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'B. 56. Confidential 86/14 - v. BAHRAIN UNALLOTED AREA.' [‎78r] (160/510)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (251 folios). It was created in 14 Feb 1939-2 Aug 1939. 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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in one handwriting, unsupported by thumb impressions or seals
of the alleged signatories. Nor is any description of the
alleged signatories given, their place of residence or reason
for having special knowledge of the Hawar Islands. There is
no suggestion that they are residents, whether temporary or
permanent, of Hawar — and indeed there could not be; and
to be brief, their testimony is to my mind entirely valueless.
4. A claim for sovereignty based merely on geographical
contiguity is, as I understand it, of little practical value
save possibly in respect of an unoccupied area of land or an
island lying contiguous to or in the territorial waters of the
State raising the claim. Were this not so an equally valid
claim to the whole of the Qatar Peninsula might presumably be
raised by the Saudi Government l In the particular case of the
Hawar Islands, or at least of the main Hawar Island, there is
sufficient evidence to show that they have been occupied, whe
ther temporarily or permanently, for the past 150 odd years.
It follows therefore that the fullest consideration must be
given to the circumstances attending that occupation, to the
nationality of the occupants, the authority they recognise
and to evidence of the exercise of direct jurisdiction over
them; while geographical propinquity cannot be held by itself
to raise any special presumption favourable to Qatar. This I
believe to be correct even though at low springs it is possible
(as I am informed though I have not verified this by experiment)
to wade from the Qatar mainland to a certain point on the main
Hawar Island in about three feet of water.
5. The bare assertion of sovereignty made by the Shaikh of
Qatar must be devoid of value in the absence of corroboratory
evidence. The only evidence offered in this dispute is that
produced by the Bahrain Government, which the Shaikh of Qatar
in his rejoinder attempts to show to be either false or in
capable of bearing the construction put upon it by the Bahrain
Government. /■

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Content

The volume comprises correspondence between 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. (Trenchard Craven Fowle), 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 (Hugh Weightman), 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. (Roland Tennyson Peel, John Percival Gibson), the Secretary to the Government of India, External Affairs Department (Sir Aubrey Metcalfe), the Shaikh of Bahrain (Shaikh Ḥamad bin ‘Īsá Āl Khalīfah), Bahrain Petroleum Company (Hamilton R Ballantyne, Fred A Davies, Max W Thornburg), and Petroleum Concessions Limited (Frank Holmes, John Skliros) regarding the Shaikh of Bahrain’s proposal to grant a concession for the whole of the unallotted area, including the Hawar Islands, to the Bahrain Petroleum Company and His Majesty’s Government’s approval of the proposal.

Following on from the approval of the proposal to grant a concession to the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) the correspondence focuses on discussion around the proposed agreement, to take the form of a deed of modification to BAPCO’s 1934 lease and the political agreement which would accompany the concession. The main areas of discussion including the definition of the area the concession would cover, and the need to include a pre-emption clause in the political agreement. Copies, in Arabic and English, of the draft deed of modification (ff 146-161, 170-180, 218-227) and draft political agreement (ff 133-139) are included in the volume.

Also discussed in the volume is the conclusion of the sovereignty question relating to the Hawar Islands following the submission by the Shaikh of Qatar (Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī) of a response to the counter-claims made by the Shaikh of Bahrain. On reviewing both claims and supporting evidence His Majesty’s Government's final decision was that islands belonged to Bahrain and not Qatar.

Also included in the volume are copies of draft concession agreements put forward by Petroleum Concessions Limited including one for the Hawar Islands (ff 8-26) and one for the waters and islands of Bahrain, described as the shoal area (ff 44-65).

A series of file notes which were maintained as a record of the correspondence in the volume can be found at folios 242-248

Extent and format
1 volume (251 folios)
Arrangement

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

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 253; 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 present in parallel between ff 6-241; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled, and are located in the 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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'B. 56. Confidential 86/14 - v. BAHRAIN UNALLOTED AREA.' [‎78r] (160/510), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/692, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100028055899.0x0000a1> [accessed 19 October 2019]

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