Aden, Yemen: the India connection

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Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.


Aden, Yemen

The Aden Peninsula, isthmus, and fortified town, used to be under the Govern- ment of Bombay, on the south coast of the province of Yemen, Arabia, situated in 12 degree 47' N. and 45 degree 10' E. The British territory was formerly limited to the peninsula of Aden proper, extending to the Khor Maksar creek, 2 miles north of the defensive works across the isthmus. In 1868 the island of Sirah (now connected with the mainland by a masonry causeway), and the peninsula of Jebel Ihsan, or Little Aden, were acquired by purchase from the Sultan of Lahej. In 1882, owing to the increasing population of Aden town, a further small tract of territory was acquired by purchase beyond the Khor Maksar creek, extending to just beyond the village of Imad on the north and to Shaikh Othman on the north-west, about 10 miles from Bandar Tawayih. The island of Sokotra, in the Arabean Sea, passed under the protection of the British Government in virtue of a treaty concluded in 1886.

The inhabited peninsula is an irregular oval, 15 miles in circumference, with a diameter of 3 to 5 miles, connected with the continent by a neck of land 1,350 yards broad but at one place nearly aspects covered at high spring tides. The causeway and aque- duct, however, are always above, although at certain seasons just above, water. Aden consists of a huge crater, walled round by precipices, the highest peak being 1,775 feet above the sea. Rugged spurs, with valleys between, radiate from the centre.

A great gap in the circumference of the crater has been rent on its sea-face, opposite the fortified island of Sirah, by some later volcanic disturbance. The town and part of the military cantonment lie within the crater, and con- sequently are surrounded on all sides by hills. Lavas, brown, grey, and dark green, compact, schistose, and spongy breccias, and tufas form the materials of this volcanic fortress ; with occasional crystals of augite, sanidin, small seams of obsidian, chalcedony in the rock cavities, gypsum, and large quantities of pumice-stone, of which several thousand forts are exported yearly to Bombay. The scanty vegetation resembles that of Arabia Petraea, and includes only ninety-four species ; the more arid forms of Dipterygium glaucum, Capparideae, Risida amblyocarpa, Cassia pubescens, Acacia eburnea, and Euphorbeaceae predominating.

The harbour, Bandar Tawayih, or Aden West Bay, more generally known as Aden Back Bay, lies between the two peninsulas of Jebel Shum Shum and Jebel Ihsan, extending 8 miles from east to west by 4 from north to south, and is divided into two bays by a spit of land running off half a mile to the southward of the small island of Aliyah. The depth of water in the western bay is from 3 to 4 fathoms ; across the entrance, 9/2 to 5 fathoms, with 10 to 12 fathoms 2 miles outside. The bottom is sand and mud. There are several islands in the inner bay ; the principal, Jazirah Sawayih or Slave Island, is 300 feet high, and is almost joined to the mainland at low water. Large vessels lie off Steamer Point.

The Peninsular and Oriental Navigation Company's steamers call weekly at the port to receive, tranship, or land passengers and mails. There are numerous lights and lightships at Aden and Perim. The chief are the Aden Cape Light at Ras Marshag, visible for 20 miles, and the High Light on Perim with a range of 22 miles. The Aden lightship is visible for 10 miles, and fires a gun whenever a vessel enters the harbour at night.

The average temperature of Aden is 87 degree in the shade, the mean monthly range being from 75 degree in January to 98 in June, with variations up to (and sometimes exceeding) 102 degree The lulls between the monsoons in May and in September are specially oppressive.

The mortality among the Europeans, although greatly increased by sick or dying men from the passengers and crews of ships, amounts to only 7-24 per thousand, and Aden ranks as a rather healthy station for troops ; but it is a well-ascertained fact that long residence impairs the faculties and undermines the constitution of Europeans, and even natives of India suffer from the effects of too prolonged an abode in the settlement. The climate during the north-east monsoon, or from October to April, is cool and pleasant, particularly in November, December, and January. During the remainder of the year, hot sandy winds, known as shamal, or ' north,' indicating the direction from which they come, prevail within the crater, but on the western or Steamer Point side the breezes coming directly off the sea are fairly cool.

