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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎73r] (150/416)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (203 folios). It was created in 1904-1910. 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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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty s Government.]
PERSIA.
CONFIDENTIAL.
lr
[43528]
A’ ? DRC19© i"
%.
No. 1.
[November 29.]
Section 3-
Sir G. Barclay to Sir Edward Grey.—[Received November 29.)
•(39^
(No. 207.)
Sir, ^ 1 Tehran, November 9, 1909.
IN ray despatch No. 147 of the 27th July I reported that the Sheikh of Moh
merah was not completely satisfied with the assurances given him for himself Hra 7
“ his heirs and successors,” and that he was anxious that the words in inv an
commas should be changed to “ his own successive male descendants up to a period of
one hundred years.”
I have taken advantage of Major Cox’s visit to Tehran to confer with him on the
question of our assurances to the sheikh, and he has embodied the sheikh’s wishes in
this matter in the accompanying memorandum (Inclosure 1).
I trust that the explanations given by Major Cox of the reasons which have
impelled the sheikh to ask for the extension of our assurances to his offspring will be
considered sufficient to warrant our giving him satisfaction on ehis point.
It will be noticed that the sheikh also desires an assurance of our protection for his
private property. I take it that, in the event of any encroachment on his property in
Persia, we should in fact find it desirable to give him the necessary assistance for a
satisfactory solution, so that assurances on this head—provided they were expressly
confined to his property in Persia, for we do not, of course, wish to do anything which
might encourage him to acquire more property in Turkey—would not increase our
practical obligations. I would therefore recommend that an assurance should also be
given him on this point, and, in order to give us what would be recognised as some
locus standi for helping the sheikh in the event of the Persian Government’s interfering
with his property, I venture to hope that it may be found possible to give effect to
Major Cox’s suggestion that a decoration be conferred upon him. A favourable moment
might be after the recent agreement with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company is
disclosed, provided that its disclosure does not arouse any great agitation in the
Medjliss, in which latter event the bestowal of the decoration might be postponed for
a while.
It will be observed from Major Cox’s memorandum that the sheikh wishes to be
given a document which could be shown to his tribesmen, setting forth in brief the
assurances we have given him at various times, and that at a recent interview he
dictated to Major Cox the form which he would like it to take. I venture to think
that His Majesty’s Government might see their way to giving him this document in a
somewhat modified form. Worded as it stands at present it is open to the interpreta
tion that we have accepted the sheikh as a British protected person. It is also open to
the objection that it contains nothing to show that our undertaking is dependent on
the good behaviour of the sheikh and his offspring. These points are covered in the
amended formula marked “ Inclosure 2 ” which I beg to recommend. It would probably
satisfy the sheikh, and it seems to Major Cox and to me to commit us to no more than
we should, even if it did not exist, find ourselves compelled in our own interests to
perform. The proposed formula covers the points already referred to in this despatch,
i.e., the extension of our assurances to the sheikh’s male descendants for a stated period
and protection for his property in Persia, but does not include two further assurances
which the sheikh desires to obtain, viz., those which relate to his treatment in the
event of Great Britain’s seizing the southern customs or intervening in the south.
Major Cox and I have discussed these two points, and he thinks that it would be
possible if the sheikh reverts to the question to make him understand that His
Majesty’s Government cannot give undertakings contingent on action of their own
which they cannot regard as at all probable, and to satisfy him on the points in
question with general friendly verbal assurances. On this point if His Majesty’s
Government have any special instructions they might be given to Major Cox before his
return to his post.
I have, &c
G. BARCLAY.
[2491 /—3]
i.

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Content

The correspondence discusses the situation regarding British assurances to the Sheikh of Mohammerah. The volume includes a description of the Sheikh's perception that, despite his good behaviour towards the British he has not been afforded the support provided to other Arab sheikhs in the Gulf as in Kuwait or Bahrain. Letters include an account of the explanation given to the Sheikh of Mohammerah that Britain recognized Bahrain and Kuwait as independent, in de jure as well as de facto terms; in contrast the British recognized the Shah's sovereignty over Mohammerah.

The correspondence discusses the practicalities of a customs arrangement between the Shah and the Sheikh of Mohammerah mediated by the British. Letters consider the circumstances under which Britain could intervene militarily to protect its interests in the Karun Valley in the event of disorder arising following interference by the Shah.

The correspondence discusses the scope and form of words of the assurance to be given to the Sheikh of Mohammerah and his male descendants, in the event of disorder following from a change in the Persian regime, be it of a royalist, nationalist, or constitutional nature as well as disputes with Bakhtiari khans.

Correspondents include: Shaikh Khazal Khan, Sardar Leader of a tribe or a polity; also refers to a military rank or title given to a commander of an army or division. -i-Afra, the Shaikh of Mohammerah; The Confidential Agent of the Shaikh of Mohammerah; Major Percy Zachariah Cox, Her Majesty's Consul at Bushire; Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Acting Consul of Mohammerah.

Each part includes a divider which gives the subject and part numbers, year the subject file was opened, subject heading, and list of correspondence references contained in that part by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (203 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume. The subject 345 (Mohammerah) consists of two volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/132-133. The volumes are divided into two parts, with each part comprising one volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 203; these numbers are written in pencil and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the one leading flyleaf.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎73r] (150/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030522023.0x000097> [accessed 23 July 2024]

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