and 1943 respectively (ff 189-192 and ff 4-5); a sketch map showing air routes over Saudi Arabia and Iraq (f 31v).

Although the material in this file falls inside the date range of 1935-1943, the final document in the file does include an additional date stamp which is marked '12 April 1947'.

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.

Extent and format
1 file (379 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 380; 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 Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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Coll 6/21(2) 'Saudi Arabia: Relations with H.M.G.: Saudi Legation in London and British Minister in Jeddah. Prolongation of Treaty of Jedda.' [‎10v] (20/761), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2088, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 January 2020]

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