'Persia: Affairs of Arabistan' [1v] (2/6)
The record is made up of 1 file (3 folios). It was created in 30 Oct 1920. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
The existing and proposed financial provision will be dealt with in a separate
7. Developments during the past three years .—In my report of 1st July 1917,
No. 9855, to Sir P. Cox, I wrote : —
“ We do not know what the future holds in store for us. More than once in the
past three years the fortune of war has temporarily gone against us and our allies in
these regions, and on each occasion it has turned again in our favour.
* If our present position in Arabistan is maintained, we need not apprehend a
rapid revulsion of local feeling, even if the situation in Persia or Iraq should again
become temporarily unfavourable.”
Events have justified this anticipation of the probable trend of events in
Arabistan, which province has been wholly unaffected hitherto by the disorders which
have prevailed in parts of Persia and of Iraq.
8. The Assistant Political -Officer at Shushtar was withdrawn in May 1919, and
his duties have since then been performed by the .Assistant*Political Officer at Dizful,
who had been placed in telephonic communication, both with Shushtar, Shush and
Ahwaz, to enable him to do so.
9. The Sagwand Tribal Levy at Dizful, .after some vicissitudes, has established
itself as a small but useful force of some 50 mounted men under a British officer with
headquarters at Shush, supported by two fiord vans, on which are mounted machine
guns manned by six Indian infantry (all supplied by Mesopotamia'!! Expeditionary
10. A Persian Deputy Governor has been installed at Dizful and a Judicial
Department (Adliyah) recognised by the Persian Government has worked for two
years with success.
11. The Dizful Bridge has been renewed, and is now the property of a Persian
Company with a paid-up capital of 60,000 tomans, of which 35,100 has been locally
subscribed, and 24,900 is held by the British Government, this amount representing
the sums expended by, or on behalf of, the military authorities, who required the
erection of the bridge on military grounds. The British Government shares pay 9 per
12. Agencies of the Imperial Bank of Persia have been established at Dizful and
Shushtar, and have already more than justified their existence.
18. Difficulties between the Shaikh of Mohammerah and the Bakhtiari have been
satisfactorily, if temporarily, settled, and do not present a lively problem at present.
14. Friendly relations with the leading landowners and priests have been
maintained and improved, and there is now no important section of the tribal town or
village community which does not desire a maintenance of the present system whereby
a British consular officer is enabled to exert such influence over the local government
as will force it to maintain order and give effect to its elementary duties.
15. There has been a continued increase in areas under cultivation, and in local
revenue receipts ; this has been effected not by increased incidence of taxation, but by
careful check on receipts and expenditure,
16. Our relations with the tribes of Luristan, who depend on Dizful, have steadily
Improved. There has been a welcome cessation from highway robbery and inter
tribal dissensions which were formerly characteristics of the Luristan tribes, and it
may be accurately stated that of* the many divergent clans of Luristan there are none
at this time that, by reason of misconduct, are debarred from free ingress to the town
of Dizful, the southern gate of Luristan. While it would be premature to prophesy a
millennium of eternal peace in an area at once so inaccessible and so rife with possi
bilities of undesirable incidents, it may fairly be stated that the portion of Luristan
that is brought more directly under the notice of the Political Officer at Dizful, has
shown, and is showing, an amiable tendency to appreciate the tranquillity of Northern
Arabistan and to realise that this was not merely a transitory condition due to the
military exigencies of flank protection. Although mention of the territory of the
Wali of Pusht-i-lvuh may be considered extraneous to the matter of this report, it
might, as a matter of interest, be noted that preliminary surveys and the initial steps
in location of petroleum have been successfully carried out in that territory without
17. It will thus be seen that the record in Northern Arabistan during the past
three years has been one of steady progress on the lines initiated in 1915-17, and that
About this item
The memorandum consists of a copy of a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Arnold Talbot Wilson, Officiating 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. , addressed to the Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign and Political Department, Simla. It is reporting on a recent tour made by Sir Arnold of Arabistan prior to handing over the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. to his successor. The report provides an overview of developments in the region over the past three years, which includes comments respecting the authority of the Shaikh of Mohammerah [Khorramshahr] and an update on Bakhtiari affairs. In addition, it also provides a brief update on postal and telegraph arrangements.
The report also provides an outline of the current arrangement of consular and political agencies in Arabistan, and outlines proposals for a reorganisation.
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Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 3; 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.
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