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'The Trucial Chiefs, 1908-28' [‎54v] (4/8)

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The record is made up of 1 file (4 folios). It was created in 4 Oct 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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... c i. n+a offoir^ wliioh mififlit never arise. Should a more
(tefiaHe* assertion be called for by subsequent developments that assertion
■Wd be made and enforced on the basis of our exrsting positron
and sea power.” As to the air route, they regarded its establishment .1 ong
?he Arab littoral, should a decision to this end be reached as both possible
and advisable without any alteration in “our old and well- ned Gull policy
They added that the mere presence of an aerodrome would, to some extent,
afford a visible guarantee of British protection, but indicated hat some
subsidy to the Sheikhs in whose territories the aerodromes would he 01 o\er
: wrmltl nrnhahlv be necessary.
* Pol. Res. to G. of I.
July 20 1928,
P. 4718.
f Tel. from Pol.
Res. to G. of I.,
June 12 1928,
P. 3077.
The reassertion of Persian Authority 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. .
16 It is only in the last two years that Persia has commenced to adopt
an active policy in.the Gulf. The result of the adoption of that policy has
been to bring her into conflict on certain points with ti e I racial L hiels and
their interests. The Trucial settlements on the south Persian coast, the
occupation of Henjam for so many years by Fracial Arabs, the J racial
ownership of the islands of Tamb, Little Tamb, Abu Musa and Sirn the
title to which of the Sheikhs of Shargah and Uas-al-Khaima is contested by
Persia, have all afforded grounds of friction.
17. The three most important incidents which have arisen are the
expulsion by Persia of the Sheikh of Henjam in May 192S, the airest in
.Inly 1928 of a Trucial dhow plying between Dabai and Khassab, which
raised the question of the status of Tamb, and—a direct consequence of the
last-named incident—the questioning by Persia of the independence of the
Trucial owners of Tamb.
18. The history of the expulsion of the Sheikh of Henjam is given in
paras. 28 to 34 of the Memorandum on llenjam on page Q. The incident
was one the disposal of which would, in all probability, have presented
relatively little difficulty, had it been possible to localise it But the Sheikh
of Henjam is the father-in-law of the Trucial Sheikh of Bahai; and he and
his people are by race Jowasimi Arabs, who claim never to have accepted
Persian nationality, and who maintain very close relations with their fellow
tribesmen on the north Arabian shore.As a result, disturbances in
flenjam react immediately on feeling on the Trucial ('oast, and in the
present instance the effect of the expulsion of the Sheikh was, according to
the Senior Naval Officer, so greatly to excite the Trucial Arabs that they
had stated that were it not for “the British action and our gunboats, they
would come in thousands, seize Kishm Island and Hen am, and kill every
Persian on the islands.”! Representations in the strongest terms were
made to the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Agent and 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. , and Sir Lionel
Haworth reported that he had been informed by the brother of the Sheikh
of Dabai, whom he describes as one of the most level-headed and sensible
chiefs on the Tmcial Coast, that “ if we did nothing to help them, they were
prepared to tear up our treaties, much as they liked them, have done with
our air route and kill all Persian officials they could and massacre all
Persians on the Arab coast.”
X 1.0. to F.O.,
June 23 1928,
P. 3178.
Tol. from Viceroy.
1877 S., Sept. 18
1928, 1\ 5116.
C.O. to 1.0 , Sept. 27
1928, P. 5274.
1J. As will be seen from the Memorandum on Henjam, it was agreed,
in the early stages of this incident, that the intervention of His Majesty’s
(government at lehran on behalf of the Sheikh would do more harm than
good.! The strength of feeling aroused on the Arab littoral, and the danger-
emphasised by the Political Resident—that the Trucial Arabs might have
recourse to Ibn Saud should His Majesty’s Government, while failino-
!i cT -fv t V“ te , rv . ene effectively on behalf of the Sheikh, refuse to allow
the feneikh or Dabai to approach the Persian Government regarding him
hay 0 since, however, led the Government of India to modify their”view’
Attention has also been drawn by the Colonial Office to the difficulties which
uo a Id arise were the Tmcial Arabs to become supporters of Ibn Sand, and
iihile for the moment the return of the Sheikh to Henjam at the invitation
of the Persian Government gives hope that a satisfactory solution of the
incident may be found, reconsideration of the decision of His Majesty's
Government not to intervene, with Persia may be called for should this

About this item


Memorandum providing an overview of the external developments which took place in the Trucial States, covering 1908-28, and how problems presented by the States stand at the time of writing.


  • introduction – to the memorandum itself; Trucial Chiefs; administration; responsibility of political control by the Government of India; and political expenditure;
  • internal History, 1908-28 – noting it is not to be repeated in this memorandum, but does include a section on an agreement concerning oil concessions;
  • external developments affecting the Trucial Sheikhs, 1908-28 – the rise of Ibn Saud [‘Abd al-‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Raḥmān bin Fayṣal Āl Sa‘ūd] and activity of the Wahabis [Wahhabis]; the reassertion of Persian authority 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. , particularly Henjam; and Persia challenging the independence of Trucial Chiefs, particularly Tamb;

It includes a summary detailing the problem of Ibn Saud and the Wahabi [Wahhabi] movement, the question of an Imperial air route along the north Arabian coast, and the importance of British influence in the Gulf. A list of 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 the view expressed by the Government of India are also given.

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 (4 folios)

This file consists of a single memorandum.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at f 53, and terminates at f 56, 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
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'The Trucial Chiefs, 1908-28' [‎54v] (4/8), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B403, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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