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Coll 6/67(1) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎143r] (290/794)

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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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[206 u—1] B
THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S GOYERNMENT
EASTERN (Arabia).
CONFIDENTIAL.
September 20 , 1934.
Section 1.
T
[E 5908/2429/25] No. 1 .
Record of Second Meeting with Fuad Bey Hamza, held at the Foreign Office on
September 20, 1934.
THE meeting was attended by-—
Mr. Rendel.
Fuad Bey Hamza (Deputy Saudi Arabian Minister for Foreign Affairs).
Sheikh Hafiz Wahba (Saudi Arabian Minister in London).
Sir Andrew Ryan (His Majesty’s Minister at Jedda).
Mr. Johnstone.
Mr. Rendel recalled that, at Fuad Bey’s request, it had been agreed on the
previous day to begin the present discussion by examining the problem of the
eastern and south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia. As the Saudi Government
were aware, His Majesty’s Government were satisfied as to the continued legal
validity of the position established by the Anglo-Turkish Conventions of 1913
and 1914. They saw nothing to be gained, however, by pursuing the discussion
on purely legal lines if there were any other means of reaching a satisfactory
settlement; they realised that King Ibn Saud felt strongly on the subject; and
they considered that a friendly adjustment of the matter should be possible.
They were anxious for a friendly settlement of all outstanding questions with
King Ibn Saud, but, in the first place, they would like to know more about King
Ibn Baud’s own views on the frontier problem. His Majesty’s Government had
certain important responsibilities east of the ££ blue line,” which King Ibn Saud
had recognised. It was desirable to establish some agreed boundary in the region
in question; but, before going any further, it was necessary to have some idea of
King Ibn Saud’s desiderata.
Fuad Bey expressed his satisfaction at hearing that His Majesty’s Govern
ment did not intend to take their stand rigidly on what- they considered their
legal rights. King Ibn Saud, he said, was not aiming at expansion, nor did he
desire to hold anything which he had not held before. The appeal of His
Majesty’s Government to the kv^crAnglo-Turkish Conventions had, however, come
as a great shock to him. Those conventions had not been referred to on past
occasions, either at the time of the conclusion of the treaty of 1915, under which
the question of King Ibn Saud’s eastern frontiers was left open to further
discussion, or at the time of the negotiation of the Treaty of Jedda in 1927, when
King Ibn Saud had enquired about the relations of His Majesty’s Government
with the Arab chiefs of 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. , and had been furnished with copies
<|f a number of agreements, but not of these. Meanwhile, Fuad Bey was awaiting
details regarding the boundary line which King Ibn Saud wished to propose, and
he expected to receive these by Monday, the 24th September. Speaking generally,
he considered that King Ibn Saud would claim that those tribes who had long
been considered his subjects should continue under his rule, and that their
territories should be included in his dominions; he cited particularly the Murra
and Manasir tribes. To the south, he suggested that the Qara Mountains beyond
the Ruba-al-Khali might be a suitable boundary.
Mr. Rendel pointed out to him that the latter claim was a very far-reaching
one, as the Qara Mountains were close to the south coast of Arabia. It was clear
from Mr. Bertram Thomas’s journeys and maps that there was an extensive area
between these mountains and the Ruba-al-Khali, which appeared always to have
been part of the territory of Muscat.
Fuad Bey then mentioned another line of hills further north, and implied
that Ibn Saud did not wish to claim any territory to the south beyond the Ruba-al-
Khali; but the point was not pursued.

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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.' [‎143r] (290/794), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2134, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100056574349.0x00005b> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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