Records of Bahrain 1961–1965

  (13) 978-1-85207-790-7   Extent:   5 volumes, 3,750 pages

Editor:  A. Burdett   Published: 1997
Paper: Printed on acid free paper
Binding: Library bindings with gilt finish
See sample pages: not available


In these 3750 pages Archive Editions presents a comprehensive collection of original British government documents detailing the history of Bahrain between 1961 and 1965. Also published are two collections running from 1820 up to 1960 and 1966 to 1971.
The intention of this collection was to compile all the pages relating to the history and development of Bahrain for this period, therefore the key events are covered in greater detail than in the earlier collection (1820-1960).


The events of 1961 to 1965 include the death of Shaikh Salman bin Hamad, and the succession of Shaikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifah; a threatened coup d’etat in 1962; some attempts at internal administrative reform, particularly of the Bahrain Administrative Council; expansion of Muharraq airport and assessments of its strategic significance in the Gulf; the award of Halul to Qatar as part of the Bahrain–Qatar seabed dispute; the discovery of oil in the joint Saudi–Bahrain marine area Fasht bu Saafa; commercial development at Jufair and Mina Sulman; currency reform and the issue of national stamps. In 1965 events became violent with demonstrations at Muharraq by dissidents who were being supported by Iraq and tolerated by Kuwait. The internal criticism of the régime was echoed internationally by the Arab League which demanded that Bahrain sever its connections with Great Britain.


Understanding the Series
These three titles combine to create a large collection which offers historical evidence for the political, economic and social evolution of Bahrain. Such evidence improves our understanding of the modern political position of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. This large body of documents includes, for example, examination of frontier negotiations and questions of sovereignty, particularly the claim to Bahrain by Iran and the long-running dispute with Qatar; it also provides details of constitutional, military and defence developments.
The British records are of particular interest because the British were in the unique position of being at the heart of government in the Gulf states. They administered Bahrain’s foreign and defence affairs through treaty relations from as early as 1820 and despite a convention acknowledging the independence of Bahrain agreed in 1913, right up to the British withdrawal in 1971.


Material has been arranged within each volume according to broad subjects including internal political affairs, social and economic development, regional and international relations. Within these general divisions documents are presented chronologically. Some highlights from the volumes include: 

Volume 1: 1961

  • Death of Ruler, HH Shaikh Sir Salman bin Hamad al Khalifah
  • Succession of HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman
  • List of Government officials
  • New terminal building at the airport
  • Dispute between Gray Mackenzie and Kanoo
  • Strategic significance of Bahrain
  • Shell oil concession and Bahrain-Qatar offshore boundary
  • Exile of Bahraini political prisoners and their return
  • BAPCO tax questions

Volume 2: 1962

  • Prospects following accession of Shaikh Isa (December 1961)
  • Petition from pearl merchants on economics of pearl trade
  • Development of docks at Mina Sulman
  • Progress of Bahrain-Qatar seabed dispute
  • Review of Bahrain-BAPCO agreement

Volume 3: 1963

  • Pressure for reform of Bahrain Administrative Council
  • Proposals for national airline
  • Currency reform in Bahrain with regard to Indian rupee
  • Discussion of BAPCO prices and profits
  • Discovery of oil in joint Bahrain-Saudi offshore field

Volume 4: 1964

  • Shaikh Hamad is named as heir apparent
  • Ruler makes state visit to UK, agrees to administrative reforms
  • New housing development at Isa Town completed
  • Agreement on Bahrain-Qatar seabed boundary

Volume 5: 1965

  • Adoption of the Bahrain dinar
  • Population census
  • BAPCO redundancies lead to civil disturbances
  • Offshore oil concession signed with CONOCO