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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎155r] (314/416)

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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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jThis Document is the Property of His Britannic Majesty’s Government.]
[March 18.J
Section 1
No. 1 .
Supplementary Memorandum respecting British Interests in the Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
[See Confidential Paper No. 9161.]
I. The Arms Traffic
II. Quarantine
III. Question of British Consular Representation in El Hasa and Katif
IV. Mohammerah .. .. ..
.. 14
I .—The Arms Traffic.
(Communicated by 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. .)
THE position in regard to the arms traffic on the various sections of the Persian
Gulf littoral is briefly as follows :—
1 . Muscat .—Muscat has for many years been an emporium for the arms traffic,
and the trade has now attained to such dimensions that in 1906-7 the total value of
the imports of arms and ammunition amounted to 112,338/. The situation is
governed by the fact that the Sultan of Muscat has Commercial Treaties with Prance,
Holland, and the LFnited States, under the terms of which it would be impossible for
him to impose special restrictions on the importation of arms and ammunition into his
dominions without the consent of the Powers in question.
The result is that arms flow freely into Muscat, and are thence distributed
throughout Persia, Arabia, and Afghanistan. Prom the last-named country a con
siderable proportion of the arms find their way to the tribesmen of the Indian North-
W est Frontier, with results which have been described by the Government of India
as “ constituting a grave menace to the peace of the border.” To such an alarming
extent has this process been going on that in February 1907 the Government of Govern-
India estimated that out of the 270,000 men belonging to the frontier tribes no less
than 94,000 possessed breech-loading rifled arms.
The view is pretty generally held that, until Muscat is closed to the importation February
of arms it will be impossible to place any effective check on the export trade by 21, 1907.
native dhows to other ports on the Gulf littoral.
1 he total number of rifles imported from Great Britain into Muscat reached
13,831 in the year 1900. During the two following years there was a marked decline,
but in 1904-5 the total number of imported rifles was believed to be not less than
20,000. Piecent figures point to a still more remarkable increase, and the custom
house returns show that, during the quarter ending the 30th September, 1907, some 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.
10,000 rifles and 7,000,000 cartridges were shipped from the United Kingdom to to Foreign
Muscat. Besides the imports from this country there is known to he a considerable
trade with the port of Marseilles. The Government of India calculated in February 26, 1907 .
1907 that, whereas in 1899-1900 only about one-seventh of the imports were from
France, by 1905 the proportion of French arms had risen to two-fifths. M. Goguyer,
a local French merchant, who has from time to time lent large sums of money to the
Sultan, is known to he deeply involved in the arms traffic. Another French merchant,
M. Caraealla, was reported in July 1906 to have arrived at Muscat, with the apparent
intention of taking part in the trade. In the returns for 1906-7 Belgium appears
[2878 5—1]

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.' [‎155r] (314/416), 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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