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'Report and Proceedings of the Standing Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence on the Persian Gulf' [‎14v] (33/94)

The record is made up of 1 volume (43 folios). It was created in Nov 1911. It was written in English and French. 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.

Transcription

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Importance
to India of
our position
in the
Persian
Gulf.
SIR EDWARD GREY : If we are to have a Commission at all, I do not see any
objection to admitting other Powers, because the more Powers who come into it and are
represented on the Commission, the less is the special position conceded to anyone.
VISCOUNT MORLEY : Does that not affect the prestige argument Lord
Kitchener and other people have urged ? I am the least of a prestige man in the
world, but I have always thought there was something in it. You will no doubt
completely alter your status in the minds of Indian friends and others if you are not
any longer monopolists and paramount. It may be necessary, but that is another
thing.
VISCOUNT KITCHENER: I do not see any other way out of it.
SIR EDWARD GREY : There is to be a great expansion of commerce going up
to a well-equipped and constructed port of Basra if the communication is kept open.
It is almost impossible to maintain monopoly of control if you have got no territorial
rights.
VISCOUNT KITCHENER : Of course we should have the vast majority of the
trade.
SIR WILLIAM NICHOLSON : The Germans tried to get a great deal of it, but
they failed.
VISCOUNT KITCHENER : We should always have that; we should always see
90 per cent, of the trade coming in British bottoms.
SIR EDWARD GREY : It could be met by claiming representation according to
the tonnage of shipping.
SIR WILLIAM NICPIOLSON : When I was in India, I was chiefly in the
north of India, where they know very little about 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. . In Bombay, and
certainly about Karachi, they take an interest in it, but in the north of India, in
Calcutta, and in the south of India, they have never heard 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. .
VISCOUNT KITCHENER : And you never heard of Italy there.
SIR WILLIAM NICHOLSON : That is so : I mean to say that they do not
know who is 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. , though they may hear that pearls come from the Persian
Gulf. The trade is very small—only about 3 millions counting both ways, and I think
most of it is in the hands of a few Parsis in Bombay. Beyond the Parsis in Bombay
and a few people periiaps in the Deccan, I do not believe if you were to go into the
north of India,, the Punjab, or the north-west Provinces, you would find they know or
care anything about the Gulf.
VISCOUNT KITCHENER : Indeed they do, for they go to Mecca and Medina
on their pilgrimages.
SIR WILLIAM NICHOLSON : They go by the Red Sea to Mecca or Medina;
they do not go through 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. .
SIR EDWARD GREY : I cannot say that the Commission would be necessarily
fatal to our prestige if it is limited to this particular question of keeping the
navigation open.
LORD CURZON : I think I can reply to Sir William Nicholson’s argument in
two senbences. The first is that many people in the Gulf would equally give it as their
opinion that they do not care twopence about Peshawar ; therefore. I am not the
least impressed by what you tell me about Calcutta not being interested in the Persian
Gulf. The second point is the real value of your prestige. When you get to 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. itself you see that it is all-important to us and very directly affects us,
that we should maintain our position. I need not go into the whole question of what
it means if we do not maintain our position, but we should certainly have to increase
our expenditure and augment our naval force and a hundred different things. I do not
think I need^ pursue that. Really, the importance of keeping our position 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. is very great. The point before the Committee is a grave point, whether
that position would be impaired by an International Riverain Commission, sitting, I
imagine, at Basra, in order to control the river between Basra and Eao, with
representatives of the different Powers upon it in proportion to the tonnage of their
shipping going up there.

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Content

The report was printed for the Committee of Imperial Defence, November 1911, and approved on 14 December 1911. It concerns the situation 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. regarding the extent to which Turkish claims aligned with British interests, and engagements already made with the Sheikh of Koweit [Kuwait] and other chiefs.

It includes the following:

  • Report - The Standing Sub-Committee advise on the terminus of the Baghdad Railway, control of the navigation of the Shat-Al-Arab [Shatt al Arab], and the limits of Turkish sovereignty in the Shat-Al-Arab and on the shores of the Gulf.
  • Proceedings - minutes of the First Meeting, 24 May 1911; and minutes of the Second Meeting, 15 June 1911.

The following appendices are also contained in the report:

I. Memorandum on Turkish aggression 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. , by the Foreign Office.

II. Memorandum on local action 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. , by the General Staff, War Office.

III. Letter on the Shat-Al-Arab and Koweit, from the Naval Commander-in-chief, East Indies, to the Government of India.

IV. Report of the Inter-Departmental Conference on the Baghdad Railway terminus, by the Foreign Office, 1907.

V. Foreign Office correspondence on the frontier of Muhamrah (Mohammerah)[Khorramshahr].

VI. Memorandum on the Turco-Persian boundary question 1833-1906, by the Foreign Office.

VII. Foreign Office correspondence on the frontier of Mohammerah, 1906-1911.

Some treaty extracts and agreements are in French.

Also contains three maps:

f 25: 'MAP OF MOHAMMERAH AND DISTRICT PREPARED IN 1850'

f 43: 'Sketch of APPROACHES TO KUWEIT HARBOUR AND SHATT AL ARAB'

f 44: ' 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 ADJACENT COUNTRIES'

Extent and format
1 volume (43 folios)
Arrangement

The file consists of a single report and three accompanying maps. A contents page at the front of the volume (ff 3-4) references the volume’s original printed pagination.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 45; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, 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.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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'Report and Proceedings of the Standing Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence on the Persian Gulf' [‎14v] (33/94), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/20/130, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100041003698.0x000022> [accessed 23 October 2019]

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