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'File 9/4 Bahrain Reforms. Introduction of Reforms in Bahrain' [‎38r] (92/224)

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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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49
Telegram P., No. 481, dated the 29tli (received the 30th) May 1923. Serial No. 97.
From—The Hon'ble 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. , Bushire.
{Repeated Tehran, No. 112, Secretary of State for India, and Bahrein, No. 481).
Medj lis was held by me on 26th May which was well attended by represent
atives of all classes at Bahrein amongst whom Al-Khalifa family, Dowasir and other
tribesmen were included. Bheihks Hamid and Abdullah urged these last to attend
Medj lis, but before complying, they consulted Sheikh Isa who, however, sent them
to attend, thereby acquiescing in proceedings to unexpected extent.
Proceedings opened with speech by Hamad which was fluently and well
delivered by Muhammad his brother, and in which fully empowered agent of Sheikh
Isa stated that he relied confidently on help promised him by his brother Abdullah
and by British Government to which family of Al-Khalifa were steadfastly loyal,
and announced his intention of ruling and carrying on policy of his father of working
for good of people under rule of Al-Khalifa. I followed dwelling on difficulties
that surrounded Sheikh Isa especially at outset, speaking in praise of his rule of
56 years and stating that at age of 75 there was nothing to wonder at that he had
found himself unwilling to enter upon stoney path of reforms which would involve
incessant struggle with independent communities and petty tyrannies that had
grown up during later years of what I preferred to describe as his lack of rule,
and that therefore it had been found necessary by Government to introduce new
blood and forbid interference of Sheikh Isa with reforms which in order to bring
Bahrein up to level of modern civilisation it had been found necessary to intro
duce. I said that debt of gratitude was owed to old ruler by everybody present,
including myself as representative of His Majesty's (government, for long and on
the whole prosperous rule of many years, in spite of covetous eyes on both sides
of Gulf and many difficulties, and that no dQubt, his disappearance would naturally
be viewed with regret by many Sunnis there. I indulged however in the hope
that Sunni community would ultimately benefit from reforms. I contrasted
Sheikh's rule over Sunnis with 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. 's rule over foreigners. The one had
been behind purdah and marked by aloofness of Sunnis'to-day from foreign progress
while the other was open and above board. Foreigners had multiplied, progressed
and prospered while Sunni community was not pulling its weight in boat or enjoy
ing that preponderance in Bahrein affairs which was its birth right, and had lagged
behind in race, and I hoped that Sunnis would be led to their right place by Sheikh
Hamad's rule assisted by Abdullah his brother, and supported against internal
sedition and external aggression by His Majesty's Government. I then in turn
lectured each community and laid stress o i absolute necessity for stronger rule
of one Sheikh of family of Al-Khalifa and not irresponsible rule of 30 or more self-
appointed persons responsible to themselves only.
Thus far my speech was in English read out later in Arabic. I then turned
to Hamad, and, explaining that for one word to Hamad I spoke six to my other
hearers, gave him publicly in Arabic some useful advise for his future governance.
Representative audience received^ both speeches well and both Hamad and
Abdullah are enthusiastic. Flattering reference to Sheikh Isa especially pleased
them. Sheikh Isa seems already acquiescent, and Bahrein reforms seem to have
started well and in right atmosphere so far as can be judged.
It will probably particularly interest Tehran that I received from Bahrein
Persians (not the Baharinah) an entirely unsolicited testimonial that their spokes
man disclaimed all connection with newspapers and Tehran agitation, and said that
Persian rule or severance of British connection with Bahrein was desired, with few
animportancnt exceptions, by no Persian in Bahrein, Local Persians imagined
steps taken by us were purely on their account and were generally delighted at
Qassibi's discomfiture. In view of anti-British agitation in Persian press they
seemed surprised that we should take so much trouble.
I have now returned to Bushire and at end of month leave for Koweit.
Telegram P., No. 482, dated the 29th (received the 30th) May 1923. Serial No ^8
From—The Hon'ble 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. , Bushire.
Please refer to my proposal in telegram* B.-l to give British Assistant to take
ofi of 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. 's hands petty work and jurisdiction over foreigners.
* Serial No. 68.
#

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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' [‎38r] (92/224), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/131, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023403812.0x00005d> [accessed 22 January 2020]

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