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Coll 30/83 'QATAR OIL CONCESSION, POLICY AND PROTECTION.' [‎345r] (700/1018)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (505 folios). It was created in 29 Dec 1933-12 Jul 1935. 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.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT
Printed for the Committee of Imperial Defence. February 1934.
-^SECRET. Copy No*
1129 B.
(Also Paper No. C.O.S. 322.)
COMMITTEE OF IMPERIAL DEFENCE.
PERSIAN GULF Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.
Proposal to Guarantee Protection to the Sheikh of Qatar.
Report by the Chiefs of Staff Sub-Committee.
General Situation.
THE peninsula of Qatar lies between the Sheikhdom of Bahrein and the
Trucial Sheikhdoms on the Arab littoral of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. . This peninsula
is at present ruled by a Sheikh—reported to be a somewhat obstinate old man—
who exercises no effective rule over the hinterland between the base of the
peninsula and the territory of King Ibn Sand. The Sheikh is in special relations
with His Majesty’s Government which preclude him inter alia from granting
an oil concession without their consent. With their approval the Anglo-Persian
Oil Company have been negotiating for a concession, which they would transfer,
if they obtained it, to the Iraq Petroleum Company—a Company registered in
Great Britain, whose capital is held by an international group, some 30 per cent,
of which is British. Difficulty has arisen over terms, and there is now strong
reason to believe that the Standard Oil Company of California, who are purely
American in composition, are making overtures to the Sheikh, and will exert
themselves to obtain a concession. We understand that His Majesty’s Govern
ment consider it most important to prevent foreign interests from establishing
themselves in the Gulf Sheikhdoms. In these circumstances the question of
possible inducements to the Sheikh to grant a concession to the Anglo-Persian
Oil Company has been under consideration interdepartmentally in consultation
with 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. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and the Government of India.
As a result it appears that the only inducement likely to turn the scale in favour
of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company is an undertaking to grant the Sheikh
protection against landward aggression.
Question under reference.
2. We have accordingly been asked by the Prime Minister for an expression
of our views as to whether the advantage of keeping foreign oil interests out
of the Qatar Peninsula justifies the assumption by His Majesty’s Government
of an undertaking to protect the Sheikh against landward aggression.
Importance of British Interests.
3. We fully appreciate the importance of retaining the special position of
His Majesty’s Government on the Arab littoral of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , and agree
that any concession for oil that may be granted in the Qatar Peninsula should
be given into the hands of a company registered in Great Britain. W e have
accordingly examined the commitment involved, and consider that certain safe
guards are required. These are as follows.

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Content

The volume concerns British Government policy towards Qatar in the light of the bid by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) to obtain a concession from the Shaikh of Qatar (Abdullah bin Qasim al Thani [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī]) to produce oil in the country. The British Government were keen that the concession should be obtained by a British company (APOC) and not by the Americans (Standard Oil Company of California). The oil concession was granted to APOC in 1935.

The papers include: discussion of policy by various British Government departments and officials (notably 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. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Trenchard Craven William Fowle; the Government of India, Foreign and Political Department; and the Foreign Office); the security of Qatar against raids from the Arabian interior; relations between Qatar and Ibn Saud [Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd, King of Saudi Arabia]; the decision of the British Government to offer military protection to Qatar in exchange for the granting of the oil concession to APOC (including discussions by the Committee of Imperial Defence, and its Standing Official Sub-committee for Questions concerning the Middle East); the development of air facilities in Qatar as a means of protecting the state, including correspondence from the Air Ministry; discussion of the Qatar boundary; note of a conversation between 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. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and Haji Williamson (folios 147-148); the surrender to the British Government of jurisdiction over British subjects, British-protected persons, and non-Muslim foreigners in Qatar; the recognition of Shaikh Hamad as successor to the Shaikh of Qatar; British opposition to a request by the Shaikh of Qatar for machine guns and armoured cars, because of the provocative effect this would have on Ibn Saud (folios 33-35); agreement that the 1916 treaty between the British Government and the Shaikh of Qatar should be binding on his heirs and successors; and the terms on which military protection was to be afforded by the British Government (folios 12-14).

The papers also include correspondence between the Shaikh of Qatar and 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. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. .

The papers include one item of an earlier date than the main date range: a copy of the 1916 treaty between the British Government and the Shaikh of Qatar (folios 451-452).

The file includes a divider, which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (505 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 501; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, 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 two leading and ending flyleaves. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 30/83 'QATAR OIL CONCESSION, POLICY AND PROTECTION.' [‎345r] (700/1018), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3800, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100057526959.0x000065> [accessed 20 February 2020]

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