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'Government of Bahrain Annual Report for Year 1356 (March 1937 - February 1938)' [‎51r] (15/76)

The record is made up of 1 volume (37 folios). It was created in 1938. It was written in English. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .

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9
The Pearl Industry.
During 1356 there was remarkable improvement in the pearl industry in
Bahrain ; from the figures available it appears that the catch was worth over 50%
more to the divers than the catch during 1355. Unfortunately however this improve
ment was not reflected proportionally by any startling increase in pearl prices in
Europe or in America. In those countries increased activity in the pearl market was
so slight as to be scarcely noticeable.
No important pearls were found during the season, the largest one, from
Katif, weighed 75 chow, but the quantity of small and medium pearls of good quality
was unusually great. The demand locally and in Bombay for these pearls was good
and they obtained much higher prices than last year. It had been generally
expected that the Coronation would stimulate interest in real pearls,
Arab pearl dealers imagined that quantities of pearls would be bought by people who
would wear them during the Coronation festivities but as the improvement in prices
occurred some time after the Coronation, this does not seem to have been the case.
Pearl merchants and Nakhudas, like farmers, are invariably reluctant to
acknowledge any improvement in their business but this year at the annual meeting
of leaders of the local diving industry which is held by the Government, all except
one man admitted that they had done very much better than during 1355 and when
a vote was taken as to the amount of the annual advances all, except one, were in
favour of an increase.
The allowances were decided as follows :—
Tisqam Selaf Kharjieh Total
Diver Rs. 40 Rs. 40 Rs. 10 Rs. 90
Puller 30 30 10 70
Last year's advances;—
Diver 20 20 10 50
Puller 15 15 10 40
The willingness of the merchants and Nakhudas to increase the advances is a
proof of the improved conditions.
The total number of Bahrain boats licensed to dive during 1356 was 271 which
is only seven more than in 1355 but for several years there has been a steady decline
in the number of diving boats which are licensed so even a slight increase is
encouraging.
The total amount paid to the divers in 1356, according to my calculations,
was Rs. 13,22,000, approximately, £ 1,00,000. Last year the sum was Rs. 6,07,000,
approximately £ 45,00-).
Before the season the Government reduced the cost of diving licenses by 50%
in order to help the industry, which caused a loss to the revenue of about
Rs. 17,250. Various other concessions were made giving boat owners more time
to pay the diving licenses.
No boat failed to make a profit in the season, whereas last year several boats
worked at a loss so that at the end of the diving many of the divers received no
money and increased their book debts; but since the Government has controlled and
reduced the advances, big divers' debts are becoming a thing of the past except in the
case of old men who worked for many years before the diving reforms.
The catch of one boat which was exceptionally fortunate this year, was as
follows:—
1355 1356
Sherin 52 chow. 150 chow.
Badlah 161 „ 430 „
Na'm 216 mithqal 417 mithqal.

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Content

This volume is the Annual Report of the Government of Bahrain for the year 1356 AH (1937-1938) and gives details of the Revenue and Expenditure of the Bahrain State and contains notes on the activities of the various Government departments, as well as the budget for the year 1357 and some particulars of importance which took place in Bahrain during the year. It includes text, photographic images and tables. The report appears to be compiled from reports from various Government departments and officials. An index appears on folio 46r, followed by a General Review by Charles Dalrymple Belgrave, Adviser to the State of Bahrain (folio 47r).

The contents are divided into the following sections and sub-sections:

