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‘File 7/2 II Landing grounds and seaplane anchorages’ [‎163r] (346/538)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (264 folios). It was created in 18 Apr 1934-19 Mar 1935. It was written in English and Arabic. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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The volume is a continuation of correspondence from ‘File 7/2 I Landing grounds and seaplane anchorages’ (IOR/R/15/2/263), its contents relating to ongoing negotiations between Arab rulers and the British Government and Royal Air Force on the installation and maintenance of air facilities along the Arab coast, between Qatar and Ra’s al-Khaymah. The principal correspondents in the file are Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard Craven Fowle, 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Gordon Loch, 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, and Khan Bahadur ‘Īsá bin ‘Abd al-Latif, the British Government’s Native Agent Non-British agents affiliated with the British Government. at Sharjah. The majority of the volume’s correspondence relates to specific air facilities in the Gulf, notably in the dominions of Shaikh Shakbut bin Sulton of Abu Dhabi:

1. Damage to the unguarded petrol store at Yas Island [Şīr Banī Yās], and the contamination of its contents, was reported to Loch in June 1934 (folio 12). The damage enforced further negotiations with Shaikh Shakbut bin Sultan over arrangements for guards to be installed at the store. Loch arranged for negotiations to take place, with Shaikh Sa'id bin Maktum of Dubai acting as a mediator between the two parties (folios 51-52).

2. The establishment and marking out of an air strip at Şīr Banī Yās. Negotiations over the guarding of the petrol tank at Şīr Banī Yās went hand-in-hand with negotiations for an emergency landing strip at the same location. Negotiations with Shaikh Shakbut bin Sultan were successfully concluded on 13 February 1935. The original agreement is included in the volume (folio 226), with a copy of the English text (folio 162, 163).

3. The erection of beacons at air facilities across the Gulf for night-time flying. While arrangements were made for landing strips at Şīr Banī Yās and at Abu Dhabi, British Government officials in London and the Iraq RAF Command pressed for the installation of beacons at air facilities in the Gulf to enable night time flight along the India air route (folio 121). British officials in London and the Gulf were at odds with each other over the speed with which beacons could be installed (folios 201, 204-05), given the slow and precarious nature of negotiations with the Arab shaikhs. In a letter to Fowle, dated 13 December 1934, Loch expressed reservations about raising the issue of beacons with Shaikh Shakbut bin Sultan, given the difficulties in resolving existing issues with the landing strips and petrol store (folios 138-40).

Extent and format
1 volume (264 folios)

The contents of the volume are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest items at the front of the volume to the latest at the end. There are office notes at the end of the file (folios 227-54), which mirror the chronological order of the file correspondence.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The main foliation sequence begins on the contents page and ends on the last folio; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and can be found in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Two other pagination sequences are also present in the volume, between ff. 114-224 (incomplete) and ff. 227-254; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence. Foliation anomalies: 1A and 1B; 146A, 146B and 146C.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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‘File 7/2 II Landing grounds and seaplane anchorages’ [‎163r] (346/538), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/264, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 July 2024]

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