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Coll 6/67(1) 'Boundaries of South-Eastern Arabia and Qatar.' [‎146r] (296/794)

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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
EASTEEN (Arabia).
CONFIDENTIAL.
September 24, 1934.
Section 1.
[E 5997/2429/25]
No. 1 .
Summary of Discussion at Fifth Meeting with Fuad Bey Hamza, held at the
Foreign Office on September 24, 1934.
IT had originally been arranged to continue at this meeting the discussion
begun at the second meeting (E 5908) regarding the eastern and south-eastern
frontiers of Saudi Arabia. The instructions which Euad Bey had been expecting
in regard to this question had not, however, arrived, and it was not possible to
make any further progress with it. It was arranged that, if these instructions
did not arrive before Fuad Bey’s departure from England, Sheikh Hafiz would,
on their receipt, acquaint the Foreign Office with their tenor.
2. Mr. Rendel asked that the Foreign Office might be given as full an
account as possible of King Ibn Saud’s views on the frontier problem well in
advance of the opening of the proposed negotiations at Jedda. This would
save a good deal of delay and reference home when the negotiations began. He
added that he did not wish to begin by seeming over-optimistic with regard to
the negotiations over this particular question. There were certain to be many
points in regard to which the two sides would not see eye to eye. For instance,
Fuad Bey had at the second meeting mentioned the Murra and Manasir as
tribes which King Ibn Saud was likely to claim as his subjects. So far as the
Murra were concerned, there Avas perhaps some reason to consider that they were
closely connected Avith Saudi Arabia. The Manasir, on the other hand, seemed
to be of more doubtful allegiance, and were stated to be largely dependent on
the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi. Again, Euad Bey had mentioned a claim as far south
as the Qara Mountains. His Majesty’s Government would certainly not be able
to agree to anything so extensive. He mentioned these points to show that all
would not necessarily be plain sailing. He was confident, however, that a friendly
and reasonable settlement could be reached, and Sir A. Ryan would certainly
make every effort to reach one, though he would necessarily be bound on many
points by his instructions from home. Fuad Bey stated that Sheikh Hafiz Wahba
Avould also be available to help in the negotiations in Jedda, since he was
proceeding on leave to Saudi Arabia at the end of the year.
3 . In the discussion which followed, an opportunity was taken to remind
Fuad Bey that the chief desideratum on the side of His Majesty’s Government
in any general settlement would be a satisfactory settlement as regards
commercial relations between Saudi Arabia and Koweit. Fuad Bey suggested
at one point that it might be better to balance this question against the problem
of the oil concession in the KoAveit Neutral Zone, rather than against that of
the south-eastern frontier. He was, however, given no encouragement to pursue
this line of thought. Sir Andrew Ryan observed that a general settlement should
be of the greatest advantage to King Ibn Saud in pursuit of his policy of
consolidating his regime in Arabia.
4 . The question of slavery was again touched upon, but it was clear that
Fuad Bey was not in a position to add anything more precise to what he had
previously said regarding the possibility of such action by Ibn Saud as would
justify His Majesty’s Government in renouncing their present right of
manumission.
5 . At the close of the meeting Fuad Bey mentioned that his Government
might perhaps feel inclined, during the forthcoming negotiations, to raise once
more the question of the possible entry of Saudi Arabia into the League of
Nations. The proposed general settlement would remove one of the factors which
had in the past been considered a possible obstacle to the admission of
Saudi Arabia to the League, namely, that country’s lack of fixed frontiers.
Mr. Rendel reminded Fuad Bey that the existence of slavery in Saudi Arabia
had also in the past been mentioned as a possible obstacle. Fuad Bey replied
that this question also Avas to be discussed during the negotiations, and if, as
[206 aa— 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.' [‎146r] (296/794), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2134, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100056574349.0x000061> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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