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'File 2/4 III TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎72r] (148/461)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (225 folios). It was created in 8 Dec 1932-26 Mar 1934. 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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(Received under Government of India, Foreign and
Reuartment endorsement . F,23-fJ/33, dated
5t h A nrii 1933.)
Telegram from Sir Francis Humphrye, Bagdad to London,
Foreign Office, ITo • 27(H), dated the 2iat Vebrmry 1933.
/ X
Your telegram "To. 16.
I suggest it might he wise to defer lodging protest with
Iraq Government against collection of export duties produced by
Sheikh* s gxsc gardens until opinion of law officers has been
received as to whether collection of Istihlak taxation on produce
is a violation of 1914 undertakings or not.(vide minutes of
interdepartmental conference September 13th). Otherwise might
not a formal protest on the lines proposed in your telegram be
tantamount to an admission by His I 0 ajesty*s Government that there
is a legal breach of the undertaking, which would subsequently
be embarrassing, particularly if law officers advise in a
contrary sense. As regards placing tax collections on deposit
Iraq Government are clearly most reluctant to grant any concession
to Sheikh where Istihlak tax is concerned.
I should prefer not to address protest officially on this
minor point as there is nothing much to be gained from having
the amount of tax collected placed in a deposit account. The
same effect can be achieved by Sheikh keeping a complete record
of amounts paid. If in subsequent negotiations Iraq Government
agree to refund such collections it will make no difference whether
the money is nominally on deposit or not.

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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. A particular taxation system called Istihlak (consumption) tax has been imposed by the Iraqi Government on the produce of the gardens. British Officials discuss payment of export duty on garden produce from the Shaikh of Kuwait’s gardens in Iraq, and the allegations made by the Shaikh of Kuwait against the customs authorities at Faw.

The British Ambassador in Baghdad reports that because of the enforcement of the new tax law, the Iraqi Government is no longer able to make exempt from taxes the Shaikh‘s gardens' produce that has been exported from Iraq for the personal use of the Shaikh.

The volume includes a copy of minutes of a conference on the Shaikh’s date gardens held in Baghdad and minutes of an interdepartmental meeting held in London in regards to the gardens issue.

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, asks the Shaikh of Kuwait to provide full and detailed statements showing all payments and losses resulting from the imposition of Istihlak tax by the Iraqi Government. The Shaikh in turn provides six statements (ff 194-221):

  • Statement I. Showing the amount levied as Istihlak tax from merchants purchasing and exporting dates in 1932.
  • Statement II. Showing the amount levied as Istihlak tax from merchants purchasing and exporting dates in 1933.
  • Statement III. Showing the amount levied from the Shaikh as Istihlak tax and under the heading 'Customs duties' on articles exported for the Shaikh’s private consumption.
  • Statement IV. Showing the quantities of dates which the Shaikh was obliged to surrender from his own share to the fellaheen (peasants) working in his gardens under the Istihlak tax.
  • Statement V. Showing the losses sustained by the Shaikh as a result of the disobedience of the fellaheen due to the introduction of the Istihlak tax.
  • Statement VI. Showing the grand total of the above lists.
Extent and format
1 volume (225 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 227; 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 between ff 6-222; 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 2/4 III TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎72r] (148/461), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/137, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 November 2019]

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