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Coll 6/67(1) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎57r] (118/794)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (392 folios). It was created in 13 Jun 1934-13 Dec 1934. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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Fuad Bey Hamza by his inability to refer to the question
of oil 9 unless Fuad Bey should himself bring this question
up 9 which he had never done. He would like* if only speaking
for himself in the first instance, to be able to tell Fuad
Bey frankly that the question of oil was influencing every
question in east Arabia, and to try to elicit information
as to the existing commitments of the Saudi Government, notably
as regards the territorial scope, on the eastern side, of the
concession they had given to the Standard Oil Company of
California. He was convinced that this would be the best means
of elucidating the situation and exploring the possibility
of some agreed settlement.
WING COMvANDER PIRIE pointed out that if the boundaries
proposed by Mr. Rendel in Paper No.M.E.(O) 162 were accepted,
the territory of Ibn Baud at the Dohat-es-Salv/a would be
brought very close to Qatar and the task of protection at
this important point would be rendered very difficult. It
would be an advantage, therefore, if the original {, Blue Line”
could be adhered to at this point.
MR. RENDEL recognised the drawbacks of any arrangement
which would bring Ibn Saud f s frontier so close to the base of
the Qatar peninsula as the head of the Dohat-es-Salwa. It
would of course have been most satisfactory if the proposed
special desert area could have been extended in some way up to
the Gulf of Bahrein, so as to keep the territory under Ibn
Gaud’s full territorial sovereignty further away from the so-
called Qatar f, protection line”. Unfortunately, it was at this
northern end of the ”Blue Line” that Ibn Gaud had the strongest
claim to a re-adjustment of the boundaries, since several
Akhwan settlements already existed near the head of the Dohat-
es-Salwa. Mr. Rendel felt sure therefore that unless we
agreed to recognise Ibn Gaud’s full territorial sovereignty as
extending in this area at least up to the head of the Dohat-eo-
Salwa it would wreck any hope of a settlement of the major
question regarding the limits of the ”desert area” in the
hinterland. n

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Content

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

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

Much of the correspondence discusses the legal and international position of what is referred to as the 'blue line' (the frontier which marked the Ottoman Government's renunciation of its claims to Bahrain and Qatar, as laid down in the non-ratified Anglo-Ottoman Convention of 1913 and redefined and adopted in the Anglo-Ottoman convention of the following year), a line which is not accepted by Ibn Saud as being binding upon his government.

The volume features the following principal correspondents: His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Andrew Ryan); 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); 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. , Kuwait (Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Richard Patrick Dickson); 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 (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Gordon Loch); the Chief Commissioner, Aden (Bernard Rawdon Reilly, referred to in the correspondence as Resident); the Secretary of State for the Colonies (Sir Philip Cunliffe-Lister); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir John Simon); the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs; officials 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. , the Foreign Office, the Colonial Office, the War Office, and the Air Ministry.

Matters discussed in the correspondence include the following:

  • Whether the British should press Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] for a general settlement of all outstanding major questions.
  • The extent of territory that the British should be prepared to include in any concession made to Ibn Saud.
  • The British response to what are referred to as Ibn Saud's 'ancestral claims' to territories east of the blue line.
  • Sir Andrew Ryan's meetings with Ibn Saud in Taif, in July 1934.
  • Meetings held at the Foreign Office between Sir Andrew Ryan, George Rendel (Head of the Foreign Office's Eastern Department), Fuad Bey Hamza (Deputy Minister for Saudi Foreign Affairs), and Hafiz Wahba (Saudi Arabian Minister in London), in September 1934.
  • The boundaries of a proposed 'desert zone', suggested by Rendel, where Ibn Saud would hold personal rather than territorial rights.
  • Saudi-Qatari relations.
  • Whether tribal boundaries should be considered as a possible solution to the boundary question.

Also included are the following:

The Arabic material consists of one item of correspondence (an English translation is included).

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 (392 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 394; 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 and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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Coll 6/67(1) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎57r] (118/794), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2134, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100056574348.0x000077> [accessed 13 December 2019]

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