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'File 2/4 I TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎104r] (212/640)

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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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Foreign Office
3 • W • 1 •
10th February, 1930.
/% \
I a directed by hr. Secretary Henderson to state
that he has had under consideration your letter No.
68214/29 of December 23rd, regarding the exemption
from taxation of the date gardens in Iraq, owned by the
Sheikhs of Kuwait and Mohammerah, and that he is in
general agreement with the arguments advanced in that
letter and with the course of action proposed in
paragraphs 9-12 thereof.
2. As regards the difficulties in the way of arbitratioi
to which reference was made in paragraph 3 of your
letter, and on which Lord Passfield desired the views oi
Mr. Henderson, the Secretary of State is of opinion that
they are not of a nature to deter His Majesty's
Government, should trie arguments indicated in your
letter fail to convince the Iraqi Government that they
are bound to implement the undertakings given to the
two Sheikhs, from claiming that the question be xsfsxsx
referred to arbitration.
3. Ther^kre, however, certain considerations entailed
by the adoption of this course, to which I am to invite
the attention of Lord Passfield. The Secretary of
State is advised that , if there is any possibility of
this question at some time being submitted to arbttratioi
or to the Permanent 0 ^urt of International Justice at
The Hague, care should be taken in the meantime to make
no statement which would prejudice the use of any
argument before that Court which sosiaia: Counsel on oehalf
of His Majesty’s Government might think good to puu
forward at the time.
The Under Secretary Of State
Calonlat- QFFic-E

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.' [‎104r] (212/640), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/135, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 10 December 2019]

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