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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎112r] (230/402)

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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/ (L4Ma^
(S ( ' ' - " c
Under-Secretary of State. (JC
Juai^ nr
H-A^riJ, j/' ^ Jifti'-u- ^
ter PiAsU^ur. . r / ^
(/
South Eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia.
Please see papers at Ext.922/45 and Sir G.Prior's letter of ?nth
and Government of India*s telegram 4^18 of 22nd ^
n _. T ^ is complicated question is explained fully and lucidly in the Foreign
Office Memorandum at flag "A" with which may be read the Memorandum on the
legal position at B and that on the proposed cession of Khor-El-Odeid at
C . Our successive offers to Ibn Saud, his claims and those of the Sultan
of Muscat can most clearly be seen from the map appended to Memorandum "A".
Very briefly, the position is that in 1935 we offered the Riyadh Line to
Ibn Saud which offer was rejected mainly on account of the Saudi Government’s
reluctance to give up their claims to the Jebel Nakhsh and the Khor-El-Odeid.
We subsequently considered whether we could meet him by accepting his claims*
to one or other of these places but they both had to be ruled out^— £he
Jebel Nakhsh because it is within the Anglo Iranian Oil Company’s Qatar
concession and Lord Cadman was strongly opposed to any concession on the points
and the Khor-El-Odeid because of H.M.G's statement in 1906 to the Sheikh
of Abu Dhabi that we regarded it as within his territory, in view of which 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. and the Government of India expressed themselves most strongly
opposed to any concession to Ibn Saud.
As regards the most recent correspondence which we now have under
consideration, it will be seen that there is seme diversity of opinion as
to what steps it may now be possible to take;
(1) Sir Jordan, the late Minister at Jedda, expressed the opinion
thar the present moment was a favourable opportunity for making
some move,
(2) Sir Geoffrey Prior is opposed to making any move and suggests that
we should await Ibn Baud’s death,
( 3 )
The Government of India appear to be in favour of making some move,
though they do not specify exactly what. ^
tW
izj rj&. 1
Mr.Grafftey-Smith, who has recently taken up the post as Minister in Jedda, has
^ j not yet expressed any opinion.
The questions which will have to be decided are very briefly:-
(1) Are we opposed to making any further concessions to Ibn Saud in
respect of Jebel Nakhsh, Khor-El-Odeid or anywhere else?
Petroleum Concessions Ltd. will no doubt be equally opposed to
ng any concession as regards Jebel Nakhshj I do not see why
we should modify our attitude as regards Khor-El-Odeid; as regards
concessions elsewhere, there is very little more we can offer without
coming into conflict with the Sultan of Muscat’s claims, and since we
know so little about the oil potentialities of the Ruba-Al-Xhali any
step will be a step rather in the dark.
(2) If we do not make any concession, will Ibn Saud be likely to play? ^
Grafftey-Smith is in the best position to express an opinion on
this and we must await his view*
(3) If we come to no arrangement with Ibn Saud, is the situation likely
to deteriorate still further or not? On the assumption that Ibn
Saud’s influence will continue to increase with the tribes of South
Eastern Arabia and that the American Oil Company will continue to
press ahead with its oil exploration and development, it would appear
likely that the situation will deteriorate. Much of the territory
in question is“reskullius“and he who can exert his influence in it
will be able 4 *~ «-im -for the sovereignty of the territory*
t» x * -
X PC auxe; to base a claim for the sovereignty of the territory*
are in no position to make counter-penetration from Muscat or the
We
Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. .
/w

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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' [‎112r] (230/402), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2139, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049276752.0x00001f> [accessed 15 October 2019]

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