'VOL. B. 60. CONFIDENTIAL 86/14 - vi. BAHRAIN UNALLOTTED AREA.' [66r] (136/466)
The record is made up of 1 volume (229 folios). It was created in 5 Jul 1939-1 Nov 1941. 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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Admiralty, S# .1.
U •06401/39 on the 31st January, 1940.
outside of the envelope as veil
as in the text.
I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty
to state for the information of the Secretary of State for Indi«
that they are now in a position to reply to two semi-official
■ k pit letters of the 30th May, 1939 P.Z.2067/39 and a further letter
l of the 5th July 1939, 4023/39 concerning the Bahrein
- • petroleum Company^ concession for the unallotted area,
consideration of which was interrupted by the outbreak of war.
* As regards the first letter of the 30th May, covering a
preliminary draft of the Company^ concession agreement, My
Lords have now no remarks to offer either on the description of
the sheikh's territory which has been accepted without comment
by that Ruler, or on the compulsory processing of a minimum
quantity of Bahrein oil which has since been agreed to and
stands as Article 9 of the revised commercial Agreement.
2. As regards the second letter of the 30th May dealing with
the political agreement between His Majesty's Government and
the Company, which follows in its general lines the political
agreements in other neighbouring territories, My Lords concur
in the addition to clause 8 to provide for the use by His
Majesty's Government of harbours and harbour facilities
developed by the Company, and as regards clause 6 (channels of
communication between the Company and the Bahrein Government)
are prepared to agree to any arrangements that meet local
convenience and permit of adequate British control. They also
concur in the proposal that Article 11 should provide only for
the termination of the concession agreement by the oheikh for an;
breach of the political agreement and should not provide for
confiscation of property.
3. As regards the question o** the sea area of the Bahrein
State, My Lords agree with the Foreign Office view that -
(1) Sovereignty extends over all waters within
three nautical miles from low water mark of
any of the Bahrein islands, unless land
belonging to any other power lies within six
miles, in which case the boundary of territorial
waters divides the distance equally.
(2) Company's derricks erected in shallow water
would not constitute a new island from which
a new area of three miles width could be
claimed as territorial waters.
(3) The area of the Gulf, outside the territorial
waters of i star and jaudi Arabia cannot be
claimed as Bahrein territorial waters.
(4) The bed of the sea and the land under it is
however capable of acquisition by occupation
beyond the three mile limit.
Subject in (4) however, to the addition that such acquisition by
occupation must not affect the use by all countries of the water
over such portions of the bed of the sea or the land under it.
Inder-secretary of State, 4./
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. ,
J • . 1 •
About this item
The volume comprises correspondence between 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. in the 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. (Charles Geoffrey Prior), 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 (Hugh Weightman, Reginald George Evelin Alban), the 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. (Roland Tennyson Peel, John Percival Gibson), the Admiralty (Clifford George Jarrett), the Shaikh of Bahrain (Shaikh Ḥamad bin ‘Īsá Āl Khalīfah), and the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Hamilton R Ballantyne) and discusses the conclusion of negotiations in London for a political agreement to accompany the concession secured by the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) from the Shaikh of Bahrain for the unalloted area of Bahrain.
The correspondence focuses primarily on the question of whether a pre-emption clause is required in the political agreement or whether a force majeure clause would be an acceptable alternative given His Majesty’s Government’s likely need for oil in wartime and other emergencies. The negotiations were concluded in June 1941 with the concession agreement being signed in Bahrain 19 June 1941 and the Political Agreement signed in London 29 June 1941.
Other correspondence discusses a request made by the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) to accelerate their exploration work in the Unallotted area of Bahrain and the need for a final settlement of the terms of both the concession agreement and political agreement in order to support the company’s acceleration proposal.
Also discussed is the drilling work undertaken by BAPCO in order to obtain structural information on their newly acquired concession area. The drilling work undertaken had also succeeded in finding drinking water on Fasht al Jibal [Fasht ad Dībal] and their intention to drill on Hawar Island included the intention to create water wells should drinking water be found there too. The correspondence concludes with the decision taken by BAPCO in 1941 to suspend their exploration work in new areas owing to a lack of available labour and to concentrate instead on their existing production and refining activities.
Another topic under discussion in the volume is the question of the ownership of the Hawar Group of Islands with His Majesty’s Government reaching a decision in August 1939 that the Hawar Group of Islands belonged to Bahrain and not Qatar. Correspondence includes the Shaikh of Qatar (Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī)’s dissatisfaction at the outcome.
Later correspondence from 1941 includes 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 and 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. in the 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. expressing their concerns over the decision that was reached and suggesting that the evidence be reconsidered and an expert in that area such as Sir Clive Kirkpatrick Daly be consulted for his opinion on the question.
As part of the discussions a request is made to the Air Vice-Marshall, Commanding British Forces in Iraq for a photographic mosaic to be taken of the Hawar Group of Islands. The mosaic was required in order to determine a line of division between the territorial rights of Bahrain and Qatar.
Also discussed was the question of ownership of the island of Fasht Dibal [Fasht ad Dībal], which was at that time claimed by Bahrain; regarding the Political Resident’s scepticism regarding the validity of Bahrain’s claim and the question of whether the Shaikh of Qatar should be given the opportunity to put forward any claim he had towards the island.
One other matter of note within the volume relates to reports and rumours of attempts by Turkish officials at Hasa to secure their authority over the district they controlled. These attempts were alleged to include Turkish officials visiting Zakhnuniya Island [Jazirat az Zakhnūnīyah] to try and convince the Dowasir tribe there to swear allegiance to Turkey; it is claimed their intention was to take control of Dohah [Doha], and perhaps the whole Katar [Qatar] peninsula from the Shaikh of Qatar. The alleged movements of Turkish officials on Zakhnuniya Island resulted in an official protest being made by the Shaikh of Bahrain who considered the island to be part of his territory.
A series of file notes which were maintained as a record of the correspondence in the volume can be found at folios 214-227.
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (229 folios)
The volume contains a table of contents on folio 4 comprising of subject headings and page references. The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside of the front cover, and terminates at the inside 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 present in parallel between ff 188-227; these numbers are also written in pencil, and can be found in the same position as the main sequence, but they are not circled. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.
- Written in
- English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script View the complete information for this record
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