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Coll 30/200 ‘Persian Gulf. Tour of Political Resident from Bahrein to Muscat in L. T. Nearchus.’ [‎9r] (18/133)

The record is made up of 1 file (64 folios). It was created in 29 Apr 1940-1 Oct 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 Documents collected in a private capacity. .


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Before leaving Bandar Abbas I raet the British subjects and
also two members of the Gellahdari family but had ncytirae for anything
nore than a few words. Messrs. Gray Kackenzie, the British India Agents,
have complained for many months past of the lack of landing facilities
and constant delays to steamers and the merchants of the town sent a
representation to Tehran on the subject last year. hr. Rogers has
investigated the matter but does not think that for the present traffic
^the•arrangements are entirely unsuitable and will take up the matter
the port shows signs of being used to greater capacity. The lack of
~shipping has largely killed the trade of the place and what remains
has been ruined by the shortage of motor transport to the interior.
9. It will be recalled that Mr. Rogers v/as taken over by the Navy
to Khor Rakkan on the Batinah Coast to interrogate a survivor from the
submarine destroyed near there by the B.A.F. An account of this has
been sent to the senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. , separately. It is
interesting; to note that the Shaikh of Khor Fakkan, Shaikh Abdullah al
Hamadi, is a recent emigre from the hinterland of Lingah, a territory
which is almost entirely inhabitsXed by perrons of Arab origin. Curiously
enough Khor Fakkan is in an enclave of Jawaaimi territory and affiliated
to Sharjah and so under the Bahrain Agency An office of the East India Company and, later, of the British Raj, headed by an agent. and not, as might have been
anticipated, under Muscat.
10. We then proceeded to Muscat, and an account of this portion
of the tour has been recorded separately. Vie arrived at Chahbar on the
1st of December and went ashore shortly after sunrise. I was greatly
struck with the derelict state of this town, which I had last seen as a
flourishing port in the year 1916, and was more than ever surprised that
it should have been considered as an appropriate site lor a Vice-Consulate
I first of all visited the aerodrome, which has now been deserted for a
landing strip further away and parallel to the seashore- It was on this
landing strip, then entirely unmarked, that the Russian pilot had put
down Mr. Rogers on his recent visit from Jiwani. The Russian planes are
able to land on the smallest possible space, but have a short radius, and
carry reserve petrol tins strapped about the machine. A Russian plane
was expected that morning and came in after we had returned to the ship
and its extremely low landing speed was clearly noticeable even from a
11. The Persian bureaucracy appears at its worst in these outlying
areas, and since no departments can ever agree amongst themselves, every
thing has to be referred to Tehran who know nothing about the local
conditions. In an area which would barely support one well paid officer,
each department must have its separate representative and, for example,
the Police and Gendarmerie are everywhere represented by separate offici
als whose interests both pecuniary and otherwise very frequently clash.
I observed that although the vast majority of the inhabitants were in
rags, some of the women being scarcely covered, yet there was cloth in
the raonox>oly shop but, apparently, as at Bushire, only for show, for as
the manager said "there was no order for its sale". Officials who are
posted to these areas are sometines lost sight of for years and the local
medical officer is an instance in point. »e passed this officer’s house
and dispensary on our way back from the aerodrome and found an aged
Armenian obviously more than a little cracked, find looking for all the
world like a medaeval alchemist, living in the filthiest conditions and
with a fly-blown dispensary which contained only a few empty bottles. As
this part of the world is threatened with a cholera epidemic the opinion
of the local officials regarding his inadequacy was loudly expressed.
They clato) that he refuses to supply them with any essential drugs and he
in his turn stated that they only wished to secure a free supply from him
in order to resell it themselves. The local inhabitants do not of course
receive any treatment whatever.
12. The coast line of the Bandar Abbas Consulate area covers about
550 miles or roughly the area from Ushant to the German border, and
extends as far as but not including Jiwani. Mr. Rogers has been at con
siderable pains to link up his coast watching organisations with those in
Gwadar andBritish Baluchistan, and has covered some 10,000 miles since
lust March. The main difficulties here, as on the Batinah, consist of
slow coiomuni cat ions, and unless and until an adequate launch is provided
t^e work cannot be fully effective. This has been 'taken up separately. \
I n the meantime it is hoped that by establishing close relations with the
local sardars and headmen timely information will oe received of
enemy agents attempt to secure a footing on shore.
13. The following morning we arrived at Jask and were met by

About this item


The file contains papers, mostly correspondence, relating to: a tour of Muscat by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Geoffrey Prior, 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 The historical term used to describe the body of water between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. and HM Consul-General, Bushire, in February 1940; his journey from Muscat to Bahrein [Bahrain] in the ship LT [Lighthouse Tender] Nearchus ; and a later tour of Bandar Abbas, Jask and Chahbar [Chabahar] in Iran by Prior in November and December 1943.

The correspondence includes the following letters from Prior to the Secretary to the Government of India External Affairs Department: a letter dated 26 April 1940, which consists of a detailed account of his trip to Muscat, including the day he spent at Kuwait with Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Richard Patrick Dickson, and a stop to refuel and meet the Senior Naval Officer at Khor Kuwai [Khawr al Quway‘] on the way to Muscat, with twelve enclosed photographs [IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 22; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 23; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 24; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 25; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 26; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 27; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 28; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 29; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 30; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 31; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 32; IOR/L/PS/12/3940, f 63]; and a letter dated 29 April 1940, recounting Prior’s cruise from Muscat to Bahrain, with stops at Qais [Kish] Island and Ras Tanura. Copies of these letters were sent from Prior to Roland Tennyson Peel at 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 also includes: a copy (sent from Prior to the Secretary of State for India) of a letter from Prior to Sir Reader William Bullard, HM Minister, Tehran, dated 28 January 1944, which contains a report of his tour of Bandar Abbas, Jask and Chabahar; a letter in response from Bullard to Prior dated 22 February 1944; and a letter from the Foreign Office to Bullard, dated 23 March 1944, regarding Prior’s report.

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 (64 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 66, 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.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Coll 30/200 ‘Persian Gulf. Tour of Political Resident from Bahrein to Muscat in L. T. Nearchus.’ [‎9r] (18/133), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3940, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 14 April 2024]

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