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‘Administration report on the Persian Gulf Political Residency and Maskat Political Agency for 1900-1901’ [‎59v] (126/144)

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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112
ADMINISTRATION REPOET ON THE PERSIAN GI LF POLITICAL
General
Remarks
P>rt VII -REPORT ON THE TRADE AND COMMERCE OF TEE
BAHREIN ISLANDS EOR 1900.
No statistics of imports or exports are kept by the Customs authorities
The figures given iu the tables have been compiled from the manifests o
steamer" courteously lent by the Agents, records of native merchants, and
otlfer sources ; they therefore are only approximate, but they may be taken to
fairly represent the trade of tbe islands for the past year.
The volume of trade, according to the returns, has declined nearly fifty,
four lakhs One lakh is equal to one hundred thousand rupees of rupees Indian silver coin also widely used in the Persian Gulf. . The retrograde movement m the trade is mainly due to
the fall in the importation of rice from India and the export of pearls to the
same country. . . ..
The prosperity of the Bahrein Islands primarily depends upon the pearl
fisherv in which about one-half of the male population is occupied. The
fisherv in the vear under report opened on the 12th May under unfortunate
circumstances, and closed on the 17th September. One of the principal pearl
banks situated to the north of the islands, where the oysters were tound to he
diseased and producing no pearls, was abandoned in the early part of the season,
and this was the chief cause in the falling off in the quantity of pearls
obtained.
The Indian pearl merchants in the season of 1899, anticipating that the
opening of the Paris Exhibition would create an abnormal demand, keenly
competed for these gems, and raised the price from 40 to 60 per cent. Their
expectations, however, were not fulfilled, and many of them sustained heavy
losses and some became bankrupt. Though it was generally known that the pro
duction of the pearl banks in the ensuing season would be short, the merchants
were at first less eager to buy and offered rates which ruled in 1898. Later in
the season news was received regarding a demand for small pearls in Bombay;
they advanced the prices 20 per cent, to 40 per cent, above normal years, and
reports have been received to the effect that on that class of pearls good profits
were realized.
The improvement in the Bombay pearl market will enable Bahrein
merchants to realize some of their stocks, when a large amount of capital will
be released and be available for the purposes of trade, which will regain some
of its lost ground. In any case an increase on the year's figures for rice is
expected.
A reference to trade statistics of previous years will shew that there is a
growing demand in all descriptions of cotton piece-goods, and this fact ought
to be of interest to manufacturers and merchants in India as well as in the
United Kingdom, whose attention I would particularly draw to the study of
the requirements of this important market, which in time, it is expected, will
develop considerably. I have been informed by the only native merchant
who imports direct from the United Kingdom and does business in El Hassa
that he makes an average profit of about 35 per cent, on his transactions. It
has also been brought to my notice that some Manchester prints, bought in
the Basrah Bazar by an enterprising native, found a ready sale which has
encouraged him to repeat the transaction on a larger scale. These facts ought
to be an inducement to British firms already established in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , if
not others, to solicit orders for home manufactures,
A study also of the quantity and weight of merchandise imported into and
exported from Bahrein, and the information given under the head of freight,
will show that there is room for more British steamers to make Bahrein a port
of call.
A strict prohibition on the importation of intoxicating liquors fyr pur
poses of trade was imposed in September last, and any liquor entering the
country is liable to be seized and destroyed.
The imports into Bahrein show a fall of over twenty-eight and-a-half lakhs One lakh is equal to one hundred thousand rupees
oi rupees Indian silver coin also widely used in the Persian Gulf. on the figures of 1899.

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Content

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’ [‎59v] (126/144), 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_100023643550.0x000080> [accessed 21 April 2024]

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