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'Government of Bahrain Annual Report for Year 1358 (February1939 - February 1940)' [‎131r] (19/86)

The record is made up of 1 volume (42 folios). It was created in 1940. 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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accounts which are recorded and a proportional calculation of boats whose accounts
are not recorded. The following table shows the decline of the pearl industry ;
Year No. of boats
Approx. value of catch
1856 271 Rs. 13,22,000
1357 252 „ 7,56,000
1358 219 „ 6,25,000
The market in Bahrain was affected by the disturbed conditions in Europe
before the war and then by the war itself. The only foreign buyer of note to visit
Bahrain was Mr. S. Pack who returned to France at the outbreak of war without
having done much business. The pick of the season's catch was bought by the firm
of Abdulaziz Gosaibi and Brothers who, with no important competitors, were able to
acquire a quantity of very fine pearls at a low price, but in order to do this the
Gosaibis used all their available capital and credit. It remains to be seen whether
this big gamble in pearls by a local dealer results in profit or loss.
One outstanding pearl was found which weighed 204 chows : it was larger than
the famous £ 15,000 pearl from Bahrain which was eventually bought some ycasr
ago by Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress. The pearl was sold by the nakhuda
for Rs. 35,000 and the shares of the men in the boat were, divers, Rs. 475 and pullers,
Rs. 317.
The two main diving systems are Salafieh and Khammas ; men diving in
Salafieh boats take advances. Out of 72 Salafieh boats only 36 covered their
expenses and advances. The Khammas divers were somewhat better off.
The Hahrain Court in dealing with the estate case of the late Ali bin Saggar,
at one time one of the leading pearl merchants of Muharraq, financed a diving boat
which belonged to the heirs. The accounts were kept by the Court. This boat had
a fairly successful season and found pearls which were sold for Rs. 7,265. The ex
penses amounted to Rs. 1,563 not including the advances, and the final share of a
diver was Rs. 80/8/3 and a puller Rs. 53/10/10, but the advances received by the
divers and puller amounted to Rs. 50 and Hs. 40 respectively.
The following summary of the diving account of this boat is typical of the
Salafieh diving system.
Account from diving boat of Ali bin Saggar.
The crew consisted of the nakhuda, 29 divers, 35 pullers and one radif
(apprentice). Diving was carried on throughout the season with only one visit to
shore : there were 130 diving days.
The expenses for the season amounted to Rs. 1,563 including Rs. 100 for the
diving license, paid to the Government. Included in the cost of provisioning the
boat were rice, dates, ghee, firewood, tea, coffee, sugar, kerosene, dried lemon ( used
to prevent scurvy) ropes, porterage, knives (for opening shells) lamps, pails, cooking
pots, ginger, pepper, a goat (killed on the day the boat set off) and purgatives.
The pearls were divided into seven lots, each lot being kept separate for the
purpose of accounts because some divers did not work all through the season. I hey
were sold in one transaction to one buyer for Rs. 7,260.
The final account was as follows :—
Government Tax
Nakhuda's share being one fifth
of the sale price 1
Share of divers
„ „ pullers
„ „ radif
Each diver received
„ puller „
.. radif
Rs. 100
80/ 8/ 3 (3 shares)
53/10/10 (2 shares)
26/13/ 5 (1 share)

About this item


This volume is the Annual Report of the Government of Bahrain for the year 1358 AH (1939-1940) and gives te 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 1359 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 122r, followed by a General Review by Charles Dalrymple Belgrave, dated April 1940 (folio 125r).

