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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.' [‎13r] (25/761)

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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in Palestine or in Syria; and the greedy man who sought merely to enrich,
himself. ,
Let the Arabs of each Arab country look to the improvement of their own
country first. There is so much they could do still undone. Let them develop
their own agriculture and industry, make themselves prosperous and strong and
happy. Then let them use their natural ties of blood and kinship to bind them
selves more closely one with another. It can be done—though it will take a long
>-t«^ie—by treaties, by friendly understanding, by recognition of mutual interests,
^ok at America : at first America was a collection of weak and separate States.
But each State strove to improve itself. It developed its own resources and
became strong and prosperous, then put out its hand to its brother States and
gradually united with them, until to-day America has become the greatest State
on earth. So may the Arabs achieve union, if they will be honest and patient, for
it will take a long time.
‘ ‘ The world is not, as some Arabs seem to think, an aeroplane or a motor car i
to be steered in the particular direction they want by the turn of the wheel. {
Worldly chances are incalculable; destiny will not accommodate itself to our j
desires. Who knows what the face of the world will be like after this war ? What j
new systems will be brought to life, what mighty States become no more than dust ’
blown down the wind? We only know that it will be changed and a return to
that state we were in before impossible. How vain were the hopes of those who
held their conferences after the Great War seeking to return to the political and
financial systems of before that war.
“ But of the Arabs in that new world we can now state two things with
certainty : First, the two basic principles of national interest and integrity that I
have mentioned will still hold good, and it is on those that the Arabs must base
the policy with which they face the new conditions. If they neglect those they
will achieve nothing. Second, the Arabs, united or not, cannot stand alone.
Where are their aeroplanes, their submarines, their destroyers? They must rely
on the friendship, help and protection of some Great Power.
“ There are Governments besides the Government. Some of the others would
gladly oust the Government from its place in the East. These enemies of ours, the
Axis—and especially the Germans—are strong, no doubt. Strong enough to have
made many Arabs look to them as the champions of Arab freedom and indepen
dence. But I tell you that, if Germany came to the Arabs offering them the moon
in one hand and the sun in the other, to accept their gifts would bring nothing but
ruin and disaster upon the Arabs
“ The Arabs have known the British Government for a long time now. The
association has undergone many trials. Both sides have had much to complain of.
But after it all, one truth emerges ever clearer : our interests are inevitably bound
up together. No one but the Government can help and protect the Arabs, and if
that help fail us we are lost. The Government is a tree well rooted and we are
the leaves on its branches. If that tree is felled, shall we not wither and perish
even before its roots ?
“ In conclusion, I will mention three things that have written the lesson
clearly. Three things in this war; two of them happened, one was averted.
“ First, the German occupation of Europe. We have seen what they have
done in Holland and Belgium and those places. Can the Arabs imagine that the
Germans love them better than they love the people of Belgium ?
“ Second, the revolt in Iraq. The leaders of Iraq, ignoring both their loyalty
to their word and their own interest, plunged their country into the worst possible
dilemma. Had the Germans succeeded in remaining in Iraq but four months
Iraq would have been utterly ruined. The British would have treated the Iraqis
as traitors and enemies, and the Germans would have had but one object—to
attack the British, and would have slaughtered every Iraqi who hindered them.
“ Third, the threatened invasion of Egypt. The Arabs saw the key to the
Arab world within the grasp of the Axis, and the battle of A1 Alamein showed
them that no one stood between them and that disaster but the British
“ There is the truth : history has written it as clear as the sun. Our trust is
in God and after that in the Government. This war at all times has proved it,
and at no time more than when the Government seemed weakest and nearest to
defeat. Now you have great Allies, America and Russia, with millions and with
men. No one can now doubt that the Allies have overwhelming power and the
issue is not now in doubt. But one thing alone brought this mighty alliance into
being : one thing alone stirred America to action and convinced her that the cause
was not lost. That was when you in your island, with all your Allies broken, stood

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.' [‎13r] (25/761), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2088, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 11 December 2019]

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