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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.' [‎43v] (95/208)

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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Inclosure 2 in No, 1.
Sir A. Hardinge to M. Laronce,
8ir, Zanzibar, June 8,1898.
I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of to-day's date, on
the subject of Salim-bin-Seif. I have just had a conversation as to this matter with General
You are aware that a difference of opinion has for a long time past existed between our two
Governments respecting the question of the conditions which justify the registration as French
proteges ot persons who could not claim that character in virtue of their origin, or of the text
of the Treaties. The correspondence which has passed between Her Majesty's Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. and
your predecessors on the cases (to cite only a few) of Sheikh Abdullah, of Salim-bin-Abderahman,
and of Salim-bin-AH Ei Eiani, indicates clearly enough the principles on which our view of
this question rests, and I am therefore unable to admit that the mere fact of Salim-bin-Seif's
being entered on your registers, or of the presence on board his dhows of a French flag, is
sufficient of itself to withdraw him from the jurisdiction to which he naturally belongs. I
have accordingly recommended General Raikes, before taking any further step, to inquire from
you as to the date and place at which the prisoner was registered, the authority which granted,
and the grounds which led to, his registration. Should these particulars establish the right
of Salim-bin-Seif to French protection, I will request the local Government to surrender him
to you to be tried before your Court. So far his examination has elicited no reason which would
warrant such a measure, for although he states that he was born (of an Arab father) in the
Comoro Islands, he left, on his own showing, that territory nearly fifty years ago, and therefore
at a period long anterior to the establishment of the French protectorate.
I have, &c.
Inclosure 3 in No. 1.
M. Laronce to Sir A. Hardinge.
M. I'Agent et Consul-General, Zanzibar, le 9 Juin, 1898.
VOUS m'avez fait I'honneur de m'adresser le 8 de ce mois une lettre au sujet de I'affaire
Selim-bin-Seif. Vous constatez que nos deux Gouvernements professent une opinion differente
sur la question de nationalite des personnes qui se reclament aujourd'hui de la protection
U semble que la consideration de ce seul fait, d'echange de vues entre Paris et Londres k
ce sujet, devait suffire a arreter le Premier Ministre de Sa Hautesse par interim dans I'application
d'une mesure qu'il ne saurait encore justifier.
Ainsi que je I'ai fait remarquer ce jour meme au General Raikes, I'enquete k laquelleil se livre
vis-k-vis de ce Consulat, apr&s les assurances contenues dans ma lettre du 7 courant, n'est point
d'une correction absolue au point de vue des regies de la courtoisie internationale.
Aucun Consulat etranger, a ce que je crois, ne saurait repondre a une pareille exigence de la
part des autorites locales en ce qui concerne une question d'ordre int&ieur.
J'ai rappele egalement au General Raikes qu'en Aout 1897, lorsque le " Majunga," appartenant
au meme proprietaire, fut arrets par Mr. Farler dans les eaux de Pemba, Sir Lloyd Mathews avait
partage a I'^gard de la nationalite de S61im-bin-Seif une opinion tout a fait contraire a celle qu'il
prof esse aujourd'hui.
J'ai signal^ au Premier Ministre par interim de Sa Hautesse la contradiction qui existe
actuellement entre son administration et celle du titulaire du poste qu'il occupe maintenant.
Enfin, en dernier lieu, il y a la une grave atteinte portee au pavilion derriere lequel s'est
abrit£ jusqu'ici Selim-bin-Seif, centre laquelle je proteste ; je reitere mes plus expresses reserves,
au nom de mon Gouvernement, quant aux suites de I'incident qu'a cru devoir soulever le General
Je profite, &c.
(Sign£) R. LARONCE.

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.

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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.' [‎43v] (95/208), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/406, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 March 2019]

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