  • Budget – 1356 (folio 47v);
  • Summary of Revenue and Expenditure, 1356 (folio 48r);
  • Detailed statement of Revenue and Expenditure, 1356 (folio 48v);
  • Statement of Expenditure on Public Works and Special Projects (folio 49r);
  • Notes on Revenue – 1356 (folio 49v): Oil Royalty, Customs Receipts, Rent of Aerodrome, Passport Fees, Land Registration Fees, Motor Car Taxes, Rent of Government Lands, Interest on Reserves, and Oil Gauging Fees;
  • Notes on Expenditure – 1356 (folios 49v-50v): Allowances to the Ruling Family, State Protection, Customs Department, Secretariat, Judicial Department, Land and Public Works Department, Passport Department, Education Department, Municipalities, Medical, Contingencies, Upkeep of buildings, Upkeep and construction of roads, and Unforeseen;
  • Statement of Expenditure on Public Works and Special Projects (folio 50v): Hospital, Fire Engine, New Palace, Law Courts, Agriculture, Water Cart, and Manama-Muharraq Bridge;
  • Pearl Industry (folios 51)
  • Police and Public Security (folios 51v-53r): Strength, Routine and duties, Police Buildings, Recruitment, Health, Police Families' Clinic, Police Band and Fire Bridgade, Registration of Arms and Ammunition, Mounted Section, Good Conduct Pay, Crime, Traffic Control, Liquor, and Persian Immigration;
  • Public Health (folio 53): Muharraq Dispensary, Suk al Khamis [Sūq al-Khamīs] Dispensary, Hedd [al-Ḥidd] Dispensary, Women's Clinic, Anti-Malaria Measures, and Government Hospital;
  • Land Registration Department (folio 53v): Registration of Sales, Gifts, and Titles, Revenue from Sales etc., and Programme for 1357;
  • Public Works (folios 54-57v): Administration, Roads and Buildings, Law Courts, Work-shop and Garages, Rest House and Police Station, Manama Fort, Manama Muharraq Road, Hawar Fort and Pier, Government Hospital, Muharraq Girls' School, Manama Market Buildings, and Roads;
  • Judicial Department (folios 57v-60r): Bahrain Court, Transfer of Magistrates, Bahrain Lower Court, New Regulations, Shera Court, Code of Laws, and New Law Courts;
  • Municipalities (folios 60r-61v): Manama (Election, Municipal Achievements, Road Improvements, Water Control, Bazaar Improvements, Anti-Malaria Measures, Slaughter House, Adari Spring [‘Ayn ‘Adhārī], and Pier) and Muharraq (Sea Reclamation, Roads, and Anti-Malaria Measures);
  • Wakf [Waqf] Department (folios 61v-62r);
  • Education (folio 62r): Progress, Technical School, Athletics, Students Abroad, and Girls' Schools;
  • General (folios 62v-65r): Annual Audit, New Staff, His Highness' Pilgrimage [hajj], Visit of His Royal Highness Amir Saoud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd, Ibn Saud], Cinema, Juma Mosque, Nationality Law, Bus Service, Broadcasting, Press Propaganda, Government Rest House, and Private Building Enterprise;
  • Electric Supply Department, report by Mr W B Steele, State Engineer (folios 65r-69r): Wiring Contracts, Temporary Wiring, Main Extension, Alterations to Mains, New Generating Set, Financial Position, Telephone Department, Transport Department, Fire Department, Traffic Section, Municipal Ice Plant, School Engineering Workshop, and General;
  • Electric Returns: Profit and Loss Account, Revenue Account, Balance Sheet (folios 69v-70v);
  • Statement of Energy generated and sold, etc. (folio 71r);
  • Customs Department, report for the year 1356 by the Director of Customs Mr C C L de Grenier (folios 71v-76r);
  • Zubara Dispute (folio 76r);
  • Budget – 1357 (Feby. 1938-Feby. 1939) (folio 77);
  • Notes on Budget – 1357 (folios 78-80).

Illustrations appear on four folios and they are labelled as follows:

  • Folio 56: 'Hawar Fort' and 'Hawar Pier';
  • Folio 59: 'Law Courts. North Aspect' and 'Law Courts. South Aspects';
  • Folio 64: 'Muharraq Girl’s School' and 'Northern Village and Bay, Hawar';
  • Folio 68: 'Law Courts, open courtyard and platform' and 'Open Courtyard in the Law Courts'.

An inscription on the front cover reads 'Printed at the Times Press, Basrah' (folio 44r).

Extent and format
1 volume (37 folios)
Arrangement

There is an index (folio 46r) which references pages in the report.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: Folios 44-81.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Government of Bahrain Annual Report for Year 1356 (March 1937 - February 1938)' [‎51r] (15/76), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/750/2, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100024140826.0x000066> [accessed 24 April 2024]

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