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'Muscat Dhows Arbitration. In the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Grant of the French Flag to Muscat Dhows. The case on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty.' [‎34r] (76/208)

The record is made up of 1 volume (102 folios). It was created in 1904?-1905?. It was written in English and French. 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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The Ottoman Regulations of 1863 and 1865,
referred to both in the British and the French
Cases, are relevant only as showing the determi
nation of the Porte to put an end to the abuses
of protection which then existed, and of the
admission of the European Powers that the
attitude of the Porte was consistent both with its
territorial sovereignty and with international law,
and the fact that these laws were not made retro
spective is of no probative value in the present
case, in which the question is whether certain
persons are or are not now properly claimed by
France as proteges.
It may be observed that, under the
Ottoman Law of Nationality, a native of the
Ottoman Empire is presumed to be an Ottoman
subject unless he can prove to the contrary, the
onus probavdi lying not on the territorial authority,
but on the person claiming the privilege of
exemption from its jurisdiction, and the inter
national Award between Greece and Turkey, set
out at p. 91 of the British Case, is an even
stronger and more authoritative international
recognition of the limits which should be placed
on extra-territorial jurisdiction in Oriental States.
As a matter of negotiation, distinct from a
question of fact or of international or municipal
law, the recognition of the claim of a certain
limited number of persons to be proteges of the
claiming Power might be conceded as a means
for determining a controversy, but such concession
would be the price of peace, and not an admission
of the justice of the claim, and it was as a matter
of negotiation that the Porte made the concession
in question, and not in affirmation of any rule of
international law.
It may be added that in the long history of the
Capitulations in Turkey very many Treaties had
been made, and very many usages and abuses
had grown up in the course of centuries ; while
as between Muscat and France the extra-terri
torial rights granted to France in Oman, what
ever they may be, cannot be dated back beyond
1844. And while the situation in Turkey was
complicated by the presence of a very large
Christian population of numerous sects (each sect
allowed by the Porte in many matters to be
governed by the laws of its Church), perpetually
invoking the sympathy and protection of France
or Russia or some other European Power, the
population of Oman is in the main Arab and

About this item


This file consists of a number of printed reports relating to the arbitration over the granting of French flags to Muscat dhows:

  • A printed report in 1904 by the Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India, relating to the arbitration on the issue of French flags to Omani dhows. An agreement between Britain and France in 1862 committed both governments to respect the independence of the Sultan of Muscat.
  • Reply on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty to the Supplementary Conclusions, presented on behalf of the Government of the French Republic and admitted by the tribunal on July 25, 1905.
  • The verdict (in French) of the arbitration tribunal.
  • Treaty Series (No. 3, 1905) - Agreements between the United Kingdom and France referring to arbitration the question of the grant of the French flag to Muscat Dhows.
  • The section on the geography of Oman (ff 58-59A) discusses the French claim with reference to Kiepert's map of 1850. Includes a sketch map 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. and Arabian Coast (folio 91A).
Extent and format
1 volume (102 folios)
Physical characteristics

Description: The foliation sequence commences at the title page and terminates at the last folio; 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. Foliation errors: 1, and 1A; 50, and 50A; 59, and 59A; 84, and 84A-C; 88, and 88A; 91, and 91A. Pagination: A number of original typed pagination sequences are also located in the file.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'Muscat Dhows Arbitration. In the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Grant of the French Flag to Muscat Dhows. The case on behalf of the Government of His Britannic Majesty.' [‎34r] (76/208), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/406, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 August 2019]

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