'Muscat: 1908-1928' [45v] (12/18)
The record is made up of 1 file (9 folios). It was created in 25 Aug 1928. 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.
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* Sir K.(Jroy to
French C. <1 A.,
Sept. 22 191
t P. 522/11.
I P. 929/11.
Pol. Res. to G. of
, July 21 1920,
|| Tel. 1404 S. from
Viceroy to S. of S.
for I., Dec. 9 1920,
P. 8790/20 ; F.O. to
I.O., Sept. 20 1921,
^ Letter 109 S. to
G. of I., Mar 2 1928,
1862, the signatories to which agree reciprocally to respect the independence
of the Sultan. While the agreement concluded by the Sultan with Her
Majesty’s Government in 1891, under which he pledged himself and his
successors never to cede, sell, mortgage or otherwise give for occupation,
save to Her Majesty’s Government, the dominions of Muscat and Oman or
any of their dependencies, represents a substantial departure from the spirit
of the Declaration of 1862, that Declaration remained and remains binding,
and an assurance that His Majesty’s Government recognised it as such was
formally given to France in September 1913.' ::> Its existence, taken with
the existence of the Treaty of 1814, was responsible for the difficulty which
arose with France in connection with the suppression of the arms traffic
between 1910 and 1914, and it is not only clear that it precludes the
establishment by His Majesty’s Government of a formal protectorate over
Muscat, but in view' of the action taken under its terms vis-d-vis France at
Dander Gisseh in 1899, it seems probable that it constitutes a definite
impediment even to the acquisition by His Majesty’s Government of the
lease, e.g. for use as a naval base, of any portion of Muscat territory. This
latter difficulty is of importance at the present time in view r of the revival
by 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. of the proposal for the establishment of a British
naval base at Khassab in the Musandim Peninsula (see paras. 65 to 71
55. It is unnecessary to enter into the history of the efforts made
between 1910 and 1914, in connection with the suppression of the arms
traffic, to secure French concurrence in the abrogation of the Declaration of
1862 and possibly of the Treaty of 1844. Suffice it to say that it proved
impracticable to arrive at an agreement which could be confined to Muscat,
or even to Muscat and the French possessions in India! ; that France w r as
not prepared to cede her rights in return for territorial acquisitions in India
alonej ; that the Government of India were reluctant to agree to any cession
of Indian territory, save in return for a corresponding acquisition of French
territory in India (Chandernagore and the Loges) ; and that proposals of
compensation in other parts of the world by the cession of Gambia, the
rectification of the Desert Boundary between the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and
French Equatorial Africa, or by the grant to the French Government of
certain concessions in North Africa, came to nothing.
56. The position, therefore, is that French rights persist in their entirety.
On the other hand, for the last 14 years no matter of dispute between the
French Government and His Majesty’s Government has arisen in Muscat;
the Muscat dhows flying the French flag had fallen by 1920 to seven, of which
two only belonged to French subjects§ ; and French interests in the affairs
of the Sultanate has shown a progressive decrease, although a Consulate is
still maintained by France. In 1920-1 the French Government relinquished
the coal depot at Mokalla,!| which had been granted them at the time of the
Bander Gisseh incident of 1899 dealt with in Mr. Parker’s memorandum,
and in 1928 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. ^ stated that he gathered from the French
Consul (at Bushire?) that “ France now takes very little interest in Muscat
and is now considering closing down permanently the Consulate, wdiich has
not been held by any incumbent for some years.”
57. While, however, France may no longer actively concern herself with
Muscat affairs, so long as the engagements referred to in para. 54 remain in
being His Majesty’s Government cannot be regarded as free agents in
respect of Muscat, even though practical control may rest with them and all
external expenditure on the State be financed by them. On a broad view,
the interests of His Majesty’s Government would probably best be served by
the abrogation of both instruments, and it is possible that, at some later
stage, if French interest in Muscat diminishes to vanishing point, the French
Government might be willing to consider the extinction of their rights
as part of an arrangement which would also dispose of the long-standing
question of the French Loges in India itself, wdthout demanding an
unreasonable quid pro quo. But it cannot be overlooked that the 1862
Declaration, inconvenient as it maj 7 be in certain ways to His Majesty’s
Government, is of value as constituting a certain check on designs on Muscat
by other Powers, krom a different standpoint, its existence, taken with that
About this item
Document outlining the administration and history of Muscat from 1908-28. Covering:
- administration – Sultan of Oman succession history; treaty relations; internal administration by Council of Ministers; role of 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. , Muscat; and the responsibility for expenditure;
- 1908 to 4 October 1913: Sultan Faisal – the successful suppression of arms traffic from Muscat;
- internal history of Muscat from the accession of Sultan Taimur, 4 October 1913 to 1928 – conditions for recognition of Sayid Taimur as ruler by His Majesty's Government; inefficiency of internal administration; proposals 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. for active interference in internal affairs by the Government of India and His Majesty's Government; the programme of reform accepted by the Sultan as condition of a loan; the results of the reform and loan; negotiations with Omani tribes; financial situation and the decision to employ a British Financial Advisor;
- relations between the Sultan of Muscat and Oman and the Ibadhi Tribes of Oman – the Oman Rebellion, 1913-21;
- foreign relations of Muscat, 1908-28 – treaty relations with France; relations with the United States of America, Dutch Government, Germany, Persia, and Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd];
- miscellaneous questions – the Muscat Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers). ; proposal for the establishment of a British Naval Base in the Musandim [Musandam] Peninsula; cession of Gwadur; oil in Muscat.
It also includes a summary, lists points referred to in connection with 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. Sub-Committee, and states the view expressed by the Government of India.
Written by John Gilbert Laithwaite of 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. .
- Extent and format
- 1 file (9 folios)
This file consists of a single document.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at f 40, and terminates at f 48, as it is part of a larger physical volume; these numbers are written in pencil, 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. Pagination: the file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.
- Written in
- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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