'British interests on the coast of Arabia, Koweit, Bahrein and El Katr' [1v] (2/4)
The record is made up of 2 folios. It was created in 30 Jan 1905. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
is lield to end, except in so far as our proceedings at Ivoweit influence the
attitude of the Turks towards us in El Katr and Bahrein.
The questions at issue at present with the Turks at Koweit are :—
(1) The status of our 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. . —Major Knox was sent in August
1904 to Koweit in connection with the difficulties arising from Turkish
complaints that the Sheikh was supporting Urn Saoud (the \ alr.ihi), who
had defeated Ihn llashid (the Turkish protege) in Nejd, and whose successes
seem sufficient to threaten the continuance of Turkish rule in the interior.
The Turks, who apparently believe tiiat we are instigating the Sheikh of
Koweit to support Ihu Saoud, at once complained oi: Major Knox s appoint
ment. We replied that the appointment was not a permanent one, but
that we reserved the right of sending an officer to Koweit at our " uncon
trolled discretion" to report and "ensure the continuance of the modus
vivendi " which had been arrived at. We also instructed the Government
of India (26th November 1904) that Major Knox might remain at Koweit
for the present, that he was to be withdrawn after a "■ reasonable interval,"
and that before leaving he was to inform the Sheikh that he would repeat
his visits, and that the date of his return would depend on the course of
events. The present, position is governed by these instructions. It should
be added that the Resident recently repoited that the Sheikh of Koweit was
going with Ibn Saoud to Jiasra to come to terms with the Turks. Other reports,
However, say that the Turks are organising a military expedition on a large
scale to put down Ibn Saoud and the Wahabi movement. Major Knox's
instructions are that he is not to say or do anything to connect us even
indirectly with the warfare now in progress in the interior, and that he is to
repeat to the Sheikh the warning to avoid entanglements in the interior
given him by Lord Curzon personally when he visited Koweit.
(2.) Buhian Island. —The island is apparently a de-olate mud-flat, where
Kow« it fishermen have certain rights. It is of importance as commanding
one bank of the Khor Abdullah, which will presumably be the channel of
approach to the harbour at the terminus of the Baghdad Railway. In 1902
Sir N. O'Conor protested against the action of the Turks in placing a military
pest (of some 10 men, relieved at intervals from lao) on the island. In
May 1904 Sir N. O'Conor reverted to the subject, saying that unless the
post w T as withdrawn, it would be necessary to ra se the question ' in a more
unpleasant form." The action to be taken, in event of a Turkish failure to
voluntarily withdraw this post, has been reserved for consideration. The
proposal of the Government of India was either to insist on Turkish with
drawal or to allow the Sheikh to establish a post of his own.
Our relations with Bahrein are governed by the treaty already mentioned.
The island is situated in a deep bay : it faeces on the west the Turkish district
of Katif, and, on the east, the peninsula of El Katr, in which we do not
recognise Turkish authority. The place is of importance as the centre of
the pearl fisheries of the Gulf. It is also the icsidence of a number of
British Indian traders, whose export trade in dates from Katif has recently
cnusrd some difficulty with the Turkish Government owing to the extortions
of the loeal Turkish authorities.
We do not recognise Turkish authority in Bahrein. In 1895 we forcibly
dispersed, in the interests of the Bahrein' Sheikh, a settlement of malcontents
who had established themselves at Zobara, on the Katr coast, under the
Turkish flag. The Turks protested, but His Majesty's Government stated
in reply that they did not recognise Turkish jurisdiction on the Katr coast
and " must repeat once more that all Turkish claims to Bahrein, which is
under the protection of the Queen of England, are totally inadmissible."
[Note Verhale of 12th August 1895.)
In 1901 Sir N. O Conor, reporting on the action of the Government of
India in recognising the Sheikhs eldest son as his successor, said that any
arrangement which strengthened our authority over Bahrein must be regarded
with satisfaction, and added that ho would welcome the news that a British
or British Indian subject had been appointed Director oi the Bahrein Customs
as a material proof of our authority over the island. Sir N. O'Conor further
About this item
Richmond Thackeray Willoughby Ritchie, British Interests on the Coast of Arabia, Koweit, Bahrein, and El Katr (Government of India, 1905).
This document consists of an analysis of British interests on the coast of Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. It was written by Richmond Thackeray Willoughby Ritchie and published in 1905. It is composed of four sections dealing with the Arabian coast 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. , Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
Arabian coast. This cites a letter, 5th January 1903, from the Government of India to the Naval Commander-in-Chief, noting it gives a concise overview of 'the political geography of the Arabian coast 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. ': the claims to rule by the Ottomans, Trucial Chiefs and the Sultan of Muscat. It then reviews key treaties with the Sheikhs of Kuwait (23rd January, 1899) , Bahrain, Trucial Chiefs, the 1891 treaty with Muscat, and the agreements with Shaikhs down the coast to Aden.
Kuwait. This section discusses two issues with the Turks at Kuwait. Firstly, the status of the British 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. , Major Stuart George Knox and his instructions concerning the conflicts and dynamics between Ibn Saud, Ibn Rashid and the Turks. The second issue concerns rights over Bubian Island.
Bahrain. This section discusses British non-recognition of Turkish authority in Bahrain and measures to assert British authority there, referring to reports by Sir Nicholas Roderick O'Conor.
Qatar. This section discusses Turkish influence in Qatar and the reasons why the conclusions of a treaty with the the ruling Al Thani shaikh by the Government of India would be desirable.
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- 2 folios
The document consists four sections: Arabian coast 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. , Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.
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The foliation sequence is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio. It begins on the first folio, on number 1, and ends on the last folio, on number 2.
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