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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.' [‎44r] (96/208)

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 4 in No. 1.
Sir A. Hardinge, to M. Laronce.
(Translation.) „ ^
g- r Zanzibar, June 10, 1898.
I HAVE the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your note of yesterdays date, and of
the protest contained in it in the matter of Salim-bin-Seif.
I cannot admit that the request made to you by General Raikes was not a proper one trom
the point of view of the rules of international courtesy.
A Pemba Arab, to all appearance a local subject, is arrested for an act oi slave irade.
He admits having been, until quite recently, a Sultan's subject, but states that he received some
time ago, on his simple application and without the authorization _ of the local Government,
French protection and a French Hag. No Government can recognize the right ot a foreign
Consulate to withdraw one of its subjects from its jurisdiction without even deigning to intorm
it of the reason for which it claims to do so. If in France a British Consul were to demand
that a person who was to all appearance a French citizen, and was born and domiciled in French
territory, should be exempted from military service because he was registered as a British subject
on the Consular registers, the French authorities would, I think, before granting this demand,
require to be informed of the circumstances on account of which he had been so registered, and
should the British Consul refuse to state them, would reject it. Such a proceeding on their part
would certainly appear to me a very natural one, and could not be criticized as improper, llie
German Consulate, for example, with which we have frequently had differences of this kind, has
never, so far as I am aware, made any difficulty about stating its grounds for recognizing a
particular person as a subject or protdge of Germany. • • jv .
I have asked General Raikes if Sir L. Mathews had expressed last year the opinion that
Salim was de jure a French-protected person. He has replied that this question was not at that
time examined.
When Salim's dhow was detained last year by Archdeacon i arler, the question was not
whether Salim was, or was not, a French-protected person, but whether there were sufficiently
serious reasons for suspecting him to be engaged in the Slave Trade to justify his arrest and that
of liis vessel
The Government decided that there was not sufficient evidence to authorize such a measure,
and the dhow was accordingly set at liberty. _ - j j
In the Ccise now before us tli€/ proofs were sufficient to cftiise feciiiin to be O/rrestecl, ctncl
General Raikes was thus obliged to enter upon the question of jurisdiction which his predecessor
had not had to decide. ^ ^ i
I should add that the alleged birth of Salim-bm-Seif in the Comoros is denied by several
Arab witnesses from Pemba, who declared him to be a native of that island. His case seems, m
fact, to be absolutely similar to those of Sheikh Abdullah, of Patta, and of Abdullah-bin-Selam,
who, though registered as French-protected persons, were, nevertheless, by the order of Her
■■ J ■' 1 1 i as local subjects.
I have, &c.
WliU, tUAJUgUL -a- ' r - ' _ ' _ .
Maiestv's Government, considered and treated here as local subjects,
J J I have, &c.
Inclosure 5 in No. 1.
M. Laronce to Brigadier-General Raikes.
M. le General, , „ ^ . Zanzibar, Le 11 Juin, 1898. _
AFIN de vous prouver que je n'apporte dans 1 affaire qui nous occupe aucun esprit
d'entetement ni de parti pris, et pour vous montrer mon desir de conciliation, je consens a vous
donner, au sujet de Selim-bin-Seif, les renseignements complementaires qui, d'apres vous, sont
necessaires pour reconnaitre le bien-fonde de ma reclamation. ^ „
Selim-bin-Seif est ne aux Comores, et, bien qu'il ait qmtte son pays etant encore enfant, il a
touiours navigu6 soit comme mousse, matelot, ou capitaine sur des boutres battant pavilion
Francais 11 acheta a Mayotte le " Selamti," avec lequel il faisait le cabotage entre cette ile,
Nossi-Be et les ports de Madagascar; e'est done a Mayotte que le titre de navigation lui fut
octroye ' En 1889 Selim-bin-Seif venait a Zanzibar en quality de Capitaine du " Selarnti" sous
nos couleurs; e'est a cette 6poque que lui et ses boutres furent enregistres a ce Consulat. II a
fait depuis de frequents voyages au long cours entre Madagascar, les Comores, Zanzibar, Pemba,
et M ^nn£ e dernikele " Majunga" fut arrete a Pemba par Mr. Farler. M, Piat, informe de ce fait,
prit en mains la reclamation de Selim-bin-Seif, a laquelle Sir Lloyd Mathews fit immediatement
droit en ordonnant a son subordonne de laisser le " Majunga " continuer sa route. La nationality
de Selim-bin-Seif, reconnue a cette epoque par le Premier Ministre de ba Hautesse, ne peut avoir
change depuis. Cette raison m^rite consideration, et e'est pourquoi je suis en droit de me montrer
assez etonne d'une maniere de voir tout a fait opposee aujourd'hui.
[733] H 2

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.' [‎44r] (96/208), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/406, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 April 2019]

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