According to a “highly confidential” document recently published by the UK government, Britain had full control and authority over the income from Hajj when the sun never set on the British Empire, Mashreghnews reported.
The text also emphasized that Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, took a portion of the revenues, despite not having any control over the Hijaz district at the time. He conquered and dominated the area in 1924, four years after the publication of the document.
The text, numbered as NA-CAB 244/110/40, suggested that more than 100,000 pilgrims travelled to Hijaz to perform Hajj, mostly from India.
East India Office affiliated to the British Empire paid Al Saud part of the Hajj income that, according to the document, amounted to a monthly sum of 75,000 Indian rupees.
This is while the text said one of the British officials objected to the payments.
Moreover, another document, which was associated with a UK government source, stated that the country paid Arab rulers annual salary to control their so-called “extremist” and “radical” peasants and prevent them from attacking British troops, who were in a war against Arab nations, including Palestinians, at the time.
The document also said that Ibn Saud’s wage was among the most controversial and debated issues between the British government officials. According to the text, Sir Percy Cox offered to increase Ibn Saud’s salary to £120,000 a year, but Winston Churchill proposed £100,000 to be paid on a monthly basis. Lord Kerzn also became furious at the proposal, asking, why should the desert traveller be paid the same as an Afghan prince? He stressed that the UK government must know the real value of the Arab rulers and after that pay them these huge sums of money.
However, the British government officials agreed to an annual wage of £180,000 for Sharif Hussein Bin Ali. In addition, less important Arab rules to the UK, such as the ruler of Asir Mohammad bin Ali Al Idrisi and the ruler of Yemen Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, were paid £200 a month.
The document also referred to a dispute between the British politicians over the formal occupation of East Jordan in the case of the defeat of the Jordan Prince, Abdullah bin Al-Hussein.
Furthermore, the text included advice from the British representative in Palestine, who called for £5,000 for Prince Abdullah bin Al-Hussein and a gradual increase in the amount based on his needs.