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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎160v] (325/416)

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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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Sir C.
to Sir E.
January 1,
telegram of
6, 1907.
Sir C.
to Sir E.
April 11
and 17,
Sir C.
to Sir E.
May 19,
Sir C.
to Sir E.
May 30,
Office to
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. ,
June 21,
Sir C.
to Sir E.
July 12,
In his despatch of the 1st January, 1907, reporting conversations with the
President of the Tehran Sanitary Council, the British Minister at Tehran (Sir C.
Spring-Rice) recommended that Dr. Schneider’s suggestions for the increase of the
European personnel and the improvement of the apparatus of the quarantine stations
in the Gulf should be submitted to the Government of India for their consideration.
These proposals, it may be noted, went somewhat beyond those made by Dr. Theodore
Thomson in his Report of 12th July, 1909, inasmuch as Dr. Schneider contemplated
improvements at all five of the Gulf ports, whereas Dr. Thomson’s recommendations,
so far as the coast of Persia was concerned,^ were limited to perfecting the existing
sanitary stations at Mohammerah and Bushire, and possibly improving the station at
Bunder Abbas.
The Government of India, in a telegram dated the 6th Eebruary, 1907, expressed
their agreement with Dr. Thomson’s recommendations, and their willingness “ to bear,
for the present, the cost of necessary preliminary measures, including supply of
disaffecting apparatus at Gulf ports, reserving right of subsequent recovery from the
Persian Government in case of Persian ports, and subject, in the case of Koweit, to
acquiescence of Sheikh in proposed arrangement.” In April 1907 the British Minister
at Tehran telegraphed that an attack might shortly he anticipated upon our control of
the quarantine in Southern Persia, and that he trusted that steps would be taken to
secure the maintenance of existing arrangements. He subsequently explained that
his apprehensions were based upon (1) the impending retirement of the President of
the Tehran Sanitary Council, who was friendly to British interests, and the possibility
of his being replaced by some one hostile; and (2) the frank hostility shown towards
our quarantine officers both by the Russian Consul at Bunder Abbas and by the
Belgian Customs officials. Sir C. Spring-Rice recommended, in addition to the
improvements of the sanitary service on the lines indicated in bis despatch of the
1st January, that a communication should be made to the Russian Government to
the effect that, in view (1) of the predominance of British trade and shipping; (2) of
the impossibility of securing an efficient Persian service ; and (3) of the necessity
for good administration, His Majesty’s Government expected that the Russian
Government would offer no objection to the continuance of the present system.
His Majesty’s Government decided to postpone making any representations to the
Russian Government until the estimates of the cost of the proposed improvements
had been received from the Government of India.
The outbreak of plague at Bahrein in April 1907 brought into notice the
deficiency in the disinfecting equipment of the southern ports, and lent additional
urgency to the question of improving the sanitary defence of the Gulf.
With a despatch dated the 19th May, 1907, Sir C. Spring-Rice transmitted a
Memorandum by Dr. Schneider, President of the Tehran Sanitary Council, on the
measures he recommended for the improvement of the quarantine service. These
measures included the appointment of commissioned officers of the medical service
to all five ports, and the provision of a stove and Clayton apparatus (for destroying
rats, &c.), as well as a reserve stove, at Bushire. Sir C. Spring-Rice added, in a
telegram dated the 30th May, that the Sanitary Council, while strongly approving
the measures proposed, did not possess the necessary personnel, appliances, or funds
to carry out the scheme, and would be very grateful for the assistance of the
Government of India. Sir C. Spring-Rice expressed himself strongly in favour of
the proposed improvements being undertaken by the British Government, and in
this view the Foreign Office concurred, the following statement of policy being
made in Mr. Mallet’s letter of the 21st June, 1907 :—
“ During the eleven years in which the control of quarantine arrangements in the
Gulf has been in British hands, the Government of India have spent large sums on
the service, which would be entirely lost if any change in tbe control were now to
be made ; and Sir E. Grey entirely agrees with His Majesty’s Minister in considering
it of great importance, both politically and commercially, to endeavour to maintain
the status quo by improving the efficiency of the medical service.”
In July 1907 the Sanitary Council reported in favour of an extended scheme of
improvement including sanitary stations at Bunder Abbas, Bushire, Mohammerah,
Jask, and Lingah, with a mobile service under a European doctor. The Russian *
* Dr. Thomson also proposed the establishment of a station at Koweit, on the Arabian side of the Gulf.

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.

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English in Latin script
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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎160v] (325/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 July 2024]

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