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Coll 5/20 ‘Air Route to India – Arab Coast Secn: Negotiations with Trucial Sheikhs’ [‎75r] (160/1290)

The record is made up of 1 file (636 folios). It was created in 17 Feb 1932-6 May 1940. It was written in English, Arabic 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.

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p.z. 1815 / 1933 .
$
Kxtraot from a report of proceedings of the Gommander-
m-Ghief, East Indies.
1 . l ^th - l 6 th December, 19^2 .
50. - "Hawkins" arrived at Sharjah at 1100 on
Ipth Hecemoer, and the Senior Naval Officer, 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.
came onboard to be present when the local Arabs paid their
calls on the Commander-in-Chief.
51 . - He was accompanied by Sheikh Isa, the
Resident Agent on the Crucial Coast, Half Persian, half
Arab, he is the official spokesman for British Political
affairs on the frucial Coast, and has undoubtedly a
considerable influence among the Sheikhs.
He is a big man and a wall-eye adds a
somewhat crafty expression to his face, and though genial
in manner the impression he creates is that he service and
loyalty are dependent on the manner in which he is reim
bursed .
52. - At noon the Sheikh of Sharjah accompanied
by at least 20 of his relations called on the Commander-in-
Chief .
He is a short stocky man and carries himself with
dignity. At first his manner was aloof and even appeared
surly, but it is probable that this was largely shyness.
Since he received a handsome reward for granting a concession
to the Imperial Airways at Sharjah he has followed the old
adage "that an Arab’s figure depends on his purse," and is
becoming gross.
53**" The Commander-in-Chief landed in the
afternoon, accompanied by the Senior Naval Officer, Persian
Gulf, and Staff Officers, to pay a visit to the Imperial
Airways landing ground.
At/

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Content

The file is largely made up of correspondence, with occasional internal 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. notes, and records of inter-departmental meetings. The subject matter is the establishment of an aerodrome on the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. to facilitate the transfer of Imperial Airways' Europe-India route from Southern Persia to the Arabian Coast. There is some material related to the selection of a suitable site. However, much of the file is concerned with negotiations with Shaikh Sultan bin Saqar, Ruler of Sharjah; Sharjah was selected by British officials as the most promising site for a landing ground. The file therefore contains a number of reports on the political situation at Sharjah, the progress of negotiations, and discussion over terms and conditions. A copy of the final agreement can be found on folios 225-228.

The agreement with the Shaikh of Sharjah provided for the construction of a rest house to be owned by the Shaikh but rented by Imperial Airways. The file therefore includes discussion relating to arrangements for the financing and construction of the rest house. There is also a detailed consideration of the measures needed to ensure its security, and measures to be taken by British forces in the event of an attack on the facility: see folios 18-27 for a copy of the Sharjah Defence Scheme .

The file also contains discussion between British officials over their response to the following two proposals submitted by the Government of the Netherlands: a proposal for Anglo-Dutch-French co-operative partnership in approaching civil aviation matters linking Europe and the Far East, with a particular view to negotiations with Persia; and a request for access to the Arab Coast air route.

In addition to the immediate response to the Netherlands Government, the file includes discussion related to how British policy over the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. should develop in response to developments in civil aviation.

Also contained within the file are a number of papers circulated by the Committee of Imperial Defence's Standing Official Sub-committee for Questions Concerning the Middle East. These papers relate to a proposal from Imperial Airways to use landplanes along the Arabian Coast route instead of flying boats; the file contains extensive technical comparisons between the ‘Hannibal’ four engine landplane (the Handley Page H.P.42) and three engine ‘Calcutta’ flying boat (the Short S.8).

There is a limited amount of discussion, towards to front of the correspondence, over the state of British negotiations with Persia. However, this is not the focus of the file.

A couple of letters from the Government of the Netherlands are in French (see folios 296-301) and the final agreement with the Shaikh of Sharjah (folios 225-228) is in both English and Arabic. The vast majority of the file is in English.

The main correspondents are as follows: 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. (Hugh Vincent Biscoe, and later Trenchard Craven William Fowle), the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Kuwait (Harold Richard Patrick Dickson), and the Senior Naval Officer 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. . It also includes correspondence with officials of the following governmental departments: the Admiralty, the Air Ministry, the Foreign Office, the 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. , and the Foreign and Political Department of the Government of India.

Most of the material in the file covers the period 1932 to 1935. Only a single letter, dated 31 March 1940, falls outside this range.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence.

Extent and format
1 file (636 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 637; 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. An additional foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the two leading and ending flyleaves.

Written in
English, Arabic and French in Latin and Arabic script
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Coll 5/20 ‘Air Route to India – Arab Coast Secn: Negotiations with Trucial Sheikhs’ [‎75r] (160/1290), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/1966, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100044823448.0x0000a1> [accessed 17 October 2019]

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