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'File 2/4 II TAXATION of SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎109r] (222/448)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (220 folios). It was created in 1 Jan 1931-19 Dec 1932. 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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was reason to believe that in any case this nethod would have
proved fruitless.
Sir Francis Humphrys went on to explain that the time
factor had now become important. The exemptions from revenue
hitherto accorded to the Sheikhs are contrary to Iraq law and
every year nave raised a storm of protest in the Iraqi Parliament.
Year by year this protest had grown in strength and increased
pressure by the High Commissioner had been necessary. Last year
it was with the very greatest difficulty that a further year’s
exemption had been secured and the Iraqi Prime ’inister had since
said that it would be impossible to retain the exemption in this
year’s budget. The debate on the budget will take place next
It was suggested that it night be possible to get the Iraqis
to maintain the status quo until the effect of the new laws had
been ascertained. Sir Francis Humphrys considered, however, that
there was no hope of this. He recapitulated the arguments used
by the Iraqis in support of their refusal to continue the exemp
tions, the chief of which is that they have already lost a sum
of about £80,100 in honouring the pledges given by His Majesty’s
Government. It was generally agreed that the Iraqi arguments
would be difficult to overcome.
The meeting further agreed that it would be difficult to main-
tain the position that it would be proper to inform the Sheikhs
that as the new laws would abolish the land tax, His Jajesty's
Government were absolved from all obligations under their 1314 (
pledge •
The remaining solution of the problem, therefore, seemed to be
a composition of His Majesty's Government's liability by payment
of a lump eum on the lines suggested by Sir francis Humphrys
la st
T , the meeting indicates that the budget
A telegram ^^/^/e^ller than the 1st February, 1932.
debate will take place not edruer

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 correspondence is mainly between British officials discussing the possible solutions to the gardens taxation issue. Among the suggested solutions was the selling of the property. British officials report that the Shaikh of Kuwait is entirely flexible in regards to the selling of certain estates but not the ones in Al-Faw. But they also suggested that it would be rather useless for the Iraq Government to attempt to purchase the gardens as they belong to more than a hundred relatives of the Shaikh who depend on the produce for their maintenance.

The volume includes statements of an estimated value of the Shaikh of Kuwait’s estates on Shatt al-Arab. It also contains economic reports on the proposed new basis of taxation on agricultural produce in Iraq, and copies of the Government of Iraq’s new laws for the collection of consumption ( Istihlak ) tax and for the collection of land rent and water rent (ff 79-101). The correspondence also includes records of meetings held in London in regard to the question of the taxations as well as the new system of land revenue collections in Iraq.

The main correspondence is between the British Resident, Bushire, 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. , Kuwait, the High Commissioner, Baghdad, and the Colonial Office, Downing Street, London.

Extent and format
1 volume (220 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 222; 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. Two additional foliation sequences are present in parallel; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled. One of these additional sequences has been crossed out.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 2/4 II TAXATION of SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎109r] (222/448), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/136, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 11 November 2019]

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