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Coll 6/67(1) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎141r] (286/794)

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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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THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT
EASTERN (Arabia).
CONFIDENTIAL
Z
L
J
’V/ 3 ^
September 19, 1934.
Section 1.
[E 5874/2429/25
No. 1.
Record of First Meeting with Fuad Bey Hamza (De r puty Saudi Arabian Minister
for Foreign Affairs), held at the Foreign Office on September 19, 1934.
FUAD BEY HAMZA called on Mr. Rendel this morning accompanied by
the Saudi Arabian Minister in London, Sheikh Hafiz Wahba. Sir A. Ryan was
also present, except at the beginning of the conversation.
2. Mr. Rendel drew Fuad Bey out on the subjects he wished to discuss, and I
elicited the fact that he regarded the question of the south-eastern frontier of
Saudi Arabia as being of special importance.
3. Fuad Bey dealt first, however, with the question of the relations between
Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He wished to know how His Majesty's Government
would view a tightening up of those relations in the common interest of two Arab
countries, both of which were on specially friendly terms with His Majesty’s
Government. His Government had not made any definite approach to the Iraqi
Government, but they had the possibility in view, always provided that His
Majesty’s Government saw no objection. They did not wish to do anything
contrary to His Majesty’s Government’s policy.
4. Mr. Rendel said that he would like to have a clearer view of what
Fuad Bey had in mind. Speaking generally, and subject to the approval of the
Secretary of State, he said that His Majesty’s Government would welcome any
thing tending to promote concord and prosperity between the Arab States, and
would therefore view with sympathy any rapprochement between Saudi Arabia
and Iraq which had for its object the promotion of peace in Arabia. It would be
necessary to consider carefully the nature of any proposed understanding, to
ensure that it was consonant with the existing obligations of the parties, notably
those of Iraq under her Treaty of Alliance with us and as a member of the
League of Nations. He did not think, however, that such obligations would be a
barrier to a closer understanding between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and considered
that any points which might arise could be covered by suitable drafting^ 1 )
5. Sir A. Ryan concurred, adding, however, that he thought King
Abdul Aziz had rather more in view and sought some sort of a British guarantee
of the proposed Saudi-Iraq understanding.
6 . Fuad Bey said that this was a misconception. The King did not seek a
guarantee, but wished merely to ascertain the attitude of His Majesty’s Govern
ment. He went on to ask what kind of understanding would be suitable, whether,
for instance, His Majesty’s Government would be a party to it or whether their
position would be merely that of a third Power, which would be kept informed
at intervals of what was passing and would take a sympathetic interest.
7. Mr. Rendel explained, on the one hand, the objections of His Majesty’s
Government to assuming any new obligations, and, on the other, the undesirability
of the indefinite multiplication of instruments having no real meaning. He
repeated, again reminding Fuad Bey that he was speaking subject to the approval
of the Secretary of State, that His Majesty’s Government would view with
sympathy a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, subject to what he
had said about the need for harmonising it with existing obligations, but that,
while they would be glad to receive such information as the parties directly
concerned might give them, they would prefer not to be themselves parties to the
understanding arrived at.
(i) This question has already been fully considered by the Foreign Office legal advisers in connexion
with an earlier proposal for a Perso-lraqi non-aggression pact.
[206 t— 1 ]

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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.' [‎141r] (286/794), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2134, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100056574349.0x000057> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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