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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎7v] (19/860)

The record is made up of 1 volume (425 folios). It was created in 26 Apr 1902-16 Dec 1910. It was written in English. 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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Lord Morley concurred in the draft, remarking that he “ is in entire acord
with Sir L. Grey in thinking that the time has come when it is necessary to
“ give the Turkish Government a sharp reminder of the interests of Great
“ Britain and India in those regions.” The despatch issued on 17th October
Then came the anti-British and pro-German explosion at Constantinople
caused by the publication of a garbled version oC the British note to Persia
regarding the restoration of order on the southern roads. The Ambassador
took fright, and begged to be allowed to postpone communication of the
despatch “until ill-feeling has died down” (Sir G. Lowther’s telegram
No. 232 of 24th October); and the Foreign Office, without again consulting
this Office, agreed (Sir E. Grey’s telegram No. 323 of 2(3th October). Lord
Morley thereupon addressed a letter (28th October) to the Foreign Office,
which was of the nature of a protest against this change of policy, observing
that “ Sir G. Lowther’s telegram No. 232 of 24th October contains no
“ considerations that could not have been foreseen when the despatch in
■“ question issued ” ; that the object of His Majesty’s Government is “less
to secure an adjustment of the particular incidents, than to impress
“ upon the Turkish Government, in a manner that shall preclude further
“ misunderstanding, the importance which they attach to their interests
in those regions, and their determination to see that they are respected ” ;
and that the probability of attaining this object would be “ greatly
“ diminished if the general protest is long deferred, and if His Majesty’s
“ Ambassador proceeds by means of piece-meal representations in the
“ meantime.”
To this letter the Foreign Office have not thought it necessary to reply,
and we are therefore entirely in the dark as to what their general policy is.
“ From a local standpoint what is needed to clear the air is (1) that
we should cease to make a secret of our Agreement with Koweit, and
should inform Porte that we intend to make it effective. If we can
simultaneously eliminate anomaly of Turkish flag at Koweit, I strongly
recommend it.”
The history of Turkish and British relations with Koweit will be found
in pp. 155-160 of the Report and Proceedings of a Sub-Committee of the
Committee of Imperial Defence on the Baghdad Railway, Southern Persia,
and 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. , dated 26th January 1909. We have two secret
Agreements with the Sheikh. By the first, dated 23rd January 1899, he
binds “ himself his heirs and successors not to receive the Agent or Repre-
“ sentative of any Power or Government, without the previous sanction of
“ the British Government,” and “ not to cede, sell, lease, mortgage, or give
“ for occupation or for any other purpose any portion of his territory
“ to the Government or subjects of any other Power without the previous
“ consent of His Majesty’s Government for these purposes.” In return
he is assured^of the “good offices of the British Government” towards
himself, his heirs, and successors. The first of these conditions was inserted
without the authority of His Majesty’s Government, and in approving it
Lord G. Hamilton remarked that its “ operation, more especially with regard
“ to the relations of the Sheikh to the Turkish Government, will require
“ the careful attention of Your Excellency.” (Secret Despatch No. 11 of
30th March 1899).
By the second agreement, dated 15th October 1907, we secured (a) the
lease of a strip of land on the foreshore to the mouth of Bunder Shweikh ;
(h) the right of pre-emption in sale or lease of certain other tracts,
including “ the entire island of Warba, situated near Khor Abdullah and the
surrounding foreshore.” The Sheikh in the same agreement confirmed the
earlier one, and expressly included the Ottoman Government among the
foreign Governments to whom he is not to alienate Koweit territory. For
obvious reasons secrecy was necessary, but the German Government were
informed confidentially of the second condition of the 1899 Agreement, and
if they know of it the Turks certainly know of it also.

About this item


This volume contains memoranda, copies of correspondence and telegrams, and minutes of letters between British officials regarding:

  • Turkish claims over El Katr (Qatar), and the creation of Turkish administrative posts on the Qatari coast, with 'mudirs' (sub-governors) being assigned during 1903 to Odeid (Al Udeid), Wakra (Al Wakrah), Zobara (Al Zubarah 18th-century town located 105 km from Doha. ), and Musalamia Island (Suwad ash Shamaliyah);
  • 'the desire of Sheikh Ahmed bin-Thani, Ruler of Qatar, to be taken under British Protection', in 1902, and a Proposed Protectorate Treaty with the Ruler of Qatar, in 1904;
  • the Ruler of Abu Dhabi's intention to occupy Odeid in 1906.

The main correspondents are: the Viceroy, the Foreign Office (Thomas Henry Sanderson), the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Marquess of Lansdowne), and 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. .

The volume includes a divider which gives the year that the subject file was opened, the subject heading, and a list of correspondence references contained in it arranged by year. This divider is placed at the front of the volume.

The volume also contains the translation of a Turkish press article.

Extent and format
1 volume (425 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 428; 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. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Condition: the spine is detached from the volume and preserved in a polyester sheet, on folio 427.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎7v] (19/860), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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