'The Trucial Chiefs, 1908-28' [55v] (6/8)
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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* Letter from P.A.,
Bahrein, to Pol. Rea.,
April 14 1927
24. The extension to the coast of the authority of Ibn Sand and the
influence of the Wahabi movement, 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. , and the question of an Imperial air route along the north
Arabian coast, have combined to invest the Trucial Sheikhdoms with a new
importance. If the air route is to materialise ; if Ilis Majesty’s Government,. ®
in the light of the report of 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, remain of the
opinion that the maintenance of British influence in the Gulf is a matter of
paramount importance, alike from the Imperial and from the Indian
standpoint; and if they are no longer.to enjoy on the south Persian coast the
privileged position which they have enjoyed in the past ; then the consoli
dation of their influence on the north Arabian shore is a matter of verv
much greater and more definite importance than at any earlier period.
25. If, however, that influence is to be maintained and consolidated, the
fact that the Trucial Chiefs are guaranteed (even though to an extent
difficult precisely to define) the protection of ilis Majesty’s Government,
and are forbidden to communicate with outside Powers or to receive their
representatives, necessitates a clear understanding as to the extent to which
Bis Majesty’s Government are in a position and are prepared to defend their
interests, whether against Persia or against Ibn Sand.
26. Of the two, Persia presents the less serious problem. Even should
she seriously put forward claims to suzerainty on the Arab coast, she is not,,
as matters stand, in a position to enforce them, nor could His Majesty’s
Government acquiesce in her pursuit of an active policy of aggression on
the north Arabian coast, any more than in those Trucial islands in the Gulf
which they have recognised as vested in the Trucial Chiefs, 'without resiling
from the policy which they have hitherto consistently pursued. Moreover,
the Trucial Sheikhs and their tribesmen are bound to Persia by ties neither
of race nor of religion, while the north Arabian shore (as distinct from the
Trucial islands, certain of which appear to contain valuable mineral deposits)
offers no commercial or pecuniary reward to justify an active Persian
27. Ibn Saud, and the Wahabi movement of which he is the representative,
constitute a much more serious problem. In the first place, in the words
of Sheikh Hamad of Bahrein, Ibn Saud is “the one big Arab ruler, and it is
natural for all the smaller Arab Sheikhs ... to look up to him and try to
please him Historically, he has claims of standing to a predominant
influence on the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. , and geographically his extension to that
coast would, but for the presence of His Majesty’s Government, be a natural
process. The special tenets of the Wahabi creed are familiar to the Trucial
tribesmen; certain at any rate of the Trucial Sheikhdoms are traditionally
strongly Wahabi in outlook; while racially the Trucial Arabs and the
W ahabis of the interior descend from common stocks.
28. It is clear that in these circumstances the problem of preventing the
absorption of the Trucial Sheikhdoms by Ibn Saud or their gradual
penetration by Wahabi influence is one of great difficulty, the more so in
view of the known Wahabi sentiments of certain of the Trucial Sheikhs.
The danger of possible military aggression by the King of the Hejaz and of
Nejd may be discounted so long as his general relations with Ilis Majesty’s
Government remain friendly, and the Government of India have already
expressed the view (see para. 15 above) that they are justified, in the light
of past history, in relying for security against the danger of Wahabi
encroachments on the treaty engagements into which Ibn Saud has entered
with His Majesty’s Government. But while this is true of an aggressive
military policy, it appears almost impossible for His Majesty’s Government
effectively to prevent the penetration by peaceful means of the Frucial
States by Ibn Saud and his adherents —a process the more difficult to combat
for the reasons given in the preceding paragraph.
^ 29. As matters stand, the most that it appears possible for His Majesty s
Government usefully to do is to arrange for the showing of the flag by His
Majesty s ships along the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. , possibly to a greater extent even
than at present; to construe in a strict sense the undertakings given by
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.
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