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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎144v] (4/14)

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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.


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notables of Basra with whom they are in close touch, and with the distant
co-operation of Bin Saud, could (if given certain assurances) either prepare the way
for our peaceful occupation of Basra, or, until we were in a position to take effective
action, arrange to keep the place quiet and isolated.
"To the Sheikh of Mohammerah we should, give the assurance already
sanctioned in connection with recent grant of decoration; undertaking to maintain
him in secure and untaxed possession of his date gardens on the Turkish side of
the river, and perhaps a promise to do our best vis-d-vis Persia to maintain him in
his present state of local autonomy.'
In accordance with this, the officiating Resident submitted to the Government of *
India on the 14th September, 1914, the following draft of a special letter to the Sheikh
of Mohammerah, together with drafts of other notices (discussed in section (1) above),
to be despatched in the event of war between Great Britain and Turkey breaking
out (64214/14: No. 1):—
" I am authorised by my Government to request your Excellency to co-operate
with our honoured friends, their Excellencies the Amir of Nejd and the Sheikh of
Koweit, in the capture of Basra from the Turks ....
" In return for this valuable co-operation, I am authorised by my Government
to assure your Excellency that in the event of our success—and succeed we shall,
insha Allah—Basra will never again be allowed to be subject to Turkish authority.
" I am further to assure your Excellency personally, and do so by this writing,
that, whatever change may take place in the form of the Government of Persia,
and whether it be Royalist or Nationalist, His Majesty's Government will be
prepared to afford you the support necessary for obtaining a satisfactory solution
m the event of any encroachment by the Persian Government on your jurisdiction
and recognised rights, or on your property in Persia. These assurances are given
for yourself and for your successors from among your male descendants, and shall
hold good so long as you and they do not fail to observe your and their obligations
towards the Central Government (provided always that the nomination of your
successors from among your descendants shall be subject to confidential consultation
with and the approval of His Majesty's Government), and so long as you and
they shall continue to be guided by the advice of His Majesty's Government, and
to maintain an attitude satisfactory to that Government.
I is-a-vis the Persian Government, we shall do our best to maintain your
Excellency in your present state of local autonomy.
" Further, your date gardens on the Turkish side of the Shatt-el-Arab shall
remain in full possession ot you and your heirs, and for ever immune from
This draft was approved by the Government of India on the 26th September, 1914
(64214/14, No. 12), with the substitution of the words " date gardens which you now
possess ior " your date gardens "in the last paragraph, and the omission of the words
" for ever."
In this emended form the letter was eventually delivered to the Sheikh on the
3rd November, 1914.
Later, after the occupationof Basra, Sheikh Khazal asked that the wording of the
letter should be revised again.
r ^ ese assurances, in the form originally sanctioned by Government, con
tained a reference to the co-operation expected from the Sheikh in the event of
its being needed in connection with the capture of Basra. The Sheikh urged that
as occasion did not arise for the fulfilment of this obligation, it seemed somewhat
mconvenient and superfluous for it to be mentioned in a communication which
would become an important permanent record; he therefore begged for a revised
letter trom which the passages relating to Basra should be omitted."*
o'u ^i 0 k' r^f ter 0 ^ a ^ n g the approval of the Viceroy, sent the
on 3 ^ OCUment t0 She . lk i 1 l Kha2a1 ' datill g ^ 22rd November, 1914, being the date
on which Basra was occupied by the British forces
dated thi^+h^On^T ^ ^®^® 8urance8 conveyed to your Excellency in my letter
further valued rptV ^ i 1 Shawwal, 1328), and having regard to the
lurther valued services and co-operation which your Excellency has rendered to
• Utter, dated Baara, 1st April, 1915, from Sir P. Cox to Government of India, in 62555/15.

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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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1 file (7 folios)
Physical characteristics

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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English in Latin script
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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎144v] (4/14), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B301, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 October 2019]

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