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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.' [‎44v] (97/208)

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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Quoi qn'il en soit, j'esp^re que les explications que je viens d'avoir I'lioiineur de vous fournir
pouiTont vous paraitre satisfaisants. Je persiste a reclamer Selim-bin-Seif et les hommes
d'equipage qui sont actuellement emprisonnes a I'autorite locale. Je fais de nouveau mer
reserves au sujet de la suite de cette affaire.
Veuillez, &c.
(Signe) P. LARONCE.
Inclosure 6 in No. 1.
Brigadier- General Raikes to M. Laronce.
Sir, Zanzibar, June 12, 1898.
I AM in receipt of your despatch dated the 11th June, and I acknowledge, with many thanks,
your reasons for claiming Salim-bin-Seif as a French protege; but as regards his being born in
Comoro, he himself says he was; but I have heard from other Pemba Arabs that he was born in
Pemba. But this matters little, as at the time of his birth, which he says was about forty-five
years ago, the French had not annexed the island, and therefore it can make very little material
difference. As regards his having bought the dhow " 8elamti" at Mayotte and himself being
registered there, it seems a mistake, as he himself says the " Selamti" never belonged to him, but >
to SaHm-bin-Ali, and that he was captain or sailor in her for four years; but as to that being true,
it would hardly make Salim-bin-Seif a French protege, as, I believe, it has been decided in
London before, that buying a house in Comoro does not allow the buyer to claim French
protection, therefore, I suppose, likewise a dhow, also before the time of annexation; but this is
immaterial, as Salim-bin-Seif says he never did own the " Selamti."
I have referred your letters to Her Britannic Majesty's Consul-Gen era!, and he concurs with
me that as yet there are no grounds for handing Salim-bin-Seif over to yonr Court.
As regards the case of the f< Majunga " last year, I believe it was not liberated on account of
nationality, but as Mr. Farler could not clearly prove his case as to the shipment ot slaves, the
matter was allowed to drop and the dhow liberated, and I don't think Salim was produced in
your Court for slave-dealing, the case not being continued with: therefore I do not think
Sir Lloyd Mathews had any correspondence as regards the nationality of Salim-bin-Seif. 1 have
no wish to keep Salim-bin-Seif after you have fully satisfied myself and Her Britannic Majesty's
Consul-General with regard to his nationality to our satisfaction,
I have, &c.
(Signed) A. E. RAIKES,
Acting Prime Minister.
Inclosure 7 in No. 1.
Judgment on Salim-hin- Seif.
SALIM-BIN-SEIF, you have claimed French protection, but as you have not proved your
self such to my satisfaction, about which I will give my reasons later, I have proceeded with the
case of slave-dealing against you, and am now going to pronounce judgment.
The evidence ot all the slaves (seven) you have heard, and also of Nahotha Bakari and the
two Askaris, and also of Nasoro-bin-Ali. Their evidence all more or less coincides. They (the
slaves) say they were caught by Mwambieni and Mwabruki, acting Nahotha for you, taken to the
beach at Kinzu, and shipped in a small dhow and taken and landed at Ndunne in a (i dug-out"
with Mwambieni, where they met you, and were taken into some mangroves by you; later they
saw Nahotha Bakari, who told them they were going: to be shipped, and had better run away.
Then they say Askaris came and caught them, and that you were there; that the Askaris pointed
their rifles at you, and you said, " Don't shoot me, I am Salirn," and than you went away. Some
of the slaves say they know you well. Then the evidence of the Askaris is that they were sent
for, as some slaves were going to be shipped; they, and also a witness named Athman, hid in the
bushes, saw and heard you hail a "dug-out," and the men in the "dug-out" hailed back; you
then beckoned to the slaves to follow you, when they (the Askaris) jumped at and caught the
slaves. Pointing their rifles at you, you said, "Don't shoot me, I am Salim." Their reason for
not arresting you was, that they both knew you well, and could catch you any time, and had
plenty of witnesses, and were doubtful whether they had the right, owing to having heard in
the island that you were a French protege; also, they all have recognized the dhow as yours.
Nasoro-bin-Ali's evidence, as to your former character, was, he said, that many people—in fact,
every one in Pemba—knew you as a slave-dealer; Nahotha Bakari also says he heard you
bargaining as to a number of slaves with Nasoro-bin-Rashid. Therefore, on this evidence,
which you have heard. Sheikh Barhan, Government Kathi, and myself, have gone into it, and
have found you guilty of slave-dealing, in that you have been caught in the act of trying to
ship slaves, and none of them belonging to you; therefore we sentence you to one year's
rigorous imprisonment.
Now, as regards your being a French protege, you say you were born in Comoro about
forty-live years ago, that you have no property there and never had, and your reason for being
a French protege is, you say, because you have dhows carrying the French flag, which you

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.' [‎44v] (97/208), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/406, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 April 2019]

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