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Coll 6/8(1) 'Printed Series: 1929 to 1938.' [‎44v] (93/1062)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (527 folios). It was created in 6 Jan 1929-15 Jan 1938. It was written in English and French. 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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C ° , i Sultanate of Muscat and Oman,
Ali on the east where ** “^ efs and leaders in the northern and eastern
our treaties with the ^ us c “ treaties with the various chiefs and leaders
areas corresponded exactlj to o^ ^ no difference between one part of
in the south-western district- x e t tha( . we had no t m the past
the Aden Protectorate ana an h nd eastern areas because there
^ercfsed any active control over the north were t ^
was no immediate Mason w n opened up and the influence
now that the hinterland of Nejian etc., ^ felt> it was obviously
of neighbouring Arab States w establish our own authority within our
necessary that w ®, sh “"‘ d n Sply any change of poUcy or any new departure.
own legal area. TMs M noUmplyaj^^ for whlch we were mter .
It was merely an internal x
nationally legally responsible.
7 Signor Crolla asked whether we w
gaud ovef the northern sphere. He alluded
were not negotiating with Ibn
to reports of my having carried
gaud over the northern sp ■ on ^ su bj e ct when I visited Arabia
on negotiations myseif particular secret about the fact that
last March. I replied that there was Ibn g aud for some time aboijt
discussions had been go ^ frontier _ Although this was the legal
a possible revision ° when the country was little known, and
frontier, it had been “me of the tribes who wandered to the east
there were now indications t^sonmo^^ authority> The &rea waa
one oH ttle importance and consisted almost wholly of uninhabited desert
We were therefore not inclined to insist too strongly on the legal line, and
conversations had been proceeding in a desultory way with a view to some new
Une being agreed on. They were for the time being more or less m abeyance,
and as for as we ourselves were concerned, the area which was of most im-
nortance to us was the coastal belt. But, however this might be the fact
remained that legally the whole area to the east and south -east of the blue and
violet lines fell within our sphere of influence, and was internationally under
Tr protection with the exception of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
which was an independent State. Our actions in this area therefore could
not possibly be regarded as involving any new policy or any departure Irom
the spirit of the Rome Agreement.
8. I told Signor Crolla that I had given him this full and frank expla
nation, as I wished to clear up any risk of misunderstanding and to try to
convince him that our policy had not changed, and that we still held firmly
to the principle of the Rome Understanding that no European Power should
establish itself in independent Arabian territory. But I felt bound to add
that the Rome Understanding really seemed hardly applicable to this area,
since that Understading specifically referred to the Red Sea and to the Arabian
Red Sea coast. The areas under our protection to the south-east and east of
the violet and blue lines, which had nothing whatever to do with the Red
Sea, therefore hardly seemed to come into the picture.
9. Signor Crolla replied that the Italian Government felt that the Rome
Understanding of 1927 ought not to be applied in too narrow or local a spirit.
In their view, it was important that there should he a clear understanding
about British and Italian interests to cover the whole of Arabia and the
Middle East. I asked Signor Crolla whether he meant by this—as he had
at one moment seemed to imply—that the Italian Government wanted
the Rome Understanding extended or amplified. I was unable to get a
definite reply from him to this question, but he continued to say that it
ought to be interpreted in the widest possible spirit.
10. Signor Crolla was not- easy to follow, as he wrapped his ideas up in
complicated language with a mass of allusions and implications, from
which he showed great agility in retreating whenever I tried to hold him down
on any particular point. My first impression was that he was trying to re-
presen )a we had violated the Rome Understanding and that Italy might
therefore regard herself as free to adopt a forward policy. He did indeed
° n ®. “°“ lent hmt at something of the kind. When he reahsed, however,
how strong our case was for saying that we had serupuioulsy observed the

About this item


This volume compiles printed copies of letters, telegrams, memoranda and newspaper extracts relating to Britain's involvement across the Arabian Peninsula during the period 1929-1938. Whilst the correspondence encompasses all matters concerning British interests in the region, much of it relates to Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd (later Saudi Arabia). Matters discussed in the correspondence include the following:

  • Reports of unrest in the Hejaz.
  • Relations between Imam Yeha Hamid-Ud-Din [Yaḥyá Muḥammad Ḥamīd al-Dīn, Imam of Yemen] and Ibn Saud.
  • Reports of raids and arms trafficking on the Transjordan-Nejd frontier.
  • Reports of the proceedings of British naval ships in the Red Sea.
  • Details of the Akhwan [Ikhwan] revolt against Ibn Saud, including the movements of one of the revolt's leaders, Faisal Dawish [Fayṣal bin Sulṭān al-Dawīsh], and his surrender to the British in Kuwait.
  • Relations between Kuwait and Nejd.
  • Relations between Iraq and Nejd, including a proposed meeting between Ibn Saud and King Faisal [Fayṣal] of Iraq, and reports of a treaty of alliance between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
  • Objections from the Hejaz Government to Royal Air Force aircraft flying over Nejd territory.
  • The purchase of arms by the Hejaz Government from Poland.
  • Ibn Saud's annexation of Asir.
  • The death of King Hussein [Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī].
  • Harry St John Bridger Philby's conversion to Islam, his mapping of Rub-al-Khali, and his reported spreading of Saudi propaganda in the Aden Protectorate.
  • The currency exchange crisis in the Hejaz-Nejd and the financial situation in the kingdom generally.
  • Reports on a survey of the water and mineral content of the Hejaz coastal area.
  • Relations between Soviet Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • The emigration of Jews from Yemen to Palestine, via Aden.
  • British fears that Italy might harbour ambitions to annex Yemen.
  • Saudi oil concessions.
  • Italian-Saudi relations.

Prominent correspondents include the following: the British Agent (later His Majesty's Chargé d’Affaires) at Jeddah; His Majesty's Minister at Jeddah; the High Commissioner for Egypt; the High Commissioner for Iraq; the High Commissioner for Transjordan; 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; 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. (later Chief Commissioner, and later still, Governor), Aden; 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. ; His Majesty's Ambassador to Iraq; His Majesty's Ambassador to Italy; the Secretary of State for the Colonies; the Minister (and Acting Minister) for Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd (later Saudi Arabia); Ibn Saud; King Feisal of Iraq; the Prime Minister of Iraq; various officials of the Colonial Office, the Foreign Office, the Air Ministry, and the Admiralty.

The French material in the volume consists of several items of correspondence and a copy of a treaty between France and Yemen, which was signed in April 1936.

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.

Extent and format
1 volume (527 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

The items of correspondence are divided (roughly) into various sections. Each extract or item of correspondence within these sections has its own number, which is enclosed in brackets. These numbers proceed in ascending (and approximate chronological) order from left to right; however, the sections themselves proceed in reverse, from the rear to the front of the volume, in distinct groups (e.g. for 1929 numbers 1-23, which are located at folios 517-526, are followed by numbers 24-49 at folios 509-516, which are then followed by numbers 50-89 at folios 494-508, and so on).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 529; 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.

Pagination: each section of correspondence within the volume (as described in the arrangement field) has its own pagination sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 6/8(1) 'Printed Series: 1929 to 1938.' [‎44v] (93/1062), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2071, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 October 2019]

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