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Coll 6/10(2) 'Saudi-Arabian Affairs: Financial and Internal situation' [‎6r] (11/54)

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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. .

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King s life the presence of a crowd of idle and expensive sons must be a cause
ot serious weakness to the regime.
6. It is impossible to know whether any community of feeling is growing
up between say the Saudi tribes near Koweit and the once-turbulent population
.in Asir. Probably not. But it can be stated with certainty that there is no
^community of feeling between the Hejaz towns and Nejd. The King speaks
with a contempt which must be admitted to be well deserved of the people of
the Hejaz, anu while he claims to rule with the approval of Nejd, he cares
nothing for Hejazi approval. It is probable, however, that no ruler would be
popular in the Hejaz who did not leave to the Hejazis their traditional liberty
to exploit the pilgrims for their own advantage. The necessity to find money
to subsidise the Nejd tribes, both to induce them to refrain from raids and to
be ready to wage war for the King in case of need, has driven Ibn Baud to
raise pilgrim dues to unprecedented heights, and not only does he leave the
pilgiim little to spend in the Hejaz, but he represses the grosser forms of
extortion by which the Hejazi might still squeeze a living out of the “ respected
guests of the Holy Land. ’ The Hejazi likes to regard himself as exploited by
Nejdis, Syrians and other foreigners,’ 5 and for this view there is some justifica
tion. Whether the Hejaz, if independent, could support and defend itself is
doubtful, but the Hejazi will think of the evil from which flight at present
seems impossible rather than of the alternative ills. It would be sufficient for
a pretender to the throne to promise a lowering of pilgrim dues and to hint
at a freer hand for pilgrim guides, for him to win much popularity. As I have
suggested before, it is conceivable that Hasa and Nejd may one day be the richer
half of the peninsula, but whether that would induce the Hejaz to desire to
maintain the present connexion would depend upon the policy of the Govern
ment. Bhould Ibn Baud live long enough, and should the oil revenue increase as
it is expected to do, it would be possible for him to create for the Hejaz such
favourable conditions that even the Hejazis might realise their value. The dues
on pilgrims would be so greatly reduced that the visitors would be able once
more to spend largely in the Hejaz to the benefit of the local people, while the
menace of the desert tribes would be kept in check by subsidies paid out of the
royalties from Hasa oil. Whether such a situation, which would help towards
the unification of the peninsula, would be allowed to develop in peace, would
depend largely on the attitude of the northern neighbours of Saudi Arabia, and
at present there is little evidence that the rulers of Iraq and Transjordan Used in three contexts: the geographical region to the east of the River Jordan (literally ‘across the River Jordan’); a British protectorate (1921-46); an independent political entity (1946-49) now known as Jordan wish to
see a strong, united and independent State on their southern borders.
7. I am forwarding copies of this despatch to His Majesty’s Ambassadors
at Cairo and Bagdad, to his Excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine
and to the Middle East Intelligence Centre.
I have, &c.
It. W. BULLARD.

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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
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Coll 6/10(2) 'Saudi-Arabian Affairs: Financial and Internal situation' [‎6r] (11/54), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2076, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049242408.0x00000c> [accessed 4 March 2024]

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