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

  • Budget 1358 (folios 126r-127v);
  • Summary of Revenue and Expenditure 1358 (folio 128r);
  • Statetment of Revenue and Expenditure 1358 (folio 128v);
  • Notes on Revenue 1357 (folio 129r);
  • Notes on Expenditure 1357 (folios 129r-130v): Allowances to Ruling Family, Adviserate, Customs Department, Judicial, Awkaf [Awqāf] and Minors Departments, Public Works Department, Land Department, Passport Department, Oil Gauging, Transport Department, Public Health, Education, Municipalities, Agriculture, Departmental expenses, Unforseen, Public Protection, Armaments, Transport, King [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] Ibn Sa'ud's visit, Food Supplies, and Public Works (Manamah-Muharraq Swing Bridge, Hospital Building, Manamah Pier extension, Pier Trolley Lines, Fort, Education Department, Transport Department, Passport Office, Miscellaneous, Mosque at Hawar, Kozabia House, Budeya Garden drainage, Annual Repairs, and Road Repairs);
  • The Pearl Industry (folios 130v-131v): The Pearl Industry and Pearl Propaganda;
  • Police and Public Security (folios 132r-133v): Police Administration (Strength, Recruitment, Routine, Defence Duties, Health of the Police, Infant Welfare Clinic, Mounted Sections, Machine Gun Section and Motor Bicycle Section, Buildings, Promotions and Appointments), Naturs, Traffic Control and Crime;
  • Public Health (folios 133v-139r): Appointment of Staff, The Village Dispensaries, Health (Malaria, Eye disease, Ear diseases, Respiratory disease, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Venereal disease, Small-Pox, Alimentary diseases, Rheumatic disease, and Gynaecological and Obstetrical diseases), Medical examination of school children (Boys' Schools and Girls' Schools), Health of the Police (Infant Welfare Clinic and Prisoners' Health) and Malaria;
  • Land Registration Department (folio 139r): Registrations, Iranian Property, Island Beacons, and Survey Students;
  • Judicial (folio 139v): Bahrain Courts and Bahrain Small Courts;
  • Municipalities (folio 140r): Anti-Malaria Measures, Widening and Constructing town roads, New Road, Water Cart, Road Metalling, Lease of Markets, Swamp Reclamation, and Miscellaneous;
  • Wakf [Waqf] Department (folio 140v): Shia Wakf Department and Sunni Wakf Department;
  • Education (folios 140v-141r): School Reforms and appointment of Director of Education, Technical Schools, and Female Education;
  • Minors Department, (folios 141r-141v);
  • Food Control, report by A C Byard (folios 142r-143v);
  • King Ibn Sa'ud's Visit to Bahrain (folios 143v-145r);
  • Passport Department (folios 145r);
  • Public Works Department (folios 145r-148r): Recurrent Expenditure, Non-Recurrent Expenditure (Manamah Muharraq Causeway and Bridge, Manamah Pier Extension, State Hospital, Fort, Government Schools, Transport Building, Passport Office and Post Office, New entrance and stairs at Manamah Palace, and Hawar Mosque), Works not provided for in 1358 budget (Rifle Range, Jida Island, Idari Spring, Hedd Girls' School and Om Ashaoom Spring);
  • General (folios 148r-148v): New Appointments, Local Newspaper and Cinema, H.H.'s visit to India, Press and Broadcast propaganda, Catholic Church, Government Rest House, Appointment of a Governmental Representative with the Oil Company, and Shaikh Mohomed bin Isa's [Muḥammad bin ‘Īsá Āl Khalīfah] visit to New York;
  • Electric Department (folios 148v-150): Electricity Department (Wiring Contracts, Temporary Wiring, Main Extensions, Alteration to Mains, and Air Conditioning), Government Telephone Department, Transport Department, Fire Department, Traffic Section, Government Technical School, New Government Hospital - Naim, Anti Malaria Campaign, Oil Royalty and other gauging, Muharraq Bridge, Financial Position, Electricity Charges, and Prospects for 1359;
  • Profit and Loss Account (folio 151r).
  • Revenue Account (folio 151v);
  • Balance Sheet (folio 152r);
  • Statement of Energy Sold (folio 152v);
  • Customs Department, report by Mr C C L de Grenier, Director of Customs and Port Officer (folios 153rv-159r);
  • Budget 1359 (folios 160r-161r);
  • Notes on Estimated Revenue 1358 (folios 161v);
  • Notes on Estimated Expenditure 1358: (folios 161v-162v).

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

  • Folio 134: 'The Government Hospital, with labels Men’s wing in progress (left) and Women’s wing (right)';
  • Folio 136: 'The Government Hospital: The Women’s Wing from the west';
  • Folio 144: 'H.M. King Ibn Sa’ud inspecting the guard of honour, accompanied by H.H. Shaikh Hamad';
  • Folio 147: 'H.M. King Ibn Sa’ud and H.H. Shaikh Hamad, on the palace’s new flight of steps'.

On the front cover there is an inscription that reads 'Printed at the Times Press, Basrah', as well as a note in pen that reads 'Confidential' (folio 122r).

Extent and format
1 volume (42 folios)

This file contains an index (folio 122r) which references pages of the report.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: Folios 122-164.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Government of Bahrain Annual Report for Year 1358 (February1939 - February 1940)' [‎131r] (19/86), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/750/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 April 2024]

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