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'Sheikh Said. Memorandum in Continuation of Departmental Memorandum of 7th March 1893. (With Sketch Map.)' [‎8v] (6/10)

The record is made up of 1 item (5 folios). It was created in 9 Apr 1897. It was written in English. 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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And in connection with the revival of French
designs on this part of the Arabian Coast, the
attention of the Foreign Office was called to the
chapter on Sheikh Said at page 434 of a recent
French publication “ La France Coloniale, par
A. Rambaud,” in which the construction is dis
cussed of a canal in the Sheikh Said valley or
«* wadv ” so as to connect the Red Sea with the
Gulf of Aden.
6. Accordingly a communication in this sens|
was addressed to the Porte, and Her Majesty s
Ambassador at Constantinople (Sir C. Ford) tele
graphed that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was
fully alive to the importance of the question, and
had promised to invite the Grand Vizier to lose no
time in despatching a Turkish force to Sheikh
Said, as suggested by Her Majesty’s Government.
7. In a further telegram of the 14th May 1893
Sir Clare Ford mentioned that the Porte had been
informed bv the Minister of War that the place
was actually occupied by two companies of Turkish
soldiers, that there was a battery there of four
<*uns, and telegraphic communication was open
with Constantinople. The French Embassy had
taken no action whatever with a view to obtaining
anv formal recognition of the alleged cession of
Sheikh Said to a French Company, and Sir C. Ford
was inclined to consider that the lurkish Govem-
ment would hesitate before increasing the existing
Turkish force at Sheikh Said.
Letter from Foreign Office, 9th May 1893,
H. C., 581.
Porte asserts that Sheikh Said •
is garrisoned.
Vol. 139, p. 43,
8. Three days afterwards Sir C. Ford reported Sir C. Ford <o the Foreign Office, 17th
that a most positive assurance had been given to May 1893 ; H. C., 707.
him by Said Pasha to the effect that no action
whatever had been taken by the French Embassy
with a view to obtaining a formal recognition of
the cession of Sheikh Said to a French Company
by the local authorities of that place, wdio, the
Sublime Porte had invariably maintained, had
never been invested with power or authority to
dispose of any portion of the Arabian coast of the
Red Sea in favour of any Foreign Power. A similar
assurance "was given by Artin Pasha, L nder secretary
for Foreign Affairs, who added that, in view of
what had been stated in the French Chamber of
Deputies on the subject of Sheikh Said, the Turkish
Ambassador in Paris had recently been instructed
to seize an opportunity of giving the French
Government fully to understand that Sheikh Said
forms an integral part of the Turkish Empire, and
that the Imperial Government would in no way
sanction the cession which was said to have been
made of the territory by the local authority.
9. At the same time Sir C. Ford enclosed the Turkish Memorandum on
following Memorandum which had been confiden- Sheikh Said,
tially communicated to him:— H. C., Vol. 139, p. 995
“ 1. Rustem Pasha informed the Sublime Porte on the 27th
February 1893 that in the Chamber of Deputies at Paris

About this item


A memorandum written by Edmund] Neel, Political and Secret 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. , in continuation of a previous memorandum [IOR/L/PS/18/B60], in which the Resident at Aden is urged to ascertain the present situation at Sheikh Said [Ra’s Shaykh Sa‘īd] following fears that the French Government planned to occupy the place.

The memorandum reproduces a report written by Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Vincent Stace, First Assistant to the Resident at Aden, which provides a sketch map (f 7) and a description of the geographical setting and principal buildings at Sheikh Said, and also raises the possibility that the French intend to dredge the lagoon there in order to create a basin for vessels of war.

The memorandum goes on to reproduce correspondence in which the opinions of the Resident at Aden, the Director of Military Intelligence, and the Secretary of State for India are given; the memorandum further notes that assurances have been received from the Turkish Porte that the French Government will not be allowed to take over any part of the Arabian coast.

However, as the French Government did not recognise Sheikh Said as Turkish, and since a Russian gunboat was known to have landed on the African shore of the Red Sea, the memorandum concludes that the British authorities should keep a close eye on French and Russian movements in the area.

The sketch map at folio 7 shows a region around Ras Shekh Said and Perim Island at the south-western tip of the Arabian Peninsula, indicating hydrology, settlements, principal buildings and the routes of a telegraph line, a submarine cable and a suggested canal. Hachures are used to show relief, and a brief note explains the map's sources. The map was published in June 1893 by the Intelligence Division, War Office, sheet no. 985.

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1 item (5 folios)

This item consists of 14 sections, with a map (f 7).

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'Sheikh Said. Memorandum in Continuation of Departmental Memorandum of 7th March 1893. (With Sketch Map.)' [‎8v] (6/10), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B110/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 October 2019]

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