File 3208/1908 Pt 2 ‘Persian Gulf: Fuwairat piracy case’ [4v] (6/60)
The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 1909-1912. 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.
5. I have directed the
The (usually Arab) captain or master of a local boat.
to bring evidence as to the amount and
value of the cargo, and as to fact that no assistance in salving was rendered by
the people of Fuwairat.
6. It will be within your recollection that a somewhat similar case arose at
Fuwairat in or about September 1909, which was referred to you by Captain
Mackenzie in his letter No. 634, dated 2nd October 1909.
Some correspondence with Government ensued, and the decision of His
Majesty’s Government was received in a letter No. 693 E. A., dated 31st March
1910, from the Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department
to 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. His Majesty’s Government
considered that the wrecking of the Persian boat in question had not been
clearly established ; and that retaliatory action on shore in Qatar was inexpedi
ent in view of the Porte’s claims to sovereignty in that region.
Action at sea was similarly negatived at a later date —vide the letter from
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. to the Foreign Office, dated 3rd September 1910, forwarded
under your No. 2774, dated 15th October 1910.
The matter was accordingly dropped.
7. I am in ignorance as to whether the relations at present existing between
the British Government and the Porte would make the former more ready, or
less ready, to assert its right to direct interference in the distirct of Qatar.
From the local point of view it is most undesirable that a second case of
this sort should be allowed to pass unnoticed, or rather undecided, Nasir-ut
Tuwar and others like him will not be slow to draw the conclusions that they are
free to act towards the subjects and protegds of the British Government as they
like with entire impunity ; and no foreign boat or foreigner coming to Fuwairat
and similar ports will be safe.
8. In writing as I have done to Shaikh Jasim bin Thani, I have tried to
reserve the right to take such action as we see good without at the same time
committing ourselves to take any action at all.
It is an act of courtesy to write to him as a professed friend and the principal
authority in Qatar, but it is unlikely to have any very definite result. He will
probably repudiate any authority and power to control Nasir, which will leave the
field free to us and the Turks. On the other hand, I believe, he quite recently
temporarily imprisoned Nasir and fined him, and he may be glad of a further
excuse for dealing a blow at him I do not propose to communicate with Nasir-
ut-Tuwar except on instructions from you.
Statement of Nakhuda The (usually Arab) captain or master of a local boat. Muhammad Musa bin Ismail of Hdfun ) dated 25th
July igi2 I
I started from Hafun with cargo of w r ood in my sambnk. Besides myself
there were 33 khalasis. We could not sell our cargo in Aden or Maskat and
therefore proceeded to the Arab Coast. We took in a pilot from Maskat. We
reached Fuwairat on the 22nd Rajab 1330. The pilot told us it was Bahrein.
We anchored, but it being very stormy, the anchor broke and the sambuk ran
ashore and was damaged seriously. IVe landed the cargo ashore and wanted to
sell it. The Fidawis of Nasir Tuwar told us not to sell anything without taking
permission fr/im the headman Nasir. The said Nasir returned from the sea
after two days. He demanded half the cargo as his right. We refused to give
so much. He threatened us. We were in a helpless condition. Our cargo
was on the shore and sambuk broken and unable to sail. We offered one-fifth
and then one-fourth but Nasir was not satisfied till he seized half of the cargo
The remaining half he took from us for Rs. 1,114. He forced us to take it.
« u r carg 0 consisted of 190 scores of shalman and 500 maunds (of Zanzibar
— 28 lbs. each) fuel. It was worth Rs. 6,000 according to Bahrein market,
t hen we were forced to sign a paper that we had no claim or complaint against
iNasir. When I refused to sign it, Nasir imprisoned three of my crew. I then
About this item
Correspondence relating to an incident taking place at Fuwairat, Qatar, in October 1909, in which a Persian vessel bound for Bahrain carrying a cargo of goats and firewood, was alleged by its nakhuda The (usually Arab) captain or master of a local boat. to have been deliberately scuppered on rocks by the inhabitants of Fuwairat, and the cargo then sold at Fuwairat at prices below their Bahrain market value.
Correspondence from 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. at Bahrain (Captain Charles Fraser Mackenzie) details his attempts to substantiate the claim, estimate the financial loss suffered by the nakuda, and set the extent of the fine to be charged against the inhabitants of Fuwairah (ff 30-31, ff 26-28). Subsequent correspondence dated 1910, exchanged between Sir Louis Du Pan Mallet of the Foreign Office, and 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. officials, casts doubt on aspects of the case, and also questions whether any action can be taken on the El Katr [Qatar] coast, over which the Ottoman Porte claims sovereignty.
Correspondence relating to a second, similar incident at Fuwairah in 1912, includes renewed discussion of what action should be taken with regard to incidents of ‘piracy’ on the Qatar coast, with a copy of a letter addressed to Shaikh Jasim bin Muhammad bin Thāni [Jāsim bin Muḥammad Āl Thānī] 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. at Bahrain (Captain David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer) (ff 4-5).
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