'British interests on the coast of Arabia, Koweit, Bahrein and El Katr' [2r] (3/4)
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.
pointed out that the Porte, if they thought they could count upon the
support of any Foreign Power in asserting their supremacy over the island,
would not lose the opportunity of doing so. In this conniiction it should he
mentioned that an inquiry was received from the French Government in
July last as to bringing Bahrein within the jurisdiction of their Vice-
Consulate at Bushire, the reason given being that French subjects have come
to establish themselves on the island and carry on pearl fishing. The
Government of India were in favour of postponing the reply to the French
request, and this view, as far as this Office is aware, has been accepted by
the Foreign Office.
In August 1904 the Government of India were authorised, with a view to
strengthening our position with the Sheikh, to appoint an officer of the
Regular Political Service as Resident, in place of the existing Agent who
was of a lower official status. A small guard of Native Infantry was also
sanctioned, and it was arranged that a suitable vessel should be plaved at the
disposal of the Political Officer to be used if necessary in the suppression of
piracy in the shallower waters of the coast. Sir N. O'Com r, who was
consulted, replied that ho had felt strongly for some years pas^, t.iat we were
losing the opportunity of asserting our supremacy in Bahrein, that he
sincerely welcomed the proposals of the Government of India, and that he
undertook that thu Turkish Govern meat should raise no serious difficulties.
The above statement may perhaps suffice to explain the position of Bahrein
in connection with the present question of the acliori to he "taken in
consequence of the outrages committed by retainers of the Sheikh's nephew
on certain German and Persian subjects. The German case has already
been met by the punishment of the offenders and the payment of compen
sation. In the Persian case the Sheikh seems recalcitrant. There seems no
objection to the proposals made by the Government of India with a view
to obtain redress and to ensure order in the future, except as regards the
recommendation that we should seize the Custom House and not give it up
till the Sheikh accepts British management of his Customs. At present the
Customs are iarmed to British Indian banias, with the result that the Chief
only receives a revenue of rather more than a lakh, which is a third only of
the estimated yield of an efficient system. In their Despatch of 21st April
1904, the Government of India explained that the Sheikh had on several
occasions promised not to renew his leases to the farmers when they fell in,
but that he had failed to keep his word when the time came; and thev said
that they regarded the question of Customs reform as a test case of the
nature and degree of the influence which the British Government may
reasonably claim to exercise over the Sheikh. A compromise would be to
insist on the Sheikh cancelling the leases (with compensation to the
farmers), and assuming the administration himself. This would assimilate
the Bahrein practice to that of Muscat, where the Sultan has abolished the
farming system, but has consistently refused to put the administration under
British control, retaining the management in his own hands. The adoption
of this change by the Sheikh of Bahrein might or might not lead to his
agreeing subsequently to placing the administration under a British
The notification to the Porte of 12th August 1895 (mentioned above)
sufficiently establishes the fact that His Majesty's Government do not
recognise Turkish jurisdiction over the Katr coast. But the force of the
statement is somewhat modified by the fact that since 1872 there has been
a lurkish garrison at El Bidau. in lb6S we concluded an agreement with
the then Sheikh (the father of the present Sheikh), by uhich he bound
himself to take no hostile action by sea, and to refer all disputes to the
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. . Sheikh Jasim, the present Sheikh, on
succeeding his father, applied for a renewal of the Agreement, but this was
refused (in 1882) on the ground of the nature of his relations with the
Sheikh Jasim is now of a very great age, and the virtual ruler is his
brother. Sheikh Ahmed, with whom the Government of India are exceedingly
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.
- Extent and format
- 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.
- Physical characteristics
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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