'File 27/1 Koweit Trade Reports' [101v] (207/522)
The record is made up of 1 volume (257 folios). It was created in 3 Aug 1912-27 Dec 1918. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Marine Stores. The increase of £1,626 in this
item represents cost of stores brought by the Sheikh
of Kuwait for his water-steamer.
Piece-goods. Show a decrease of £28,364
which is attributed to poverty of the people conse
quent on a bad pearl season and scarcity of rain.
Rice. In 1912-1913 the yearly supply of rice
was not received in time for inclusion in the figures
for that year, and the increase of £34,646 in the
current year is due to this fact.
Specie. Shows a falling off of £106,160 which
is due to the failure of the pearl season and the |
dullness of the pearl market owing to which pearls
Wheat Flour. Shows an increase of £2,364.
Indian flour is now being imported in larger
quantities than formerly. The poorer classes are
said to prefer it to flour made locally by hand-mills
which is moreover more expensive.
IMPORTS BY BUGGALOWS.
Barley, Owing to scarcity of grazing and
fodder a large supply of barley was imported for
the use of camels, etc., and the increase of £9,400
here is due to this cause.
Dates Wet. The reason assigned for a decrease
of £4,700 under this head is that a lesser quantity
was imported, there being few purchasers from
the interior during the year under review.
Tobacco. Shows a decrease of £4,333 which
is attributed to the enforced abstention of the
general mass of the people from luxuries owing
to poverty resulting from the bad pearl season.
Water. Increase of £2,933 is said to be due
mainly to increase in the number of Bedouin which
have visited the town during the year.
Elbows for boats. Increase of £4,080 is
said to be due to an increased quantity imported
EXPORTS BY STEAMERS.
Pearls. Show a decrease of £20,633 which is
due to the failure already mentioned.
Specie. Shows a falling off of £7,124 which
is due to the general set-back in the imports.
EXPORTS BY BUGGALOWS.
Astrakhans. Increase of £4,043 is probab
ly due to increased slaughter of lambs for want of
grazing and fodder.
Ghi. Shows an increase of £8,460. Larger
quantities than usual appear to have come in from
Hail and Nejd.
Rice. Shows a falling off of £2,333. Owing
to the late arrival of the rice for Kuwait already
referred to, a lesser quantity is said to have been
Shipping and Navigation. The port is served
by the British India Steam Navigation Companies’
Steamers weekly from Bombay and fortuightly from
Basrah. The vessels of the “ Arab Steamers Ltd. ”
and the now 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. Steam Navigation Com
pany also call occasionally on their outward and
The harbour is well buoyed and besides the exis
ting beacon On the Ras-al-Arz promontory another
has recently been erected under the orders of the
Government of India on Kubbar Island some 30
miles South East of Kuwait town as an aid to Navi
gation. Its height is 30 feet above the water and
it is visible from about 11 miles distance.
The number of steam and sailing vessels that
entered and cleared the port during the year is
giveu in the attached shipping returns.
POPULATION AND INDUSTRIES: PUBLIC
The population of Kuwait is estimated at about
50,000 souls but the town is visited for trading
purposes by a large number of Bedouin and people
from all parts of Nejd. The only two important
local industries are pearlfiahing and boat-building
and the prosperity of the people depends almost
entirely on the former. About 42 pearling and
cargo boats were built during the year at an estimat
ed value or £10,000 as against 120 boats of an
approximate value of £^6,700 in 1912-1913. These
figures have not been included in the trade statis
The public health of the port has been very
good throughout the year and no disease has occur
red in epidemic form with the exception of small-pox
which was prevalent in October and November 1913.
Customs Administration- The Sheikh’s Cus
toms are superintended by an Arab Director, native of
Kuwait. Tbe management seems to work very satis
factorily and no complaints have reached the Political
Agent during the ytar under review of any attempts
to recover enhanced duty or any other illegal tax
from British subjects and others. The landing
arrangements also rest with the Customs Depart
ment and they are as satisfactory as could be desired,
though the scale of charges appears to be rather high
as compared with those at other Gulf Ports. The
high cost of living and the dearness of labour
accounts for this. The Sheikh is said to have order
ed hand power cranes for shipping and landing heavy
packages at the Customs wharves, but they have not
yet arrived. No complaints or difficulties arising from
pilferage between ship and shore have occurred
during the year which is satisfactory in view of the
large amount of trouble experienced at other Gulf
Ports from this cause. The Customs premises have
recently been considerably enlarged by reclamation
and the addition of new sheds. They are capable
now of accommodating thousands of packages with
out exposing them to risk of any kind.
About this item
This volume primarily concerns the preparation and submission of annual trade reports. Most of the volume consists of copies of trade reports for Kuwait (for each financial year from 1912-1913 up to and including 1916-1917), which are submitted 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. , Kuwait (Captain William Henry Irvine Shakespear; Lieutenant-Colonel William George Grey; Major Robert Edward Archibald Hamilton). Imports include arms and ammunition, rice, specie [coins], and sugar; exports include pearls, specie and tea. Each report records the total value (initially in rupees but later in sterling) of the trade for the year and discusses in detail the increase and decrease in trade of specific goods. Further items of discussion in later reports include public health, shipping and navigation, and transport.
Each report also includes in its tables of statistics the corresponding data (i.e. quantities and values of goods) for the two preceding financial years, as well as the countries from/to which the principal articles were imported/exported. The rear of the volume contains some trade statistics for the financial year of 1917-1918.
In addition to trade reports, the volume includes correspondence between 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. and the British Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. at Bushire regarding occurrences of 'double entry' in the shipping returns of 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. ports. 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. is instructed to include in his returns only those vessels that either bring cargo to Kuwait from outside the Gulf or depart with cargo taken from Kuwait which is destined for somewhere outside the Gulf.
Also included are the following:
- a letter, dated 22 July 1913, from the Foreign Office to 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. , Kuwait, informing him that his trade report for the year 1912-1913 will not be published at present because of political reasons;
- a request, dated 20 January 1917, from the Chief Political Officer, Basrah (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Zachariah Cox), for 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. to provide information regarding British and foreign trade at Kuwait, in order to assist a commission that has been appointed to enquire into the condition of British trade with Mesopotamia and the Gulf ports (the file includes a copy of instructions for the commission).
The Arabic material in this volume consists of three items of correspondence.
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (257 folios)
The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the volume.
- 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 259; 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. Additional foliation sequences are also present in parallel between ff 3-258; these numbers are also written in pencil, are sometimes crossed out, but are not circled. 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 View the complete information for this record
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- 'File 27/1 Koweit Trade Reports'
- front, back, spine, edge, head, tail, front-i, 2r:55v, 58r:203v, 208r:258v, back-i
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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