The rainfall may be said to vary from 1/4 inch to 17/2 inches, with an irregular average of about 3 inches. Since the restoration of the tanks commenced in 1856, they have only been filled six times, in May, 1866, May, 1870, and September, 1877, 1889, 1893, and 1897. The settlement is exceptionally free from infectious diseases and epidemics. The absence of vegetation, the dry- ness of the soil, and the purity of the drinking-water constitute efficient safeguards against many maladies common to tropical countries.

Aden formed part of Yemen under the ancient Himyarite kings. It has been identified with the Eden of Ezekiel xxvii. 23, whose merchants traded ' in all sorts, in blue clothes, and broidered work, in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar.' Aden, the 'Apabea evdaipur of the Periplus, is mentioned as 'Adavn, one of the places where churches were erected by the Christian embassy sent forth by the emperor Constantius, A.D. 342. Its position rendered it an entrepot of ancient commerce between the provinces of the Roman empire and the East. ' About 525 Yemen, with Aden, fell to the Abyssinians, who, at the request of the emperor Justin, sent an army to revenge the persecution of the Christians by the reigning Himyarite dynasty. In 575 the Abyssinians were ousted by the Persians. Anarchy and bloodshed followed. The rising Muhammadan power reached Aden ten years after the Hijra. It became subject successively to the Ummayid Khalifs, the Abbassids (749), and the Karamite Khalifs (905), until the period of Yemen independence under its own Imams (932). Aden continued in the early centuries of Islam to be a place of flourishing commerce. It carried on a direct trade with India and China on the east, and with Egypt (and so indirectly with Europe) on the west. In 1038 Aden was captured by the chief of Lahej, and remained under his successors till 1137. During the next three centuries it was frequently taken and retaken by the conflicting powers in the south of Arabea. About the year 1500 the Yemen Imam, then in possession, constructed the aqueduct of 9 miles from Ber Mahait into Aden, the ruins of which exist to this day.

In 1503 Aden was visited by Ludovico de Varthema. Ten years later it was attacked by the Portuguese under Albuquerque, who had been charged by King Emmanuel to effect its capture. His expedition left India on February 18, 1513, with twenty ships and 2,500 sailors, and reached Aden on Easter Eve. The assault was delivered on Easter Sunday. An outwork with thirty-nine guns fell to the Portuguese ; but, after a four days' bloody siege, Albuquerque was repulsed with great slaughter, and had to content himself with burning the vessels in the harbour and cannonading the town. In 1516 the Mameluke Sultan of Egypt failed in a similar attack. Later in that year the fortress was offered to the Portuguese under Lopo Soares d'Albergaria ; but the defences having been meanwhile repaired by the native governor, it was not delivered up. About 1517 Selim 1, Sultan of Turkey, having over- thrown the Mameluke power in Egypt, resolved to seize Aden as a harbour, whence all the Turkish expeditions against the Portuguese in the East, and towards India, might sail. This project was carried out in August, 1538, by an expedition sent forth by his son Sulaiman the Magnificent, under the admiral Rais Sulaiman. The Turkish sailors were conveyed on shore lying on beds as if sick ; and the governor was invited on board the Turkish fleet, where he was treacherously seized and hanged.

The Turks strengthened the place with 100 pieces of artillery and a garrison of 500 men. For a time Aden, with the whole coast of Arabea, remained under the Ottoman power. Before 1551 the townsmen had rebelled and handed the place over to the Portuguese, from whom, however, it was retaken in that year by Peri Pasha, the Capidan of Egypt, and still more strongly fortified. In 1609 Aden was visited by the East India Company's ship Ascension, the captain being well received, and then thrown into prison until the governor had got as much as he could out of the ship. Next year Sir Henry Middlefort also visited Aden, and one of his ships being left behind, a similar act of treachery was repeated. About 1614 Van den Broeck arrived on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, was, as usual, well received, but obtained a hint that he had better leave, and returned unsuccessful to India. In 1618, by the desire of Sir Thomas Roe, British ambassador to the Mughal emperor, permission was obtained to establish a factory at Mokha. In 1630 the Turks were compelled to evacuate Yemen, and Aden passed again to the native Imams of that province. In 1708 the French visited the port, and in 1735 it was seized by the Abdali Sultan of Lahej.

