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File 345/1908 Pt 1 'Mohammerah: situation. British assurances to Sheikh.' [‎195r] (394/416)

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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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f V
1 he practicability of the scheme remains to be proved. The working expenses, more
particularly the supply ot coal, will run into large figures, and the pumps, &c., will require
renewal from time to time.
No. 2 . For the second conception the Sheikh would hardly admit his responsibility.
Fie treated it as a castle in the air. He said that he believed it would cost 500,000/., and
that he would only undertake it on two conditions:—
( 1 .) Financial assistance.
( 2 .) Another.”
By the latter he meant a guarantee of support from the British Government.
The scheme is a very big and difficult one, but it would turn a large part of
Arabistan into a permanent garden, and, granted security, there is scarcely room tor
doubt that it would prove an excellent investment. It would, of course, be necessary to
devise some means of securing its advantages to our own traders.
_ 3. The third scheme refers to a large tract of land on the west bank of the Karun. I
am indebted to Haji Rais for the following particulars :—
The land is the property of the Nizam-us-Sultaneh, and is leased from him by the
Sheikh for 1,500/. per annum.
In Sheikh Mizal’s time, owing to the unruly state of the Arab inhabitants, the
Nizam-us-Sultaneh was very anxious to sell it. Sheikh Mizal, however, did not then
want to purchase, and instead reduced the Arabs to order; and the present arrangement
was come to.
Under the present improved circumstances, the Nizam would ask an impossible or
exorbitant price for it. Haji Rais hinted, however, that a time might come when the
Nizam-us-Sultaneh would be willing to sell. The price might then be brought down to,
perhaps, 30,000/.
Beyond the advantage of increased hold on the Sheikh’s “affections,” 1 do not see
clearly that we would stand to gain anything in helping him in this project. It would, of
course, help towards the consolidation of his power in Arabistan. In seeking financial
aid, 1 do not think that the Sheikh’s ultimate object would be merely money, but rather
an actual or practical guarantee by the British Government.
Inclosure 3 in No. 1 .
Vice-Consul Lorimer to Major Cox.
(No. 34.)
(Confidential.) Ahwaz, July 4, 1904.
I HAVE the honour to recall attention to a remark in paragraph 9 of my No. 17,
dated the 21st June, in which I stated that I thought the Sheikh of Mohammerah was
inclined to hint that we should try and take steps to press the Persian Government to
refund him the expenses he has lately incurred in protecting the “ Shushan ” and the
route of Arabistan.
I now forw'ard inclosed two papers, wffiich were recently handed me by Mr. Wilson,
of Messrs. Lynch Brothers.
The Arabic note was dictated by Haji Rais-ut-Tujar to a confidential Arab clerk in
Messrs. Lynch’s employ.
Whether the paper was intended to come to me I do not know 7 . At any rate, it
must be treated as highly confidential.
For this reason I have not attempted to have the original translation made for
Mr. Wilson revised.
Ttie note was supposed to indicate the form of a letter which Mr. Wilson was to
write to the British Minister.
B 2
[2182 c— 2 ]

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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.' [‎195r] (394/416), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/132, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100030522024.0x0000c3> [accessed 14 June 2024]

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