File 1889/1916 ‘Mesopotamia; Export of dates’


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The record is made up of 1 volume (350 folios). It was created in 17 May 1916-9 Sep 1920. 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.

About this record


Correspondence and other papers relating to the export of dates from Mesopotamia [Iraq] during Britain’s military occupation of Mesopotamia in the First World War. The file includes: correspondence dated 1916 relating to the lifting of a general prohibition on the export of dates from Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and Basra (as well as from Muscat), in view of Mesopotamia’s status as enemy territory; in 1917, proposals to prohibit the export of dates from Mesopotamia to destinations other than Britain or its wartime allies; in 1917, the supply of dates to British troops in France, including arrangements for purchase and freight by the War Office; a copy of a printed British diplomatic and consular report entitled ‘Turkey. Report for the Year 1913 on the Trade of Basra’, edited at the Foreign Office and Board of Trade (ff 293-303); reports in early 1918 that the demand for dates in Mesopotamia and 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. exceeded supply, leading to the Foreign Office’s initial decision to decline a request from the Government of the USA for the Hills Brothers Company of New York to export dates from Mesopotamia, a decision that was reversed in March 1918; price controls on dates for export, arranged in 1918; correspondence dated 1919 on the future policy of restrictions on dates exported from Mesopotamia.

The volume’s principal correspondents are: the Chief Political Officer of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, Percy Zachariah Cox; the Foreign and Political Department of the Government of India; the Foreign Office; the War Office; the Ministry of Food.

The volume contains a single item in French, being a note from the French Ambassador in London (f 69).

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject number, the year the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (350 folios)
It is grouped into

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 348; 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 leading and ending flyleaves. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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


Archive reference
Former external reference(s)
P 1889/1916

History of this record

17 May 1916-9 Sep 1920 (CE, Gregorian)

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File 1889/1916 ‘Mesopotamia; Export of dates’, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/596, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 September 2019]

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