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Coll 54/2 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Working Party' [‎271r] (541/642)

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The record is made up of 1 file (320 folios). It was created in 11 Apr 1949-13 Apr 1950. 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.


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Mte_e of ylslt - g7,l,49 to 3 Q. 1.49
le an ungainly peninsula on the Arabian
^luiand about 100 aiilea long and averaging 30 mile* In
. alaoet vaterleag, vithoufc cultivation oi
^inu except i or a cioail area oT date trees near
Dohnh and concieta largely of lav barren hills. Water
for drinking purpose© le conveyed by bargeg and dhows
U‘o& Bahrein, A large evaporation plant near Dukhan
provides water for other purpoees. All foodetuffs and
j »1 ving requirezaent a are brought fro a overseas^ ©orae
aupD.l.s.e^ csboageci Bruee^i© sprouts and peae arrive
froxen froia London, The only town of any laportance
xs Dohah on the East coast where there lo a fairly
extenalva beza&r. The Sheikh lives at Rlyan a few
miles Inland, The total population Is onlv about
16,000 and consists mainly of 3 ilfiC 8 llaneou 3 ‘Arabs who
beforp the advent of the Oil Company,obtained their
xiving Jroiii pearl diving. The only roads are those
constructed or being constructed by the Oil Company
The Oil Company - Petroleum Development (Qatar) Ltd!,
a,subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum Co, - hae its
headquarter* at Dukhan on the west coast near which they
have constructed a landing strip for their airoraft.
Ihe Company have & jetty at Z&krit and are conirtruetinr
oil-loading facilities at Unw Said on the East Ooagt
south of Doheh. The present cll-oroducing wells are
situated in the Dukhan area. There are no amenities
Other than those provided by the Oil Company, There
are no postal or telegraph facilities.
The Sheikh rules personally and there ie no
official administration, 1 do not know the sums., if
any, the Sheikh has received by way of cash payments,
nor the rat© of Royalty laid down in the Conceeeion
agreement but ae no oil hao yet been exported,the total
amount cannot be large. Export of crude oil in
quantity is expected to start in 19S0. X gathered that
nothing hae been done by the Sheikh regarding develops
mente affecting the social life of his*small comounity
Slavery exiet* and I was* told that there might be as
many ae 250 local slave© employed by the Oil Company,
and that they have to hand their earnings to their
"masters" who return such amounte as they decide
usually about one third. It will be necessary to do
something about this later on but it is a complex
problem affecting Arabia generally and I am not
competent to express any view® regarding it.
*3' Pearl diving w&a the main occupation of the
Qataris before the Oil Company started. It is a pre
carious weans of obtaining & living. Most of tnem are
always in debt to the owners of the pearl dhow^ and
under an obligation to return to these oynei’e each
naason, Some of the men employed by the Company leave
temporarily for this reason, although t earning*©
tt' e v X t efi ; ilan th ® Company* e wages, Sta cs shoved
that the 1 turnover M of 'Qatari® wan very high in the
months Ox July and Augunt 1948 compared with the other
months of the year.
covenanted ea mlayeea axsludlng
O V £2 &
contractors • pmi
Ae .at let January 1949, the staff consisted of
/,.« 145

About this item


The file contains papers relating to the Working Party of the Middle East (Official) Committee. It mainly consists of Working Party papers received by the Commonwealth Relations Office, and a register of these papers with notes at the back of the file.

The file includes agendas for meetings of the Working Party. It also includes papers circulated to members of the Working Party for consideration at meetings, relating to the following subjects: economic and social development in the Middle East in general; the Iraq Central Development Board; the question of an International Bank Loan for Iraq; a visit to Bahrain in January/February 1949 by Matthew Thomas Audsley; the Persian [Iranian] Seven-Year Plan; employment of British experts in the Middle East; a survey of the oil resources of the Middle East; and economic factors in Middle East development.

In addition, the file includes papers relating to economic and social development of the following places: Iraq; Greater Transjordan; Saudi Arabia; Cyrenaica, Tripolitania [Libya], Eritrea, and Somalia; the Colony of Aden and the Aden Protectorate; the Lebannon; Ethiopia; Sudan; and Yemen.

Extent and format
1 file (320 folios)

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

Numbers in red pen on the top right hand corner of items in the file refer to entries in the register of papers received by the Commonwealth Relations Office at the back of the file.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 320; 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.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 54/2 'Middle East (Official) Committee: Working Party' [‎271r] (541/642), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/4758, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 30 March 2020]

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