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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.' [‎51v] (113/208)

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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6
families have sought to obtain the benefits of
the French flag on the high seas and even in
the waters of their own Sovereigns. Their
reason for this desire does not arise from any
wish to engage in lawful commerce, in which
Great Britain is at least as anxious as Prance to
encourage them, being as fully as any nation an
advocate of free commerce in all lawful merchan
dize.
The description given on pp. 9-16 of the
procedure of the French Consular and Colonial
authorities with respect to the grant of the
French flag to Arab vessels calls for certain
comments.
It is clear from the admitted necessity of
issuing and renewing the strongest instructions for
greater and greater care in the grant of French
papers that France was conscious of the difficulty
of ensuring that her flag would not be obtained
by unqualified Arabs, and would not be abused
if obtained. But the suggestion made (on
pp. 10, 11) that to carry the French flag was the
Arab mode of insuring personal security for
Arabs, means, if it means anything, that the
British authorities were disposed to act op
pressively towards vessels under the Arab flag;
whereas the sole ground for interference with
such vessels was their carrying slaves, and the
real motives for carrying the French flag on
vessels not concerned in "cabotage" between
French ports were that France, in 1845, denounced
the Anglo-French Treaties of 1831 and 1833
giving mutual rights of search for detection and
suppression of the Slave Trade; that she has since
that date continually held out against the grant
of such right of search ; and that she has thus far
failed to ratify the Articles of the Act of Brussels
dealing with that subject. The date assigned in
the French Case (p. 10) for the earliest francisa-
tion of an Arab dhow is 1845—the year of the
denunciation of the Treaties just referred to.
With the denial of the right to search vessels
under the French flag came the grant of that
flag to a class of vessels most calling for search,
and owmed by persons who were not French.
It was perfectly natural and proper for Franco
to take steps to control vessels engaged in local
trade between her own Colonies, and to adopt
measures relaxing to some extent the strictness
of her own maritime laws as to the conditions
on which vessels might receive French papers.

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Content

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.' [‎51v] (113/208), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/406, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100024085266.0x000072> [accessed 20 September 2019]

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