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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.' [‎43r] (85/761)

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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Mr. Stonehewer- Bird
No. 20
1 I th J anuary , 1942

D. 2.00 p.m. 11th January, 1942
R. 8.40 p.m. 11th January, 1942
a. a, a® a® a.a® a
Please repeat to Cairo for Minister of State telegram No. 15
Government of India telegram No. 10 . <
nTTriiyaleiii lelugr^M No."'"}
Bagdad telegram No. 6.
Your telegram No. 5.
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Ibn Sand' is now entirely dependent on His Majesty's
Government for money, shipping, rood supplies and motor equip
ment. He has on several occasions expressed regret at .
being obliged to call on Britain's help in war-time when it
should be he who was rendering assistance. I feel therefore
^ that he might be urged to take any one of the three courses
suggested I think that he would have a marked preference
cj <for (c)l
2. I agree that a declaration of war is difficult for
Ibn Saud to justify unless the countervailing advantage to
the country m the shape of streams of gold and food and
motor vehicles and probabl y- armame nts were assured. I feel
that if he declared war his dignifylwould demand his taking
an active part or at least being placed in a position to take
an active part and that this would entail the arming and
equipping of a Saudi army. I do not, in view of the general
consensus of opinion in neighbouring countries, wish to
minimise the eifects which the declaration of war would have
on Moslem opinion but it occurs to me that it might also be
said and felt by many Moslems that His Majesty's Government
had without justification forced Ibn Saud to expose the
homeland to the dangers of war. I think with you that de
Gaury may have been swayed by what Ibn Saud said in 1939 when
he feared Italy and was striving to obtain a guarantee from
His Majesty's Government. Moreover, when de Gaury saw Ibn
Saud recently the Germans held Rostov and the Crimea, the Libyan
campaign had not started and a threat to the Near East must
have seemed less remote to him than at present. If it is
eventually decided that the best course would be to ask Ibn
Saud to declare war ? I should certainly prefer de Gaury to
obtain advance confirmation of his view that the kingdom is
ready to adopt this course. “
3. treaty of alliance would have from His Majesty’s
Government's point of view the disadvantages set out in your
paragraph L and from Ibn Baud’s point of view that of
bJ'&Hor / publicity. He hates criticism and newspaper comment and
IU*>*rCL I publication of the terms of a treaty would inevitably expose
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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.' [‎43r] (85/761), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2088, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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