During the next seventy year it formed the subject of constant struggles among various Arabian claim- ants. In 1802 Sir Home Popham concluded a treaty of friendship and commerce with the chief, and in 1829 the Court of Directors thought of making it a coaling station, but abandoned the idea owing to the difficulty of procuring labour. Aden was attacked by the Turkchi Belmas in 1833, and sacked by the Fadhlis in 1836. The chief soon afterwards committed an outrage on the passengers and crew of a British buggalow wrecked in the neighbourhood; and in January, 1838, Captain Haines, on behalf of the Government of Bombay, demanded restitution. It was arranged that the peninsula should be ceded for a consideration to the British. But various acts of treachery supervened; and it was captured in January, 1839, by H. M. steamers Volage, 28 guns, and Cruiser, 10 guns, with 300 European and 400 native troops under Major Baillie — the first accession of territory in the reign of Queen Victoria. Captain Haines thus described its condition when it passed into British hands : —

'The little village (formerly the great city) of Aden is now reduced to the most exigent condition of poverty and neglect. In the reign of Constanthee this town possessed unrivalled celebrity for its impenetrable fortifications, its flourishing commerce, and the glorious haven it offered to vessels from all quarters of the globe. But how lamentable is the present contrast ! With scarce a vestige of its former proud superiority, the traveller values it only for its capabelities, and regrets the barbarous cupidity of that government under whose injudicious management it has fallen so low.' — (MS. Journal.)

A stipend of 541 German crowns was assigned to the chief during his good behaviour. But the Abdali proved fickle, and in three attacks, the last in 1841, he was repelled with heavy loss. In 1844 he implored forgiveness, and his stipend was restored. In 1846 a fanatic, named Saiyid Ismail, preached & jihad among the neighbouring tribes, but was routed. Occasional outrages in the neighbourhood, such as atrocities on boats' crews and plunderings, have from time to time disturbed the peace ; but each has been very promptly checked. The adjacent penin- sula ol Jebel Ihsan, Little Aden, was obtained by purchase in 1868 ; an advance of the Turkish troops on the Lahej territory took place in 1872, but was withdrawn in consequence of representations made by the British Government to the Porte.

Attached to the settlement of Aden are the islands of Perim, Sokotra, and Kuria Muria. Perim is a volcanic island in the Straits of Bab-el- Mandeb, 3/2 miles from the Arabian and 11 miles from the African coast. It had been visited by Albuquerque in 1513, and was occupied by the British in 1799 during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, as a pre- caution against the descent of the French army upon India, but subsequently abandoned. In 1857, with the introduction of the over- land route, it was reoccupied, and a lighthouse built upon it to facilitate the navigation of the straits.

In 1883 a company was formed, which obtained a concession on the western side of the island as a site for a coaling station, and a large number of vessels now call annually for the purpose of taking coal. The island of Sokotra passed under the pro- tection of the British Government in virtue of a treaty concluded in April, 1886. The Kuria Muria islands were ceded by the Imam of Maskat in 1854. They are valuable only for the guano deposits found upon them.

A joint commission, representing the British and Turkish Govern- ments, delimitated the boundary of the Aden Protectorate in 1903-4. This led to some disturbance with the frontier tribes, and a small military force was employed in protecting the commission.

The area of Aden Peninsula is 21 square miles ; of Little Aden, 15 square miles ; of the subsequently acquired tract of Shaikh Othman, 39 square miles ; and of Perim, 5 square miles : total; 80 square miles. The inhabitants numbered 6,000 in 1839, exclusive of the troops; 15,000 in 1842 ; 19,289 in 1872 ; 34,860 in 1881 ; 44,079 in 1891 ; and 43,974 in 1901. The distribution is as follows : —


The European residents and Christians number 3,969 ; Muham- madans, 33,581 ; Jews, 3,059. The Parsis (328), Jains (166), and Hindus (2,725) have most of the local trade in their hands.

At the Census of 1901 the population was largely returned as Arabs (19,468) and Shaikhs (3,180). The chief Arab tribes are described by Captain Hunter as follows : The Abdali inhabet a district lying in a north-north-westerly direction from Aden, called Lahej, about 33 miles long and 8 broad. Al Hautah, the capital, where the Sultan resides, is situated about 21 miles from the Barrier Gate.

