'C-85. 86/30 - I WIRELESS COMMUNICATION BETWEEN BAHRAIN AND SAUDI ARABIA'

IOR/R/15/1/698

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The record is made up of 1 volume (195 folios). It was created in 3 Nov 1938-6 Apr 1942. 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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Content

The volume comprises correspondence regarding applications from the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) and California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), represented primarily by Hamilton R Ballantyne and Max Weston Thornburg, for permission to install wireless apparatus and operate wireless telegraphy between Dhahran [Aẓ-Ẓahrān] and Awali [ʻAwālī].

The discussion, which is primarily between 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. at Bahrain (Hugh Weightman, Reginald George Evelin Alban), 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. (Trenchard Craven Fowle, Charles Geoffrey Prior), the Senior Naval Officer 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 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. (Roland Tennyson peel, John Percival Gibson, Esmond Walter Rawson Lumby), and the Imperial Communications Advisory Committee (William Warren Shaw-Zambra) relates initially to the question of whether Cable and Wireless have a monopoly on international telegraphic communications in Bahrain, and whether therefore such a proposal would infringe on that.

The later correspondence discusses the wartime implications of such a communication service, particularly in regards to the question of censorship, and its possibilities as an advance warning of enemy aircraft from Arabia, which arises following the air raid on CASOC’s facility at Dhahran in 1941.

Also discussed in the volume is a proposal for an agreement between Cable and Wireless and BAPCO whereby Cable and Wireless would operate the services required by BAPCO for a fee, but it was ultimately abandoned owing to restrictions laid down by the Saudi Arab Government that wireless communication between the two companies would only be permitted provided the recipient wireless sets in Bahrain were on BAPCO sites only.Other matters discussed in the volume include:

  • the discovery that CASOC were using wireless sets on board launches and tankers outside of the territorial waters of Saudi Arabia to communicate direct with the USA and whether or not this contravened international laws or regulations;
  • the potential expansion of the Bahrain refinery to accommodate wartime needs, using crude oil shipped from Saudi Arabia;
  • an agreement made in 1935 between the Saudi Government, Sudan Government, Eastern Telegraph Company and Cable and Wireless which granted Cable and Wireless a monopoly in Saudi Arabia;
  • concerns over the Saudi Arabian Mining Syndicate and their lack of awareness and concern over the need for secrecy in wartime.

A series of file notes which were maintained as a record of the correspondence in the volume can be found at folios 186-193.

Extent and format
1 volume (195 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 197; 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. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 5-185; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English in Latin script
Type
Archival file

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
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
Access conditions

Unrestricted

Archive reference
IOR/R/15/1/698
Former external reference(s)
A Series: 86/30 Confidential Series: C 85

History of this record

Date(s)
3 Nov 1938-6 Apr 1942 (CE, Gregorian)

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'C-85. 86/30 - I WIRELESS COMMUNICATION BETWEEN BAHRAIN AND SAUDI ARABIA', British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/698, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000000193.0x0002a0> [accessed 17 September 2019]

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