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'Memorandum on British Commitments (during the War) to the Gulf Chiefs' [‎148r] (11/14)

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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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agreements with the Sheikh, which were recognised by the Turkish Government in
the Anglo-Turkish Convention of the 29th July, 1913, had placed him, with the
exception of this Turkish suzerainty, in a "trucial" relationship to His Majesty's
Government. From the trucial point of view, the existing agreements appear satis-
lactory. But if it is desired to modify or amplify them at some future date, this can
now be done without reference to Turkey. On this head, therefore, the assurance to
the Sheikh of Koweit is at least as much in our interest as in his.
As regards Safwan, Umm Kasr, and Bubiyan, the guarantee against Turkish
reprisals for an attack on the Turkish military posts there on the part of the Sheikh
has, of course, been .fully redeemed, and is now an obsolete question. The important
point is the permanent political ownership of the places referred to.
Bubiyan is an island at the mouth of the Shatt-el-Arab, and Safwan and Umm
Kasr are forts on the mainland just north of it. All three had been in dispute for
many years before the war between the Sheikh of Koweit and Turkey. The Anglo-
lurkish Convention of the 2Dth July, 1913, effected a compromise, assigning Bubiyan
Island to the direct territories of the Sheikh, while Safwan and Umm Kasr forts were
excluded even from his outer sphere of tribal allegiance, and were assigned to the
Turkish vilayet of Basra.
Our assurance practically commits us to recognising Sheikh Salim's sovereignty
over Safwan and Umm Kasr, as well as Bubiyan. But since the Sheikh is in a trucial
relationship with us, our position at Basra would in no way be injured by this, nor does
the possession of these forts by the Sheikh appear to conflict with any other British
The assurance regarding the Sheikh's date gardens is on the same footing as that
given to the Sheikh of Mohammerah.
As regards the treaty with the Sheikh of al-Katar, the only point on which it goes
beyond the normal type of " trucial treaty " is the undertaking, under article 11, that
His Majesty's Government's good offices shall be used on the Sheikh's behalf in the
event of unprovoked aggression against him hy land. But the assurance is so vague and
guarded that it hardly constitutes a serious innovation.

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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].

Extent and format
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' [‎148r] (11/14), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B301, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 October 2019]

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