File 897/1912 Pt 3 ‘Persian Gulf:- British post offices’

IOR/L/PS/10/244

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The record is made up of 1 volume (336 folios). It was created in 1920-1922. It was written in English and French. 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 copies of correspondence, telegrams, handwritten notes and other papers. They relate to negotiations between the British Government, the Government of India, and the Persian Government, over the status of British Indian post offices in south Persia, which took place before, during, and after the Congress of the Universal Postal Union, held in Madrid in November 1920. The volume’s principal correspondents include: the British Ambassador to Madrid (Sir Esme Howard); the Persian Minister to Madrid (Hussein Khan Alai); 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. staff (David Taylor Monteath; Leonard Day Wakely; John Evelyn Shuckburgh); Foreign Office officials (including Lancelot Oliphant); the Director-General of Posts and Telegraphs in India (Geoffrey R Clarke); and the British Minister at Tehran (Herman Cameron Norman; Sir Percy Lyham Loraine).

The correspondence centres on a threat by Persian Government officials to raise an official objection against the continued presence in Persia of British Indian post offices at the Madrid Congress. British Government officials were anxious to avoid such a move, fully appreciating the ‘anomalous’ position of their Persian post offices under the regulations of the Universal Postal Union. The correspondence indicates the Government of India’s amenability to handing over certain postal operations to the Persian authorities (folio 251), and the concerns held by many in the British Government over such a prospect (ff 288-289), not least their doubts over whether the Persian authorities could run an efficient postal service themselves.

The volume includes:

  • a commentary of proceedings at the Madrid Congress, including copies of the speeches given by Persian ministers (ff 247-249), description of their reception (f 251), and a printed copy of the Madrid Convention (ff 143-158);
  • correspondence relating to the impact of changes in Anglo-Persian relations (after the 1921 coup d’état in Persia) on Persian demands for the abolition of British Indian post offices in Persia (ff 217-218);
  • throughout 1921, continued demands from the Persian Government for the transfer of British Indian post offices to Persian control, and in particular those now under (post-war) Mesopotamian administration (Abadan and Mohammerah [Khorramshahr]) and the post office at Ahwaz [Ahvāz];
  • from January 1922, debate amongst British officials (Government of India, the Minister in Tehran, Foreign Office, 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. ) and negotiations between British and Persian Government officials over arrangements for the transfer of British Indian postal services in Persia to Persian administration, with a view to the transfer taking place on 1 January 1922. Included is a copy in French of the agreement between British and Persian officials for the proposed transfer, dated 5 January 1922 (ff 54-57), discussion relating to the importance of sustaining a postal service for areas serving the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) oil fields, and reports of the dismissal of the Director of the Persian postal service (Camille Molitor) in March 1922, causing consternation amongst British officials (ff 47-49, ff 84-91);
  • British officials’ examination of events at the Washington Conference (1921/1922), which provided an analogous diplomatic situation to their own (negotiations for the withdrawal of United States post offices from China) (ff 81-83);
  • the British Government’s assent, in April/May 1922, to the abolition or transfer to the Persian authorities of its post offices in Persia and Arabistan (ff 20-22, ff 66-70).

Each part includes a divider which gives the subject and part numbers, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references contained in that part by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (336 folios)
Arrangement

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

The subject 897 ( 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. : British Post Offices) consists of 4 volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/242-245. The volumes are divided into 4 parts with each part comprising one volume.

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 340; 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. Two additional foliation sequences are also present in parallel between ff 42-62 and ff 217-321; these numbers are written in blue crayon.

Pagination: a original printed pagination sequence is also present in parallel between ff 143-158.

Written in
English and French 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/L/PS/10/244
Former external reference(s)
P 897/1912 Pt 3

History of this record

Date(s)
1920-1922 (CE, Gregorian)

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File 897/1912 Pt 3 ‘Persian Gulf:- British post offices’, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/244, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000000419.0x000089> [accessed 21 August 2019]

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