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'File 8/62 Muscat State Affairs: Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman' [‎146r] (291/296)

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The record is made up of 1 file (146 folios). It was created in 24 Oct 1938-6 Dec 1948. 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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gjCft.
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. Rasidency,
Bahrain.
6th Daeoaber, 1948.
Sir
I have the honour to report that during my recent visit
to Muscat, I asked the Sultan whether he was still planning to
extend his influence over the whole of Oaan and whether he was
likely to ask for any assistance from His Majesty's Government
in doing so. It will be recollected that in 1946, when the
Imam's early death was expected, it was agreed that His Majesty's
Government should supply the Sultan with a certain amount of
arms and ammunition at 60 f of their ordinary price, assist him
in obtaining auxiliary supplies such as tentage, transport and
medical and signalling equipment and make available for his
forces on the normal deputation terms, a second British officer,
and several Indian officers and non-commissioned officers. The
Sultan, however, pressed for an undertaking that the Royal Air
Force would give him direct support if his efforts to obtain
control over the interior met with armed resistance. His
Majesty's Government found it impossible to give such an under
taking and the Sultan, when he was informed accordingly, on the
16th September 1946, said he must as a result abandon the plans
which he had made, vide my express letter to the 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. .
No. C/828 of the 16th September, 1946.
On the present occasion, I reminded the Sultan that it
was Impossible for him to hope for any active assistance from the
Royal Air Force, and he said that he fully realised this. He went
on to say that he expected that when the Imam died, the tribes
would of their own accord ask him to rule over them as they were
all feeling the economic pressure and were anxious to obtain the
benefits from oil which they saw so many other Arabs enjoying and
realised that they could make no progress in this direction with
out his assistance and guidance. If, when the time came, he
required any assistance from His Majesty's Government, such as that
which had previously been promised, he would certainly apply for
3. Meanwhile he has not been idle, though such action as
he has taken has been to some extent forced on him by the acti
vities of Messrs. Petroleum Concessions Limited in and beyond
the Buralml area. I enclose extracts from a letter received from
Mr. Bird, a previous member of the Indian Political Service who
at one time acted as 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. at Muscat, and is now emplo
yed by the dompany. It will be seen from this that a considerable
amount has been accomplished, though Shaikh Saqr bln Sultan the
leading Ka'lm Shaikh of Buraiml has not yet come in to see the
Sultan.
4. 1 do not think that Mr. Bird is correct in saying that
the Sultan has designs on the Imamate when the present Imam,
Muhammad al Khalllli dies. His desire is that the elective
Imamate should be abolished altogether and that the tribes should
/ accept
The Rt. Hon. Ernest Sevln, M.P.,
_ ce,
London, S.W.l. -

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Content

This file concerns relations between the Sultan of Muscat and Oman [Sa‘īd bin Taymūr Āl Bū Sa‘īd] and the shaikhs of the Omani tribes. Much of the correspondence discusses the Sultan's ambition to secure the allegiance of the Omani shaikhs and consolidate his authority in the interior of Oman. The correspondence recounts meetings between British representatives and the Sultan, in which the Sultan discusses his intentions to assert control in the Omani interior once the Imam of Oman has died, and requests British assistance in order to do so.

In addition, the file contains extensive discussion regarding British policy in relation to the internal affairs of Oman. Matters covered include whether the Sultan should be supplied with arms, ammunition, and RAF assistance, and whether the British should approach the Omani tribes directly, in order to smooth the way for oil exploitation in the interior. Also covered are exchanges of correspondence and meetings between certain Omani shaikhs and the British representatives at Muscat.

As well as correspondence, the file contains compiled notes on the principal shaikhs and tribes of Oman (ff 5-9), and notes on the tribes of Buraimi and Trucial Oman (ff 118-135, including details of tribes beyond the limits of Trucial Oman and within the limits of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman), the latter being described 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. as 'scanty'.

The Arabic language material consists of several items of correspondence, of which English translations are included.

Extent and format
1 file (146 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 148; 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. An additional foliation sequence is present in parallel between ff 2-106; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 8/62 Muscat State Affairs: Principal Shaikhs and Tribes of Oman' [‎146r] (291/296), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/6/242, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100055776092.0x00005c> [accessed 14 November 2019]

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