Dr. Salah Haider wrote his PhD thesis titled ” Land Problems in Iraq” in the early 40s of last century. And he defended it successfully in 1943 at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of London. Perhaps, he is the first Iraqi citizen who finished his PhD study at LSE. This made the British-trained Iraqi Economist a valuable technocrat to his home country.
Returning to his home country, Dr Haider worked for a short period as a Governor for Central Bank of Iraq (14 February 1949- 23 March 1949). He also was member in the Iraqi Development Board in Monarchy era.
His PhD thesis is composed of 7 chapters ( 725 pages including tables and appendixes ), each of them dealing with different aspects of emergence and evolution of land tenure in Iraq.
The author wrote the following abstract for his thesis.
By far the most important problems which occupied the attention of the civil administration in Iraq in the period between the two wars were the related problems of land tenure, irrigation, and tribal settlement. Yet twenty years of energetic efforts to solve these problems did not succeed in fully removing the various impediments to settlement, and the history of Iraq during the Thirties was punctuated by “tribal disturbances” and acute agrarian unrest, which threatened the stability of the young state. Perhaps the most important reason for this failure Is the lack of scientific study of the actual conditions and the local practices of the tribal system, and the absence of a comprehensive policy designed to place these problems in their true perspective and enable the policy of the government towards the tribes, land tenures, irrigation, transport and other agrarian questions to be coordinated into one coherent whole. In December 1931 Sir Ernest Dowson, who was asked to recommend a sound system of settlement and registration of rights to land, wrote that “there was almost a complete lack of precise, authoritative and systematic information in the Headquarter Offices of Government In regard to land conditions generally and to the methods of holding, transferring and transmitting land actually practiced from day to day by the great mass of landholders and agricultural peasantry throughout all parts of the country. “Sir Ernest Dowson, in his report (An Inquiry into Land Tenure and Related Questions, Iraq Government, 1932) from which this passage is quoted (P-5). gives short summary of some nineteen pages only on the “existing conditions” (pp., 10-29)0 and devotes the greater part of the remainder to his major purpose of suggesting a machinery for the survey, registration, and settlement of disputes in land. The result of his recommendations were the Settlement Commissions established in the country since 1932, which have achieved valuable and lasting work in the areas that they have so far covered. But they have not yet really tackled the purely tribal areas of Mantafig, Amara and Diwaniyya, and there is ample reason to believe that they will not be equally successful in the settlement of rights to land in these areas unless the Law of Settlement is drastically amended. Furthermore, land tenure and land policy is only one (though a very important one) of the agrarian problems and must be coordinated with such other problems and policies as the irrigation policy# the transport problem and the administrative and judicial procedure to be followed in the tribal areas. On these problems and their relationship very little has been written and still less published.
Download the thesis as PDF file