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'File 2/4 III TAXATION OF SHAIKH’S DATE GARDENS.' [‎158r] (322/461)

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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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an additional hold over the Sheikh, since if he behaves
badly it will be open to us to withhold payment in any
particular year. But it raises certain points which you
will no doubt consider. The rirst is whether the
capitalised value of a perpetual exemption is likely to
produce a revenue markedly below the burden imposed at the
moment on the Sheikhs in respect of Iraqi demands.
As you know, the present scale of Iraqi taxation is
relatively favourable to us, but it seems desirable that
any arrangement we come to should, at any rate in the iirst
year or so, fully meet the Iraqi revenue demands against the
8. Secondly,will such a payment be payable every
year, irrespective, of whether the Sheikh in fact has to make
any payment to Iraq or not? This point is not too easy.
On the one hand the Sheikh can reasonably claim no*, uo have
the worst of both worlds. In other words, if the annual
Payment made to him is, say, for the sake of argument, fix,
and his payment in three successive years -o the I 1
Government is fix plus 1,000, he could reasonably claim that
if in the fourth year the Iraq Government abolished the tax

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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.' [‎158r] (322/461), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/137, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 18 November 2019]

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