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‘File 13/2 VIII Air facilities in Arab shaikhdoms’ [‎111r] (221/567)

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The record is made up of 1 file (284 folios). It was created in 9 Aug 1946-23 Dec 1950. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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FlNLAY HOUSE : 2933 TO 2937
karachi, 2.
18th May, 1943,
The Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. ,
I have the honour to draw your attention to the
fact that the present agreement between His Majesty^
Government and Sheikh Sa^d bin Maktum, O.B.E., Ruler of
Dubai, will shortly expire on the 22nd July 1943.
2. May it be requested, therefore, that you will be
so good as to take up on behalf of the Corporation the
renewal on similar terms for a further period of five
years of the Dubai Commercial Air Agreement with Sheikh
Sa^d bin Maktum, O.B.E., Ruler of Dubai.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedeitn servant.
P-P(G. H. C. Lee)
bahb vct uf/

About this item


The file’s contents concern the implementation of civil air agreements, and the use of air facilities, at Britain’s aerodromes along the Arab coast (chiefly Bahrain (Muharraq), but also at Sharjah, Kuwait, and Qatar) in the period directly following the Second World War. The principal correspondents in the file are the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. (Lieutenant-Colonel William Rupert Hay), and incumbents of the post of Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain (Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Crawshaw Galloway, Captain Hugh Dunstan Rance, and Cornelius James Pelly).

Subjects in the file include:

  • Renegotiations between British Government officials ( 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. , Foreign Office, Air Ministry) over the terms of the various air navigation regulations held with the various rulers of the Arab coast of the Gulf;
  • Questions of the continued use of the aerodrome at Sharjah by the Royal Air Force [RAF], and the maintenance of British Overseas Airways Corporation [BOAC] staff and radio facilities at Sharjah;
  • Renewal of the agreement between the British Government and Sheikh of Dubai over air facilities at Dubai;
  • Requests from foreign airlines (France Air, Quantas, Czecho-Slovak Air) to fly over or land at aerodromes administered by the British in the Gulf;
  • Hay’s concern of the lack of regulation of civil aviation in the Gulf, in light of the increasing number of flights and operators (both national and local) operating in the region, and in increasing tendency for foreign aircraft to not seek prior permission to land at Bahrain;
  • Discussion in 1949 of the concept of ‘pre-packed airports’ being marketed by the likes of Westinghouse Corporation in the United States, with enquiries into their viability for the Gulf, and a lack of interest on the part of British officials at Bahrain (f 193) and Qatar (f 190);
  • The installation of new light and radio facilities at Muharraq aerodrome in late 1950, in response to two fatal crashes by Air France aeroplanes that occurred in June 1950.

Items of particular note in the file include:

  • A letter from the Secretary of State for India, dated 26 June 1947, detailing the RAF’s long-term commitment at Sharjah, with a list of permanent buildings required at the Sharjah aerodrome (ff 69-71);
  • A schedule of fees payable to the Sheikh of Bahrain for 1947, showing flights made into and out of Bahrain (f 63);
  • A list of foreign aircraft landing at Bahrain during January to March 1949 (f 150);
  • Notes of a meeting held at the Foreign Office on 25 September 1950, intended to address concerns over increasing local competition on air routes in the Gulf (ff 234-244).
Extent and format
1 file (284 folios)

The contents of the file are arranged in approximate chronological order, from the earliest items at the front of the file, to the latest at the end. The file notes at the end of the file (ff 260-284) mirror the chronological arrangement.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the cover 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. An additional foliation sequence is also present between ff 2-259; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the same position as the main sequence.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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‘File 13/2 VIII Air facilities in Arab shaikhdoms’ [‎111r] (221/567), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/508, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 December 2019]

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