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'File 1/A/5 III ADMINISTRATION. QATAR AFFAIRS.' [‎40r] (84/440)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (216 folios). It was created in 10 Jun 1944-6 Jan 1946. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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Report on situation in,QataE
© .^j
^ y n ''
Slaves are being sold and purchased freely in Qatar*
Owing to the poor condition of the people nearly three fourths
of ^atar's slaves were sold to Sa^di Arabia* Shaikh Hafflftu bin
* Abdullah al Than! takes active part in this traffic. One Abdull
-ah bin Ghanim al Hajri is being financed by him* He purcliases
slaves from different parts of Qatar and according to reports
goes as far as Rurairni to buy slaves. He takes these slaves to
Sa*udi Arabia and sells them there* With the slaves* money he bws
gold which he smuggles into Qatar* Tnis gold is sent to Kuwait
or * Iraq via Kuwait. The profit is being shared equally by Hamad
and *Abdullah bin Ghanian v
According to reliable information Shaikh ’Ali bin
•Abdullah, elder son of the Ruler, left for pilgrimage about
five reeks ago. He took with him six female and ten male slaves.
At the time lie left, he did not make up his mind wliat to do
with these slaves. It is certain however that he would eitx*er
present them to H.M. King Bin Sa f ud and his relatives or sell them.
Hasir bin Jasim al Thani, half brother of the Ruler
of Qatar, who has been living in Hasa for the last ten years, is
reported to h&ve purciiased a female slave from his orotLor
Mohammad for Rs. 1500/- He was asked by a friend in Hasa to buy
her for him. He also purciiased three female slaves (on®
old and two young) for Rs. 3500/-. Nothing is known as to what he
intends to do with them.
According to arrangements made with Kuwaiti and other *
merchants, goods consigned to Qatar need not be landed. They pay S
5% as export duty and take new manifests for any port they want. }
Large quantities of plecegoods, cotton raw etc*, arrived and left
Qatar in accordance with the above arrangements. People with whom
’Abdullah bin Darwish has direct trade connections are reported to
have been given blank manifests which they could iilx in an tney
desired without even calling at Qatar.
Rice . The price has been fixed by Shaikh Hamad at
Rs. 150/-. Most of the rice is being exported to Qatif in return
for which they export dates. ’Abdullah bin Darwish is doing the
sale for Humad. Yuusf Ibrahim Jaida and Hajji Nasrullah are also
selling rice at this price but Hamad is reported to be getting
a share in the profit.
Su*rar . Before the reduction. Hamad used to take 50 bags
for the Shaikh’s use but he reduced this to 25 bags. The
inhabitants are being given one pound per month. The Shaikh does
not consume more than three bags* The rest are being exported to
Kuwait or Persia. Shaikh Hamad is also smuggling sugar from Hasa.
PiGCQ^oods * Only the black and grey inferior qualities
were being distributed among the inhabitants at a fair price. The
rest and best is being either exported or given to shop-keepers for
sale at very high prices at Doha. Piecegoods are also smuggled
from Sa’udi Arabia into Qatar. About a v/eek ago a Persian shop
keeper by name Ibrahim Hasah imported from Kuwait 200 pieces for
sale in Doha. I saw the Kuwait manifest for this consignment.
Grains . The inhabitants are given half barley and half
wheat at Rs. 12/- par maund of 56 lbs. This price has been fixed
by Shaikh Hamad after his recent visit to Bahrain. Pure wheat
cannot be obtained at less than Rs.20/- per maund.

About this item


The volume contains correspondence concerning Qatar affairs, particularly the issues of smuggling, and rationing.

The principal correspondents are the 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. , Bahrain (Tom Hickinbotham); the Head Munshi A secretary or political assistant working in the British administration in the Gulf, often also providing linguistic interpretation. of the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. , Bahrain (Jassim bin Mohamed [Jasim ibn Muhammad Kadmari]); 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. Agent, Sharjah (Abdur Razzaq [Khan Sahib Saiyid ‘Abd al-Razzaq]); the 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. ; and Shaikh Abdullah bin Qasim al Thani, the Ruler of Qatar [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī].

The papers cover: correspondence and reports by British officials concerning the issues of slave trading, arms traffic, and the smuggling of goods at Qatar; the involvement of individual Qataris; the British decision to impose rationing on quota goods (including a discussion paper entitled 'Rationing in Qatar', folio 56); the question of the appointment of a food controller; correspondence on these subjects from Shaikh Abdullah; information on members of the Ruling family (e.g. descriptive chart entitled 'Qatar Ruling Family' on folios 130-131); and some information on general conditions in Qatar.

The Arabic language content of the papers consists of approximately thirty folios of correspondence, mainly between British officials and the Ruler of Qatar.

Extent and format
1 volume (216 folios)

The papers are filed in chronological order from the front to the back of the file, except where enclosures of an earlier date are filed after their relevant covering letter, and terminate in a set of notes (folios 209-215). Circled serial numbers in crayon and ink (red for incoming, blue/black for outgoing correspondence), which occur occasionally in the correspondence, refer to entries in the notes.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 218; 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. An additional foliation sequence is also present in parallel between ff 4-208; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in same position as the main sequence. A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 1/A/5 III ADMINISTRATION. QATAR AFFAIRS.' [‎40r] (84/440), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/2/143, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 October 2019]

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