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'File 2/4 I TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎122r] (248/640)

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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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the obligations to the two tJheiisns being subi 1 . ced to
arbitaration or to the Pe^Fianent Court of International
Justice at the Hague care should be taken, in the naantime 7 j j
to make no statement or admission which might prejudice the
use of any argument founded on Article 10 of the treaty.
Lord Passfield is also advisea that if the matter is referred,
unilaterally to the Permanent Court of international justice
at the Hague it could only be so referred under Article 17
of the Treaty and that under that Article His majesty’s
Government could only ask for the decision <fif the Court on
the matters in dispute in so far as such matters arise out
of the interpretation or application of the Treaty*.
In such circumstances it appears to be desirable that the
Government of Iraq, should be induced to submit the (question
to arbitration by special agreement and that the agreement ^
should be drafted in the widest possible terms in order that
the terms of reference may include not only the question
whether the Iraqi Government are obliged to continue the
exemption from taxation under the terms of the treaty but a Is,
whether they are so obligeu uniter the rules of international
, ' J
Should the Iraqi Government refuse to enter into a
special agreement to refer the matter in dispute to the
Hague and the matter has to be referred to the Hague by
the unilateral application of His Majesty’s Government
Lord Passfield is advised that the application should, be
framed in general terms and not with reference to any single -
or particular Article of the Treaty,
8. A further point arises in that the Sheikh of Kuwait
is an independent' sovereign and would presumably have to
be recognise^ by Ting ^ai^al as such. In + hat case there
would be no jurisdiction in Iraq over his property.
It appears to be doubtful however whether this is a point
which could properly be dealt with in the proposed
arbitration, since it would seem rather to be matter ior
the local Courts if ana when & legal claim is made to
tax his property*

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.' [‎122r] (248/640), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/135, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 November 2019]

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