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'File 38/16 Effects of Bahrain-Qatar dispute on P. C. L.' [‎25r] (49/92)

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The record is made up of 1 file (44 folios). It was created in 11 Jan 1944-22 Nov 1948. 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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... Dsitp . l- -
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. .
18th February 1947
My dear Colonel,
As you know, I had an interview with H.H. Shaikh
Sulman on the afternoon of the 15th February 1947 .
The visit lasted an hour and a half. I was received
with the utmost friendliness, and H.H. stated that he
would agree to the export of anything from Bahrain,
provided it was clearly understood that these exports
were for the us e of the Company and its employees, and
were not to be diverted by any method whatsoever to
the Q,atar Shaikhs or Qatar is not in the employment
of the Company. I did not touch on articles in transit
to saudi Arabia or for transhipment to Saudi Arabia,
as I think this savours of evasion, and Ihs an un
pleasant aspect. In such cases I think personally it
will be better if the importer pays full Bahrain customs,
and we buy from him and apply in the usual way for an
Export Permit. In other words, I would prefer that the
Conpany should not be directly involved in transactions
in which the object is to divert consignments, in transit
to Saudi Arabia, to Qatar.
2. His Highness also mentioned that he would agree to
the Company buying land in Bahrain.
3. As I anticipated, however, the subject of Zubara
was eventually introduced, and reference made to previous
verbal assurances by me that the Company would not inter
fere in any way with the tombs and mosques there. On
this occasion, however, the word houses’ jalso came up.
As far as I know, there are only a few rei^ants of houses,
but it was not thought appropriate to point this out.
As under the terms of our Concession mosques, graveyards,
private houses or other buildings are protected, there is,
in my view, no harm in the Company putting the assurance
in writing. In any case if anything was to be achieved
and the existing deadlock broken, it was necessary to
take a decision, and I therefore gave His Highness to
understand that I would confirm the assurance he required
• • •

About this item


The file contains correspondence relating to how the dispute between Bahrain and Qatar over Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. has affected the work of Petroleum Concessions Limited. The principle correspondents are: 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. at Bahrain; Sir Charles Belgrave, Advisor to the Government of Bahrain; Shaikh Sulman bin Hamad Al Khalifa [Salmān bin Ḥamad Āl Khalīfah], ruler of Bahrain; Shaikh Abdulla bin Qasim Al-Thani [‘Abdullāh bin Qāsim Āl Thānī], ruler of Qatar; and representatives (usually Ernest Vincent Packer) of Petroleum Concessions Limited (hereafter, the company) and its subsidiary, Petroleum Development (Qatar) Limited.

The matters covered by the file are mostly founded on the rival historic claims to the old settlement of Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. . They are as follows:

  • the need to settle normal relations between the two countries, partly driven by the clarity needed to define oil concessions;
  • the company's attempts to buy land in Manama which lead to conditions imposed by the ruler of Bahrain concerning mosques, tombs and properties in Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. that are claimed by the Āl Khalīfah family;
  • disagreements over the company's use of the port of Sitra in Bahrain, and what they are permitted to import and export;
  • a meeting held between Packer and Shaikh Salmān on 15 February 1947 to settle these issues;
  • incidences of violence and conflict between Bahraini seamen employed by the company and Qatari guards at Zekrit during 1947 and 1948;
  • the refusal by Qatari authorities to allow Shaikh Shafi bin Salim, head of the Bani Hajir tribe, and his four sons to land at Zekrit in July 1948.

Folios 43-45 are internal office notes.

Extent and format
1 file (44 folios)

The file is arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover and terminates at the back cover; 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 in parallel between ff 2-33; 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 38/16 Effects of Bahrain-Qatar dispute on P. C. L.' [‎25r] (49/92), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/871, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 9 December 2019]

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