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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎108r] (222/402)

The record is made up of 1 file (195 folios). It was created in 30 Jun 1940-30 Mar 1948. 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.

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Dear Baxter,
-“^ritish Legation,
liAi' Jedda.
| ^uly 8th, 1945^
?n.
1945
/ /<e * “io c- o ,
f & aug
In your letter Ko^_4119/209/25 Of June 23rd,
19 4 5 you sent ne copies of Sir^eoffreypFior’s letter of
s*pril ^Oth, and G-overnnent of India telegram of May 22nd-
ahout the South-Eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia, and you 4 //
asked how I regard this problem. *
2. I regret that I can see no justification for the
optimism expressed in Jordan’s letter to you of January 18th,
last, which reads to me like wishful thinking carried to the
point of self-deception.
3. Our case, in all its weakness, is summarised in
paragraph 37 of the Foreign Office memorandum on Ibn Baud’s
Claims (E 2203/2203/25: 15997). The King’s intransigeance
is apparent in paragraphs 19—22, 33 and 40 of the companion
memorandum on the South-Eastern Frontiers of Saudi Arabia
(15996). Bullard’s views in paragraphs 42 and 52 of that
document are impressive.
4. We are up against two principles of policy which
Ibn Saud has always followed: his sense of ancestral
obligation to win back all the lands ever ruled by Saud ibn
Abdel Aziz in the early XIX century, and his conviction that
tribal allegiances count for more than co-ordinates on a map
in defining the territorial limits of sovereignty. I
cannot conceive of his abandoning these standards for the
reasons given in the first and fourth sections of Jordan’s
fourth paragraph. (The second section can hardly be taken
seriously, and the third is out of date).
5. There was a good case for attempting settlement of
this frontier question during the war period when Ibn Saud
was solely dependent upon His Majesty’s Government for supplies
and subsidy. But we have missed that boat. 1 e are now
giving him notably less than the Americans are, and their power
to injure him is greater than our own. In the matter of the
South-Eastern frontier, their interests conflict with ours.
6. It is possible that, if negotiations were opened
again on a "poet-war"basis, Ibn Saud would raise the thorny
question of Akaba and his Northern frontiers also. I doubt
if wo want this. If the reason a or new negotiations is our
own urgent need of a settlement, our chances are by that much
less favourable.
7. I am sorry that this letter should be so unconst rue tive.
Our Own policy has been somewhat passive during the twenty—odd
years
Baxter, Esq., C.M.G., M.C.,
Foreign Office.
ENCLOSURE IN AIR MAIL LETTER
No. 3 2 11 AUu id 4 o
FROM SECRETARY, EXTERNAL DEPT.,
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.

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Content

This volume concerns British policy regarding the south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia, specifically its border with Qatar.

The correspondence and memoranda near the beginning of the volume discuss from a British perspective the origins and recent history of the boundary dispute, which is described as having been in abeyance since 1938; much of the later correspondence is concerned with whether the British should make renewed attempts to reach an agreement with Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] .

References are made to various existing and proposed boundary lines, the most recent of the latter is the 'Riyadh line' (the name given to the boundary proposed by the British to the Saudi Government in November 1935, referred to elsewhere as the 'final offer').

Notable correspondents include the following: 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 Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. (Charles Geoffrey Prior, succeeded by William Rupert Hay); 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. , Bahrain (Reginald George Alban, Edward Birkbeck Wakefield, and Cornelius James Pelly); His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Stanley R Jordan, succeeded by Laurence Barton Grafftey-Smith); officials of the Foreign Office, the 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. , the Government of India's External Affairs Department, and the Ministry of Fuel and Power (Petroleum Division); representatives of the United States' State Department, Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited, Petroleum Concessions Limited, and the Iraq Petroleum Company respectively.

Related matters of discussion include:

  • Ibn Saud's claims regarding the south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia, particularly those relating to Jebel Nakhsh [Khashm an Nakhsh, Qatar] and Khor-el-Odeid [Khawr al ‘Udayd, Qatar].
  • Reports in 1941 of a rumour that the Shaikh of Qatar [Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī] and Ibn Saud have reached an agreement regarding the Saudi-Qatar boundary.
  • The likelihood of oil prospecting either near or within the disputed territory, and its implications for the territorial dispute.
  • British concerns in 1947 regarding the possibility of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) initiating drilling operations in the seabed near to the disputed territory.
  • The precise location of proposed drillings by Petroleum Concessions Limited in the Qatar Peninsula.
  • A reported complaint in 1947 from the Shaikh of Abu Dhabi [Shaikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan] that Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited has laid buoys in his territorial waters.
  • Whether the British should permit or impede a proposed survey in Qatar by Petroleum Concessions Limited, which is thought likely to provoke protests from Ibn Saud.

Also included are three maps depicting the eastern and south eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

The volume includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the volume by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folio 2).

Extent and format
1 file (195 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 195; 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. The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers.

Pagination: the volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎108r] (222/402), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2139, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049276752.0x000017> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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