'File A/5 Pearl fisheries of Persian Gulf' [10v] (20/62)
The record is made up of 1 file (31 folios). It was created in 10 Mar 1904-19 Jun 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.
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A collection of confidential correspondence* respecting the Ceylon
* Not Drinted P earl fislieries » which took P lace
p in 1891-92, and copies of the
argument and counter case of Her late Majesty's Government in the
Eehring Sea Arbitration (certain passages in which are specially marked),
are enclosed herewith for Mr. Brodrick's information. They may perhaps
be found useful in the preparation of the case.
I am, &c.,
The Under Secretary of State E. G okst.
Enclosure No. 3
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. to Eoreign Office.
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. ,
Sir, 10th August 1904.
I am directed by Mr. Secretary Brodrick to acknowledge the
receipt of Sir E. Gorst's letter of the 16th ultimo, informing him that
the Marquess of Lansdowne concurs in the proposal to refer to the Law
Officers of the Crown the question of the steps to be taken to prevent
foreign interference with the rights enjoyed by the tribes on 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. in the pearl fisheries.
Mr. Brodrick is of opinion that, should Lord Lansdowne see no
objection, the case to be laid before the Law Officers, which involves
considerations of international law, might more conveniently be stated
by your Department; but I am to enclose a copy of a Memorandum
stating the material facts.
Should Lord Lansdowne concur in the proposed course, Mr. Brodrick
will be glad to see a draft of the case before it is actually laid before
the Law Officers.
I have, &c.,
The Under Secretary of State, A. G odley.
• • • •
Pearl Eisheries 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. .
The Government of India have called the attention of His Majesty's
Government in the annexed letter to the fact that by the steps they
have consistently taken for more than a century to maintain the
maritime peace 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. , they have deprived the Arab Chiefs
on the coast of the means of forcibly protecting their interests in the
pearl fisheries, and that they therefore feel themselves to be under an
obligation to defend those rights in so far as they can reasonably be
They cite instances in the past in which they have have successfully
intervened to prevent the intrusion both of foreigners, by diplomatic
means, and of British subjects.
They recognise, however, that the position is difficult, both in regard
to British subjects and from the point of view of international law.
They therefore desire to ascertain the extent to which they may be
authorised to intervene, should the necessity arise.
About this item
The contents of the file relate to the British Government’s concerns over growing British and international interest in the Gulf’s pearling industry, hitherto almost exclusively exploited by the region’s indigenous inhabitants.
1) The first half of the file (folios 2-13) comprises copies of Government of India correspondence published in 1904 and 1905, which discuss Britain’s historic role in the Gulf in relation to the pearling industry. Themes covered include: Britain’s duty to protect the pearl banks for the benefit of the Arab pearl divers, acknowledgement of growing national and international interest in the pearl banks, the extent of territorial waters, and the likely result of any legal challenges to Britain’s refusal to allow foreign interests the opportunity to exploit the Gulf’s pearl banks.
2) Correspondence relating to an enquiry by a German businessman, concerning the pearl trade in the Gulf (folios 15-17).
3) Printed copies of correspondence (folios 20-23) from 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. 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. (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Cox) and the Bahrain 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. (Captain Charles Mackenzie), dated 1910, concerning the increasing trade in oyster shells in the Gulf, used for the production of mother of pearl. A drop in the numbers of oysters being fished is attributed to the mother of pearl industry. A German firm based in Bahrain, Wonckhaus & Co., is identified as a key exporter of oyster shells at Bahrain.
4) A letter (folio 27) intercepted by the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. in Bahrain, from the Secretary of the Wolverine Motor Works, U.S.A., to Robert Wonckhaus & Co., dated 3 February 1915. The letter and accompanying leaflet (folios 28-29) relates to Wolverine Motor Works’ new combined compressor and propelling motor, designed specifically for use in the pearl fishing industry.
5) A typewritten extract from the Times of India Illustrated , dated 19 [month missing, presumed June] 1918 (folio 30) reporting on rumours that German financiers are buying up all the pearls available in Britain and France.
- Extent and format
- 1 file (31 folios)
The contents of the file have been arranged in approximate chronological order, running from the earliest items at the front of the file to the latest at the end.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: The file is foliated from its front cover to inside back cover, using circled pencil numbers in the top-right corner of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . There is an additional pagination system running throughout the file.
Folio 29 is a fold-out.
There is minor insect damage to papers throughout the file.
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- 'File A/5 Pearl fisheries of Persian Gulf'
- front, front-i, 2r:14v, 16v:26v, 27v, 30r:30v, back-i, back
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