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Coll 6/83 'Saudi Arabia: Exemption of Saudi nationals from Koshan tax.' [‎4r] (7/34)

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The record is made up of 1 file (15 folios). It was created in 1 Jun 1937-12 May 1939. 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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lio. 64
( 5 )
British -Le
April 6th*.»
. J 7
Vty Lordf
In my despatch JSo. ^109 (b7&/2i5S/Z2) dated June let.»
1937» I had the honour to report that Saudi subjects# but
not foreign residents# were to be exeinpt during the H off”
season from payment of the koshan fee for the journey from
Jedda to luecca or Medina, and in i-oreign Office telegram
No. 63 dated July let.# 1937# I was informed that no com
plaint could be made to this procedure on legal grounds
but that I might make representations to the Baud! author
ities# basing myself on grounds of equity and not of law#
suggesting that the proper distinction to be made was not
between Gaudi and foreign subjects# but betr/een residents
and non-residents i.e.# in the main# pilgrims.
8. In spite of my conversations with Fuad Bey the
charge continued to be levied on British Moslems resident
in the tfejaz. I therefore took advantage of a reference
to the subject which appeared in a local newspaper on May
4th.# 193b# and addressed to the Amir Faisal a personal
letter of which a copy is attached. No reply to this
letter waa received beyond a formal statement that it had
been referred to the proper authorities# but at the end
of 1938 information was received that foreign residents in
the Hejaz would in future be exempted from koshan on the
same conditions as Saudi subjects. No official announce
ment to this effect has been made# but a senior official
in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now assured the
. J 7
/ Indian
The Right Honourable the Viscount Halifax# K.G.#

About this item


This file documents the British response to a recent Saudi royal command exempting Saudi nationals from paying a tax known as koshan (a tax levied on journeys from Jedda to Mecca or Medina) during the off-season, i.e. the four-month period of the year when pilgrims are not travelling to or returning from Mecca or Medina.

The correspondence discusses British concerns that British subjects in Saudi Arabia (who along with other foreigners would still have to pay the tax) are being discriminated against; it also records the outcome of a request made to the Saudi Government by His Majesty's Minister at Jedda (Sir Reader William Bullard) for the tax exemption to be extended to foreign residents.

The file includes a divider which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (folios 2).

Extent and format
1 file (15 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 17; 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.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 6/83 'Saudi Arabia: Exemption of Saudi nationals from Koshan tax.' [‎4r] (7/34), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2156, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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