‘File 12/7 I Shipping. Arrival of Sailing Crafts at Qatar and other places with Cargo.’

IOR/R/15/2/1375

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The record is made up of 1 file (296 folios). It was created in 13 Jan 1932-1 Jun 1937. It was written in English and Arabic. 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 file comprises correspondence relating to the shipment and transhipment of cargo on local vessels (frequently referred to as country craft) from Karachi to Qatar (spelt in various ways, including Kattar, Gutter, Quatar) and, to a lesser extent, other ports on the Arab coast 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. , including Bahrain, Jubail [Al Jubayl], Katiff [Al Qaṭīf], Ra’s al-Khaymah, and Dubai. The file’s principal correspondents are: the Collector (and Assistant Collector) of Customs at Karachi; 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 (Captain Charles Geoffrey Prior, Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Gordon Loch, and staff from the Agency’s Vernacular Office); the Director of Customs at Bahrain (Claud Cranbrook Lewis DeGrenier); the Ruler of Qatar (Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī).

Much of the correspondence is routine, and follows an established pattern: 1) enquiries from the Assistant Collector of Customs to the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. at Bahrain after specific vessels, listing the contents of their cargo and requesting confirmation of their arrival at port and the landing of their cargo; 2) letters from Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. staff, in English and in Arabic, forwarding enquiries about inbound vessels to the Director of Customs at Bahrain (for vessels headed to Bahrain), the Ruler of Qatar (for vessels headed to Qatar) or the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Agent at Sharjah (for vessels headed to the ports of the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. ); 3) replies from the Director of Customs at Bahrain, the Ruler of Qatar, and the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Agent at Sharjah, either confirming the arrival of vessels and the landing of their cargo, or writing that the vessel has not yet arrived in port; and 4) letters from the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. back to the Collector of Customs at Karachi, replying to the original enquiry, occasionally making reference to enclosing landing certificates, which are accepted as proof of the landing of the cargo. Some letters from the Assistant Collector of Customs at Karachi to 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, dated 1936 and later, make reference to enclosed export manifests, and enquiries about the authenticity of their endorsements.

In addition to the routine correspondence, the file also includes:

Extent and format
1 file (296 folios)
Arrangement

The file’s contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest item at the front to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 274-296) mirror the chronological arrangement.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 298; 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 4-273; 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 and Arabic in Latin and Arabic 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/15/2/1375
Former external reference(s)
English Office: File 12/7 I

History of this record

Date(s)
13 Jan 1932-1 Jun 1937 (CE, Gregorian)
Context of creation

The high rates of customs duty in India meant that many goods were exported out of Indian ports, only to be smuggled back into the country. A system of landing certificates was used to ensure that goods exported from Indian ports, including Karachi, to the ports 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 the Arabian littoral, were landed at the ports specified, and not smuggled back into India.

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‘File 12/7 I Shipping. Arrival of Sailing Crafts at Qatar and other places with Cargo.’, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/1375, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000000282.0x00006e> [accessed 22 September 2018]

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