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'File 39/24 Seabed concession, Qatar' [‎50r] (99/104)

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The record is made up of 1 file (50 folios). It was created in 23 Dec 1947-17 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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n* Uc,
7# The next morning at 9 a*m. he called on me and went over
what had gone before. He said that you had told him it was
alright to try for an extension, but could not help him
to obtain it. Smith was in a very nervous state and agreed
reluctantly that he would if necessary balance the extension
of the two years period with the gift of the launches and the
car. He also 1*Ld me of letters between his Company and the
Ruler about which I am writing separately. He made quite a
point of saying that this visit of his had not so far gone well.
He has certainly been firm with the Ruler and has told him that
his Company do not like all this haggling over their gifts.
This is a good thing.
8 . He told me about the agreement and said he was going
on to the Palace to negotiate it. He had be then written into
the agreement a sentence to the effect that it was "Subject to
H.M.G^s. approval". After an all day argument broken only by
lunch, het/ithe launches demabs down to one local-type launch
-g. 60 foot long and two similar Xx to the Pan Tan 111 (used by
Superior as a ship to shore launch) all powered by petrol engines,
and the vehicle demand to one Diamond T. His Company would
give these in exchange for the extra year. During the negotiations
the Ruler had asked and paid attention to the views of the
Adviser; he had also asked the views of Saleh and Abdul Rehman
Darwish, in each case going outside the room and whispering.
9 # in the end agreement was reached that in consideration
of the extra year the Superior Oil Company could give three
launches and one Diamond T vehicles Smith signed his part of
the agreement but the Ruler then said the local launch should
be longer, and Smith had to tear his signature off the agreement.
The Ruler then said he would sign it and it was agreed that the
Adviser should have the agreement retyped. Smith then left Doha.
-jO. No sooner was the agreement retyped than the Ruler
changed his mind and said the local launch must have a keel 65
feet "long and the engine should be a diesel one and Superior
must sign first. The agreement was therefore sent to Bahrain
by the Adviser.
a a Smith is certainly tougher than some Oil Company /
negotiators. His preparation of the ground seems to have been
good and lie said it was only unwillingly that he bargained
Company gifts for the extension. However, having shown himself
strong at the start it almost came round in the end to the Ruler
giving the extension in order to get what were originally g
Imith was, like anyone, disgusted by the Ruler’s ° f f ^ pre ~
ciation of the fact that Superior were making a gift in ^ne
first instance and did not like being criticiSsd for wha ey
were giving.
a 2 The Adviser sent the agreement to Bahrain for signature,
together with a supplementary document to be signed by four
witnesses (Plant, Saleh A1 Mans'/and his interpreter) specifying
the types and sizes of launch. The Adviser put down a
65 feet hut as Smith had not agreed to this he crossed it out
and returned it with the agreement signed. This was brought ovei
to Doha on the Uth December by Smith's interpreter, who after
discussion with the Adviser and the Ruler, was asked to take
hack a message to Smith that the Ruler was sticking at 65 feet
^d a dillel engine. This he did, and no further visits have
been made to Doha.
i-z i give you these details merely as a record of the
lenp-ths to which the Ruler of Qatar goes when it comes to
negations of gifts and so on. The Adviser was rather too active
about the business, on the whole, but he did get sent for by
thp Ruler and he did give advice which was accepted, so that is
crain Superior’s stubborness is, I consider, most wholesome.
*.'!p.ny, M., o.b.k. xJS
H.M. 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. , Bahr ain. Ih—^ ~

About this item


The file contains correspondence, mostly in English and Arabic, between the Ruler of Qatar, Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī (from August 1949 Shaikh ‘Alī bin ‘Abdullāh Āl Thānī); the Ruler of Bahrain, Shaikh Salmān bin Ḥamad Āl Khalīfah; the Adviser to the Government of Bahrain and 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; regarding the jurisdiction over the seabed adjacent to the coastline, for the purpose of oil drilling offshore. The papers include a dispute between the Ruler of Qatar and Petroleum Development Qatar Ltd on the interpretation of the oil concession with regard to the Qatar coastal waters and Decision of Arbitrators (folios 13-19).

The file also contains correspondence with the Ruler of Qatar and Superior Oil Company, concerning the Company’s request for permission to drill in the shoals represented on folio 41, and considering claims of the Ruler of Bahrain over the same shoals.

Extent and format
1 file (50 folios)

The papers in the file are arranged chronologically.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence commences at the front cover with 1 and terminates at the back cover with 52; 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 incomplete foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 2-51; these numbers are written in a combination of pencil and ink, 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 39/24 Seabed concession, Qatar' [‎50r] (99/104), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/891, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 October 2019]

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