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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎10r] (19/58)

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The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 13 Apr 1863. 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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101. I cross the Gulf to Mussendom. It is on this deeply indented and
fantastically outlined cape that the territory
' ass 0 ' • directly under the Sultan of Muscat, lies. A sin
gular race of men inhabit the headland, and seem to be an early race, driven by
stronger growths of humanity into this remotest corner. They appear as though
they had paused here, only because precipiced over the sea.
102. As to the Ports of this Territory, they are of no present commercial
value. But, as submitted more in detail, in my
Koomzar Kliussub. letters now noted, I am of opinion that the neigh-
„ , . , -.on t no™ bourhood of Khussub, at the outer entrance of the
No. 1A dated 13th January 1863. t ,, , t i • . ,i
No. 2 A dated 2nd February 1863. Elphmstone Inlet, is a convenient point for the
No. 6 A dated 16th February 1863. immediate establishment of an English Free Port,
under a clear, written, permanent, unquestionable,
title to be obtained from our ancient Ally of Muscat; concentrating there our
coal and telegraph main stations for the Gulf, together with our Political Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. .
Politically and strategically considered, this point might be rendered the key 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. . As a coal depot it affords calm, and good anchorage, and would
save colliers the risk, time, and cost of working up and down the Gulf As a
Telegraph station, it is on the Elphinstone creek, whose head touches the neck of
the promontory at its narrowest part; and after a land passage of some 400 yards,
meets the head of a deep water inlet opening on the eastern side of the cape. A
trading steamer taking in coal at Khussub, could run to Busreh or Koweit, and
back, without filling up. The entrance of the Gulf is the natural terminus for
your square-rigged vessels, and trade should be delivered round the Gulf, and
up the Busreh river, or Koweit creeks, in suitable native Gulf craft, or steamers.
A large bugla can run cheaper than a square-rig, ton for ton, under particular
circumstances. For instance, between Bombay and East Africa, they run down
with the North East, and return with the first breezes of the South West monsoons.
But the argument fails to apply when the length of voyage and the variability of
winds, and the intervening of heavy weather, impede, endanger or stop Pattimar
103. The case of Ormuz is a precedent for a like station. The interfer
ences, incertitude, and want of accurate knowledge of the market all round the
Gulf, point to the alleviation of these evils, by the creation of a general entrepot,
at a convenient point, where all vessels passing near the Gulf, outside, would, if
they pleased to call, find cargo ready; whereto all boats finding a favorable chance
for exports from their several jurisdictions, could run a cargo, in a few days; and
whereto all trade might converge, as circumstances admitted, from Ports sub
jected to sudden, but not permanent arbitrary interference.
104. My respectful suggestion to Government is, that the formation of a
Port, so concentrating all our interests, would do more to create, and to develop
the trade of the Gulf and Busreh line, and would do more to keep the Govern
ment accurately informed as to their relations, and the condition of commerce in
the Gulf; and would, further, do more to keep the Maritime Arabs quiet, and to
afford an issue for whatever capabilities of trade may be possessed by Arabia;
than could all the Reports, all the figured Statements, and all the amicable
interviews, of all the Residents, and all the Native authorities, that ever had, or
may have place, round these waters.
105. But the Port must be really free, and all tribes and people must
know and feel it to be free; and that once there, their goods and persons are
secure, and unmolested. Let the authorities of the Port limit their functions to
keeping the peace, removing obstacles, enforcing valid contracts, and punishing
mercantile crime. For the rest, leave all to private enterprise; and leave trade
free as the tide to flow in and out. I think that thus only can we practically test
the commercial capabilities of the Gulf; perhaps, in no other manner, can trade
attain its full and undeformed growth, all round the Globe.
106. The next class of territory to be noticed is that of the independent
Maritime Arabs. These tribes yield a tithe to the Ruler of Nejd, whose capital.

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Report from Pelly to the Chief Secretary to Government in the Political Department, Bombay, compiled in Bushire 13 April 1863.

The report details the tribes, trade and resources of the Gulf Littoral which is divided into seven areas according to their political administration. The report also includes a list of detailed statements of imports and exports at Bushire.

Extent and format
29 folios
Physical characteristics

Item foliated in the front top right hand corner of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [‎10r] (19/58), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/48, ff 1-29, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 November 2019]

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