The population of this district is about 14,500. The Abdali are the most civilized but least warlike of all the tribes in south-western Arabia. The Fadhli possess two large districts, with a seaboard of 100 miles, extending eastward from the boundary of the Abdali. Shukra, their chief seaport, is situated 60 or 70 miles from Aden. They are proud, warlike, and independent, and have about 6,700 fighting men. The Akrabi inhabit a district the coast-line of which stretches from Bir Ahmad to Ras Amran. This tribe has a high reputation for courage. The Arab chiefs in the neighbourhood are nearly all stipendiaries of the British Government.

The language of the settlement is Arabic ; but other Asiatic tongues, as Urdu, Persian, Gujarat!, Sindi, &c, as well as several European languages, are spoken.

The Somalis from the African coast and Arabs do the hard labour of the port. There are also a few Arab merchants of substance. Many of the Somalis and Arabs have no homes, but find their meals at the. cook-shops, and sleep in the coffee-houses or in the open air. The increasing pressure of the civil population upon the military town and garrison led to arrangements being made to acquire a suitable site to locate the large number of natives who lead a hand-to-mouth existence ; and by the purchase of the Shaikh Othman tract, in February, 1882, the difficulty of want of room has been removed.

The food of the whole population, civil and military, is imported, Aden producing not a blade of grain. Rice comes from Calcutta, Bombay, and Malabar ; jowar, bajra, and maize are carried on camels from the interior. Coarse grass and the straw of jowar and bajra are brought for the horses and camels from the Lahej and Fadhli districts in the neighbourhood. The people have an untidy and makeshift air, which contrasts with the personal cleanliness of an Indian population. This arises partly from the scarcity of water, partly from the temporary nature of their residence and out-of-door life. They earn high wages in the various employments incident to a busy entrepot and port of tranship- ment. Domestic servants receive Rs. 15 to Rs. 25 a month ; grooms, Rs. 15 to Rs. 20; boatmen, messengers, &c, Rs. 15 to Rs. 20. These classes also get three gallons of water per day besides their wages. Porters and day-labourers earn daily from a rupee upwards, according to their industry. The cost of living is high.

As far as the settlement is concerned there are no products whatever, with the important exception of salt. This commodity is manufactured on a stretch of ground situated near Shaikh Othman. The crops in the low country are jowar (red and white) : sesamum, from which oil is manufactured ; cotton to a small extent ; madder for dyeing purposes ; wars or bastard saffron ; and a little indigo, from which the favourite Arab cloth is dyed. In the hills, wheat, madder, fruit, coffee, and a considerable quantity of wax and honey are obtained. The Amiri district supplies aloes, dragon's blood, wooden rafters, and ghi, while dragon's blood and aloes come from Sokotra.

The water-supply forms, perhaps, the most important problem at Aden ; but it has been found that the most reliable means of supply is by condensing, and but little is now drawn from the wells and aque- ducts. Water is obtained from four sources — wells, aqueducts, tanks or reservoirs, and condensers. The following description is abridged from a report by Captain F. M. Hunter, First Assistant Resident, dated 1877 : —


These may be divided into two classes, within and without British limits. Water of good quality is found at the head of the valleys within the crater, and to the west of the town, where wells are very numerous. They are sunk in the solid rock to the depth of from 120 to 190 feet ; in the best the water stands at a depth of 70 feet below sea-level. The sweetest is the Banian Well, situated near the Khussaf valley ; it yields a daily average of 2,500 gallons ; the tempera- ture of the water is 102 , the specific gravity 0.999, and it contains 1.16 of saline matter in 2,000 gallons.

Close to the village of Shaikh Othman, and on the northern side of the harbour, there is a piece of low-lying ground, called the Hiswah, where the bed of a mountain torrent meets the sea. After very heavy rains on the neighbouring hills, the flood occasionally empties itself into the harbour by this outlet. From wells dug in the watercourse a limited supply of water may always be obtained. It is brought over to the southern side of the bay in boats, and is also conveyed in leathern skins on camels round by land across the isthmus into the settlement. Water of a fair quality is obtained from wells in the village of Shaikh Othman, and is carried into Aden on camels. During the hot season these Hiswah and Shaikh Othman wells yield no inconsiderable portion of the quantity of water used by the civil population, as may be gathered from the fact that 112 water-carts, or upwards of 1 7,000 gallons, passed the barrier gate daily in 1903.


