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Coll 17/18(2) 'Smuggling between Kuwait and Iraq' [‎94r] (187/889)

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The record is made up of 1 file (443 folios). It was created in 15 Jun 1935-14 May 1942. 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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[430 e— 2 ] b 2
3
«
he would sell it for about twice that amount. The fact was that Koweit had
become a recognised market where Arabs, whether would-be smugglers or not,
went to purchase arms. He was quite prepared to believe that the British
authorities 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. were right when they said that no arms entered
Koweit by sea, but it was absolutely certain that somehow or other these arms were
^available for sale in Koweit.
Mr. Baxter said that His Majesty’s Government would certainly be prepared
to give the whole question their earnest attention if the Iraqi Government would,
in fact, be good enough to produce all the evidence in their possession.
At a later stage in the discussion, Major Edmonds suggested that His
Majesty’s Government might be prepared to consider a solution whereby substan
tial restrictions would be placed on the sale of arms in the Koweiti market. He
thought that in Muscat, before the war, His Majesty’s Government had insisted
that all the arms available for sale in that territory should be collected and stored
in one special warehouse under Government supervision, and that the sale of these
arms should be subjected to some form of Government control. He suggested that
some such system in Koweit might be the most effective method of dealing with
the situation which had arisen.
Mr. Baxter said that this suggestion would receive further consideration.
As regards other forms of smuggling, Mr. Baxter wished to point out in the
first place that it was really entirely for the Government of a country to see that
smuggling into its territory did not take place. The Iraqi Foreign Minister had
put forward three suggestions. The first was for a customs union between Iraq
and Koweit. This did not seem to His Majesty’s Government to be an acceptable
solution, since such an arrangement between a large State like Iraq and a small
State like Koweit might be expected to undermine the independence of the smaller
State.
Taufiq Suwaidi said that he did not think that there was much foundation
for this fear. He said that for many years now the Iraqi authorities had run the
Koweiti postal administration. This had not, he thought, made any difference
to the political position of the sheikhdom, and he did not see why it should make
any difference if the Iraqi authorities also took over the Koweiti customs
administration. Koweit would, of course, be offered a fixed annual sum in lieu
of its present customs revenue. He thought that the Koweitis themselves would
be very ready to accept such a suggestion.
Mr. Baxter said that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s second suggestion, that
the northern frontier line of Koweit should be fixed further south so as to give
the Iraqi preventive services more space in which to operate, seemed also to be
unacceptable. This suggestion would apparently involve the cession to Iraq of
about one-third of Koweit, and it was difficult to see what compensation could
be given to the sheikh elsewhere.
Taufiq Suwaidi said that, if the suggestion of a customs union between
Iraq and Koweit were found to be possible, it would not be necessary further to
consider this alternative.
Mr. Baxter proceeded that, as regards the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s third
solution, he understood that the proposal of combined preventive operations had
already been put forward some months ago. The Sheikh of Koweit had stated on
that occasion that he was willing to negotiate with the Iraqi Government when
he had reached an agreement with the Saudi Government regarding the raising
of their blockade. These negotiations had been proceeding fairly satisfactorily
of late.
Taufiq Suwaidi interjected that he did not see what these negotiations
between Koweit and Saudi Arabia had to do with Iraq. In reply to the question
whether the Iraqi Government had any special measures in mind in connexion
with the proposed anti-smuggling agreement with Koweit, Taufiq Suwaidi seemed
to think that it might be possible to induce the sheikh, who had no armoured
cars, &c., to contribute to the proposed joint preventive operations, to share
the cost of these operations. It was pointed out to him that the sheikh would not
be likely to agree to any such proposal.

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Content

This file is a continuation of IOR/L/PS/12/2878, and contains papers regarding the alleged smuggling of goods from Kuwait to Iraq, and attempts to broker Often a local commercial agent in the Gulf who regularly performed duties of intelligence gathering and political representation. an agreement between the Shaikh of Kuwait (Shaikh Aḥmad al-Jābir Āl Ṣabāḥ) and the Government of Iraq with regards to the prevention of smuggling and the establishment of effective frontier controls. It consists of correspondence between the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, 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 Kuwait, and HM High Commissioner (and later Ambassador) at Baghdad, as well as communications received from Al Sabah and representatives of the Government of Iraq.

The bulk of the correspondence concerns efforts by HM Ambassador at Iraq, 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. , and 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 Kuwait, to broker Often a local commercial agent in the Gulf who regularly performed duties of intelligence gathering and political representation. an agreement between the two parties. This included discussion of Iraqi proposals to assume control of Kuwaiti customs, to instigate joint border-controls and a manifest system for goods transported by land or sea, or to impose Kuwaiti tariffs on imports at the same rate as Iraqi tariffs. Later correspondence discusses the negotiation of an anti-smuggling agreement between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and a proposed customs union between Kuwait and Iraq. The correspondence makes reference to on-going negotiations over the Kuwait-Iraq border, and the Iraqi date gardens owned by the Shaikh of Kuwait.

There is a small quantity of correspondence from 1941 between the Government of Iraq, 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. , and the Ottoman Bank at Baghdad, regarding currency smuggling, money laundering, and the purchase of Indian rupees.

The file includes dividers which give lists of correspondence references contained in the file by year. These are placed at the end of the correspondence (folios 2-3).

Extent and format
1 file (443 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 444; 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 2-444; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 17/18(2) 'Smuggling between Kuwait and Iraq' [‎94r] (187/889), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/2879, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100064979936.0x0000be> [accessed 25 January 2020]

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