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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎194v] (393/416)

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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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2
ourselves open to the suspicion that we were encouraging the Sheikh to free himself from
allegiance to the Persian Government, by our acquiring concrete vested interests in the
prosperity and development of Arabistan, supposing always that the soundness of anv
agricultural scheme were adequately demonstrated.
It is this general aspect of the possibilities indicated by Lieutenant Lorimer’s reports
that I would respectively invite your Excellency’s attention, apart from the consideration r
on their merits of the several projects now ventilated, and which it would be undesirable
to see handled by non-British agencies. 1 ,
5. A copy of this despatch is being forwarded to the Foreign Department of the
Government of India.
I have, &c.
(Signed) P. Z. COX.
In closure 2 in Xo. 1.
Vice-Consul Larimer to Major Cox.
(No. 25.)
(Confidential.) July 2, 1904.
I HAVE the honour to recur to a question raised in my despatch, dated the 21st
June, 1904, namely, the relations of the British Government and the Sheikh of
Mohammerah. The present form in which the subject invites attention is that of
financial assistance.
I learned first that the Sheikh had been making obscure references through
confidential employes of Messrs. Lynch to two or three schemes, for the furtherance of
which he would be glad to receive aid from our Government.
These schemes are :—
1 . 1 he irrigation of part of Arabistan by five or six steam-pump barges placed on the
Karun below Ahwaz.
2 . The construction of irrigation works on the rapids at Ahwaz on the site of the old
“ Band.”
3. The purchase of certain land from the Nizam-us-Sultaneh.
Shortly afterwards he called on me, and I was able to talk of the first scheme, which
is public knowledge, and to approach the subject of the second.
I he third I did not care to introduce.
The Sheikh is an impossible man to get any expression of opinion from when Haji
Pais, his counsellor, is not present.
He ventured, however, to commit himself so far as to give me to understand that
under certain circumstances he would not be averse to receiving financial help from the
British Government in connection with the first and second schemes.
Later I had a private interview with Haji Rais-ut-Tujar on the same subject. He
put the matter in this form that I should on my own account invite the opinion of
Government on the matter as though the conception were entirely my own, and had not
emanated from or been discussed with the Sheikh. If the answer were favourable, he
(Haji Rais) would undertake to work the Sheikh into a favourable frame of mind.
I shall proceed to give some explanation of the schemes.
No. 1 . The Sheikh has for some time, it appears, entertained this notion. How it
was suggested to his mind I do not know. A certain Mr. Blunsum, of the Bussorah
Iradmg Company, has been here prospecting for the last six weeks. On his first arrival
at Mohammerah he conceived the same idea, and was very surprised to learn that he had
been forestalled in it by the Sheikh. He came up across country and examined the land
and nvei ban.v.^ He then interviewed the Sheikh, and has been authorized (I have it only
from himself in confidence) to make inquiries in England and furnish estimates.
Hr. Blunsum would, of course, like to secure the working of the scheme if feasible for
us own Company, but I am sure the Sheikh would not part with its control. In this
case Mr. Blunsum says that his firm would be prepared to give all necessary assistance,
asking, in return, a preference in the purchase of the produce^of the land irrigated.
1 he Sheikh is, I believe, prepared to spend 15,000/. or 20,0001. on this scheme. If
the expense proved greater, I understand him to imply that he would accept our help,
eisonalh, 1 believe that he would do so, if it were proposed, in any case.

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Content

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)
Arrangement

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.' [‎194v] (393/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030522024.0x0000c2> [accessed 24 June 2024]

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