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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎76r] (156/416)

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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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^ c*G>.
ConfidentiaL
No. 2591, dated Bushire, the 14th (received 25th) October
From m AJOR A. P. Trevor, LA., First Assistant Resident, in charge of
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. , Bushire, ^
To S. H. Butler, Esq., C.S.I., C.I.E., Secretary to the Government of India in
the Foreign Department.
I have the honour to forward, for the information of the Government of
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. , Koweit, to First Assistant India, a copy of the marginally noted
^^te'd^hV" 1 t^October^ Bushire ’ No> s62 ’ 1°^™^ * conversation which the
oheikh of Koweit held with the Political
Agent.
2 . Sheikh Mubarek appears to be in a very friendly mood at present, as
instanced by his spontaneous offer of the Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. rent free, and by this conversa
tion, but I think there must be some ulterior motive in all this affability.
No. 562, dated Koweit, nth October 1909.
From— Captain W. H. I. Shakespear, LA., 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. , Koweit,
To—The First Assistant Resident, in charge of the 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. , Bushire.
I have the honour to report the substance of a conversation which the Sheikh
of Mubarak held with me a few days ago on the affairs of the Sheikh of Moham-
merah in case it may prove of interest to Government.
2 . It appears that shortly after Major Cox’s last visit to Mohammerah
Sheikh Khazal called together the headmen of his tribes and discussed with them
the advantages of definitely binding himself to the British Government by a
document, which evidently from Sheikh Mubarak’s description was intended' to
be a regular treaty on more or less equal terms. The headmen of the tribes
were very averse to any such proposal pointing out that, though they might make
a treaty and so avoid Persian and Turkish interference in their affairs, they would
be subjected to endless interference from the British who would, little by little,
reduce them and their Sheikh (Khazal) to the condition of Bahrein, where
now nothing was possible without the ‘ order ’ of the 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. ; they
could see no compensating advantage in such an arrangement especially
as at present they found that a combination of all the ^ near Arab tribes
could make things so unpleasant for either Persian or Turks that Moham
merah generally succeeded in securing its own way very satisfactorily.
Sheikh Khazal was, however, insistent and pointed out that, though such
had been the case of Bahrein, it had been brought about from within by the
Khalifa family’s own foolish method of working and contrasted our treatment of
Bahrein with that of Koweit, where a 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. had proved of considerable
help to Sheikh Mubarak. Finally, it appears that, by argument, specious promises
and lavish hospitality Sheikh Khazal prevailed on his Cha’ab headmen to agree
that, if he put his signature to any document of the kind contemplated, they
would follow his lead and also append their signatures. In reply to my query as
to why Sheikh Khazal should be so anxious to secure the signature of the headmen
to such a document as well as his own, Sheikh Mubarak pointed out that that was
the only certain way by which Sheikh Khazal could bind all the various subtribes
to their promise, fearing as he did, if anything subsequently occurred to which one
of the tribes objected, that he might be unable to prevent all of them siding with
the disappointed one and leaving him without the necessary support either to
force compliance or induce it pacifically.
3 . The above was conveyed to me by Sheikh Mubarak quite spontaneously #
and, at the moment, struck me as being specially produced for British consump
tion or as a ballon d’essai. Then, on his own account, Sheikh Mubarak urged the
advantages to the British Government in some such tie, pointing out that between
them he and Sheikh Khazal owned practically the whole of the cultivated land
on the Shatt-eFArab up to Mohammerah and beyond.
4 . I have no doubt, from the careful way in which the Sheikh expressed
himself, that this communication and probably the form of it were carefully
arranged between himself and Sheikh Khazal at one of their frequent meetings
at Failiya solely with an eye to their own advantage ; each desires to rid himself

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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.' [‎76r] (156/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030522023.0x00009d> [accessed 21 July 2024]

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