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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎8v] (21/860)

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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So much for theory. In practice it will be observed that His Majesty’s
Government have at times been inclined to go somewhat further. In
January 1902 H.M.S. Pomone landed guns to protect the Sheikh against
an attack threatened by the Amir of Nejd and the Turks, and His Majesty’s
Government, in spite of Turkish protests, refused to remove them so ~
long as danger ol attack existed. And in October 1902 His Majesty’s
Government, while refusing to give the Sheikh guns for his own use, under
took to defend the Koweit district (understanding thereby the district
adjoining or close to the bay) provided that he fulfilled his engagements and
took their advice. Our definition of the status quo seems therefore in practice
to receive this extension, viz., that we should deny to the Turks the means
of asserting even such authority as they may possess.
(2.) “ That we should (a) bring about withdrawal of Turkish military posts
from El Bidaa, Babiy an, Urn Kasr, Zakhnuniyeh, and Jinnah, and (h)
finally to abolish mudirates at Wakra, dee., and (c) induce Turks to
confine themselves to their recognised possessions at Katif and U'jairT
( (a) As Bubiyan, Um Kasr, and Jinnah stand on a rather different footing
from the rest of the places mentioned, they may be taken first. Bubiyan is
an island immediately to the north of Koweit, between Koweit ba\T ancf the
mouth of the Shatt-al-Arab. It is claimed by the Sheikh of Koweit, mainly
in virtue of the fact that some of his tribes (the Awazim) use it for fishing
purposes. But in 19u2 the Turks sent a small guard there, and the
Ambassador at, Constantinople was directed to protest. The Turkish
Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that he was not aware of the occupation
of Bubiyan Island, though he knew that troops had been sent to Um
Kasr; and he informed the Ambassador that the real motive of these
proceedings was to keep a debouche for the Bagdad Railway under Turkish
protection, as difficulties had been raised about extending it to Koweit
(1912/02). In 1904 the Government of India recommended either that the
Porte should be called upon to withdraw their post and that we should
ourselves establish a post in behalf of the Sheikh at the northern end of the
island, or that the Porte should be informed that w T e regard the island as
belonging to the Sheikh, and that unless Turkish troops were withdrawn we
should support him in establishing a post of his own (402/04). Sir N.
O’Conor w ; as thereupon authorised to repeat his former protest, and, after an
interval of some months, if the post had not been withdrawn, to inform the
Porte in the sense of the Government of India’s second alternative (2065/04).
The first part of these instructions was carried out, and as regards the action
subsequently to be taken the Government of India made the following
recommendations in their telegram of 20th June 1905:—
“ Mnbarak welcomes idea of establishing post, on condition (Ij that British
Government give him full moral support, inform Porte that they recognise
his claim to Bubiyan, and support him in instituting post ; (2) Mubarak
asks for following material support; (a) maintenance of 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
Koweit as practically permanent; (6) occasional visit of man-of-war to
Koweit and Khor Abdullah ; (c) contribution by British Government of
Rs. 500 for erection of guard quarters, and Rs. 100 a month for guard
maintenance. We regard these terms as fair, and advise full acceptance.
Cost of (c) is less than subsidy sanctioned in your telegram of 17th January
1899. Sheikh suggests more than one post, and visit by Cox to Khor
Abdullah should be sanctioned before number or location of posts is settled.”
The Foreign Office thought that this went rather too far, and the question
was held over for consideration by the Defence Committee in connection
with that of the eventual terminus of the Bagdad Railway (3249/05). In
September 1905 Sir N. O’Conor again spoke to the Turkish Minister for
Foreign Affairs, but without drawing a reply. In August 1900 the Govern
ment of India returned to the charge (1372/00), and the whole question
(which does not seem to have been considered by the Defence Committee)
was referred to an inter-departmental committee (Foreign Office, Admiralty,
and 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. ), which, in its report dated 2nd October 1907, recom
mended that “ if diplomatic considerations permit . . . the continued
“ occupation of Bubiyan Island by a Turkish post, in derogation of the
“ Sheikh’s territorial claims (which have been recognised and supported by

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' [‎8v] (21/860), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 October 2019]

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