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'File 2/4 I TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎69r] (142/640)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (316 folios). It was created in 3 Nov 1914-12 Dec 1930. It was written in English and Arabic. 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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24th August, 1929.
I am directed ‘by the Secretary of State for India to
acknowledge the receipt of hr, Williams* s letter of the 15th
August, ^o, 33.314/29, relative to the exempt! .n from taxation of
their date gardens in Iraq guaranteed to the Sheikh of Koweit and
the Sheikh of Mohamrner-ah in return for their co-operation against
the Turks in 1914*
2. hr. Benn agrees with Lord Passfield that the exemption
then afforded was not Intended to attach to the property, as such,
hut to hr personal to the Sheikhs and to their successors.
3. On the first of the two main points raised in Sir Gilbert
Clayton’s despatch, and examined in paragraphs 3 and 4 of the
Colonial Office letter u der reply, Mr. Secretary Benn agrees
with the course of action proposed by the Secretary of State for
the Colonies. As regards the sec nd of those points, he sees no xh;
objection t the issue of instructions to the High Commissioner to
sound the Iraq Government as to their willingness to offer a lump
sum in final settlement of the claims for exemption from taxation
of the two Sheikhs affected. In this connection, however, I am to
invite attention to the demi-official letter fro,: the Political
resident 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. to Gir Denys Bray dated 4th July, 1929,
Ko.240-8, of which copies have already been sent to your Department,
from which it appears that the Gheikh of Koweit, since the decline
in his customs receipts caused by Ibn Gaud’s action in imposing a
customs embargo, relies largely on the revenue iroo his Iraq
// | .
gardens to keep up his position. It is poa iblo, in! these circums
tances, that some difficulty might be experienced in persuading the
/ \
Sheikh to agree to surrender his exemption, save in return for
financial concessi ns wuich the Iraq Government would be reluctant
• f p V
to give, and it is relevant that the present annual value of the
remission amounts in the caoe of Koweit to over a lakh of rupees.

About this item


The volume contains correspondence related to the date gardens owned by the Shaikh of Kuwait, Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ, and the Shaikh of Mohammerah, Khaz'al al-Ka'bi, in southern Iraq. In particular, the correspondence concerns the Government of Iraq's intention to end the immunity from taxation (on the gardens) that had been granted to the former ruler of Kuwait, Shaikh Mubārak Āl Ṣabāḥ, and the Shaikh of Mohammerah by the British Government in return for their military support against the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. The volume contains letters (ff 16-20), dated November 1914, from the British Resident and Consulate-General, Bushire, 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. , to both shaikhs in respect to this issue. The volume also contains correspondence between British officials discussing the British Government's obligations to Kuwait and how it should react to the Government of Iraq's plans.

The Iraq Government had considered and continues to consider that the exemption from taxation is illegal. This issue was discussed in an extract of an article that appeared in Al-Iraq newspaper and published in 1927, in which the writer gives the exact amount (12.000 Turkish gold liras per year, or 100.000 in the past 7 years) Iraq was losing annually as a result of the exemption from taxes granted to the two shaikhs.

The British officials had direct correspondence with the Council of Ministers, Iraq. They conveyed the British Government’s approval to the Government of Iraq to open up direct negotiations with the Shaikhs of Kuwait and Mohammerah regarding their revenue exemptions. Correspondence between the High Commissioner, Baghdad, and the Government of Iraq were made as early as 1924 in regard to the issue. The correspondence between the British officials includes articles of the Anglo-Iraq Treaties as well as reports prepared by the Law Officer of the Crown, Downing Street (ff 116-123).

The volume also contains correspondence between Sayid Hamid Bey Al-Naqib, Basra Deputy to the Ruler of Kuwait, and Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir conveying to him the procedures taking place in Iraq regarding his date gardens. Al-Naqib also paid visits to the Shaikh on behalf of the Government of Iraq. The volume also includes statements of the properties of both Shaikhs between the years 1914-1928.

Extent and format
1 volume (316 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 318; 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.

Additional foliation sequences are present in parallel between ff 4-313; these numbers are also written in pencil but, where circled, are crossed through.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 2/4 I TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎69r] (142/640), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/135, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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