Coll 6/67(2) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [97r] (198/734)
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.
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I W m
26th February 1935,
My dear G-eorge,
Many thanks for your letters E 394/318/25 of
January 24th and 31st about the distinction between
personal and territorial sovereignty, with special
reference to the suggested desert zone. I have read
the letters and Beckett’s minute of January 23rd with great
interest. I appreciate the force of the "short answer" in
paragraph 1 of his minute and very much hope that if the
desert zone becomes practical politics we shall be able to
eschew the word "sovereignty" in connexion with our own
I am indeed greatly alarmed by the application of the
word "sovereignty" to our position in regard to the Trucial
Sheykhs and Qatar. It appears to me to be mainly a matter
of words, because it is obvious that, even for international
purposes, King George's position in regard to those states
cannot be precisely the same as his position in regard to
the United Kingdom, either as regards his rights or his
responsibilities. But "sovereignty" is a very potent word
and Ibn Saud is not a lawyer. Any assertion by us that we
had "sovereignty" over the Trucial Sheykhdoms and Qatar,
would cause him to throw a thousand fits. And if he were
a lawyer, might he not ask how we came to speak of his
maintaining "relations" with them and with Bahrain and Kuwait
in Article 6 of the Treaty of Jedda?
Rendel Sso, C.M.G.,
About this item
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)
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 View the complete information for this record
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- Coll 6/67(2) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.'
- front, back, spine, edge, head, tail, front-i, 2r:167v, 169r:273v, 275r:364v, back-i
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