HC Deb 06 June 1934 vol 290 cc932-3

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he can make any further statement with regard to the position in Arabia; and whether he is satisfied that British interests are adequately protected in the light of recent developments?


His Majesty's Minister at Jedda has reported that terms of peace between Saudi Arabia and the Yemen were agreed upon about the 24th May; but, as the conditions made by King Ibn Saud at the time of the suspension of hostilities had not been fulfilled by the Imam of the Yemen, King Ibn Saud threatened to resume hostilities on the 29th May. An official Saudi Arabian communiqué of that date announced that, the Imam having reaffirmed his intention of carrying out the conditions completely, and having explained the delay which had occurred, King Ibn Saud had ordered the prolongation of the truce for some days. Recent reports from Hodeidah are to the effect that Yemeni forces have been concentrating in the mountains to the east of the town, and that Saudi forces have been sent out in their direction. An unconfirmed report states that there has been a clash. On the other hand, the Imam was reported on the 4th June to have handed over to the Saudi authorities certain members of the Idrisi family, in fulfilment of part of the terms of the truce. As regards the second part of the question, His Majesty's Minister at Jedda received on the 29th May renewed assurances from the Saudi Government regarding the safety of British life and property in the area affected. His Majesty's sloop "Hastings" is at Hodeidah and another of His Majesty's sloops is in the vicinity. There are also two Italian warships and, I understand, one French warship, still at Hodeidah. I consider no further steps necessary in the present circumstances to safeguard British interests, but the situation is being closely watched.