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The Date Gardens in Iraq of the Sheikhs of Koweit [Kuwait] and Mohammerah. Scope of undertakings given by HM Government in 1914. Case for the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown and Opinion thereon T W H Inskip and F B Merriman, Law Officers' Department, 29 Mar 1933. inc The date gardens in Iraq of the Sheikhs of Koweit and Mohammerah. Historical summary [undated] [‎4v] (8/70)

The record is made up of 1 file (35 folios). It was created in 29 Mar 1933. 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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6
H.M.G. and the Turkish Government until 1911, when tliey be
came merged in negotiations for the regularisation of the various
questions in issue between H.M.G. and the Turkish Government
in this area. Those negotiations culminated in the Anglo-
Turkish Convention signed by the representatives oi both parties
on 29th July 1913. A section of the Convention in question
regularised the position of the Sheikh of Koweit vis-a-vis both
the Turkish and British Governments; and, with the history of
the dispute which had taken place over the date gardens in view,
one of the articles of the section in question provided that the
Sheikh should enjoy in full security and in accordance with Otto
man Law the rights of private property which he possessed in
the Vilayet of Basra. This convention had not been ratified, how
ever, when war broke out with Turkey in 1914.
20. From the copy of the Judgment given by the Court of
Cassation in Baghdad which is also enclosed (document No. 5 in
the Appendix, p. 19) it will be seen that the failure of the Sheikh
to take the formal steps necessary in regard to the registration of
the documents of title with the Turkish authorities before the War,
as described above, is one of the grounds on which he may be
■adjudged not to be the lawful owner of the gardens of which he
is in possession and that it appears to have been strongly urged
upon the Court. It is not clear whether this omission was or was
not in itself a vital point in the decision already given, in the
sense that but for this point the decision would have been in favour
of the Sheikh, but it may well be thought in view of the history
ot matter prior to the giving of the undertakings, which is set
out in the Memorandum of 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. (No. 4, p. 16) that
to the extent to which it was vital in that case or may be vital in
any similar case which may be brought against the Sheikh here
after, His Majesty's Government cannot refuse to recognise an
obligation to compensate the Sheikh for any loss which he may
have suffered as the result of his refusal to take the necessary steps
to register his title because that involved his acceptance of the
position of a subject of Turkey, and that would have been contrary
to the policy which His Majesty's Government were urging upon
him. It is clear that the question of the registration of his title
to the gardens and the then recent difficulties created by non
registration must have been fresh in the minds of the Sheikh and
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. at the time when the undertaking to the
Sheikh was given in 1914. In this connection it may be significant
that the first draft of the letter to be sent to the Sheikh in 1914
read . youi date gardens between lao and Gurneh shall remain
in the full possession of you and your heirs ....", and that the
Government of India deliberately directed the replacement of the
words your date gardens ' by the words " date gardens which you
now possess '. It was in consequence of this change in the draft
made by the Government of India that the pledge in the letter sent
to the bheikh of 3rd November actually reads " Your gardens
which are now in your possession
ti / t t ^' J he ^ aw Oncers will also see from the Memorandum by
Mr. E. Alexander (Acting Judicial Adviser to the Iraq Govern
ment) No. 6 in the appendix, p. 21, that there are grounds for
doubting whether the decision of thet Court on the question of the
application of certain laws relating to the period of time necessary
to prevent a title by adverse possession is correct. The question is
one of Ottoman law on which English lawyers can scarcely express
a definite opinion, but information obtained from an expert on
the subject appears to afford some ground for holding that the
doubt is well founded and that if the appropriate law had been
correctly applied the Sheikh would not have been deprived of his
Vi T , he q uestlon ma y then arise whether the obligations of His
Majesty s Government are affected in any way by the correctness
or otherwise of the decision of the Iraqi Courts. The Sheikh does

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Content

This file contains a British Government report (folios 1-19) regarding promises made by the British in 1914 to the rulers of Kuwait and Mohammerah concerning their ownership of date gardens in Iraq.

The report contains a description of the situation and the legal opinion of T W H Inskip and F B Merriman, Law Officers of the Crown. The report includes an appendix containing copies of a number of relevant memorandums and letters.

The file also contains an undated report (folios 20-35) entitled 'The Date Gardens in Iraq of the Sheikhs of Koweit and Mohammerah' that provides a detailed historical summary of the case.

Extent and format
1 file (35 folios)
Arrangement

The file is divided into two sections; the 'Scope of undertakings given by HM Government in 1914' and a 'Historical Summary'.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The foliation sequence commences at the first folio of the former and terminates at the last folio of the latter; 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.

Pagination: Each section of the file also contains an original and distinct pagination sequence.

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The Date Gardens in Iraq of the Sheikhs of Koweit [Kuwait] and Mohammerah. Scope of undertakings given by HM Government in 1914. Case for the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown and Opinion thereon T W H Inskip and F B Merriman, Law Officers' Department, 29 Mar 1933. inc The date gardens in Iraq of the Sheikhs of Koweit and Mohammerah. Historical summary [undated] [‎4v] (8/70), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B468, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023252882.0x000009> [accessed 10 December 2019]

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