Coll 25/18 'Orders-in-Council: Qatar: Jurisdiction over foreigners in Qatar' [290v] (580/635)
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.
This transcription is created automatically. It may contain errors.
Lor. i, pp. 938-9 i2.
Lr. from Pol. Ros.
to G. of L, No. 420,
of 17 Dec. 1904:
F.O. Desp. of 5 Dec.
1904, No. 261:
Lr. from Pol. Res.
to G. of I., No. 421,
of 17 Dec. 1904,
para. 26 : P.293/Oo.
P. 293 05.
Lr. from Pol. Res. to
G. of 1., No. 1863,
d. 31 July 1909.
5 . No dispute involving the question of jurisdiction over foreigners
appears to have arisen in Bahrein, until 1904 . In 1904-5 two incidents
affecting foreign subjects took place in the Islands. In the first of these, a
German subject—an employee of Messrs. Wonckhaus—became involved in a
brawl, in the course of which he suffered personal injuries, bailing, as he
thought, to secure adequate redress through the Bolitical Agent, to whom
his first complaint was addressed, Mr. Wonckhaus made representations to
the German Consul at Basra, who addressed the Sheikh direct on the
subject. His Excellency, in reply, acknowledged the letter and added,
“ I have now to inform you that this matter is before the British Government,
and 1 cannot say anything on the subject.” The Foreign Office at a later
stage instructed the Charge d’Affaires at Berlin that, should representations
be made to him in the matter by the German Government, he should state
that it had been brought to the notice of His Majesty’s Government, and that
a British ship would be sent to Bahrein in order that an inquiry mi gilt 1 )e
instituted. The German Government do not appear to have taken any
action. The German Consul at Basra subsequently thanked the Bolitical
Resident “for your efficient help to the German firm, which, I trust, settles
G. In the second case (November 1901 ), an accidental quarrel having
arisen between a retainer of the Sheikh’s nephew and a Bersian, attacks
were made upon Bersian subjects in Bahrein. Apprehensive that the Sheikh
would endeavour to deal with the case in the local Courts, they telegraphed
for support to the Shall, and conversations took place between His Majesty’s
Minister and the Mushir-ud-Dowleh, as the result of which the latter
telegraphed to the Bersian community urging them to keep calm, as “ I
have had a long talk with the British Minister . . . and I am sure he will
take early steps to get the affairs settled and the culprit punished.” The
Sheikh, however, adopted an uncompromising attitude on the question of
jurisdiction, maintaining that he would not admit any interference “ in cases
between Arabs and Bersians, who were all Mohammedans,” and that they
must go before the local Shara Courts, which, composed as they were of
Sunnis, were unlikely to do justice to the Shiah Bersians. Argument
proving unavailing, an ultimatum was presented to llis Excellency. He
accepted tlie demands of His Majesty’s Government, and though no specific
reference to the point was made in the ultimatum, the jurisdiction of the
Bolitical Agent appears thenceforth to have been definitely established, as a
a matter of practice, in respect of British and foreign subjects in Bahrein.
7 . Correspondence took place between 1908 and 1911 in regard to the
preparation of an 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). to confer jurisdiction over British
subjects and foreigners in the Islands on the Bolitical Agent at Bahrein.
It was decided that it was desirable to obtain a formal request from the
Sheikh that he should be relieved of jurisdiction over foreigners. After
discussion with 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. , His Excellency addressed the latter on
10th July 1909 , in the following terms :—“ After compliments. It is not
hidden from you that I have had considerable trouble in many cases (that
arose) in my territory in which foreigners were involved. For this reason
I wish that I may not be held responsible in these cases, and I would
be grateful to British Government if they remove this trouble and
responsibility from me. I mean that it (the British Government) should
exercise authority in all cases in which the foreigners only are concerned,
but not in other cases ; and in cases that occur between foreigners and my
subjects, it is necessary that you and 1 should settle them jointly.”
8. The Bolifical Resident remarked, with reference to the reservation
contained in the concluding sentence of the Sheikh’s letter, “As its elfect is
simply that such cases will be disposed of by the joint Court, and gives
foreigners the same treatment that British subjects now receive, there seems
no need for exception to be taken to it.”
9 . The Sheikh subsequently represented that his letter of 10 th July
1909 , giving jurisdiction over foreigners to the British Government, was
intended only “to cover subjects of recognised Bowers and not the
dependents of petty Arab potentates in Gulf, with some of whom he claims
About this item
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)
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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- Coll 25/18 'Orders-in-Council: Qatar: Jurisdiction over foreigners in Qatar'
- front, front-i, 2r:16v, 18r:158v, 160r:171v, 173r:317v, back
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