In 1867 the British Government entered into a con- vention with the Sultan of Lahej, by which it obtained permission to construct an aqueduct from two of the best wells in the village of Shaikh Othman, 7 miles distant. The water is received inside the fortifications into large reserve tanks, and is thence distributed to the troops and establishments, and also to the public in limited quantities at one rupee per hundred gallons. This water is of an indifferent quality, and is fit only for the purposes of ablution. The Sultan of Lahej subsequently sold the territory through which the aqueduct passes, and commuted his share of the profits for a monthly payment of Rs. 1,200. The aqueduct cost 3 lakhs to construct, and the original intention was to extend the work up to Darab, 8 miles farther inland. This latter place is situated on the bank of the torrent, the outlet of which, on the northern side of the harbour, has been already referred to ; and the object was to take advantage of the rainfall in the months of May, June, July, August, and September, on the hills some 20 miles farther inland, before the thirsty sands had time to drink it up.

Tanks or Reservoirs

(see Playfair's History of Yemen)

The expediency of constructing reservoirs in which to store rain-water was recognized in Arabia at a very early date. They are generally found in localities devoid of springs, and depend on the winter rains for a supply of water during the summer months. The most remarkable instance on record is the great dam at Mareb, assigned to 1700 B C. Travellers who have penetrated into Yemen describe many similar works in the mountainous districts, while others exist in the island of Said- ud-din, near Zaila ; in Kotto in the Bay of Amphilla ; and in Dhalak Island, near Massowah. Those in Aden are about fifty in number, and, if entirely cleared out, would have an aggregate capacity of nearly 30,000,000 gallons.

There is no trustworthy record of the construction of these reservoirs, but they are supposed to have been commenced at the time of the second Persian invasion of Yemen, circ. A.D. 600. They cannot be attributed to the Turks. The Venetian oFficer who described the expedition oF the Rais Sulaiman in 1538, when Aden was first con- quered by the Turkish nation, says : ' They [the inhabitants of Aden] have none but rain-water, which is preserved in cisterns and pits 100 fathoms deep.' Ibn Batuta had previously mentioned the tanks as the source of the Aden water-supply in his day (circ. 1330). Mr. Salt, who visited Aden in 1809, thus describes the tanks as they then existed : —

'Amongst the ruins some fine remains of ancient splendour are to be met with, but they only serve to cast a deeper shade over the devastation of the scene. The most remarkable of these reservoirs consists of a line of cisterns situated on the north-west side of the town, three of which are fully 80 feet wide and proportionately deep, all excavated out of the solid rock, and lined with a thick coat of fine stucco, which externally bears a strong resemblance to marble. A broad aqueduct may still be traced which formerly conducted the water to these cisterns from a deep ravine in the mountain above ; higher up is another, still entire, which at the time we visited it was partly filled with water.'

When Captain Haines, then engaged in the survey of the Arabian coast, visited Aden in 1835, some of the reservoirs appear to have been still in a tolerably perfect state. Besides the tanks built high up on the hills, several large ones were traceable round the town. But the necessary steps not having been taken to preserve them from further destruction, they became filled with debris washed down from the hills by the rain. The people of the town carried away the stones for building purposes ; and, with the exception of a very few which could not be easily destroyed or concealed, all trace of them was lost, save where a fragment of plaster, appearing above the ground, indicated the supposed position of a reservoir, believed to be ruined beyond the possibility of repair.

In 1856 the restoration of these magnificent public works was commenced, and thirteen have been completed, capable of holding 7,718,630 gallons of water. It is almost impossible to give such a description of these extraordinary walled excavations as would enable one who has not seen them to understand them thoroughly. Trees have now been planted in their vicinity, and gardens laid out, making the only green spot in the settlement. The Shum-Shum (Sham-sham) hills, which form the wall of the crater, are nearly circular; on the western side the rainfall rushes precipitously to the sea, down a number of long narrow valleys unconnected with each other ; on the interior or eastern side the hills are quite as abrupt, but the descent is broken by a large table-land occurring midway between the summit and the sea-level, which occupies about one-fourth of the entire superficies of Aden. The plateau is intersected by numerous ravines, nearly all of them converging into one valley, which thus receives a large proportion of the drainage of the peninsula. The steepness of the hills, the hardness of the rocks, and the scantiness of the soil upon them combine to prevent absorption ; and thus a very moderate fall of rain suffices to send down the valley a stupendous torrent of water, which, before reaching the sea, not unfrequently attains the proportions of a river. To collect and store this water, the reservoirs have been constructed.

