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File 3208/1908 Pt 4 ‘Persian Gulf: acts of piracy by Ahmed bin Selman near Katif [Turkish discourtesy to commander of HMS “Lapwing” at Katif]’ [‎87r] (169/358)

The record is made up of 178 folios. It was created in 9 Mar 1901-12 Aug 1908. 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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[This Docnment is the Property of His Britannic Majesty’s Government . !
[July 16.]
Section 3.
/A?,
7 ?/<r
(?V.
iV. O’Conor to Sir Edward Grey.—{Received July 16.)
(No. 471. Secret. Confidential.) ^ )
,, TTrTTrT „ ^ Therapia, July 10, 1906.
WllH reference to my despatch No. 843 of the 27th November last, I have the
honour to report that I learnt through a secret and confidential source that the Ottoman
Ministry of M ai has lately received despatches from Moustafa Hilmi Bey, Commandant
of Nejd, calling attention to the visits of British ships of war to the Katr Coast. Hilmi
Bey refers to a previous report sent in October last, in which he announced the arrival
of His Majesty’s ship “ Sphinx ” at Ojeir and Katif with the British Consul (sic) at
Bahrein on board, and their meeting with the Kaimakam of Katif, and to a later
despatch of March of this year, in which he had reported that the “ Consul ” had again
come in a ship to the Katr Coast, and on certain pretences had taken with him certain
Sheikhs, and had used threats to Ottoman subjects, and was endeavouring to disturb
the minds of the population.
The Commandant has forwarded a letter from Major Nimet Effendi of the
drd Battalion of the 43rd Regiment at Katr, of which the following is a translation :—
“ On Thursday morning at one o’clock (Turkish) the 28th instant, o.s. (presumably
May), a two-funnelled British steamer arrived and anchored ten minutes’ distance out.
An officer was sent to make inquiries, but at the same time the steamer’s boat come to
the shore with the Naibs of Bushire and Bahrein, the captain and a dragoman. On
being asked why they had come they replied that they had business with Sheikh
Abdullah. They were requested to address themselves to me, and after they had
rested a little we discussed matters. They said they had been the day before to
Sheikh Jasim-eth-Thani and had the intention of touching at other places on the coast,
their object being to warn the Sheikhs to put down the piratical acts of Ahmed-es-
Selman. We conversed in suitable language, and I pointed out to them that it was not
proper that they should come without orders, and that in such matters they should have
consulted the A r ali and act according to his instructions ; they then returned to the
steamer, which left. From the inquiries which I made, both open and secret, it appears
that their object was to force the Sheikhs to put down these piracies or else to give
them a document stating that they were powerless to do so, which would be undesirable,
as your Excellency will admit.”
Moustafa Hilmi Bey confirming the statements of Major Nimet Effendi states that
it is essential that the persons arrested on account of Ahmed-es-Selman’s piracies
should be punished so as to afford no scope for such intervention. Bin Na-zra and the
negro, Salim, two of the pirate’s companions had been arrested at Katif, but though
Salim avowed his guilt, as proved by the papers sent to the Mutessarif, the latter
ordered him to be released. The Commandant of Nejd further complains that the
Mutessarif has given no effect to his request for the despatch of the Turkish gun-boat
“ Kilid-el-Bahr ” to patrol the coast so as to deprive the English of their excuse for
interfering, and he concludes his report by again requesting instructions as to how he
is to act with regard to such foreigners who arrive on the coast.
1 think it is probable that the somewhat vague complaints made to you by the
Turkish Ambassador on the 14th ultimo, as reported in your despatch No. 250
of the 21st ultimo, relative to certain alleged proceedings of the British Agent at
Bahrein may have been based upon the reports received by the Sublime Porte from the
Turkish military 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. , respecting the visits of His Majesty’s
ships to the coast between Bahrein and Koweit, of which the despatches whicli I have
quoted above from the Commandant of Nejd and the Major commanding the troops at
Katr may be taken as specimens.
I have, &c.
(Signed) N. R. O’CONOR,
ARABIA.
CONFIDENTIAL.
[23973]
No. 1.
[2062 q—S]

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Part 4 contains correspondence relating to attacks against Bahrain pearling dhows, committed by members of the Beni Hajir tribe and led by an individual named Ahmed bin Selman, in the waters around Bahrain and the Turkish administered territories of Katif [Al-Qaṭīf] and El Katr [Qatar]. The part’s principal correspondents include: 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 (John Calcott Gaskin; Captain Francis Beville Prideaux); 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. (Major Percy Zachariah Cox); the British Ambassador at Constantinople [Istanbul] (Sir Walter Beaupre Townley); the Ambassador to the Court of the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire (Sir Nicholas Roderick O’Conor).

The correspondence covers:

Extent and format
178 folios
Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3208/1908 Pt 4 ‘Persian Gulf: acts of piracy by Ahmed bin Selman near Katif [Turkish discourtesy to commander of HMS “Lapwing” at Katif]’ [‎87r] (169/358), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/156/2, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100028917964.0x0000b3> [accessed 23 October 2019]

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