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Coll 6/67(2) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎43r] (90/734)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (363 folios). It was created in 26 Jan 1934-1 May 1935. 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.

Transcription

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question whether this y^&s really the wisest policy. If
concessions were extracted from us one by one after much
bargaining they might well acquire a greater value, and our
eventual agreement to them might well be represented as
more of a defeat than if we made our offers more easily and
more completely in the first instance and stuck to them
more firmly.
MR. LAITHWAITE said that 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. based
their views on the assumption that no further concessions
would be given to Ibn Saud in the north. Their views
regarding the green line at Banaiyan and the brown line
at meridian 53 still held good. He agreed with the
procedure suggested by Mr. Rendel, i.e., to discontinue
the offer of the desert zone and to negotiate the
concessions in three stages - (l) up to the green lins,
(2) the brown lins to meridian 52, and (3) if necessary
up to msridian 53 , on the understanding that this would
be the ultimate concession.
He would like to refer to one or two other points.
Regarding the southern boundary of Qatar - which he
thought was more the concern of the Defence Departments -
he said he considered that the existing boundary running
a south-eastern direction from the head of the Dohat-
-Salwa Bay south of Salwa and Sakah to the north of the
jr-al-Odeid, should be maintained. He could not con-
iplate any possibility of Ibn Saud gaining any coastal
-ritory in vicinity of the hhor-al-Odeid. Agal
Longed to Abu Dhabi, who had a good historical claim
that area. It was difficult to say whether or not tne
’gaining tactics he had suggested would be the best.

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Content

This volume concerns British policy regarding the south-eastern boundaries of Saudi Arabia.

It documents preparations for negotiations with the Saudi Government, and includes interdepartmental discussion regarding the approach that the British Government should take in reaching a settlement with Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] over the demarcation of the boundaries.

The areas of territory discussed include that which separates Saudi Arabia and the Aden Protectorate in the south, that which extends to the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman in the south-east, and the area extending to the south of Qatar in the east.

Reference is made to the 'blue line' and the 'violet line' – boundary lines that formed part of the Anglo-Ottoman Conventions, concluded in 1913 and 1914 respectively.

The correspondence includes discussion of the following:

  • The likely consequences of not settling on defined boundaries.
  • The extent of territory that the British should be prepared to include in any concession made to Ibn Saud.
  • The legal distinction between personal and territorial sovereignty.
  • References made by Fuad Bey Hamza (Deputy Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs) during conversations with Sir Andrew Ryan (His Majesty's Minister at Jedda), regarding certain assurances made by Sir Henry McMahon to King Hussein of the Hejaz [Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī] in 1915, on the subject of Arab independence (a summary of a letter from King Hussein to McMahon, together with a copy of McMahon's reply, is included in the volume).
  • Tribal history in Trucial Oman between 1918 and 1934.
  • The Koweit [Kuwait] blockade.
  • The boundaries of a proposed 'desert zone', roughly following the edge of the sands of the Ruba al Khali and considered by the British as a possible concession but later abandoned.
  • Abu Dhabi's claims to Odeid [Al ‘Udayd, Saudi Arabia] and Banaiyan [Bi’r Bunayyān, Saudi Arabia].

The volume features the following principal correspondents: 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 (Percy Gordon Loch); 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. (Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard Craven William Fowle); His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan); the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Philip Cunliffe-Lister); Bernard Rawdon Reilly (Chief Commissioner, Aden, but referred to in the correspondence as Resident); officials of the Foreign Office, the Colonial 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 War Office, the Air Ministry, and the Government of India's Foreign and Political Department.

In addition to correspondence, the volume contains a sketch map and a copy of draft minutes of a meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defence's Standing Official Sub-Committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East, dated 15 April 1935.

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 4).

Extent and format
1 volume (363 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 (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 365; 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 also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 6/67(2) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎43r] (90/734), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2135, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100054083083.0x00005b> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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