'File 73/7 IV (D 25) Anglo-Turkish Negotiations' [29r] (67/103)
The record is made up of 1 file (42 folios). It was created in 3 Aug 1913-30 Nov 1913. It was written in English, French 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
as the Turks were a beaten and weak nation now, apart from the fact that they never
have had a representative in the place ; the only occasion on which they attempted
to force one upon him, a quarantine official some years before the establishment of the
British Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. , he had turned the man out summarily. He went on to point
out that from what 1 had told him, he failed to see why any concession need have
been made to the Porte, he was content to remain as he was, his authority in the desert
could not be disputed by the Turks, he was not and never had been subject to them, his
position as " Ruler of Koweit and chief of its tribes " was not disputed, and if the Turks
liked to address him as " kaimakam " or by any other title, that did not alter the fact
as he never so subscribed himself. He had the very strongest objections to the residence
of a Turkish official in Koweit, and he begged me to telegraph again, placing a special
boat at mv disposal for the despatch of the telegram.
5. I have given the conversations in some detail in order that the sheikh's attitude
may be fully understood. To me his attitude is no surprise, and whenever the
opportunity has occurred, I have endeavoured to present the local view, for it seemed
important, seeing that these negotiations have been conducted without the sheikh
having been given any idea as to their course, that we should avoid concessions of a
nature likely or calculated to disturb our own relations with the sheikh and thereby
affect our interests here detrimentally. In my letter of the 30th April, 1913, I
attempted to forecast the manner in which the draft agreement of the 26th March was
likely to be received and in the light of the sheikh's objections as now formulated,
when for the first time he has been given some idea of the terms of the proposed
agreement, I would invite a reference to the last three paragraphs of that letter.
6. Though I fear it is probably too late now to hope for any material alteration in
whatever may be the terms of the final draft of the agreement, I feel compelled to
record my conviction as to the probable effect of any agreement which does not contain
most of the emendations I have already ventured to submit, and more especially which
does not provide for the exclusion of Turkish officials from Koweit.
There has been a growing tendency for some years on the part of Arabs to believe
that the Christian Powers are determined to reduce Islamic nations to impotence, and
the tendency has received no small impetus from the two wars in which Turkey has
recently been engaged. The idea is rejected in the Egyptian press, it is encouraged in
the Ottoman press, and is not absent from Mahommedan newspapers in India. So far
as I have been able to ascertain, this idea has not yet crystalised generally into an
accusation definitely anti-British, though indications in that direction have not been
wanting; in Koweit the sheikh, more than any one else, has combatted anti-British
notions of this kind, and has always held up the British Government as the onlv one
which could be trusted to keep its word, deal even-handed justice, not to discriminate
between the religious beliefs of its subjects, and not to oppress the weak. Nevertheless
. the power which cheap newspapers, whose very names were unknown in Koweit ten
years ago, can exercise on ignorant minds inclined to believe that all Arabic print is
gospel is considerable, and I venture to think much underrated by us, who are in the
habit of estimating at its true value what is purveyed by various organs, and the effect
is undoubtedly noticeable in Koweit to-day. At the same time, there is not one
Koweiti in a thousand who would prefer to be a Turkish rather than a British subject
if he were now offered the choice. Most Koweitis have had sufficiently intimate
dealings with Turks and their officials to thank God that their own ruler is, in fact,
independent and under the protection of the British Government. I have had as much
^ expressed to me time and again, the moral being pointed frequently by a grateful
reference to our action in past times in landing British blue-jackets for the defence of
Koweit and in the summary dismissal of Turkish men-of-war when they appeared in
Koweit harbour. Consequently local general opinion has accepted as a settled fact that
Koweit is on the way eventually to become a British protected State similar to Bahrain ;
that formal pronouncement of that position would probably be deferred until the death
of Sheikh Mubarak, and that, all things considered, the position is about as good as
could be secured, particularly as it would continue and confirm Koweit's present freedom
from Turkish interference and the attentions of venal Turkish officials.
7. While the above may not appear germane to the Anglo-Turkish agreement, it
may serve to show the general attitude of the people and the ruler, who axe the most
nearly affected by that agreement. The agreement, as it stands in the draft, will in
reality give nothing whatsoever to the Ruler of Koweit or his people which they have
not enjoyed for years, while to them it will appear—owing to the clause permitting a
resident Turkish agent—rather as a formal delivery of Koweit into the hands of Turkey
by the Power which has hitherto safeguarded them from the menaces of that very
About this item
The file contains letters, telegrams, memorandums, and maps relating to Anglo-Turkish negotiations over the Baghdad Railway, the status of Kuwait, and other 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. matters. The correspondence is between Percy Cox, 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 Bushire, William Shakespear, 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 Kuwait, the Government of India, the 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. in London, Louis Mallet, Under-secretary of State for Near and Middle Eastern Affairs, Arthur Trevor, 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, Shaikh Abdalla bin Jasim bin Thani [[Jāsim bin Muḥammad Āl Thānī], Chief of Katar [Qatar], the Government of India, Sheikh Khazal [Khaz‘al al-Ka‘bi], ruler of Mohammerah, Sheikh Mubarak al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait, and the Foreign Office, in London.
The file contains drafts and counter-drafts of an agreement to be eventually signed by the British and the Ottoman Turks. Included is correspondence relating to Percy Cox's attempts to obtain Sheikh Khaz‘al's and Sheikh Mubarak's agreement to the draft agreement, and to concern over the status of Qatar, including the presence of the Turkish Garrison there.
Folio 27 is a list of the sons of Sheikh Jasim, the late ruler of Qatar.
- Extent and format
- 1 file (42 folios)
The file is arranged chronologically.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: The file is foliated from the front cover to the inside back cover, using circled pencil numbers in the top-right corner of recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages. There is an earlier foliation system that runs through the file, using pencil numbers in the top-right corner of recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages, as well as the top-left corner of any verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. pages bearing written or printed matter.The following anomalies occur: 1a, 11a.The following folios are foldouts: 19, 20, 26, 38, 42a.
- Written in
- English, French and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script View the complete information for this record
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