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‘Administration report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1900-1901’ [‎16r] (39/144)

The record is made up of 1 volume (68 folios). It was created in 1901. It was written in English. 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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RESIDENCY An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. AND MASKAT POLITICAL AGENCY An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. FOR THE YEAR 1900-1901.
Mule hire, —Transport charge, which is an important item in the inland
trade, opened with a quotation of krans 105 per 100 maunds of 775 lb. to Shiraz.
It remained at this figure till the grazing season commenced, when it fell to
krans 90 and eventually to krans 80. In the beginning of April the rate stood
at krans 60, but towards the end of the month rose to krans 85, and continued
at this figure till it fell to krans 47 in July. From July to the end of the year
the average rate for 775 lb. was krans 80. It touched its highest point in
January at krans 105, and its lowest in July at krans 47.
Freight. —Freight ruled at 22s. Sd. per ton to London in the beginning of
the year, when it advanced to 27s. 6(/. in February and 30s. in March, "and
remained stationary at that figure till July, when it fell to 27s. 6d. In October
it again advanced to 30s., and continued at that figure till December, when it fell
to 2os. and remained at this figure till the end of the year.
Shipping. —The shipping returns shew that 193 steam vessels with a tonnage
of 223,564 entered the ports of Bushire and Lingah and 157 with a tonnage of
177,941 cleared from them. They show an advance of 8 vessels of 10,648
tons and 32 vessels of 33,458 tons, respectively, as having entered and cleared
Jrom the two ports over the figures of the previous year. Taken separately, the
total number of steam vessels entering Bushire during the year under report
was 113 with a tonnage of 135,564, an increase of 7 vessels and 9,548 tons as
compared with 1899. The total number which cleared was 118 vessels of
135,041 tons burden—an iccrease of 26 vessels and 26,858 tons. The figures
cf Lingah as regards entrance shew a slight increase of 1 vessel of 1,100 tons
burden, and under the return of clearance there is an increase of 6 vessels of
6,600 tons. Out of the 193 steam vessels which entered the ports of Bushire
and Lingah, 189 carried the British flag, 3 the Turkish flag, and the remaining
1 was an Austrian boat. Similarly, out of the 157 steam vessels which
cleared from these two ports, 152 were under British, 2 under Austrian and
3 under Turkish colours.
Custows, It is satisfactory to note that the establishment of the present
Customs Administration since March last under European control has put
a stop to the discreditable state of affairs mentioned in the trade report of 1898,
when the goods landed at the Customs House in Bushire used to be at the
mercy of unscrupulous native Customs officials, who helped themselves to other
people's goods, in the majority of cases with impunity. Claims for compensa
tion on account of goods missing from the Customs belonging to British sub
jects have not yet all been settled, but the Persian Government are being ur^ed
to effect a settlement.
Confidence has now been restored amongst the mercantile community in
respect of the custody of their merchandise under the present Customs Admin
istration, which has promptly paid claims on account of any shortage proved to
have occurred whilst goods were^ lying at the Customs House. But there are
persons in Bushire who do not view the present Customs Administration with
favour and who are sighing for the old regime. The reason of this is not far to
seek. Undei the old administration, when the Customs used to be farmed by
the Governor of the day, some of the principal merchants were in the habit of
making private arrangements with the Governor, whereby they obtained con
siderable reductions in the assessment of the Customs duty. But all that has
now been changed, and the full 5 per cent, ad valorem duty is charged by the
present administration. It will therefore take some time before the people
realize the benefits of a properly organized administration of Customs. If the
present administration be allowed a sufficiently long lease of tenure under its
able and energetic Director-General, M. Simais, many urgent improvements in
the harbour of Bushire for facilitating the landing and shipping of goods may
soon be expected to be introduced. Hitherto, the supply of boats for landing and
shipping cargo has been very inadequate, and when several steamers happen to
be in the harbour at the same time, great inconvenience and confusion arise,
resulting very often in serious detention to steamers. Apart from this, the crew
by which the boats are manned are rarely trustworthy, and the result is abduction
of, and tampering with, the goods entrusted to them for conveyance. To put
a stop to this unsatisfactory state of affairs, M. Simais is said to be making
arrangements to engage some steam barges for landing and shipping cargo in
B

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Administration Report on the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Maskat [Muscat] Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for 1900-01, published by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, Calcutta [Kolkata], forming part of the Selections from the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department, and based on reports sent to Government by the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. and other Agents in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. .

