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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎34r] (72/416)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (203 folios). It was created in 1904-1910. 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic M ajesty's Government.]
. 1 )
’ -t '
'■ / 'Section 3.
No. 1.
Foreign Office to 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. .
! -!2eK^ a
, Foreign Office, March 31, 1910.
I AM directed by Secretary Sir Edward Grey to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 16th ultimo, relative to the further assurances which the Sheikh of
Mohammerah desires to receive from His Majesty’s Government.
I am to inform you in reply that, in view of the considerations adduced by
Viscount Morley, Sir E. Grey concurs in the view that the concession involved in the
mention, in the communication to be made to the sheikh, of a definite period during
which the assurances should hold good may be kept in reserve for the present.
As regards the question of protecting the sheikh from foreign aggression, I am
to state that the proposal to substitute for the iorm of words suggested in my letter of
the 31st ultimo that made use of in the agreement between His Majesty’s Government and
the Ameer of Afghanistan has received careful consideration in this department, in
consultation with His Majesty’s consul-general at Bushire.
I am to state that the earlier formula was adopted, after long reflexion and
exhaustive discussion of the question with Major Cox, because it appeared to be such
as would convince the sheikh of the honest intention of His Majesty’s Government to
do their best to safeguard him, as far as they possibly can, having regard to the
state of local and general politics at the time, while not committing them in all
circumstances to intervention by force of arms.
Sheikh Khazal is, in Sir E. Grey’s belief, wmll aware that circumstances might
arise in which it would be impracticable to give him effective help, and could easily be
made to understand that the assurance, while constituting a pledge of the sincerity of
the intention to afford him all the aid which His Majesty’s Government have it in their
power to lend, is yet given with that qualification.
Sir E. Grey is convinced that the form of words used in the agreement with the
Ameer would fail to satisfy the sheikh, but, on the contrary, would rather tend to excite
his apprehensions, and that, rather than offer it to him, it would be preferable to
endeavour to avoid the question till it is again pressed by him.
In view of the above considerations, in the cogency of which Major Cox entirely
concurs, I am to express the hope that Lord Morley may see his way to withdraw the
objections which he has raised to the adoption of the formula proposed in my letter
above referred to.
In order, however, to remove all possibility of misunderstanding on the sheikh’s
part of the nature and scope of the assurances, Sir E. Grey would suggest that Major
Cox should receive instructions, when communicating to his Excellency the assurances
in writing, to convey to him at the same time a verbal intimation that, while His
Majesty’s Government are perfectly sincere in their intentions towards him and have
therefore given him these assurances, yet circumstances might arise in which it would
be impossible for them to intervene by force on his behalf. In such a case he would,
of course, receive the strongest diplomatic support. Major Cox would record in
writing the substance of the conversation in the course of which this intimation was
made to the sheikh.
I am, &c.
[2668 hh 3]

About this item


The correspondence discusses the situation regarding British assurances to the Sheikh of Mohammerah. The volume includes a description of the Sheikh's perception that, despite his good behaviour towards the British he has not been afforded the support provided to other Arab sheikhs in the Gulf as in Kuwait or Bahrain. Letters include an account of the explanation given to the Sheikh of Mohammerah that Britain recognized Bahrain and Kuwait as independent, in de jure as well as de facto terms; in contrast the British recognized the Shah's sovereignty over Mohammerah.

The correspondence discusses the practicalities of a customs arrangement between the Shah and the Sheikh of Mohammerah mediated by the British. Letters consider the circumstances under which Britain could intervene militarily to protect its interests in the Karun Valley in the event of disorder arising following interference by the Shah.

The correspondence discusses the scope and form of words of the assurance to be given to the Sheikh of Mohammerah and his male descendants, in the event of disorder following from a change in the Persian regime, be it of a royalist, nationalist, or constitutional nature as well as disputes with Bakhtiari khans.

Correspondents include: Shaikh Khazal Khan, Sardar Leader of a tribe or a polity; also refers to a military rank or title given to a commander of an army or division. -i-Afra, the Shaikh of Mohammerah; The Confidential Agent of the Shaikh of Mohammerah; Major Percy Zachariah Cox, Her Majesty's Consul at Bushire; Sir Edward Grey, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Acting Consul of Mohammerah.

Each part includes a divider which gives the subject and part numbers, year the subject file was opened, subject heading, and list of correspondence references contained in that part by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 volume (203 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the volume. The subject 345 (Mohammerah) consists of two volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/132-133. The volumes are divided into two parts, with each part comprising one volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 203; 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.The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the one leading flyleaf.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎34r] (72/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 June 2024]

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