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‘Administration report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1900-1901’ [‎5r] (17/144)

The record is made up of 1 volume (68 folios). It was created in 1901. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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hesidency and maskat political agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for the year 1900-1901.
3
Administration of the Customs in the Fersian Gulf. —On the 21st March
1900 the control of the Customs was, as stated in last year's report, taken
under the direct management of the Persian Government. 'M. Simais, formerly
Commercial Attache of the Belgian Legation at Tehran, arrived in Bashire and
took up his appointment as Director-General of the Customs of Ears J ' , acting
under the orders of M. Naus, the Belgian Minister of Customs at Tehran.
Other Belgian officials arrived, and the administration of the Customs
at Bushire, Lingah and Bandar Abbas was formally assumed. As was only to
be expected, the new administration, which interfered with so many vested
interests, experienced at the outset considerable opposition. At first it was
intended to impose a uniform import duty of 5 per cent, ad valorem on all goods
imported into Persia by the native merchants instead of the hitherto prevail
ing specific rates. This proposal, however, was stoutly opposed, and the
native merchants of Bushire and Shiraz refused to clear their goods from the
Customs House. Eor a month or more business was entirely suspended, and
goods imported remained uncleared. Both in Bushire and Shiraz the excite
ment was considerable, and it was feared that serious disturbances would occur.
The Persian Government, therefore, decided to introduce a new tariff on
a sliding scale, which would be more favourable to the native merchants than the
proposed 5 per cent. rate. This tariff was also opposed, but the Persian Govern
ment remained firm, and by the first week in August the new tariff came in
force. Since then matters have progressed smoothly, and at the time of writing
this report the Customs Administration have succeeded in bringing into force
the 5 per cent, rate for all native-owned goods. Native merchants and foreign
ers are now, therefore, on the same footing as regards the payment of duty.
So far as the interests of European merchants are concerned, the establish
ment of the Belgian Customs Administration at the Gulf Ports has been,
I believe, entirely beneficial, and various improvements have been effected. In
course of time, under the present able and energetic management of M. Simais,
many other desirable improvements will undoubtedly be effected. The orders
of the Persian Government against the importation of arms and ammunition
are now being energetically carried out. At the smaller ports, however, where
the new administration has not as yet been able to assume control, the smug
gling of arms still continues. It is said, however, that the Persian Govern
ment are considering the question of purchasing two small gunboats for the
purpose of patrolling the coast of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. with a view to put a stop
to the smuggling. M. Simais tells me that he has seized and confiscated more
than 1,000 rifles and 200,000 rounds of ammunition during the year.
Prom the point of view of the Persian Government, the new system of
Customs management has resulted in a large increase of revenue. From
a return, which the Director-General was good enough to give me, his adminis
tration in the Gulf has succeeded in bringing in an income of 3,947,000 krans,
a considerable increase over the sum of krans 2,400,000 for which the Customs
were formerly farmed. When it is considered that for about two months at
the beginning of the year business was practically at a standstill, owin^ to
the opposition which the new administration experienced, that the trade of
Bandar Abbas has shown a great falling off, and that there are several minor
ports where the Belgians have not yet succeeded in establishing their control,
it will be understood how profitable, from the point of view of increased
revenue, the new system is likely to prove.
Settlement of Claims for Compensation. —During the past year the long
outstanding claim of Messrs. David Sasson & Co., amounting to tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. 6,053,
on account of goods missing from the Customs House in Bushire, has been
settled, as also the claim of Messrs. Lynch Brothers for tomans 10,000 Persian dinars, or a gold coin of that value. 600 on account
of robbery of specie.
His Imperial Majesty the Shah has decided to send a special delegate
to Bushire to inquire into the numerous claims of British subjects against the
Persian Government. The delegate has not yet arrived, but is expected shortly.
Demise of Her late Majesty Queen-Empress Victoria. —The melancholy
news of the demise of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen-Empress Victoria
was received in Bushire with universal sorrow. The principal officials of the
Persian Government, the representatives of Foreign Governments and most of
b a

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Administration Report on the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Residency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Maskat [Muscat] Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. for 1900-01, published by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, Calcutta [Kolkata], forming part of the Selections from the Records of the Government of India, Foreign Department, and based on reports sent to Government 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. and other Agents in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. .

