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Coll 20/2 'Administration: Question of abdication of Sultan; Succession and Subsidies; Question of abrogation of treaties with USA and France' [‎374v] (748/757)

The record is made up of 1 file (375 folios). It was created in 7 Oct 1930-26 Aug 1948. It was written in English 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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12
* Sir 10. (0rev to
French C. d A..
Sept. 22 1 i)l
P. 4222.
t P. 522/11.
X P. 929/11.
X Pol. lies, to G. of
L, July 21 1920,
P. 7125/20.
|| Tel. 1404 S. from
Viceroy to S. of S.
for I., Dec. 9 1920,
P. 8790/20 ; F.O.to
I.O., Sept. 20 1921,
P. 4262/21.
% Letter 109 S. to
G. of I., Mar 2 1928,
P. 1592/28.
1862, the signatories to which agree reciprocally to respect the independence
of the Sultan- While the agreement concluded by the Sultan with Her
Majesty’s Government in 1891, under which he pledged himself and his
successors never to cede, sell, mortgage or otherwise give for occupation,
save to Her Majesty’s Government, the dominions of Muscat and Oman or
any of their dependencies, represents a substantial departure from the spirit
of the Declaration of 1862, that Declaration remained and remains binding,
and an assurance that His Majesty’s Government recognised it as such was
formally given to France in September 1913.‘ ::: ' Its existence, taken with
the existence of the Treaty of 1844, was responsible for the difficulty which
arose with France in connection with the suppression of the arms traffic
between 1910 and 1914, and it is not only clear that it precludes the
establishment by His Majesty’s Government of a formal protectorate over
Muscat, but in view of the action taken under its terms vis-a-vis France at
Bander Gisseh in 1899, it seems probable that it constitutes a definite
impediment even to the acquisition by His Majesty’s Government of the
lease, e.g. for use as a naval base, of any portion of Muscat territory. This
latter difficulty is of importance at the present time in view of the revival
by 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. of the proposal for the establishment of a British
naval base at Khassab in the Musandim Peninsula (see paras. 65 to 71
below).
55. It is unnecessary to enter into the history of the efforts made
between 1910 and 1914, in connection with the suppression of the arms
traffic, to secure French concurrence in the abrogation of the Declaration of
1862 and possibly of the Treaty of 1844. Suffice it to say that it proved
impracticable to arrive at an agreement which could be confined to Muscat,
or even to Muscat and the French possessions in India! ; that France was
not prepared to cede her rights in return for territorial acquisitions in India
alone! ; that the Government of India were reluctant to agree to any cession
of Indian territory, save in return for a corresponding acquisition of French
territory in India (Chandernagore and the Loges); and that proposals of
compensation in other parts of the world by the cession of Gambia, the
rectification of the Desert Boundary between the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and
French Equatorial Africa, or by the grant to the French Government of
certain concessions in North Africa, came to nothing.
56. The position, therefore, is that French rights persist in their entirety.
On the other hand, for the last 14 years no matter of dispute between the
French Government and His Majesty’s Government has arisen in Muscat;
the Muscat dhows flying the French flag had fallen by 1920 to seven, of which
two only belonged to French subjects^; and French interests in the affairs
of the Sultanate has shown a progressive decrease, although a Consulate is
still maintained by France. In 1920-1 the French Government relinquished
the coal depot at Mokalla,|| which had been granted them at the time of the
Bander Gisseh incident of 1899 dealt with in Mr. Parker’s memorandum,
and in 1928 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. ^ stated that he gathered from the French
Consul (at Bushire?) that “ France no»v takes very little interest in Muscat
and is now considering closing down permanently the Consulate, which has
not been held by any incumbent for some years.” 57
57. While, however, France may no longer actively concern herself with
Muscat affairs, so long as the engagements referred to in para. 54 remain in
being His Majesty’s Government cannot be regarded as free agents in
respect of Muscat, even though practical control may rest with them and all
external expenditure on the State be financed by them. On a broad view
the interests of His Majesty’s Government would probably best be served by
the abrogation of both instruments, and it is possible that, at some later
stage, if French interest in Muscat diminishes to vanishing point, the French
Government might be willing to consider the extinction of their rights
as part of an arrangement which would also dispose of the Ion ^-standing
question of the French Loges in India itself, without demandino- an
unreasonable quid pro quo. But it cannot be overlooked that the *1862
Declaration, inconvenient as it may be in certain ways to His Majesty’s
Government, is of value as constituting a certain check on designs on Muscat
by other Powers. From a different standpoint, its existence, taken with that

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Content

The file contains letters, telegrams, minutes, and draft correspondence related to the abdication of Sultan Taimur bin Faisal of Muscat [Taymūr bin Fayṣal Āl Bū Sa‘īd] and the accession of his son, Said bin Taimur [Sa‘īd ibn Taymūr Āl Bū Sa‘īd] in 1932. The early correspondence concerns efforts to prevent Taimur from abdicating and to improve Muscat's flagging economy. Once the abdication is accepted several questions are raised and discussed, including:

  • the suitability of a successor and the arrangements for the accession of his son, Said
  • whether to continue both the Arms Traffic and Zanzibar Subsidy payments (this question is raised again in 1948)
  • the renegotiation of Muscat's treaties with the French, Americans, and the tribes of Oman's interior
  • whether to continue Taimur's personal allowance
  • Sultan Said's changes to government

Further correspondence within the file deals with the following matters:

  • requests for statistical information about Muscat from the Danish government for their yearbook in 1934 and 1935
  • a plea from Kamile Ilgiray, an ex-wife of former Sultan Taimur, to the British Government for help with her son's education
  • the question of the best time to inform the French, American, and Dutch governments of Sultan Said's succession
  • the whereabouts of former Sultan Taimur, including his visits to Saudi Arabia in 1933 and Japan in 1939.

The majority of the correspondence is between 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. in Muscat, Political Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. 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. , Government of India (Foreign Department), 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 Foreign Office. Further correspondence is from Sultans Taimur and Said, the French and Indian Governments, and several British political and diplomatic offices in Europe and the Middle East.

Extent and format
1 file (375 folios)
Arrangement

The file is arranged in chronological order from the back of the file to the front.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 378; 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.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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Coll 20/2 'Administration: Question of abdication of Sultan; Succession and Subsidies; Question of abrogation of treaties with USA and France' [‎374v] (748/757), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2952, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100050222670.0x000097> [accessed 4 April 2020]

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