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‘File 5/201 Manumission of slaves and rules relating to cases arising out of the pearling industry’ [‎8r] (22/50)

The record is made up of 1 volume (21 folios). It was created in 28 Oct 1918-1 Nov 1918. 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.

Transcription

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In the first case, that of "Bahrain Slaves each application is dealt with
in accordance with the principle laid down in Poreign Department letter
No. 3551 E.-B., dated 4th September 1905, in which the attitude of Govern
ment in regard to the treatment of slavery in Bahrain was defined.
In this letter the Government of India laid down the following principles
for the guidance 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. :—
(1) That no effort should he spared to detect and suppress fresh importa
tions of slaves into the island.
(2) That in the case of newly-imported slaves or of slaves who have
been subjected to ill-treatment by their masters, every facility
should be afforded them for obtaining manumission papers.
(3) That, save in case of ill-treatment, no encouragement to apply for
their freedom should be offered to the numerous slaves who are
reported to have been long domiciled in the island.
(4) That in the event of slaves of long domicile applying of their own
accord for manumission, each case should be considered on its
merits, due regard being had to the period which may have
elapsed since importation, the reasons assigned for not claiming
manumission at an earlier date, the treatment accorded in the
past by the slave's master, the owner's willingness to furnish
guarantees for proper treatment in the future, and, finally, the
importance on general grounds of avoiding any widespread
unrest among those who have acquiesced in their lot and whose
sudden manumission in considerable numbers might constitute a
serious source of embarrassment.
The Shaikh is only consulted, and only wishes to be"consulted, in special cases:
in cases of deadlock or particular difficulty, reference should be made to the
Hesidency.
By general consent the year 1895 ( <( The year of Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. ") is taken as
the criterion for determining whether importation is " new " or "old ^
4. In the second case, that of " Foreign Slaves chiefly from Trucial
Oman* Katar and Turkish Arabia, the applicants' statements are taken and
reference is made to the Political liesident.
In a few cases in the past, however, the masters have turned up and
have consented to the grant of Manumission Certificates which have
accordindv been issued, to save time, by the Bahrain Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. . In such
cases the master is usually seeking to record a claim and to enable him to
establish his rights, asserts "that the man has never been his slave or has long
since been manumitted. This may sometimes be true, but it is usually
expedient to strengthen the "slave's" position by giving him a Manumission
Certificate. # ^ ^
Occasionally a foreign slave comes to terms with his master and voluntarily
returns with him. . ., , e a i
As a general rule, however, all Foreign Slave cases should be referred to
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. and disposed of in accordance with instructions received
from him.
III.—M askat.
Authority*
Treaty with the Sultan of Maskat, 1873 (Ajtchison, volume XII, para-
graph 230). , .^-1 • * ^
Manumission Certificates are only granted with the acquiescence of fte
Sultan after joint investigation by His Highness and 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. . His
Highness is not a party to the Brussels Act of 1890.
Procedure.
When a slave applies for freedom at the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. bis statement is taken
flownin writing. He is then sent to the Sultan with the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. Munsbl lor
fhJ^nrn^e of verifying his statement made at the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. and of obtaining
the consent of His Highness to bis freedom. The Sultan after questioning the

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Content

The volume comprises two printed documents. The first is guidelines for the manumission of slaves, printed by the British Government’s Foreign Office Press, and issued to 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 Bushire. Part one of the guidelines is for the Persian shore 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. . It outlines the authorities (treaties) for manumission, grounds for manumission, and the procedures for manumission. The second part of the guidelines deals with the Arabian shore 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. . Bahrain, Muscat and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. are dealt with separately.

The second printed document in the file is a set of guidelines for dealing with the various scenarios in which economic disputes might arise between captains, divers and merchants in the pearling industry in the Gulf. The guidelines are for use by British agents and representatives in Bahrain, Kuwait, Bandar-e Lengeh and the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. . The emphasis in the rules is on the honouring of debts as a means to ensuring the financial stability of the pearling industry, and sets out the obligations of divers to their captains, duties of captains to their divers, captains to other captains regarding loans, and captains to their debtors.

Extent and format
1 volume (21 folios)
Arrangement

Two separate printed reports with their own pagination systems, bound together into one file. No chronology.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The volume is foliated in the top-right corner of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . The two printed reports that comprise the volume each have their own internal pagination systems.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘File 5/201 Manumission of slaves and rules relating to cases arising out of the pearling industry’ [‎8r] (22/50), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/234, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023399489.0x000017> [accessed 24 October 2019]

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