They are fantastic in shape. Some are formed by a dike built across the gorge of a valley ; in others, the soil in front of a re-entering angle on the hill has been removed, and a salient angle or curve of masonry built in front of it ; while every feature of the adjacent rocks has been taken advantage of and connected by small aqueducts, to ensure that no water be lost. The overflow of one tank has been conducted into the succeeding one, and thus a complete chain has been formed. In 1857, when only a very small proportion of the whole had been repaired, more water was collected from a single fall of rain on October 23 than the whole of the wells yield during an entire year. It is manifest, however, that a large city could Never have depended entirely on this precarious source of supply ; and the sovereign of Yemen, Abdul Wahhab, towards the close of the fifteenth century, constructed an aqueduct to convey the water of the Ber Mahait (Playfair says 'Ber Hameed ') into Aden. The ruins of this magnificent public work exist to the present day.

The restoration ol the tanks, including repairs, has cost about 11/2 lakhs. Of late years it has been the practice to put the tanks up to auction for a definite period, the highest bidder trusting to a good fall of rain to recoup his outlay. The water collected used to be sold at R. 1 per 100 gallons, and, when the tanks are full, the annual revenue amounts to about Rs. 30,000. But when the rain fails and the tanks are exhausted, a skin containing 5 gallons of brackish water has at times sold for 8 annas.


Shortly before the opening of the Suez Canal, the Government foresaw the necessity of obtaining a plentiful and unfailing supply of good water, and in 1867 several condensers, on the most approved principle, were ordered from England. A brisk trade 'in distilled water sprang up, and six condensers are now worked by the Government and private companies, capable of yielding 52,000 gallons a day, or a sufficient supply for 10,400 Europeans at 5 gallons per head. In 1903-4 condensed water was sold at Rs. 1-8-5 Per 100 gallons. The cost of working the condensers in that year was Rs. 54,871-

The trade of Aden has immensely developed under British rule. From 1839 to 1850 customs dues were levied as in India. In 1850 the Government of India declared Aden a free port, and thus attracted to it much of the valuable trade between Arabia and Africa, formerly monopolized by Mokha and Hodaida. Customs duties are levied on spirits, wines, &c, salt, and arms. A transhipment fee of Rs. 100 per chest is levied on all opium, other than of Indian growth, imported for transhipment or re-export. The value of imports and exports during the seven years preceding the opening of the port in 1850 averaged 18 lakhs; during the next seven years it averaged 60 lakhs, excluding inland traffic; in 1870 it rose to 174 lakhs, and in 1881-2 it reached 381 lakhs. For the year 1903-4 the total value of the sea import trade, exclusive of treasure, was 467 lakhs, and the total value of the sea export trade was 375 lakhs. The inland trade is also considerable, its total value in 1903-4, exclusive of treasure, being 43 lakhs.

The opening of the Suez Canal has been mainly responsible for this increase in the trade of Aden, which in 1903-4 amounted to 1033 lakhs, by sea and land, exclusive of the value of goods transhipped and Government stores and treasure. The growing importance of the port may be inferred from the steamer traffic, which in thirty years has risen from 894 to 1,657 vessels. Of the 1,369 merchant steamers in 1903-4, 857 were British, 153 German, 136 French, 97 Austrian, 83 Italian, 19 Russian, and 17 Dutch. During the sixty-three years of British rule in Aden the population has multiplied nearly sevenfold, and the trade has risen from less than one lakh per annum. Aden now not only forms the chief centre of the Arabian trade with Africa, but is an entrepot and place of transhipment for an ever-increasing European and Asiatic commerce. This comprises an extensive trade in coffee berries (the unhusking and cleaning of which form an important industry in Aden), skins, piece-goods, and grain.

