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'Persia: Affairs of Arabistan' [‎3r] (5/6)

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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.


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30. It is understood that His Majesty’s Consul for Arabistan at Aliwaz would
mot ordinarily leave Arabistan, except with the previous concurrence of the Political
Resident 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. , and would not be absent from his post for more than a
month. He would also hold charge of Bakhtiari affairs, and would deal with the
Khans direct on these matters in the same way as is done now by His Majesty’s
Vice-Consul, Ahwaz, when they visit the plains in the winter. The necessity for the
annual migration of the Political Officer with the Khans to the Persian Plateau no
longer exists. It was initiated at a time when political conditions were very different
from what they are now, when the Khans were wholly out of touch with His Majesty’s
Legation and almost equally so with His Majesty’s Consul-General at Isfahan.
Ahwaz, moreover, was a small town with only one or two British subjects and with
very little political or consular work other than that relative to the Bakhtiari Khans,
viz., the oilfields and the Bakhtiari road. It is now a large and growing town with
about 100 British subjects resident on the spot. It is, moreover, most desirable in
British interests that the conduct of our affairs in Bakhtiari country should be in the
same hands as those in Arabistan, which are now so closely intermingled that
separation is bound to lead to friction and delay. With these views Lieutenant-Colonel
Trevor expresses his concurrence and agrees that under these conditions His
Majesty's Vice-Consul, Ahwaz, should be gazetted Acting Consul for Arabistan as
from 5th October in addition to his other duties. In this connection I would invite
reference to para. 35 below.
31 During the past three years, the system which I now propose has been virtually
in existence, as whilst in Baghdad 1 made-a practice of dealing with all Arabistan
affairs, as well as those of Bakhtiari, through or in consultation with Captain Peel,
His Majesty’s Vice-Consul, with results that have been most satisfactory.
32. As regards Dizful, the post is not one provided for on the cadre of the
Indian Political Department, but I strongly recommend that this now be done, and
the provision also be made, at all events for the next three years, for an assistant
for him, who would be a junior officer under training and would hold charge of the
Sagwand Levy. This would make it possible for His Majesty’s Vice-Consul, Dizful,
who has a full day’s work, and cannot at present leave Dizful for more, than a short
period without detriment thereto, to tour occasionally in Pusht-i-Kuh, where the
Anglo-Persian Oil Company are now working, and in Luristan.
33. We have at present at Shush tar a most competent Persian, of proved
integrity, whose forefathers have served the Bushire Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. for the past 100 years,
as Consular Agent on a salary of Rs. 500. This arrangement should be maintained,
and he should be placed directly under His Majesty’s Consul for Arabistan at Ahwaz,
from which point R is only three hours by car to Shushtar and supervision is easy.
34. It should be mentioned that there is a likelihood in the near future of the
Anglo-Persian Oil Company extending their operations to the plains of Lali and
Andaka, north of the Karun. This will for some time to come involve additional
work for the Political Officer and his staff, for which it is necessary to make due
provision, it being remembered that work of this sort in practice imposes considerable
strain on officers and demands local knowledge and practical experience which
cannot be obtained elsewhere ; it is therefore very desirable that there should be a
small reserve of Political Officers bn the spot, so that they can officiate for each other
when one of them goes on short leave, and thus avoid the heavy delay and expense of
frequent transfers.
35. To summarise my recommendations, I propose :—
(i) One senior officer as Consul for Arabistan at Ahwaz.
(ii) One junior but experienced officer as Vice-Consul, Ahwaz.
(hi) One junior but experienced officer as Vice-Consul, Dizful.
(iv) One junior officer under training as assistant to Vice-Qonsul, Dizful, with
charge of the Sagwand Levy.
(v) One Assistant Surgeon at Mohammerah to hold charge as Vice-Consul as
at present.
(vi) One Persian Consular Agent at Shushtar as at present.
This only involves the addition of one junior officer under training to the pre-war
strength of Political Officers in this region.
The proposals made in this despatch have been discussed with Lieutenant-Colonel
Trevor, who asks me to say that he has been rather out of touch with Arabistan since
he gave over charge of the Mohammerab Consulate in April 1915, since when, as
^mentioned above, our officers in Arabistan have been supervised from Mesopotamia

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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.

Extent and format
1 file (3 folios)
Physical characteristics

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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Persia: Affairs of Arabistan' [‎3r] (5/6), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/C201, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 November 2019]

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