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Coll 25/18 'Orders-in-Council: Qatar: Jurisdiction over foreigners in Qatar' [‎290r] (579/635)

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The record is made up of 1 file (314 folios). It was created in 18 Jul 1935-8 Jun 1935. 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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CONFIDENTIAL.
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.
13 . 422 .
P. 1632 / 30 "
Exercise of Jurisdiction in Cases affecting Foreign Subjects
in Bahrein by the British Political Authorities.
Jurisdiction over British Subjects.
1. Article 4 of the Convention of 1861 between the Sheikh of Bahrein
and the British Government provides that “ all offences which they {British
subjects) may commit, or which may be committed against them, shall be
reserved for the decisions of the British Resident, provided the British Agent
located at Bahrein shall fail to adjust them satisfactorily.”
Jurisdiction in Cases affecting Foreigners.
2 . By the Agreement of 22 nd December 1880 and the Exclusive
Agreement of 13 th March 1892 , the Sheikh bound himself not to enter into
any agreement or correspondence with any Governments other than His
Majesty’s Government; not to allow the Agents of such Governments to
reside within his territory without the assent of His Majesty’s Government;
and not to alienate, mortgage, or give for occupation any part of his
territories save to His Majesty’s Government.
Responsibility for the protection of foreigners in Bahrein may be regarded
as having passed to His Majesty’s Government as a corollary to these two
Agreements. But the question of jurisdiction does not appear to have
arisen in an active form until 1900 . In December of that year the
Assistant 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. , Bahrein, reported that a German subject,
Mr. W onckhaus, intended to open a branch of his business in Bahrein. 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. suggested that, in the event of any mercantile or other
cases arising between Bahreini subjects and Mr. Wonckhaus or his agent, the
Assistant 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. should be instructed to deal with such cases as if
they were cases between British subjects and subjects of the Sheikh.
3 . The Government of India informed 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 reply
that “Mr. Wonckhaus being a foreigner and not a protected person, the
Assistant 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. cannot claim any jurisdiction in such cases.
Mr. Wonckhaus and his agent, if a foreigner and not a native Indian subject
of His Majesty, must be regarded as liable in such cases to the jurisdiction
of the Sheikh.
“ As, however, the Sheikh is bound, under treaty, not to admit the
consular agencies of other nations without the consent of the British
Government, it is expedient that the British representative should, as a
matter of courtesy, extend his good offices to European foreigners in any
disputes between them and the Chief of Bahrein or his subjects, and, in the
event of necessity, he should claim to protect all such foreigners as he would
a British subject. I am to request that Mr. Gaskin may be instructed to
this effect.”
The action taken by the Government of India was subsequently approved
by His Majesty’s Government.
4 . In June 1903 , the question having arisen of the purchase by Mr.
Wonckhaus of certain premises in Bahrein which he had hitherto held on a
temporary lease, the Government of India instructed 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.
as follows :—“ In view ... of the belief which Mr. Wonckhaus is reported
to hold that, in the event of his acquiring property, he will not be amenable
to local law, but will be subject to the extra-territorial jurisdiction of Courts
of his own country (though there are none such with local jurisdiction in
Bahrein), the Government of India approve your proposal to warn the Sheikh
of Bahrein that no such acquisition can give to any Consul or other
representative of a foreign nation the right to enter into direct relations with
the Chief, and that, should any such official address the Chief, he should be
referred to the British authorities. The position should also be clearly
explained to Mr. Wonckhaus.”
4371 75 3.30
Lr. d. 4 May 1901,
No. 708 E.A., end.
in G. of I. Desp. 72 >
of 9 May 1901
P. 614/01.
Secret Desp. to
G. of I., No. 16, of
21 June 1901:
P. 2063/01.
Lr. from G. of I. to
Pol. Res., No. 1156 E»
of 2 June 1903:
P. 845/03.

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Content

Correspondence, minute papers, and notes relating to the issue of The Qatar Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers). , 1939. The correspondence is mostly between officials at the Foreign Office, 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. , 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. 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 Government of India, Foreign and Political Department (later, External Affairs). The papers concern the discussion of the need for the order, its drafting, issue, and distribution, as well as its revision in 1939.

Correspondence with the Shaikh of Qatar, Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani [Shaikh ‘Abdullāh bin Jāsim Āl Thānī], is also included and mostly relates to his wish for assurance of his jurisdiction over Muslim foreigners.

A copy of the order is found on folios 138-153. A copy of the Kuwait Order in Council A regulation issued by the sovereign of Great Britain on the advice of the Privy Council (in modern practice, upon the advice of government ministers). is also included, for reference purposes (folios 271-86).

Extent and format
1 file (314 folios)
Arrangement

The file is arranged in chronological order from the back to the front.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the inside front cover with 1, and terminates at the last folio with 317; 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 also present in parallel between ff 2-103 and ff 104-316. These are also both written in pencil and located in the top right corner of each folio. The former have been circled and crossed out, the latter have not been circled.

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English in Latin script
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Coll 25/18 'Orders-in-Council: Qatar: Jurisdiction over foreigners in Qatar' [‎290r] (579/635), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3322, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100076249768.0x0000b6> [accessed 8 December 2019]

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