Aden is subject politically to the Government of Bombay. The administration of the settlement is conducted by a Resident, who has four Assistants. The Resident is also Military Commandant, and is usually an officer selected from the Indian Army, as are also his Assistants. Three of these are stationed at Aden and one at Perim. The Resident has jurisdiction as a Judge of the Vice-Admiralty Court in matters connected with the slave trade ; his court is also a Colonial Court of Admiralty. The laws in force in the settlement are, generally speaking, those in force in the Bombay Presidency, supplemented on certain points by special regulations drawn up to suit local conditions.

The total revenue receipts of the Aden treasury in 1903-4 under all heads — imperial, local, and municipal — amounted to 80 lakhs, compared with 18 lakhs in 1881 and 38 lakhs in 1891. The chief items are excise (one lakh), ' excluded ' funds, such as the Port Trust and Aden Settlement funds (13/2 lakhs), municipal funds (2 lakhs), post office (13/2 lakhs), and local supply bells (111/2lakhs). The income of the can- tonment fund in 1903-4 was Rs. 9,730, and the expenditure the same.

Land is not sold in Aden. Sites of buildings and gardens are granted in perpetuity, and sites for stacking coal or salt, for beaching boats, for slips, and for workshops, &c, are given on leases for a term ol ninety-nine years on payment of quit-rent as follows : —

In the peninsula

On building sites . . .6 pies per sq. yard per annum. On land granted on leases . 2 pies per sq. yard per annum.

In Shaikh Othman

On building sites . . .2 pies per sq. yard per annum. On garden land . . . Rs. 6 per acre per annum.

Sites granted for manufacture of 8 annas per fort on the quantity salt manufactured and exported.

Funds for the maintenance of sanitary and conservancy arrangements within the settlement are raised by the levy of octroi, house tax, and other imposts. In 1903-4 the sum thus levied was about 2 lakhs. In place of a former municipal committee, an executive committee has been established under Regulation VII of 1904 for the management of local affairs, subject to the control of the Resident. This committee was credited with the balance of the municipal fund, now called the Aden Settlement fund.

Up to April 1, 1889, the management of the port was under the direct control of the Port Officer, who received orders, when necessary, from the Resident. In that year, however, a Board of Trustees was formed under the provisions of Bombay Act V of 1888, which has since controlled the management of the harbour.

The principal task of the Port Trust has been to make arrangements for the deepening of the harbour, so as to allow vessels of all sizes to enter and leave the inner harbour at all states of the tide. For this purpose a large and powerful dredger was purchased in 1890. Since that date the progress made with the dredging of the harbour has been satisfactory. In order to provide the necessary funds, the levy of tolls and wharfage fees on goods landed or shipped has been sanctioned by the Board. In 1903-4 the receipts thus derived exceeded 9/2 lakhs and the disbursements were 7/2 lakhs.

The garrison of Aden on March 31, 1904, comprised three com- panies of garrison artillery, two battalions of British infantry, a company of sappers and miners, and two native regiments. Exclusive of troops at Perim and in the interior, the garrison comprised 1,178 British and 1,015 native troops.

The police number 216, the cost being Rs. 59,571 in 1903-4, and the proportion one policeman to 204 of the population. The cost of the harbour police, numbering 42, was Rs. 13,515. The daily average number of prisoners in jail in 1903-4 was 31.

In the settlement of Aden 18 per cent, of the total population (24.4 males and 3.2 females) were able to read and write in 1901. In 1881 Aden had only 4 Government schools with 427 pupils. In 1891 the number had increased to 31, and in 1901 to 37 schools with 1,503 pupils. In 1903-4 there were 45 schools with 2,172 pupils, including 295 girls. Of these institutions, 5 are English, 2 Gujarati, 32 Urdu, and 3 Arabic.

The total expenditure on education in 1903-4 was Rs. 6,352. The Good Shepherd Convent, under a Mother Superior and a Roman Catholic clergyman, has established schools, both in Aden and at Steamer Point.

Aden has two hospitals and three dispensaries. In 1903-4 the number of patients treated in these institutions was 34,982, of whom 2,186 were in-patients, and 1,962 operations were performed. The total expenditure was Rs. 53,000. Separate military hospitals are main- tained for the garrison. Perim has two dispensaries, one military and one private, in which 1,035 patients were treated in 1903-4. Of these, 219 were in-patients. The average number of persons successfully vaccinated in Aden is 54 per 1,000.

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