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File 1508/1905 Pt 1 'Bahrain: situation; disurbances (1904-1905); Sheikh Ali's surrender; Question of Administration Reforms (Customs etc)' [‎39r] (82/531)

The record is made up of 1 volume (260 folios). It was created in Nov 1904-Aug 1914. It was written in English and French. 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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No. 74, dated Bushire, the 25tli February (received 13th March) 1906 (Confidential).
From Major P. Z. Cox, C.I.E., 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. ,
To—The Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department.
I have the honour to refer to the Secretary of State’s despatch No. 34-
(Secret), dated 10th November 1905, on the subject of our policy at Bahrein,
forwarded, to me under Foreign Department endorsement No. 4363-E.B. of
30th idem.
2. In that despatch His Majesty’s Government while not deeming it
convenient at present to define in precise terms the position of the Sheikh of
Bahrein towards the Protecting Power, went on to authorise the Government
of India to instruct the Political Authorities 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. to proceed
as proposed in paragraph 6 of the draft which formed Appendix A of letter
No. 178, (Secret,) dated 14th September 1905, from the Government of India
to the Secretary of State.
In the paragraph referred to the Government of India pronounced the
view that the one question on which they felt compelled to offer authoritative
advice was that of Customs reform, and suggested that the best course in the
first instance might be for me to have a frank explanation with the Chief on
the subject.
That explanation I have now had, and it will he seen from the accom
panying memorandum of what passed at a long interview between myself,
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. , Bahrein, and Sheikh Esa, on the 14th instant, that the
latter has once more refused altogether to accept the advice of the Govern
ment of India in this respect, in any form whatever.
3. For speaking plainly to the Sheikh in a friendly way I could hardly
have had a more favourable opportunity than that which I have just used.
I had invited him in the first place to open his mind and express himself
freely to me and had assured him of my desire to help him where possible.
In regard to all five topics, mention of which had preceded that of the Customs
question, I had lent a patient and sympathetic ear and had promised to
represent his wishes or circumstances forthwith, and favourably, to the Gov
ernment of India. One might reasonably have expected that this would have
paved the way for a sensible exchange of views at all events, and an explana
tion of some of the reasons which make the reformation of Sheikh Esa’s
Customs so unpalatable to him. On the contrary he was as dogged and
unbending as he could well be, much as he was last year wiien I first endea
voured to'persuade him to do justice to the injured Persians-an attitude I
would remark which he changed altogether two months later when he at
length realised that we intended to enforce our demands. He would give no
reasons ; he practically would not discuss the question, except to keep repeating
that he had given his answer several times before and that it was the same
now.
4 I do not think I need say much of the past history of our negotiations
in connection with the Bahrein Customs, for the Government of India are
already familiar with it. It was fully gone into m their Despatch No. 85, dated
21st Anril 1904, to His Majesty’s Secretary of State, on the subject of our
representation at Bahrein. Since then
Sheikh Esa has once been formally
approached by 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. ;
uer mu*. further, the subject was pointedly alluded
to in the Ultimatum presented to him last year, and I have now exhaustively
pressed it upon him.
In tact the record shows that since the beginning of 1898 Sheikh Esa, has
been authoritatively approached no less than 9 times in all, by three Residents
and one Viceroy in person; and I am driven unwillingly to the conclusion that
there now remains no reasonable hope that in this particular matter Sheikh
Esa will ever respond to our friendly advice, and that it would he humiliatin D
5363
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. to the
Secretary to the Government of India in the
Foreign Department, No. 422, dated 7th Decem
ber ll>04.

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Content

The volume contains correspondence relating to disturbances in Bahrain and the consequent discussion over administrative changes. The correspondence is mostly between 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 Foreign Office, and the Government of India. Further correspondence, included as enclosures, is from the following:

The disturbances centred around attacks on a German man and several Persians by Shaikh Isa's nephew, Ali bin Ahmed, and his followers in late 1904. The papers within the volume cover several matters related to these attacks:

  • the investigation into the details of the attacks;
  • the discussion over what to do about Ali bin Ahmed and his eventual exile;
  • British naval operations to enforce order;
  • Turkish claims that Shaikh Isa believes himself to be a Turkish subject;
  • the discussion over increased administrative intervention in Bahrain, specifically control of customs.
Extent and format
1 volume (260 folios)
Arrangement

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume.

The subject 1508 (Bahrain) consists of three volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/81-83. The volumes are divided into five parts, with parts 1 and 2 comprising one volume each, and parts 3, 4, and 5 comprising the third volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 262; 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.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 1508/1905 Pt 1 'Bahrain: situation; disurbances (1904-1905); Sheikh Ali's surrender; Question of Administration Reforms (Customs etc)' [‎39r] (82/531), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/81, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100027013012.0x000053> [accessed 20 October 2019]

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