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'File 38/16 Effects of Bahrain-Qatar dispute on P. C. L.' [‎29r] (57/92)

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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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D.O. No.C/256
The 25th of February, 1947
My dear packer,
Thank you for your letter No. DO/PCT.1/4732,
dated the 18th February, 1947.‘
2. Since both Qatar and Bahrain are within my juris
diction I have to consider your letter from the Qatar
and Bahrain angles.
3. As regards the former, it is doubtful to my mind
if you should really have mentioned in writing the existence
of Khalifah mosques, graveyards and houses at Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. . We
are accustomed to hear of the mosques and graveyards but, as
you say yourself, the introduction of the word 'houses’ is
new. As a matter of fact there are no houses at Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha.
that I know of, so I can only guess at what Shaikh Salman
was driving at. I think he was trying to establish that he
had some property there, but as that aspect of the case has
been pressed for so long, and as both p.C.L. and the shaikh
of Qatar wish to exclude areas with a religious connection
from operations, and as there are no houses, no great harm
should have been done. Quite how the shaikh of Qatar will
link the matter up with the final phrase of the first sentence
of article 1 of the Concession I do not know. The Shaikh of
Qatar is sure to hear of it, but I don't think it should be
of great significance particularly in view of his expecta
tions of early oil production. Were he to take the matter up
with you I hope you would be able to avoid any suggestion of
urgent need having arisen.
4. From the Bahrain point of view, you have certainly
succeeded in clearing the air and we now have it in writing,
though I, and I dare say other political Agents, had it
verbally that the Shaikh of Bahrain would place no hindrance
in the way of imports and exports for P.C.L. Since he gets
a fat income from these he scores both ways. His object will
be now, I guess, having cleared the air as regards P.C.L. to
drive ahead with his claim for Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. . This has been coming
for some time and so, on the whole, I think your recent nego
tiations are for the best, and I hope that the Shaikh of Qatar
does not cut up rough.
5. I see that you have marked your letter personal and
Confidential and so I am neither filing it nor this reply,
but will you please let me have a brief note of the events
for official record?
Yours sincerely,

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.' [‎29r] (57/92), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/871, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 July 2020]

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