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'File 9/4 Bahrain Reforms. Introduction of Reforms in Bahrain' [‎2r] (20/224)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (98 folios). It was created in 30 Dec 1921-27 Jul 1924. 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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3
Serial No. (2).
No, 23-S,, dated Busliire, the 6th (received the 17th) January 1922.
From—The Hon'ble Lieutenant-Colonel A. P. Trevor, C.S.I., C .I.E,, Political
Resident in 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. .
Subject.— Tyranny of the Shaikh of Bahrain and his family over Bahrain subjects.
In my letter No. 495-S., dated 30th December I remarked that I had been
intending recently to report the state of affairs at Bahrain to the Government of
India but had been prevented by the Minister's visit and press of work. I had in
point of fact intended to submit a report on receipt of a report from the Political
Agent, Bahrain, at the end of November 1921, and should have done so on my return
from tour if I had not been forestalled by the petition from the Bahrainis on the 21 st
December.
2. I now have the honour to forward extracts from Major Daly's " Note on
the political situation in Bahrain " for the information of the Government of India.
As the note goes into considerable detail I have omitted two portions which are not
of great importance. The first part omitted gives two instances showing how
impossible it is for Shaikh Hamad to carry on without friction, and the second gives
details of the unsatisfactory position in regard to pearling cases which are not
properly settled by the Salifah Court. There is no doubt that grave abuses have
arisen and that very often divers cannot obtain justice from their nakhudas The (usually Arab) captain or master of a local boat. , who
are not obliged to keep accounts, and who are unduly favoured by the Shaikh.
This matter can however wait and can be dealt with, separately.
a
3. I think Major Daly's note shows clearly that a highly unsatisfactory state
of things exists and that the policy adopted by His Majesty's Government after
the events of 1904-i)5 {vide Gazetteer of Persian Gnlf, page 943) that the ameliora
tion of the internal government should be brought about by indirect and pacific
means through increase of influence with the Shaikh and by gaining his confidence
and trust has not proved a success. This I think is chiefly due to the character
of the Shaikh and the characteristics of the A1 Khalifa family in general. Whether
the Government will consider the present a suitable time for changing it, I do not
know but I am addressing a separate letter in this connection.
Enclsorue of Serial No. 2.
Note on the "political situation in Bahrain, November 1921.
Bahrain is in a constant state of unrest owing to the political intrigues of a
small party under the leadership of Shaikh Abdulla, the youngest son of the Ruler,
and as as the result of years of oppression by the ruling family. Instances of this
oppression are far too numerous to quote, but details are on record of a large
number of cases of recent date, which include illegal seizure of property, wrongful
imprisonment with cruelty, and political murders, for which no one has been
brought to trial, and no effort made to enforce justice.
On the other hand events of the past few years in neighbouring countries have
not been without effect on the subjects of the Bahrain Government, as well as upon
the large foreign element, and all have become intensely dissatisfied with the
existing state of affairs. For some years past successive Political Agents have
recorded the highly unsatisfactory state of the administration which is far behind
the times in comparison with other Arab states.
Oppression in the past two years has amounted to terrorism, which appears to
have been deliberate policy of Shaikh Abdulla for retaining complete domination
over his father's subjects. To this end, it is essential that the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. should
have little influence. The constant changes of Political Agents and periods during
which a subordinate held charge, admirably suited his purpose.
By last year, matters had reached such a pitch, that my predecessor attempted,
in some measure, to correct them. In spite of much opposition he successfully
instituted a municipality in Manama, which was the means of introducing into the
affairs of that town the first semblance of order among complete chaos.

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Content

The volume contains printed copies of Government of India confidential correspondence, relating to the Bahrain reforms. The majority of the letters contained in volume are printed copies of correspondence originally sent to the Government of India either by 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. in 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. (Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Trevor or Acting Resident Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Knox), or 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. at Bahrain (Major Clive Daly). Much of the correspondence featured in the volume can be found in the original (or as office copies) in a number of files in the two Bahrain Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. subsubseries ‘File 9 Bahrain Reforms’ (IOR/R/15/2/127-138) and ‘File 8 Miscellaneous’ (IOR/R/15/2/121-126), and the Bushire Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. subsubseries ‘File 19 Bahrain’ (IOR/R/15/1/314-77).

The printed correspondence contained in the volume covers a range of subjects:

  • Events leading up to the programme of reforms carried out in Bahrain: allegations of the oppression of Bahraini subjects by members of the Āl Khalīfah family, violence, the deteriorating economic situation;
  • The reforms proposed and implemented by British officials: replacement of Shaikh ‘Īsá by Shaikh Ḥamad as defacto ruler, economic reforms, judicial reforms, pearl diving industry reforms, customs house reforms;
  • Specific incidents of violence involving Sunnis and Shias, or Najdis and Persians.

Some of the papers in the volume are accompanied by duplicate copies:

  • Folios 61-64 are duplicates of folios 57-60;
  • Folios 68-69 are duplicates of folios 66-67;
  • Folios 81-84 are duplicates of folios 77-80.
Extent and format
1 volume (98 folios)
Arrangement

The volume's contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, starting with the earliest items at the front and finishing with the latest items at the end.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The volume is foliated from the front cover to the inside back cover, using uncircled pencil numbers in the top-right corner of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . Most of the items in the volume are printed items that have their own internal pagination systems, using printed numbers in the top-right corners of recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages and the top-left corners of verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. pages, or centred at the top of both verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. and recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages. The following foliation anomalies occur: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f.

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English in Latin script
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'File 9/4 Bahrain Reforms. Introduction of Reforms in Bahrain' [‎2r] (20/224), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/131, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023403812.0x000015> [accessed 8 December 2019]

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