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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎14r] (28/220)

The record is made up of 1 file (110 folios). It was created in 27 Aug 1893-19 Dec 1918. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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[This Document is the Property .of His Britannic Majesty’s Government]
Political Intelligence Department,
Foreign Office,
Special 7.
BIN SAUD is the hereditary ruler of the Wahabi State of Nejd (capital Er-Riadh).
Early in the nineteenth century his ancestors, under the impetus of the Puritanical reli
gious movement of which they were the champions, spread their power widely over the
surrounding tribes and oases, and ruled for a moment from the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. to the
Red Sea. Later in the century they suffered adversity. Their power was broken by
Mehemet Ali. The hegemony of Central Arabia passed to the rival Bin Rashid house
of Jebel Shammar (capital Hail), and in 1871 the Turks planted garrisons in the
al-Hasa province, along the Gulf Coast between Koweit and al-Katar. The Bin Saud
power was confined to the interior, and during this period there was practically no
contact between it and His Majesty’s Government.
The situation was radically altered, however, by two events in 1913. In May that
year Abd-ul-Aziz Bin Saud, the reigning prince of that house, expelled the Turkish
garrisons from Hasa and reoccupied the coast. And on the 29th July His Majesty’s
Government signed a Convention with Turkey, in which they recognised as belonging
to the “ Ottoman Sanjak of Nejd ” the coastline and interior west of a line drawn north
and south from a point on the mainland opposite Zakhnuniyah Island (Gulf of Bahrein)
to latitude 20° in the Ruba-al-Khali desert (Article 11).
This conjunction of events placed His Majesty’s Government in a difficult position.
Since Bin Saud had become not merely the ruler of a section of the Gulf Coast, but the
most powerful of all the local rulers, it was inevitable that His Majesty’s Government
should have direct relations with him over the arms traffic, British trade, and his
dealings with neighbouring Arab States (Koweit, Katar, Trucial Chiefs, &c.) already in
treaty relations with His Majesty’s Government. On the other hand, Bin Sand’s
de facto independence in Hasa was not recognised by Turkey, and we had agreed with
the Turkish Government to regard his coast and country as Turkish territory, and
himself, by implication, as a Turkish subject.
On the instructions of Sir P. Cox, at that time British Resident in the Persian
Gulf, the British Residents at Koweit (Captain Shakespear) and Bahrein met Bin Saud
on the 15th and 16th December, 1913. At this meeting Bin Saud invited His Majesty’s
Government to keep the peace on his coast, showed the British representatives the draft
agreement which the Turks were trying to make him accept, and practically asked for
British mediation (6117/1990/14).
The Turkish conditions communicated to us by Bin Saud were as follows :—
1. The readmission of the Turkish garrisons to the province and coast of Hasa, as
2. The appointment of Kazis and other judicial officers by direct “farmans” issued
by the Sultan.
3. The payment by Bin Saud of annual revenue of £T. 3,000.
4. The reference of all communications from foreign Powers or their representatives
to the Turkish authorities for disposal.
5. The exclusion of all foreign merchants and agents from the province.
6. An undertaking from Bin Saud not to give concessions to any foreign companies
for railways or motor-car services.
On the 9th March, 1914, the Foreign Office presented a memorandum to Hakki
Pasha An Ottoman title used after the names of certain provincial governors, high-ranking officials and military commanders. , who was at that time conducting negotiations in London on behalf of the Turkish
Government, in which the difficulty of His Majesty’s Government’s position in regard
to Bin Saud was explained, the Turkish conditions cited (without the source of our
information being stated), and a protest made against the last three of them (10569/14).
In this memorandum British desiderata in regard to Bin Saud, subject, of course,
to the Anglo-Turkish Convention of the 29th July, 1913, were detined as follows :—
1. That he should not meddle in the territory or politics of Arab principalities in
the Gulf, including Trucial Coast A name used by Britain from the nineteenth century to 1971 to refer to the present-day United Arab Emirates. and Katar.
[939] B

About this item


The file contains correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to Middle Eastern affairs and a few other miscellaneous matters. The majority of the file concerns discussions of and proposals for the post-war settlement of Near Eastern territories, including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula. The basis of these discussions was the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.

Other matters covered by the papers include events in Siam [Thailand] and Burmah [Myanmar] and the colonial rivalry in the region between France and Britain, the Baghdad Railway, and relations with Ibn Saud in Arabia, including a report on the 1917-18 mission to Najd by Harry St John Philby (folios 67-98).

Folios 99-110 are six maps with accompanying notes that show the various proposed territorial settlements and spheres of influence in the Near East and one showing Britain's global colonial possessions.

Memoranda and correspondence comes from officials at the Foreign Office and 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. . Other correspondents include French and Italian government officials.

Extent and format
1 file (110 folios)

The file is arranged in roughly chronological order, from the front to the back.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front of the envelope with 1, and terminates at the inside back last page with 110, 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: the file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Miscellaneous correspondence, reports, maps and other papers concerning the Middle East [‎14r] (28/220), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F112/276, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 November 2023]

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