The file comprises correspondence, memoranda, maps, and other papers relating to questions over the position of Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontier adjoining Qatar and the Trucial Coast shaikhdoms, notably Abu Dhabi. Negotiations over the frontier had long been deferred by British Government officials, as a result of the Ruler of Saudi Arabia ‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd’s [Ibn Saud] firm stance in negotiations before the Second World War. However, the need for a resolution became increasingly apparent as a result of ongoing oil exploration in Saudi Arabia by the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), and exploration in Qatar and Abu Dhabi by Petroleum Concessions Limited (PCL). The principal correspondents in the file include: representatives of the India Office, Foreign Office, Ministry of Fuel and Power; the British Legation at Jedda; the Political Agent at Bahrain; and the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf.The file includes:correspondence, dating from 1944 and 1945, between British Government officials in the Persian Gulf, India Office and Foreign Office, discussing the previous difficulties encountered in negotiating Saudi Arabia’s south-eastern frontiers with Ibn Saud, and the agreement that further negotiations be left until after the event of Ibn Saud’s death (ff 2-29);correspondence from late 1945 through 1947, between Government officials on the possible establishment of a neutral zone between Aramco’s concession area in Saudi Arabia, and PCL’s concession area in Qatar. Also, there is some discussion of Aramco’s proposals to begin seabed exploration off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia (ff 36-59);PCL’s request for permission to conduct seismic surveys at the southernmost limit of their concession area in Qatar (ff 76-95);reports of Aramco survey parties making incursions into PCL’s concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (ff 104-127);Government criticism of PCL’s delay in exploiting its concession areas in Qatar and Abu Dhabi (f 133);preparations in August 1949 for the reopening of frontier negotiations with the Saudi Government in Jedda. Papers include: a copy of a confidential memorandum with map, dated 2 February 1948, on the south-eastern frontier of Saudi Arabia, prepared by J E Cable of the Eastern Department of the Foreign Office (ff 164-169; copy also at ff 87-91); three further confidential memoranda with maps, prepared by the Eastern Department in 1940, outlining past and present negotiations on the position of the south-eastern frontiers of Saudi Arabia (ff 170-180, ff 181-185, ff 186-188); proposals to send representatives from Qatar and Abu Dhabi to the Jedda negotiations (ff 190-203).
1 file (212 folios)
The file’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 204-212) mirror the chronological arrangement.
Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover and terminates at the inside back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto side of each folio. This file has the following foliation anomaly: 111A. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 4-203; these numbers are also written in pencil, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence, but they are not circled. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.