786A.00/9–2050: Telegram

No. 1477
The Chargé in Saudi Arabia (Abbey) to the Department of State1


163. Brit Chargé spent several days in Riyadh discussing Brit Buraimi note of protest2 with King and Yussuf Yassin. He reported discussions involved with SAG remaining firm. He has referred entire matter back to London.

Yesterday, Act FonMin asked me to call and he read paraphrase of long oral reply given by King to Chargé.3 Main points were:SAG never considered Buraimi subj negotiations for reasons:

No Trucial Coast sheik has either actual or treaty jurisdiction in Buraimi, consequently HMG can not object to SAG action.
Documentation sent by Brit to King after treaty of Jidda4 did not state any Buraimi sheik as bound to Brit by convenant or pact.
Traditional ties with Saud family.
Buraimi not mentioned at London discussions or Dammam Conf consequently Buraimi absolute concern of SAG.
In spite of foregoing, Brit sent Wilton to Buraimi and did not recognize SAG protests and consequently assumed a right which it [Page 2475] had never claimed before and denied clear and explicit right of SAG.
[sic] SAG fears for first time in Brit note that Sultan of Muscat claims that part of Buraimi territory lies within his jurisdiction.

SAG regrets exceedingly the Brit attitude when SAG was and still is ready to solve boundary problems by friendly means. SAG also regrets Mr. Riches verbally requested an immed satis reply and that if Turki bin Ataishan is not withdrawn the Brit Govt will be obliged “to take steps which it deems essential to protect its position.” Such statement is contrary to existing friendship with Brit and against the UN charter. SAG had never anticipated Brit wld make such a threat.

Copies of English version paraphrase and of Brit note being pouched. King instructed FonOff to inform Department that the wishes to express his great thanks for the attitude diplayed by the US and its concern in solving this problem, he hopes US attitude will continue and become even stronger in view of the Brit threat; and the King hopes for an early reply.

  1. Repeated to London and Dhahran.
  2. A copy of the British note was transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 87 from Jidda, Sept. 22, not printed. (786A.00/9–2252)
  3. An English translation of the paraphrase of the King’s oral reply was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 87. (786A.00/9–2252)
  4. For the text of the Treaty of Jidda between the United Kingdom and King Ibn Saud of the Hejaz and of Nejd and its Dependencies, May 20, 1927, see British Cmd. 2951, Treaty Series No. 25 (1927). Also for text and historical commentary and citations to treaties of renewal in 1936 and 1943, see J. C. Hurewitz, Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East, A Documentary Record: Volume II, 1914–1956 (New York, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1956), pp. 149–150.