Skip to item: of 54
Information about this record Back to top
Open in Universal viewer
Open in Mirador IIIF viewer

Coll 6/10(2) 'Saudi-Arabian Affairs: Financial and Internal situation' [‎5r] (9/54)

This item is part of

The record is made up of 1 file (25 folios). It was created in 23 Apr 1939-11 Jan 1940. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .

Transcription

This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.

Apply page layout

THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OP HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT
EASTERN (Arabia).
(* --
CONFIDENTIAL.
[E 8085/549/25]
P.Z.
.192
1940
December 22. 1939.
Section 1.
Copy No.
Sir R. Bullard to Viscount Halifax .— {Received December 22.)
(No. 169.)
My Lord, Jedda, November 30, 1939.
THE foreign policy of this country, that is to say, of Ibn Baud, has been
fully dealt with in despatches written since my recent return from Riyadh, and
a brief note on the armed forces of Saudi Arabia is being sent by this bag. I now
have the honour to submit a short report on the internal situation, to round off
the position of Saudi Arabia before leaving for another post. There is little in
it that has not been said before in despatches from Jedda.
2. Few countries in the world can have a better record for the maintenance
of law and order than Saudi Arabia has at the present time. The only crime of
violence that I have heard of for months was a case of rape and murder, which
was recently punished at Riyadh by the execution of three men in the public
square. Theft and robbery continue to be punished with a Quranic severity
which makes the immunity enjoyed by highly-placed embezzlers of public moneys
rather repulsive. What is most remarkable is the complete suppression of the
tribal raid and blood-feud. There is no evidence of the effect which this is having
or may have in the long run. It may be suppressing feelings which will break
out as soon as the hand of Ibn Sand is weakened or removed. It must be causing
an increase of population, which sooner or later must find a livelihood outside
the narrow limits of desert pasturage. The oil industry in Hasa will absorb a
considerable number (I believe that it already employs over 2,000 workmen), and
attempts are being made to utilise existing water supplies to better advantage and
to find fresh ones, so that there may be a demand for more cultivators. How far
the new opportunities for making a livelihood will keep pace with the expected
growth in the population must be a matter of speculation.
3. I have reported more than once, as a matter for regret, the weakness of
Ibn Sand’s regime in the matter of administration. The King is evidently a
past-master in desert politics and in the maintenance of law and order even m
places so unruly as Asir, and, in spite of his lack of personal experience of
the outside world, he grapples with the problems of foreign policy with success.
But he seems to have no conception of the importance of the revenue and finance
side of the administration to the common people, and leaves that to inexperienced
and venal officials, whose only unpardonable crime would be to keep the King
short of money. In justice to the King, however, or to his officials, it must be
recorded that he suggested in August that a National Bank (preferably British)
should be established in this country to finance the operations of the Saudi
Government and keep the currency stable; and that the threat of wai induced
the authorities to promulgate certain financial measures which have had a
beneficial effect upon the market in Jedda : the customs dues were reduced, as a
temporary measure, by 20 per cent.; facilities were offered which enable the
importer to store his goods without charge, and to postpone payment Ol the
customs dues on them, until he can sell them; and the Government even offered
to lend to importers, without interest, one-fifth of the cost of food-stufts ordeied
from abroad The Government has also taken an interest in agriculture to the
extent of obliging the California Arabian Standard Oil Company to search for
water in various places for the Government, and bringing in Iraqi irrigation
engineers to utilise the waters of the “bottomless ” wells of Khar] 100 miles
or so from Riyadh. It will probably be found that people like the Minister of
Finance Shaikh Yusuf Yasin, and the King’s family will have most of the new
land but it is something that production has not been entirely forgotten m the
deli Mi t of spending. The drafting of this despatch had just reached this point
when news was received from Iraq that certain Iraqi cultivators, attracted by
the reports from Kharj, had left for Saudi Arabia. It might have been better
[780 y—A]
k
K

About this item

Content

This file relates to the finances of the Saudi Arabian Government and to the political situation in Saudi Arabia generally. It consists partly of copies of correspondence between 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. (Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Trenchard Craven William Fowle, succeeded by Major Charles Geoffrey Prior) and 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. at Bahrain (Hugh Weightman), and partly of copies of correspondence received by the Foreign Office from the British Minister at Jedda (Sir Reader William Bullard), which have been forwarded by the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to the Under-Secretary of State for India. Matters discussed in the correspondence include changes to the value of the Saudi riyal, Ibn Saud's [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd's] indebtedness to the Qusaibi [Āl Quṣaybī] family, and concerns held both by 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. and by 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. that members of the Qusaibi family could attempt to establish themselves as official representatives of Ibn Saud in Bahrain. The file also includes a short report from the British Minister at Jedda, which discusses the state of affairs in Saudi Arabia generally.

The file includes a divider, which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 file (25 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 27; 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 present between ff 1-26 and is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English in Latin script
View the complete information for this record

Use and share this item

Share this item
Cite this item in your research

Coll 6/10(2) 'Saudi-Arabian Affairs: Financial and Internal situation' [‎5r] (9/54), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2076, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049242408.0x00000a> [accessed 5 March 2024]

Link to this item
Embed this item

Copy and paste the code below into your web page where you would like to embed the image.

<meta charset="utf-8"><a href="https://www.qdl.qa/en/archive/81055/vdc_100049242408.0x00000a">Coll 6/10(2) 'Saudi-Arabian Affairs: Financial and Internal situation' [&lrm;5r] (9/54)</a>
<a href="https://www.qdl.qa/en/archive/81055/vdc_100049242408.0x00000a">
	<img src="https://iiif.qdl.qa/iiif/images/81055/vdc_100000000555.0x000266/IOR_L_PS_12_2076_0009.jp2/full/!280,240/0/default.jpg" alt="" />
</a>
IIIF details

This record has a IIIF manifest available as follows. If you have a compatible viewer you can drag the icon to load it.https://www.qdl.qa/en/iiif/81055/vdc_100000000555.0x000266/manifestOpen in Universal viewerOpen in Mirador viewerMore options for embedding images

Use and reuse
Download this image