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Coll 6/67(6) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar: Trucial Coast Oil Concessions' [‎155r] (316/402)

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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arbitration, and that, if this should prove to be the case, His Maiesty’s Govern
CTentS 1 lef^Mm “ S i f“ I “ s to , the ut “ ost of their ability. If such arbitration
eventually left him, as it certainly would, with a clearly-defined frontier which
^4t thtr^ldl^d f 611 10 res P ect ’, lt seemed t0 His Majesty’s Government
f mplrt ill d f UCe T far m0r T stron g ] y t0 the security of his sheikhdom than
. e piesent state of arfairs. It was, of course, added that, if the sheikh
expressed strong- objection to any proposal of this nature, or asked whether any
guarantee by His Majesty’s Government of his new frontier would be forth
coming, me question would require further consideration.
13 The Tndia Office, on receipt of this letter, consulted all the local
01 l ties concerned, but although the Governor of Aden and the Resident at
Mukalla were quite prepared to agree to the arbitration of the Saudi-Protectorate
frontier it the question were decided on purely legal grounds, 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.
reply ot tne 10 th August stated that neither the Government of India nor the
o itiCdl Resident 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. found it possible to support the proposed
oner to submit the dispute to arbitration. The Government of India even felt
considerable doubt whether an offer of arbitration would be welcome to Ibn Saud
himself, and both they and 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. reiterated
the argument that the mere suggestion to the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi that His
s Government were contemplating arbitration in respect of territory
which had been regarded as his possession for over sixty years would have a very
damaging effect on His Majesty’s Government’s general prestige and influence
m tne 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. ; 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. added the warning that the submission
of the Khor-el-Odeid issue to arbitration would constitute a most dangerous
precedent for the disposal of other claims to the territory of 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. rulers
who enjoyed the protection of His Majesty’s Government.
14. Apart from the difficulties with regard to the choice of arbitrators, the
terms of reference and the scope of the arbitration proceedings which were
expounded in the Foreign Office letter, 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. felt that, in the light of
the opinion of the local authorities, His Majesty’s Government could not under
take to solicit the consent of the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi. If the sheikh did agree
to arbitration and the award went against him, he might well enquire what
security he would have in the future against encroachments on the rest of his
territory, since the mere fact that His Majesty’s Government were prepared to
go back on their guarantee in respect of the Khor-el-Odeid showed that no reliance
could be placed by him on any subsequent similar undertaking.
15. To arouse doubts of this nature with regard to His Majesty’s Govern
ment’s good faith in the minds of the Arab rulers of 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. would, in
the opinion of 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. , be no less dangerous to our interests in the Middle
East from the strategical point of view than the raising of dissatisfaction on the
part of the Saudi Arabian Government should His Majesty’s Government
maintain their previous attitude in the question of the frontiers, and, in view of
the fact that Ibn Saud had not even made any reference to the matter in a letter
which he had just addressed to the Prime Minister, 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. could not
believe that a refusal to meet Ibn Sand’s wishes would seriously prejudice Anglo-
Saudi relations; they suggested that the question should be allowed to rest in
the meantime, in the hope that the Saudi Arabian Goverument would be content
not to raise the matter again. It was the India Office’s view that, if at some
subsequent period it became necessary for His Majesty’s Government to give a
definite answer, this should be to the effect that after the fullest consideration
His Majesty’s Government regretted that undertakings to other rulers made it
impossible for them to entertain the claim of the Saudi Arabian Government to
territorial concessions in the Trueial Coast area.
16. Subsequent to the receipt of this letter by 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. no further
development occurred during 1939.
Eastern Department,
June 30. 1940.

About this item

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' [‎155r] (316/402), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2139, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100049276752.0x000075> [accessed 22 October 2019]

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