The Administration Report is organised as follows:

1. General Summary , submitted by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Arnold Kemball, 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. (folios 4-10), including reports on: the year’s rainfall, harvest and wheat embargo; the governorship of Bushire; the public peace, including cases of violent incidents; public health, including incidences of smallpox and the plague; currency; customs administration, including the establishment of Belgian customs administration in the Gulf; compensation claims; the death of Queen Victoria; Resident’s tours. The General Summary also includes summaries for towns and regions, chiefly comprising accounts of local politics: Oman and Muscat, including agreement on the location of a French coal shed; Oman Coast; Bahrain, including reports from the Katr [Qatar] peninsula; Koweit [Kuwait] and Nejd, with a report on the fighting taking place between Abdul Rahman bin Feysul el Saood [Ibn Sa‘ūd] and the Emir of Nejd, Ibn Rashīd; Persian Arabistan; Fars and the Persian Coast; Persia Baluchistan. Further reports are included on: the slave trade, including numbers of slaves manumitted by British officials in the region; incidents of piracy; naval movements, chiefly British but also one incidence of a French vessel in the Gulf; changes in British official personnel; and movements and changes in foreign representatives. Appendix A contains meteorological data for the year. Appendix B contains data from dispensary reports.

2. Administration Report of the Muscat Political Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. , 1900-01 , submitted by Captain Percy Zachariah Cox, His Britannic Majesty’s Consul and Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Muscat (folios 10-14), including: reports and incidents of a tribal or local political nature at Muscat; events at Dhofar [Z̧ufār], Sohar and Soor [Sur]; a report of the Sultan’s tours; Cox’s tours as Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. ; customs administration at Muscat; taxes; a pearling dispute; arms trafficking; a visit to Muscat by the bishop of Lahore; plague; the death of Queen Victoria; naval movements at Muscat, chiefly British also French vessels; the slave trade, including numbers of slaves manumitted at Muscat; and changes in official personnel. An appendix of statistics for dispensary activities, surgical operations, and civil hospital expenditure follows the report.

3. Trade Report of the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. for the Year 1900 , submitted by Kemball, in his capacity at His Britannic Majesty’s Acting Consul-General for Fars and Khuzistan (folios 15-45), including summaries of: imports; exports; harvest; the pearl fisheries; the region’s new gum (tragacanth) industry; exchange; currency; specie; mule hire rates; freight and shipping, customs administration; and a more detailed breakdown of imports and exports by specific products. An appendix follows with trade data of the principal imports and exports from various Gulf ports, and number, tonnage and nationality of vessels, for the period 1898 to 1900.

4. Trade Report for Maskat [Muscat] , 1900-01 , submitted by Cox (folios 46-47), is a separate trade report with statistical data for Muscat for 1900, with summaries of key commodities.

5. Report on the Trade and Commerce of Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and the Kārūn river for 1900 , submitted by William McDouall, His Britannic Majesty’s Vice-Consul, Mohammerah (folios 48-52), including summaries on: exchange; imports and exports; shipping activity; freight charges; activity on the Kārūn; caravan routes; agriculture; and health in Khorramshahr. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data.

6. Trade Report of Bundar Abbas [Bandar-e ʻAbbās] for the Year 1900 , submitted by Vere Hunt, Assistant Resident and His Britannic Majesty’s Vice-Consul (folios 52-59), with summaries on: trade, and reasons for its overall reduction; customs administration; the Nushki trade route and the Bandar-e ʻAbbās to Yezd [Yazd] and Kermān road; embargo on cereals; carriage rates; exchange and specie. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data for Bandar-e ʻAbbās.

7. Report on the Trade and Commerce of the Bahrein Islands for the Year 1900 , submitted by John Calcott Gaskin, Political Assistant, dated 27 January 1901 (folios 59-67), including a summary of trade, with particular focus on the pearl market; details of imports and exports; coinage, freight and shipping. An appendix follows the report, containing tabulated trade data for Bahrain.

Extent and format
1 volume (68 folios)
Arrangement

The report is arranged into a number of parts and subsections, with statistic data in tabular format directly following written sections. There is a contents page at the front of the report (folio 3) which lists the report’s contents, and refers to the report’s own pagination sequence.

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English in Latin script
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‘Administration report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1900-1901’ [‎5r] (17/144), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/V/23/79, No 385, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100023643550.0x000013> [accessed 21 April 2024]

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