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'File 2/2 III Kuwait-Iraq Smuggling.' [‎249r] (502/538)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (265 folios). It was created in 18 Sep 1934-8 Jun 1935. 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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Note for P.R
Sheikh wishes appeal to go to Viceroy on following
(1) • In olden days Kuwait was founded and rose to
greatness by reason of trade she developed with interior*
Then arose Bin Saud and by blockade tried to prevent Kuwait
trading with Nejd and so force her to acknowledge Bin Saud
as Overlord. Now IRAQ had followed suit.
(2) . Kuwait had no crops or any manufactures and only
produced grass. Her 100,000 inhabitants must live. If licit
means are denied she must resort to illicit trade to find
money to buy gajatx food and clothing from overseas.
(3) # IRAQ is demanding that Kuwait either appoint British
Customs Officer with widest powers, on purpose to stop all
trade with interior, which ipso facto would mean smuggling
with Nejd also, or accept Blockade by land and sea.
(4) * In either case Kuwait is faced with grevious injury.
But it is preferable to be killed with honour than commit
suicide with dishonour. Therefore with deep regret Sheikh
was forced to decide in favour of being blockaded. All he
asked was that H.M.G safeguard the produce of his gardens
and his peoples drinking water.
tSix Matter was one of absolute life and death for Kuwait.
(5) .
Director and H.M.G’s other proposals for the following
vital reasons:-
(a) Kuv/ait would definitely loose all her trade with
the interior, because this would be Director of Customs duty
to arrange.
(b) The whole Arab world would understand that
Kuwait had surrendered to Iraq and so become a vassal of her£
(c) He, Sheikh, would be a looked upon as a traitor
by his family, and all people of Kuwait, and would be
£!££ execrated, and possibly deposed and killed.
(d) Bin Saud would make anivax immense capital of
his surrender to Ira^, and would point out to all and sundry
It impossibel e for him to accept a British Customs

About this item


The volume contains correspondence related to Kuwait-Iraq smuggling. The correspondence discusses the following:

  • Operation of Iraq Customs launch in Kuwait territorial waters.
  • The shooting of two Kuwait tribesmen in Kuwait territory by Iraq Preventive Police.
  • Proposing a conference to be held between Iraq and Kuwait.
  • The suggestion to establish joint Iraqi-Kuwait preventive service to operate on land and sea.
  • The suggestion to appoint a British Customs Director at Kuwait.

The British Embassy, Baghdad communicated with the Iraqi Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding the Shaikh of Kuwait’s complaints against Iraqi customs. The correspondence also has references to complaints and incidents which are discussed in the previous volume in this series– IOR/R/15/5/129 'File 2/2 II Kuwait-Iraq Smuggling'.

The volume also includes reports on the number of cases of smuggling within 1934 and 1935, the smuggled goods including sugar, coffee, tea, tobacco and the values of these items. It also includes records of meetings held at the Foreign Office, London, to discuss the question of smuggling, and it includes notes on Syed Hamid Beg al-Naqib, Deputy for Basra in the Iraqi Parliament, and his visit to Kuwait in April 1935.

Among the correspondents in the volume are the Political Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. , Kuwait, the Political Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. , Bushire, the Shaikh of Kuwait, the Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, New Delhi, the Secretary of State for India, London, and the Foreign Office, London.

Extent and format
1 volume (265 folios)

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 267; 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 149-262; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled.

A previous foliation sequence, which is also circled, has been superseded and therefore crossed out.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
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'File 2/2 III Kuwait-Iraq Smuggling.' [‎249r] (502/538), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/5/130, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 16 December 2019]

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