The Administration Report is organised as follows:

1. General Summary , submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Arnold Kemball, Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. (folios 4-10), including reports on: the year’s rainfall, harvest and wheat embargo; the governorship of Bushire; the public peace, including cases of violent incidents; public health, including incidences of smallpox and the plague; currency; customs administration, including the establishment of Belgian customs administration in the Gulf; compensation claims; the death of Queen Victoria; Resident’s tours. The General Summary also includes summaries for towns and regions, chiefly comprising accounts of local politics: Oman and Muscat, including agreement on the location of a French coal shed; Oman Coast; Bahrain, including reports from the Katr [Qatar] peninsula; Koweit [Kuwait] and Nejd, with a report on the fighting taking place between Abdul Rahman bin Feysul el Saood [Ibn Sa‘ūd] and the Emir of Nejd, Ibn Rashīd; Persian Arabistan; Fars and the Persian Coast; Persia Baluchistan. Further reports are included on: the slave trade, including numbers of slaves manumitted by British officials in the region; incidents of piracy; naval movements, chiefly British but also one incidence of a French vessel in the Gulf; changes in British official personnel; and movements and changes in foreign representatives. Appendix A contains meteorological data for the year. Appendix B contains data from dispensary reports.

2. Administration Report of the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. , 1900-01 , submitted by Captain Percy Zachariah Cox, His Britannic Majesty’s Consul and Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Muscat (folios 10-14), including: reports and incidents of a tribal or local political nature at Muscat; events at Dhofar [Z̧ufār], Sohar and Soor [Sur]; a report of the Sultan’s tours; Cox’s tours as Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. ; customs administration at Muscat; taxes; a pearling dispute; arms trafficking; a visit to Muscat by the bishop of Lahore; plague; the death of Queen Victoria; naval movements at Muscat, chiefly British also French vessels; the slave trade, including numbers of slaves manumitted at Muscat; and changes in official personnel. An appendix of statistics for dispensary activities, surgical operations, and civil hospital expenditure follows the report.

3. Trade Report of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for the Year 1900 , submitted by Kemball, in his capacity at His Britannic Majesty’s Acting Consul-General for Fars and Khuzistan (folios 15-45), including summaries of: imports; exports; harvest; the pearl fisheries; the region’s new gum (tragacanth) industry; exchange; currency; specie; mule hire rates; freight and shipping, customs administration; and a more detailed breakdown of imports and exports by specific products. An appendix follows with trade data of the principal imports and exports from various Gulf ports, and number, tonnage and nationality of vessels, for the period 1898 to 1900.

4. Trade Report for Maskat [Muscat] , 1900-01 , submitted by Cox (folios 46-47), is a separate trade report with statistical data for Muscat for 1900, with summaries of key commodities.

5. Report on the Trade and Commerce of Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and the Kārūn river for 1900 , submitted by William McDouall, His Britannic Majesty’s Vice-Consul, Mohammerah (folios 48-52), including summaries on: exchange; imports and exports; shipping activity; freight charges; activity on the Kārūn; caravan routes; agriculture; and health in Khorramshahr. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data.

6. Trade Report of Bundar Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās] for the Year 1900 , submitted by Vere Hunt, Assistant Resident and His Britannic Majesty’s Vice-Consul (folios 52-59), with summaries on: trade, and reasons for its overall reduction; customs administration; the Nushki trade route and the Bandar-e ʻAbbās to Yezd [Yazd] and Kermān road; embargo on cereals; carriage rates; exchange and specie. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data for Bandar-e ʻAbbās.

7. Report on the Trade and Commerce of the Bahrein Islands for the Year 1900 , submitted by John Calcott Gaskin, Political Assistant, dated 27 January 1901 (folios 59-67), including a summary of trade, with particular focus on the pearl market; details of imports and exports; coinage, freight and shipping. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data for Bahrain.

Extent and format
1 volume (68 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into a number of parts and subsections, with statistic data in tabular format directly following written sections. There is a contents page at the front of the report (folio 3) which lists the report’s contents, and refers to the report’s own pagination sequence.

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‘Administration report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1900-1901’ [‎16r] (39/144), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/79, No 385, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023643550.0x000029> [accessed 22 May 2024]

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