Belgrave's removal, encouraging him into retirement or even utilizing his assistanceelsewhere seeing as the two decades of service in Bahrain have turned him into anArab in logic and manner.Through the examination of these documents and correspondence, I accordinglyconsider Belgrave an independent party during the events of the 1950s and thus, itbecomes imperative for us to examine his diary and chronicles to extrapolatesignificant indications and markers of this crucial time period.
Who was Belgrave and what was his role?Saturday 30 October 1954
In his secret diary, Belgrave stipulates that a group of people submitted a petition of demands for reforms to the Ruler. Accordingly, the Ruler and Sheikh Abdulla bin Isaapproached the Secretariat to discuss the contents of this letter, a letter he referredto as trivial written by a simple tobacco tradesman, a bankrupt ship owner amongstother people who in his view did not conjure up any interest. Their demandsincluded participation in power with the Ruler, who in turn was worried that suchdemands would escalate into violent confrontations. Belgrave did not mention theHEC by name.Notwithstanding the above, it seems that the demands Belgrave referred to werethe same seven demands that were submitted by the NUC on 3 July 1954, a copy of which was also forwarded to the Political Resident, Political Agent and Belgravehimself at the time. These demands included the following:1.
The formation of a legislative council elected by the people.2.
The formation of committees comprised of jurists to enact a public law in thecountry and conduct reforms to the judiciary.3.
Holding free elections for the municipal, health and banking sectors.4.
The reform of police force.5.
The compensation of the relatives of prisoners and exiles and offeringgeneral amnesty to the latter.6.
The punishment of those responsible for the Fort shooting (Fort Incident).
Wednesday 3 November 1954
Belgrave notes that the Ruler rejects the abovementioned demands and issues adeclaration confirming this rejection. This declaration was indeed issued and a copyof the same was posted on the doors of the signatories to the demands petition byorders from Belgrave.This declaration was followed by an order to stop the activities of Sawt Al Bahrain(Voice of Bahrain) Newspaper, with Belgrave claiming that the journalists workingunder its ambit are banal and without merit, but nonetheless, he credited them withbeing the representatives of the majority of people and seem to be the only oneswho possess democratic principles.