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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎152r] (308/416)

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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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and would have me understand that they had made some progress in them, and
that the Sheikh had indicated that he shared their feelings and aspirations. It
was proposed to have a personal meeting with him in order to bring matters to
a practical issue in the form of a treaty or convention, and for this purpose they
intended to shortly pay a visit to Nasiri. There they would exchange written
undertakings with the Sheikh, which they would ask me to guarantee. Their
ambition was to attain the position of ^ttflsi'-independent protectorates, of which
they cited Maskat and Koweit as examples, and with this end in view they were
prepared to accept our sovereignty, paying their revenues to us^ and putting
their population at our disposal for military training. They recognised that their
agreements among themselves lacked stability, and they would look to us to
enforce on both sides the observance of their treaty with the Sheikh.
3. Previously, and in my absence, the Shahab had begged my Mirza to
gain my adherence to their project, and professed the Khans’ willingness to
furnish us with all necessary signed agreements. My Mirza expressed himself
doubtful of my attaching much weight to their signed undertakings, gently re
minding the Shahab that the seal on the document which he had handed me
at Kima last March was yet scarcely dry. This silenced the Shahab, who did
not want the Salar’s curiosity aroused regarding that episode in his past career.
4. In the course of the conversation the Salar remarked that they had
some 40,000 subjects capable of bearing arms, but of these only some 10,000
were provided with fire-arms. This estimate, I may observe, is the most sane
statement of the fighting strength of the Bakhtyari tribes which I have yet had
made to me. The Salar also said that some British representative (Colonel
Douglas in 1904 ? ) had approached them on the subject of raising and training
forces in their country. At that time they were not prepared to favour such
a step, but that their feelings had undergone a change, and that now they were
anxious for it. Let us now play up to our own proposals.
5. I answered very briefly that I was unable personally to make them
any reply, but that I would lay their proposals before my Government. I also
stated that their proposals appeared to me to involve issues of great magnitude,
and of such a nature that our engagements with Persia and other powers would
make it very difficult for us to accept any part in them.
6. The short time at my command and my unwillingness to display too
great interest in the subversive projects of the Khans, prevented me from
attempting to draw from them a more detailed statement of the precise course
of action they have in view, and of the means and methods which they propose
to employ.
I can therefore only communicate the above prdcis of what passed between
us. This I do merely for the information of Government.
I do not propose to offer any comments on a subject which stands to be
judged on general and not local grounds, but I may remark that I question the
probability of Sheikh Khazal’s committing himself in the way desired by the
Khans, though he may, to gain fugitive objects, discuss the matter with them
with apparent seriousness. I would also point out that, if rejected in their full
scope, the avowed desires of the Khans might possibly still be taken advantage
of in part, as a means of attaining the aims which Government held in 1904 as
regards the raising of Militia under our control among the Bakhtyaris and the
tribes of Western Luristan.
7. In the event of the Khans carrying out their projected visit to Nasiri
and meeting with the Sheikh, their proposals are likely to be presented to me
in a more concrete and urgent form by themselves, and possibly by the Sheikh,
I should wish to be furnished with instructions regarding the attitude which I
should observe, before such a contingency arises.
G. C. B. P., Simla.—No. C -625 F. D.— 1163 —F. A- D’S.

About this item


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)

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.' [‎152r] (308/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 July 2024]

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