'File A/5 Pearl fisheries of Persian Gulf' [12r] (23/62)
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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
and (2) the power of the British Government to act on their behalf in
maintaining that monopoly. It is conceived that some precise delega
tion of authority to the British Government to act on behalf oL ? the
tribes in Ibis matter would he necessary. It must be added that none
of the tribes have any judicial system or courts of law for dealing with
trespassers or trespassing boats.
A collection of confidential correspondence respecting the Ceylon
Pearl Fisheries, which took place in 1891-1892 (Annex D), and copies
of the Argument (Annex E) and counter-case (Annex E) of Her late
Majesty s Government in the Behring Sea Arbitration (certain pas
sages in which are specially marked) are inclosed herewith for your
I am to request that you will take the papers transmitted herewith
into your consideration, and that you will favour Lord Lansdowne with
(1) As to the legal rights of the tribes within, as also without, the
three-mile territorial limit.
(2) As to the procedure to be followed in expelling interlopers and
dealing with their boats and tishing appliances.
I have, &c..
The Law Officers of the Crown. Eldon Gorst.
Enclosure No. 5.
Foreign Office to 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. .
25th February 1905.
I am directed by the Marquess of Lansdowne to transmit here
with, lor the confidential information of the Secretary of State lor India
in Council, copy of a Heport, dated the 11th of this month, from the
Law Officers of the Crown, upon the questions regarding the pearl
fisheries 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. , which were discussed in your letter of
30th June last.
Lord Lansdowne would be glad to receive any observations which
Mr. Brodrick may bo good enough to offer on the matter after considering
I am, &c.,
The Under Secretary of State (Sd.) Omitted.
Law Officers of the Crown to Foreign Office.
Law Officers' Department,
Koyal Courts of Justice,
My Lord, 11th February 1905.
We were honoured with your Lordship's commands, signified in
Sir Eldon Gorst's letter of the 19th October last, transmitting to us
the accompanying papers, relative to 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,
and requesting us to favour your Lordship with our opinion—
(1) As to the legal rights of the tribes within, as also without, the
the three-mile territorial limit.
(2) As to the procedure to be followed in expelling interlopers, and
dealing with their boats and fishing appliances.
- e have taken the matter into our consideration, and, in obedience
to your Lordship's commands, have the honour to report—
(1) That the tribes have a right to the exclusive use of the pearl
fisheries within the three-mile limit, and in any other waters which may
justly be considered territorial..
S. 5. c
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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- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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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
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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