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Coll 5/28 ‘Air Route to India: Air facilities on the Arab Coast; Debai Air Agreement’ [‎52r] (102/932)

The record is made up of 1 file (465 folios). It was created in 23 Jun 1933-30 Dec 1946. 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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Copy.
Confidential
The Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. ,
Bahrain, the lith January 1940
D.O.Mo.C/57-13/2
My dear Prior,
Will you please refer to your deiiii-official
letter No.747-S dated the 23rd December 1939 about the
possibility of dredging the Sharjah Khor V
2 . i enclose herewith a copy of Howes* report on
this subject and of two sketch maps to illustrate it.
Proia what he says i am afraid that the project does not
sound very hopeful, though i suppose it is just conceivable
that if the mouth of the Khor were dredged the resultant
scour might clean up the sand-banks on line 1 to 2»
3 , It is however to be remembered that our agreevaent
with Dubai still has 3 years and 8 months to run. i do
not think that we can get out of the payments called for
in that agreement and consequently i imagine the Air
Ministry would not be interested in Sharjah for some
considerable time to come.
lours sincerely
sd. H.Weightman
The Hobble Lieut.-Col.C.G.Prior, CIK.,
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. in the Persian
Gulf, Bushire

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Content

The file contains correspondence and notes related to air facilities required by Imperial Airways (from 1940 the British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) along the Arabian Coast. The file therefore contains a number of lists (some of which are categorised by priority) prepared by the Air Ministry outlining British requirements for navigation beacons, wireless transmissions sets, direction finding sets, moorings for flying boats etc; the lists prepared by the Air Ministry are revised over time to reflect changing requirements, for example the introduction of night flying. Also covered in the file is the establishment of a petrol dhow at Dubai in 1934 (see folio 402 for a copy of the agreement), and consideration in 1938 of arrangements for the provision of fuel at Ras al Khaimah [Ra's al-Khaymah] for Imperial Airways in cases of emergency.

Another topic featured in the file is the introduction of a flying boat service by Imperial Airways in 1937, and the selection of a suitable stopping point along the Arabian Coast. The selection process is covered, which includes consideration of Dubai (also spelt Debai and Dabai), Ras al Khaimah, and Umm al Qaiwain [Umm al-Qaywayn] as potential sites. This process culminates in the Dubai Commercial Air Agreement (1937): see folios 223-226 for a copy of the agreement with both Arabic and English translation. This includes an agreement respecting security arrangements for passengers transferred between the alighting area at Dubai and their accommodation at Sharjah: see folio 199 for an English translation of the agreement. Further correspondence relating to its renewal in 1943 can also be found in the file. The prospects for the future use of Dubai and Sharjah, as of 1946, are also briefly discussed at the end of the correspondence.

Material related to a survey of Sharjah Creek in 1939 and Dubai Creek by Bernard Whitteron in 1941 can be found between folios 36-57. This includes sketch maps the two creeks: Dubai (folio 48) and Sharjah (folios 53, and 55-56). It has been included in consideration of possible engineering work to enhance their navigability and hence their utility for flying boats.

The main correspondents are as follows: 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. 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. , 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. at Bahrain (Tom Hickinbotham, Hugh Weightman, and Reginald George Alban), officials of the Air Ministry, and officials of 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. .

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.

Extent and format
1 file (465 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence for this description commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 466; 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 2-465; these numbers are also written in pencil but are not circled.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 5/28 ‘Air Route to India: Air facilities on the Arab Coast; Debai Air Agreement’ [‎52r] (102/932), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/1978, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100061345823.0x000067> [accessed 10 December 2019]

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