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'File VII/1. Telegraphic Connection to Kuwait.' [‎262r] (553/574)

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The record is made up of 1 file (270 folios). It was created in 13 Aug 1904-7 Feb 1930. It was written in English, Arabic and Hindi. 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.


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to. Very soon after Champain’s appointment the question of his headquarters
arose, the Government of India proposing that these should be at Bombay.
Major Champain, however, vigorously opposed this proposal; he pointed out
that the interests of the line were intimately bound up with those of the Indo-
European Telegraph Company, in conjunction with whom our traffic was
carried, that he had constantly to consider questions that affected the Company
and the Department alike, and that he had much correspondence with other
telegraph administrations which could not be conducted from India without
serious inconvenience and loss of time. He also referred to the difficult ques
tions which arose with Persia in relation to our treaties, which had to be dealt
with in communication with the Foreign Office. The principal traffic office must
necessarily be in London, where cash was received for every message sent to
India and the accounts made out for the shares due to other administrations.
These arguments prevailed and the headquarters of the Department were
fixed in London, but the control of the Department was shifted from the
Government of Bombay to the Public Works Department of the Government
of India.
Sir John Bateman Champain, as he afterwards became, held charge of the
Department till his death early in 1887, when he was succeeded by Col. Murdoch
Smith, the Director of the Persian section. The question of the future adminis
tration of the Department was again taken up, and although the arguments
that Col. Champain had advanced in 1871 had lost none of their force they
were now disregarded, and, in the hopes of effecting some small economy, it was
decided to abolish the appointment of Director-in-Chief and transfer the Depart
ment to the charge of the Director-General of the Indian Telegraph Department.
This was carried out early in 1888 when Col. Murdoch Smith retired, but it
did not prove successful. Col. Mallock, the Director-General of the Indian
Telegraph Department, travelled over the whole system from Karachi to
Teheran, and in 1890 submitted an exhaustive report to the Government of
India, in which he strongly advocated the resuscitation of the appointment of
Director-in-Chief in London. He pointed out that the addition of the Indo-
European Department placed an intolerable burden on the Director-General
in India, who had already a very large and responsible charge, and he showed
the necessity for the head of the Indo-European Department to be in London,
where he could be in close communication with the commercial cable companies
with whom the interests of the Department were inextricably bound. His recom
mendations were accepted, and in June, 1893, the control of the Department
was transferred from the Government of India to the Secretary of State and
Mr. Flinch, the director 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. section, was appointed Director-
in-Chief with headquarters in. London. This organisation has continued down
to the present time, Mr. Ffinch being followed by Sir Henry Kirk and Sir
Rayner Barker, whom I had the honour of succeeding about three-and-a-half
years ago. It is still the case that the successful working of the Department

About this item


The file contains correspondence related to the establishment of a wire connection between Kuwait and the Bushire-Fao cable. The correspondence is mainly about the site where the wireless telegraph station at Kuwait would be, the measurements, and the cost. In 1914 construction started, and in 1916 the wireless station opened at Kuwait. The file also contains correspondence about surveying work taking place around Kuwait, as well as correspondence about the recruitment of a surveyor to undertake the work.

The file includes an introductory booklet (folios 256-269) under the title, ‘The Indo-European Telegraph Department’, written by Maurice G Simpson, Director-in-Chief, Indo-European Telegraph Department, and published in 1928.

The main correspondence is between the following: the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. , Kuwait; the Foreign Department for the Government of India; the British Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. and Consulate General, Bushire; the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. 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. ; the Political Office, Basra; and the Basra Survey Party.

Extent and format
1 file (270 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the front to the rear of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 272; 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. Two additional foliation sequences are also present in parallel between ff 1-271 and ff 3-80; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English, Arabic and Hindi in Latin and Arabic script
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'File VII/1. Telegraphic Connection to Kuwait.' [‎262r] (553/574), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/16, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 July 2019]

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