Coll 30/219 'Affairs in Qatar' [8r] (16/71)
The record is made up of 1 file (33 folios). It was created in 4 Nov 1941-7 Nov 1949. 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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Extract from a letter to B.A.B. Burrows, Esq.,
Foreign Office, from the Persian G-ulf Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. ,
Bahrain, No.95/11/49 dated 8th September, 1949.
Events have taken place in Qatar during the period under report
which have completely changed the situation there and give good grounds
for hoping that it will be possible to introduce a proper administration
in the state and thereby facilitate the development of its rich oilfield.
In July a request was received from the local oil company for action to
be taken to restrain the Shaikh of Wakrah from interfering in their
operations. Wakrah is a small village on the coast south of Doha and
its Shaikh, who is a member of the ruling family, had refused to allow
the company to erect survey marks in his area. The Ruler, Shaikh
Abdulla, expressed his inability to take any action, and at my request
the Senior Naval Officer, 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. sent H.M.S. "Flamingo" to visit
Wakrah, and its Shaikh was personally warned by her Commanding Officer.
This had the desired effect and the company have reported that the
local Shaikh is now entirely amenable. When Gethin, the First Secretary
to this Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. , visited Doha on the 4th August with Weightman to
complete the negotiations for the grant of a concession to the Central
Mining and Investment Corporation and the Superior Oil Company of America,
he found old Shaikh Abdulla in a state of much agitation as his relations
had recently threatened to cause a riot and he had been forced to appease
them by promising them regular monthly allowances out of his oil revenues.
He asked Gethin to arrange for the early appointment of a British
Political officer to Qatar. Subsequently he sent urgent messages to
Jakins, 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. , asking him to visit him. Jakins went to
Doha on the l6th August and Shaikh Abdulla, who claims to be 84 but is
believed to be about 74, said he wished to abdicate in favour of his
eldest son Shaikh Ali. He agreed to the immediate appointment of a
British Political Officer. Under instructions from the Foreign Office
Jakins went to Doha again on the 20th August and after obtaining from
Shaikh Abdulla an agreement to the bringing into force of the articles
of the 1916 Treaty relating to the appointment of a British Political
Officer and other matters, and from Shaikh Ali an undertaking to observe
all existing treaties and engagements and a written request for the
services of a British adviser, held a public ceremony in which the
abdication of Shaikh Abdulla and the accession of Shaikh Ali were
announced. The Senior Naval Officer, 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. had previously sent
H.M.S. "Flamingo” to Doha and her Captain, officers and ship’s company
rendered every possible assistance throughout the crisis. The oaptain,
Lt.Commander Godden attended the accession ceremony and provided a
guard of honour and the ship fired a salute for the new Ruler. A lanoing
party was sent ashore from the ship on the 20th August to act as a guard
for the British Political Officer and also as a deterrent to any kind of
demonstration. Gethin remained in Doha until the 24th August to keep an
eye on the situation-and Wilton arrived from Kuwait on the 23rd to take
over charge as Political Officer. As there was no sign of any
disturbance the Naval landing party was withdrawn on the 29th August.
The new Ruler is between 55 and 60 years of age and possesses a fine
presence. He has always been kept in the background by his father who
favoured the second son, Hamad. The latter, who was very able and an
arch intriguer, died last year and subsequent events have shown that
his father has found himself unable to carry on without his support.
It is hoped that if we can give Ali the material and moral assistance
which he requires in sufficient time, he will be able to consolidate his
position and introduce a reasonably efficient administration.
About this item
The file contains correspondence, reports, and intelligence summaries, sent 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. , and later the Foreign Office, concerning affairs in Qatar. The reports refer frequently to the 'unsatisfactory' state of internal affairs in Qatar.
The papers include: reports by 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. , Bahrain on visits to Qatar, 1941 and 1943 (including references to internal politics and slavery); the situation in Zubara, 1944; reports of attacks on Indian and Pakistani nationals in Qatar, 1949; the abdication of Shaikh Abdullah [‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī], and accession of Shaikh Ali [‘Alī bin ‘Abdullāh Āl Thānī], 1949; and general matters, 1949.
There are no papers dated 1945-48. The file also includes the text of a treaty, dated 3 November 1916, between HM Government and the Ruler of Qatar (folios 21-22).
The file includes a divider, which gives a list of correspondence references contained in the file by year. This is at folio 23.
- Extent and format
- 1 file (33 folios)
The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front of the file. Folios 2-4 are file notes.
- 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 35; 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 1-33; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.
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- Coll 30/219 'Affairs in Qatar'
- front, front-i, 1ar, 2r:20v, 23r:34v, back-i, back
- East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office, or other British Government Department
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- Open Government Licence