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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎145v] (6/14)

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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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On the 6th September. 1914, the Government of India, in a telegram referred to
already in section (ii), made the following suggestion (61684/14, No. 1) :—
" 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
notables of Basra, with whom they are in close touch, and with the distant
co-operation of Bin Saud, could (if given certain aHSurances) either prepare the way
for our peaceful occupation of Basra, or, until we are in a position to take effective
action, arrange to keep the place quiet and isolated.
" To secure these results I would offer the following inducements, in addition
to the assurance that Basra would never again be subjected to Turkish authority.
" To the Sheikh of Koweit, we should offer full possession and immunity from
taxation for his date gardens on the Turkish bank between Fao and Gurnah ;
immunity from the consequences of ejecting the present small Turkish military
posts from Safwan, Umm Kasr, and Bubiyan ; and thereafter recognition under
British protection of independent principality of Koweit." *
On the 14th September, 1914, the officiating Resident in the Gulf submitted to
the Government of India a draft of a special letter to the Sheikh of Koweit, together
with other drafts referred to above in sections (i) and (ii) (64214/14, No. 1) :—
" In return for the valuable co-operation which we expect from you, I am
authorised by the Government in the event of success—and, insha Allah, we shall
succeed—to assure 3 T ou that Basra will never again be allowed to be subject to
Turkish authority.
" I am further to give your Excellency personally the following special
assurances :—
"(1.) Your date gardens between Fao and Gurnah shall remain in the full
possession of you and your heirs and for ever be immune from taxation.
" (2.) You are guaranteed by the great British Government against all
consequences of your attack against Safwan, Umm Kasr, and Bubiyan.
" (3.) Koweit shall be recognised as an independent principality under British
This draft, like the others, was approved by the Government of India on the 26th
September, ]'J 14 (64214/14, No. 12), with the same alterations in assurance (1),
regarding the Sheikh's date gardens in the Basra vilayet, as were made in the
corresponding passage in the draft special letter to the Sheikh of Mohammerah.
^^The letter, in its emended form, was eventually despatched on the 3rd November,
On the 28th February, 1917, upon the death of Sheikh Mubarak-bin-Subah,
these undertakings were renewed in the "Kharita" to his son; and after the latter
had also died and had been succeeded by his brother. Sheikh Salim-bin-Mubarak,
the Government of India forwarded to Sir P. Cox, for presentation to the new ruler, a
" Kharita from the Viceroy renewing to him likewise the undertakings which His
Majesty's Government had made to his father (68308/34912/17).
u- ur at * •^ ie ^ rs ^ la ^ the year 1918 Sheikh Salim created considerable difficulties
tor His Majesty s Government over the question of the control of the blockade in
Koweit territories and ports. And, in this connection, the following message was
conveyed to him through the Resident at Koweit on the 5th July,' 1918 (121490/
4J888/18) ;—
Government have deeply regretted the events of the last two years at
owei t but they welcome your declarationf as affording an opportunity for
re-establishment of our traditional friendship. In order that there may be no
— ei standing in the future, they desire to explain their policy towards your
On the one hand, should you show to Government same friendship and
assis ance w ic they have experienced for many years in their dealings with the
ni eis o o. eit, they will continue to you the assurances given to your illustrious
a er, je ate Sheikh Mubarak, especially that 'the town of Koweit and its
boundaries likewise belong to Sheikh Mubarak-us-Subah, ruler of Koweit, and to
11S ' j UrS a f 1 - 1 11T^ ^ a ex tend to you the friendship and protection and
ance w uc ] t iey gave to him ; and, finally, they hope that you will raise
as we are in*a 1 uositioirtcrnrntlTt W f <; f ?, ^ 10u1 n °t ^ 0 ' st flag- at Koweit as soon after declaration of war
as we are in a position to protect it from Turkish attack.—P. Z. Cox, September 2 1914 "
I w Ce ? T g meas " r f of control desired by the British authorities.
+ ^©cret Agreement of the 16th October, 1907.

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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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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎145v] (6/14), 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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