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File 160/1903 'Persian Gulf: El Katr; appointment of Turkish Mudirs; question of Protectorate Treaty with El Katr' [‎31v] (67/860)

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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Nazif Bey, it is true, finally accepted Sheikh Khazal’s explanations and agreed
to consider the incident closed, but he unconditionally refused to express regret for
the death of the Sheikh’s wife and the destruction of his mother’s house, or to pay
any compensation for the losses suffered by the Sheikh in consequence of the
unjustifiable bombardment of Zain. Further, at the very moment when he wa^T
considering the Sheikh’s explanations with which he owned himself satisfied, his
agents were occupied in subjecting the Sheikh to further petty annoyances in the
matter of the renewal, contrary to the \ all’s promise, of the lawsuit against the
servant of Mirza Hamza, the Sheikh’s agent at Bussorah, of the unjustified destruction,
for the third time since the dispute between the Sheikh and the Vali began, of the
former’s house property on the Ashar Creek and of the raid on Mirza Hamza’s house
and the seizure of his property, on the ground that he had disregarded a summons
for debt which had been issued against him. There can be little doubt that Nazif
Bey was the real instigator of these vexatious proceedings.
A further injustice to the Sheikh has now been committed by the decree recently
issued by the Sublime Porte forbidding the registratioD of land in the vilayet of
Bussorah in the name of the Sheikh or his representatives, a measure which appears
to be actually contrary to Ottoman law.
Your Excellency should bring these facts to the notice of the Turkish Government,
and inform them that His Majesty’s Government are bound, by agreement with the
Sheikh, to use their good offices on his behalf in the event of a dispute with a foreign
Power, that they have most carefully considered the circumstances of his recent
dispute with the Vali of Bussorah, and can see no justification whatever for the harsh
and aggressive action of the latter, especially in the matter of the attack^ on Zain, nor
for the recent decree of the Porte regarding the registration of land in the vilayet
of Bussorah. You should add that, in view of their obligations towards the Sheikh,
they cannot allow the status quo on the Shat-el-Arab to be altered to his detriment,
and you should express the hope that a satisfactory arrangement will be arrived at
with the Sheikh, who has displayed anxiety to live on good terms with his neighbours,
and has shown, throughout recent events, great self-restraint and patience, in marked
contrast—as His Majesty’s Government observe with regret—with the attitude of the
Turkish authorities.
These occurrences, which individually have been the cause of painful surprise to
His Majesty’s Government, have produced, in their cumulative effect, an unfavourable
impression as to the present attitude of the local Ottoman authorities, an attitude
which appears to be one of hostility and aggression.
His Majesty’s Government cannot believe that this attitude has the approval of
the Central Government, or is based upon their specific instructions. I therefore have
decided to instruct you to communicate a translation of this despatch to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs, in order that his Excellency may be fully apprised of the views of
His Majesty’s Government and of their causes of complaint: in taking this step your
Excellency" should explain that His Majesty’s Government have decided to make
friendly representations, believing that the Ottoman Government will redress the
grievances referred to, for a situation of very considerable gravity would of course arise
if they proved to be the result of deliberate and unfriendly policy.
I am, &c.
4 1

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' [‎31v] (67/860), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/4, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 4 July 2020]

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