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'VOL. B. 60. CONFIDENTIAL 86/14 - vi. BAHRAIN UNALLOTTED AREA.' [‎91r] (186/466)

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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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p, 2* 1684/40.
M.03201/40. MILITARY BRANCH,
ADMIRALTY, S.V/.l.
T
20tli March, 1940.
| . C ONI^ I DENT I AIj .
Dear Peel,
In reply to your letter of the 14th February
last P.Z.620/40, concerning the Bahrein unallotted area
agreements, I write to say that v/e were very reluctant
to abandon the pre-emption clause in its original
form because an agreement of this nature direct with
the company has, we think, considerable advantages
over an agreement in which our pov/er to take action is
dependent on our relations v/ith or an agreement by
the Sheikh himself.
The absence of the pre-emption clause in the
original Bahrein concession was a matter of considerable
concern to the Admiralty, though at a later stage it
was accepted that we should, in fact, in the case of
Bahrein, where our grip is much tighter than with the other
Sheikhs in this area, be able to act through the Sheikh
to get what we wanted in time of war.
As a result, however, of this anxiety, great
care was taken to get the pre-emption clause inserted
in the other concessions in the area.
If we now make a new agreement without the
simple pre-emption clause, this may be a precedent to
other agreements in areas where our status with tne local
Sheikh is not so firm.
However, v/e understand that the eifect ol t^e
•-•Peel,
India
agreement now proposed,
he given by the Sheikh,
under both the old cone
Ssq.,C.B.E.,
Office,
S. V. 1 #
coupled with the undertaking to
is to subject production
ussion and the new to a qualii-ed
form/

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Content

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)
Arrangement

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
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'VOL. B. 60. CONFIDENTIAL 86/14 - vi. BAHRAIN UNALLOTTED AREA.' [‎91r] (186/466), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/693, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100025657402.0x0000bb> [accessed 7 December 2019]

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