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'File 5/193 III (B 46) Slavery in the Persian Gulf' [‎18r] (46/497)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (243 folios). It was created in 13 Jul 1936-4 Apr 1938. 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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that there was anything' derogatory to the Government’s
dignity in the insertion of a section which makes the
possession of any person, as a slave, a punishable offence.
That law stands to the present day. It is not easy to
understand how it was reasonable for the Government of Indio.
to pass that law, and how it is unreasonable now to expect
the Government of Bahrein to make it an offence
(!) to import, buy or sell, a "captured slave"; and
( 2 ) to be in possession of a "captured slave" imported after
a specified date.
Cf So far as the slave-trade in the other parts 01 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. is concerned, the position briefly is that, in
Muscat , the Sultan is well disposed to its suppression; that,
in Koweit , there have been some secret imports of captureu
slaves, but that the sale of them has been entirely stamped
out by the Sheikh in recent years; and that the irucial cuan,
with its desolate coast, relatively untouched by European
influences, is the least satisfactory area in the Persian
Gulf. You will remember that 1 commented upon the
difference between Muscat and Koweit, on the one hand, where
the Rulers were in sympathy with the policy of His Majesty s
Government, and the Trucial Oman, on the other hand, where ail
that could be said was that every opportunity was taken to
impress upon the Sheikhs the "necessity of their doing their
"utmost to suppress the traffic"; a statement which is open
to the interpretation that the Sheikhs were not doing very
much. I was very glad to hear from Colonel Fowle that, on
» his return to duty, he would look into my suggestion for
I legislation (or a proclamation) in all pl.-ce^
lines proposed by me for adoption in Bahrein.
f . As you say in your letter. Colonel Fowle very kindly
undertook to see what further information could ce supplied

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Content

The volume contains confidential correspondence related to the slave trade and slavery, exchanged between a number of British Government representatives. It should be read in conjunction with IOR/R/15/1/226, of which this file is a continuation, there being numerous references to it in some of the correspondence in this volume (for example, on folios 18-19, and 20).

A large proportion of the correspondence is high-level, relating to requests from the British Government and the League of Nations for information on the nature and extent of slavery and the slave trade 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. . This correspondence is composed of memoranda sent to 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. 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. (Lieutenant-Colonel Trenchard Fowle throughout the period covered by the file), from staff 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. in London, and from Sir George Maxwell, then a member of the League of Nations Committee on Slavery. Other correspondence is lower-level, mainly comprising letters sent between 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. and 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. in Bahrain (Lieutenant-Colonel Percy Loch, Nov 1932-Apr 1937), and 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. and the other Political Agents and naval officers in the Gulf region.

George Maxwell wrote a report on slavery 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. in 1935 (National Archives: FO371/18915). Further details on the extent of slavery, the trade in slaves and abolition efforts were requested by Maxwell in 1936. As the centre of British administration on the Arab Coast, Maxwell was particularly interested in Bahrain (folios 7-11). He asked British officials for information about treaties and legislation introduced by the British Government, manumission figures, details of the trade and the routes it used. The report compiled by 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. stated that, to all intents and purposes, Bahrain was a slavery-free state. The report detailed no significant new legislation, low manumission numbers, and, with no discernible organised trade, no information on known slave traders and trading routes (folio 88). Maxwell was disappointed at the 'meagre' amount of information forthcoming (folio 86), leading to a more detailed report being compiled by 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. (folios 115-119). Maxwell wanted a new proclamation be made in Bahrain, effectively announcing that the state had abolished slavery outright (folio 118). A proclamation to this effect was made by the Shaikh of Bahrain in August 1937 (folio 113).

Other correspondence in the volume (folios 160-225) relates to a flashpoint in Dubai in March 1938, in which civil unrest amongst the people of Dubai was provoked by Sheikh Sa'id bin Maktum's decision (under British direction) to deport two men dealing in arms. According to the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Agent at Sharjah ('Abd al-Razzaq Razuqi) the root cause of the unrest was the growing concern created by increasing numbers of slaves (and in particular domestic slaves) being manumitted by the Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. (folio 159). This was seen by Dubai inhabitants as a threat to the pearling season (folio 169) and the wider economic stability of the town (folios 203-04). The civil unrest in Dubai caused consternation among British officials, who were anxious to remain on friendly terms with the region's shaikhs and their subjects. With the likelihood of global war looking increasingly likely, the British Government desired that the Trucial Coast The historic term used by the British to refer to the Gulf coast of Trucial Oman, now called United Arab Emirates. region, which was a staging post on the air supply route from Britain to India, remain politically and socially stable (folios 198-200).

Extent and format
1 volume (243 folios)
Arrangement

Correspondence in the volume has been arranged in rough chronological order, from earliest at the front of the volume, to latest at the rear. The dates on the title sheet of the index are incorrect and should be disregarded. At the front of the volume (f 4) is a typewritten index of subjects, listed alphabetically, with page numbers. These page numbers refer to the older (uncircled) foliation system used throughout the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last folio with 241; 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; these numbers are also written in pencil, but are not circled. The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the leading and ending flyleaves.

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'File 5/193 III (B 46) Slavery in the Persian Gulf' [‎18r] (46/497), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/227, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100080277352.0x00002f> [accessed 29 January 2020]

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