'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [144r] (3/14)
The record is made up of 1 file (7 folios). It was created in 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.
assurancos. yet cif cum stances might arise in which it would be impossible to
! ' v ' ; (( t 011 behalf. In such a case he would, of course, receive
in S; longest diplomatic support. Colonel Cox was to record in writing the
sul istance of the conversation, in the course of which this intimation 5 was
made to the Sheikh.]
' hese assurances are given for yourself, and are intended to extend to your
m.ile descendants, so Jong as you or they shall not have failed to observe your
obligations towards the Central Government, and shall continue to be accept
able to your tribesmen, to be guided by the advice of His Majesty's Govern
ment, and to maintain an attitude satisfactory to them."
A \ ersion of this statement was also handed to the Sheikh fat his express request)
tor communication to his tribesmen. It differed from the other in the omission of the
words "to be acceptable to your tribesmen" from the lAst paragraph, and in the fact
that it was not accompanied by the verbal explanation.
On the 8th December, 1910, the Persian Minister for Foreign Affairs enquired
whether there was any truth in information which had reached him that the Sheikh was
under British protection. The British Minister at Tehran replied that the Sheikh was
not a British-protected person, but that His Majesty's Government had special relations
with him, and would support him in the event of any encroachment on his rights.
It was decided by the Foreign Office that no further information should be
conveyed to the Persian Government regarding the Sheikh's relations with His
On the 4th December, 1913, at a time when His Majesty's Government were
contemplating the acquisition of a controlling interest in the Anglo-Persian Oil
Company, Sheikh Khazal asked Sir P. Cox for still further assurances on the following
(1.) That we would make the position regarding the succession more secure
by a modification of the wording of our assurances.
(2.) That we would, now that peace had been made between the Bakhtiaris
and himself, take cognisance of a definite compact of peace between them which
would render him immune from the necessity and expense of collecting a large
army annually each season for the protection of his territory against their
(3.) That we should endeavour to devise and take measures with the Persian
Government, and in such directions as may be politically possible, to secure to him
the status of local autonomy to which the history of the past entitled him, and
which he at present enjoys in practice, but on a precarious basis.
In a report, dated the 7th December, 1913, to the Government of India
Sir P. Cox conveyed these requests, and submitted that—
"we should meet the Sheikh's .wishes as far as we can in the matter of the
wording of our assurance to him, and that instead of the words ' and be acceptable
to your tribesmen,' we should substitute the words, ' and provided always that the
nomination of your successor from among your descendants shall be subject to
confidential consultation with, and the approval of. His Majesty's Government.'
tie proposed to meet Sheikh Khazal's other requests by negotiating on certain
lines with the Russian and Persian Governments.
The points raised in this report were still being discussed between the 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.
and the Foreign Office when the outbreak of the war transformed the situation. Ihe
disintegration of Persia and the encroachment of Russia, which had previously been
the main preoccupation of His Majesty's Government 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. , w ere eclipsed
by the more immediate menace from Turkey and Germany. The Sheikh of Mohammerah
appears to have sent assurances of his loyalty to His Majesty's Government soon after
a state of war between Great Britain and Germany was declared (61684/61439/14, No. 1),
and it was clearly essential that we should reaffirm and strengthen our assurances
On the 6th September, 1914, the Government of India, in a telegram to the
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. repeated to the officiating Resident in the Gulf (61684/14, No. 1), made
the following suggestion :—
"It is asserted by the Sheikh of Koweit, and there seem reasonable grounds
to believe, that the Sheikhs of Koweit and Mohammerah, in collusion with certain
About this item
This is a printed memorandum by the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office concerning British commitments during the First World War to autonomous or independent Arab rulers 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. , including the Sultan of Maskat [Muscat], the Trucial Chiefs of Oman (that is, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Dubai, Ra's al-Khaymah, Ajman, etc.), and the Sheikhs of Katar [Qatar], Bahrein [Bahrain], Koweit [Kuwait] and Mohammerah [Muḥammarah / Khorramshahr]. The memorandum includes the following sections: 'Collective Assurances'; 'Assurances to the Sheikh of Mohammerah' [Khaz‘al bin Jābir al-Ka‘bī]; 'Assurances to the Sheikh of Koweit' [Mubārak bin Ṣabāḥ Āl Ṣabāḥ, Jābir bin Mubārak Āl Ṣabāḥ from 1915 to 1917, and Sālim bin Mubārak Āl Ṣabāḥ from 1917 onwards]; 'Treaty with the Sheikh of Katar' [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī]; and 'Relation of Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs to British Disiderata'. References are made in the text and footnotes to various treaties and correspondences. A section of appendices (folios 148v-149v) includes the text of a treaty with the Sheikh of Qatar, dated 3 November 1916; a translation of a letter addressed by the 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 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. to Sheikh Abdullah [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī], dated 3 November 1916; and a proclamation by Sheikh Abdullah regarding the Arms Traffic, dated 6 Moharram [Muḥarram] 1335 [3 November 1916].
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Foliation: The foliation for this description commences at folio 143 and terminates at folio 149, as it is part of a larger physical volume; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located 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. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between folios 11-158; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence.
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