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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎147v] (10/14)

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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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10
the present memorandum. In this text article 3 of the original draft relating to the
arms traffic/was made more stringent, while, as a concession to bheikb Abdullah,
article 6 was altered so as to apply to British merchandise only and not to British
traders. Articles 7, 8, and 9 (corresponding respectively to articles 4 and 8 ot the
draft), were left as they stood, but .in a letter from Sir P. Cox to Sheikh Abdullah
(Appendix B), of the same date as the treaty, it was agreed, m the name ot His Majesty s
Government, that they should remain in suspense for an unspecified period. It wan also
agreed that, notwithstanding article 9 of the treaty ot 1820 with the I rucial Chiefs, to
which he had now subscribed. Sheikh Abdullah and his subjects should be allowed^ to
retain negro slaves already in their possession, on condition of their treatment being
satisfactory. In pursuance of article 3, Sheikh Abdullah signed the draft proclamation
reffardine: the arms traffic (Appendix C), and issued it, on the same date, in Ins o\\ n name.
On the 4th November, 1916, Sir P. Cox forwarded to the Government of India
the texts of the treaty as signed, of his own letter to sheikh Abdullah, aiM <>1 bheikh
Abdullah's proclamation, together with a full report on the negotiations. 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. , dated the 10th January, 1917, the Viceroy proposed that the
treaty should be ratified (25485/15720/17), and 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. , with the concurrence
of the Foreign Office (25485/17), signified its approval in a telegram dated the 13th
February, 1917 (35527/17). The signed copy of the treaty was accordingly returned
to Sir P. Cox by 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. with three parchment copies of the English version,
and he was instructed to have the Arabic version reproduced on the margins of these
copies, to sign them himself, and to obtain the signature of Sheikh Abdullah. Ihese
instructions appear to have been duly carried out, and the treaty was ratified on the
23rd March, 1918, by the Government of India.
Relation of CommitTnents {during the War} to the Gulf Chiefs to British Desiderata*
There would appear to be no serious conflict between the two.
The general collective assurance merely reaffirms, in the vaguest terms, our previous
undertakings to the various chiefs.
The general assurance regarding British policy towards the Holy Places, including
those in Mesopotamia, is in no way at variance with British interests or with commit
ments entered into on the same subject with other parties by His Majesty's Government.
The assurance, given to the Sheikhs of Mohammerah and Koweit, that " Basra
should never again be allowed to be subject to Turkish authority," is practically identical
with the assurances subsequently given to the notables of Basra Vilayet by Sir P. Cox,
and again by the Viceroy of India in a speech delivered at Basra on the 3rd February,
1915. It is also consistent with our pledge to King Husein that Basra shall be
included within the boundaries of Arab independence, while, unlike the latter pledge, it
leaves His Majesty's Government a completely free hand in regard to the positive
disposal of Basra, so long as a restoration of Turkish sovereignty is excluded.
The special assurance to the Sheikh of Mohammerah, of which the final text is
contained in Sir P. Cox's communication dated the 22nd November, 1914, is for the most
part a repetition, practically word for word, of the assurance of 1910, with the impor
tant exception that, in the dynastic guarantee, the stipulation that the Sheikh's
successors must be acceptable to the tribesmen as well as to His Majesty 's Government
is omitted.
There are also two short additional clauses, and the first of these makes our under
taking to support the Sheikh's established rights vis-dois the Persian Government more
definite, and introduces the word " autonomy." In effect it would make it morally
incumbent upon His Majesty's Government to interfere in case the Sheikh's rights were
violated by Tehran; but no doubt we should in any case take action, in such circum
stances, in our own interests, and the assurance does not commit us to take specific
action, or to carry our action further than we may think desirable at the time. The
most important point is that none of our commitments to the Sheikh of Mohammerah
are inconsistent with a loyal recognition of Persia's integrity.
The second additional clause, regarding the Sheikh's date gardens in what was
formerly lurkish territory, is a comparatively trifling matter; and since the immunity
from taxation is not specifically accorded in perpetuity, it could presumably be modified
if it became a grave embarrassment to Basra finances.
The special assurance to the Sheikh of Koweit leaves the previous relations
between the Sheikh and His Majesty's Government unaffected, and merely commits us
to the abolition of lurkish suzerainty over him. This suzerainty was, of course, >
objectionable from the British point of view, and was in effect an anomaly, since our

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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' [‎147v] (10/14), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B301, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023622482.0x00000b> [accessed 26 June 2019]

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