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Coll 30/159 'Ownership of Hawar Islands.' [‎4r] (7/361)

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The record is made up of 1 file (179 folios). It was created in 29 Apr 1936-15 Oct 1942. 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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CONFIDENTIAL . CCPY
AIR MAH,.
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New Delhi,
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Please refer to Priori D>Q> letter
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the 26th October 1941 in which he traverses the decision
that the Hawar Islands of the Qatar coast belong to Bahrairu**!/
Where the local experts differ so markedly as in this case, u ' i: f Wvv ' 4, ‘
it is difficult to adjudicate, and the Government of India ^
are of the view that the only safe course is to follow , ?( |V
Priori own advice at the and of his letter and decide that
it is now outside practical politics to reverse the decision
made in 1939 and communicated to both Rulers.
2. They have however consulted Weightman, whose report
in his letter No. 0/266-1.a/29 of t he 22nd April 1939 forms,-
the foundation on which the decision to allot the Islands
to Bahrain was based and have ascertained that, as might be
expected, he holds to the opinion he then gave. That report
is certainly a considered document based on visits to the
Kawar main Island itself, and it is reasonable to observe
that the counter opinion now given is not related directly
to it, but to the claims put forward by the Bahrein Adviser.
3. For the rest the opinion now given appears to be
founded mainly on two considerations (i) that the rights
of Qatar to the Hawar Islands find endorsement in Lorimer
and (ii) that the general view of independent Arabs,
presumably (though it is not so stated} proceeding mainly
from the theory of geographical propinquity, with the
consequent power to exercise the attributes of sovereignty,
is in favour of Qatar.
On the first point the only reference traceable to Hawar
in Lorimer is on page 1513 of Volume II of his Gazetteer of
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. . Here Hawar is mentioned only as one of the
Islanas adjoining the Western Qatar coast, and there is no
reference to sovereignty or proprietary rights except in so
far as such can be deduced from the fact that, as is known
already, the Dawasir tribe built cisterns and have houses at
from...,,..
RECo. POL. DEPt.
1 60E.C 941
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.

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Content

The file concerns the disputed claims of the rulers of Bahrain and Qatar to sovereignty over the Hawar Islands. The issue arose afresh in 1936 in response to a request from Petroleum Concessions Limited to settle the issue of ownership, in order that the Company could claim oil concession rights over the island as part of the concession not previously allocated to the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO) (the Bahrain Unallotted Area).

The papers contain statements of evidence on both sides, and correspondence discussing the question from 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 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. ; 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. , Bahrain; the Foreign Office; Petroleum Concessions Limited; the Government of Bahrain; and the two rulers concerned. The British Government decided in 1939, after examining the evidence, that the islands belonged to Bahrain (folio 44). The papers show that 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 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. , Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Geoffrey Prior, challenged the validity of this judgement in 1941, stating that the case had been decided 'according to western ideas, and no allowance has been made for local custom and sentiment' (folios 6-8). However, a subsequent letter on the subject from the Government of India to 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. concluded that it was then too late to reverse the decision (folio 4).

The Arabic language content of the papers consists of approximately five folios; these include photographs of judgements (with translation, folios 57-58) submitted by the Government of Bahrain to the British Government, showing that the Bahrain Court had exercised jurisdiction in legal cases concerning residents of Hawar (folios 130-133).

The file also includes photographs of places in Hawar (folios 126-127).

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 (179 folios)
Arrangement

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

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 181; 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 3-179, and ff 48-88; 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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Coll 30/159 'Ownership of Hawar Islands.' [‎4r] (7/361), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/12/3895, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100076666398.0x00000a> [accessed 26 February 2020]

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