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Coll 6/67(2) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎52r] (108/734)

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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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-10-
MR. LAITEWAITE said that the Secretary of State for
India would certainly not agree to any concession further
east than that'already suggested, i.e. meridian 53 .
/A
THE CHAIRMAN, in reply to a further question, explained
that the position as regards the authority of the Crucial
Sheikhs in the hinterland was uncertain. Ihn Saud had
extended his influence very considerably and had within the
last few years greatly strengthened his claims by establish
ing colonies of Akhwan in areas 'diere his rights had not
previously existed but were not now contested. It was not
possible to disregard the claims he had thus established, but
if a boundary were now agreed upon we should know how we stood
and be in a stronger position for contesting any claims he
had tried to establish beyond that boundary.
MR. SEAL did not agree. He was of opinion that we
could take effective action against any of Ibn Baud’s tribes
men who penetrated into our territory; also that as Ibn Saud
was not a member of the League of Nations he coulci not force
us to recognise his position.
THE CHAIRMAN explained that Ibn Saud might well have a
strong case against us if the boundaries were not defined,
and that it would be necessary in such an event for us to
be able to produce some answer. Ibn Sand's advisers w ere
quite clever enough to realise that if they could produce an
unanswerable case it would, be worth Ibn Saud. s while to
demand arbitration. In any case Ministers had already
decided in favour of trying to reach an agreement with Ibn
Saud about these south-eastern frontiers, and it would be
unfortunate if this major question oi principle had no i to
be reopened, unless it were clear that no agreement with ibn
Saud could be reached. He suggested that the meeting should
proceed on the basis that an agreement about the frontiers
wss desirable and should be aimed at.

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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.' [‎52r] (108/734), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2135, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100054083083.0x00006d> [accessed 13 December 2019]

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