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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.' [‎45v] (90/761)

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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probably however take some time to negotiate.
Negotiations might also meet with special difficulties,
in view,of the xact that Ihn Saud could hardlv he expectd^.
to undertake a-treaty ohligation to furnish 15 on Saudi
Arabian territory all facilities and assistance in Ir ^ power'*
Uf. Article 4 oi .the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty), He v/ould
presumably have to make reservations- at least regarding
the.Holy Places, v &
• -.A ^ ec lsrstion^ of war by Jbn Baud against the
Axis would perhaps^avoid.the necessity for the negotiation
of a detailed treaty of alliance* If however we were to
urge, this course on Ibn Baud, we should be asking him to
do far more than either Trap or Egypt has done. He would
tnus^isn to be able to show his people that he was
obtaining some special^advantages m return for-having
placed them more definitely in the war than the Iraqis
and the Egyptians- He would probably therefore think
himself bound to make very heavy demands on*us fc "In - return,
e.g. for money, civil supplies, military,eauim ent and
arms, which we might have difficulty m providing,
. 6, Course, (c), on the other hand, would not seem to
be open to these disadvantages, at least to the same
extent. It would not necessarily involve the negotiation
of a treaty of alliance^ and Ibn'Saud s s declaration could
be made on his own^initiative, and not as part of a
published agreement. It 'would not involve Saudi Arabia
m greater .commitments- or obligations than Egypt and Iraq
have already accepted* The; facilities to be granted by
him need not be publicly_defined, nor need any public
statement be made regarding ‘assistance which we were rendering
to Saudi Arabia in return*
, . 7, No final decision has. yet been taken here to approach
Ibn Baud, and before such a decision is taken, I should
be^glad to receive your views on the best way of approaching
this question, having regard to the military desiderata in
paragraph 2 above*
- 8. I shall also welcome your observations on the
proposal that de Gaury should return to Riyadh in order
to sound Ibn Saud on this subject, leaving you to pursue
matters further if Ibn Baud’s reactions are favourable.
9, As some time may elapse before these questions
are settled, I think it preferable to secure removal of
Italian Legation at once .if we can- 'without awaiting the
outcome of major issue,
10. It - appears from de Caury’s report of 20th November
enclosed in your despatch No*47 lof 6tn December] just
received, that he bases his-opinion of Ibn Baud’s readiness
to abandon his neutrality and openly to join the Allies
not so much on what-ibn Baud told him on this occasion as
on what ibn Baud has stated "in the past 5 ** Do you share
de Gaury’s view, and do you think that Ibn Saud v/ould
react favourably^ to one of the three proposals in paragraph
3 above? ' - .

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.' [‎45v] (90/761), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2088, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 November 2019]

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