No. 1056.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Straus.

No. 58.]

Sir: I inclose for your information a copy of a letter from Mr. John H. Flagg, representing certain exporting interests in the United States, dated the 1st instant, concerning a report that the Russian Government is endeavoring to obtain an exclusive concession at Cairo and other Egyptian ports for the erection of tankage for Russian petroleum.

I will thank you to make such investigation of the report as possible, and in case Mr. Flagg’s representations shall be well founded, to take such action as you properly can for the protection of American interests.

An instruction in this sense has also been addressed to Mr. John Cardwell, the agent and consul-general of the United States at Cairo.

I am, etc.,

T. F. Bayard.
[Inclosure in No. 58.]

Mr. Flagg to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: Information has recently come to the exporters here of American petroleum to the effect that the consul general of Russia at Cairo, Egypt, has received orders from his Government to secure if possible an exclusive concession at Cairo and other Egyptian ports for the erection of tankage for petroleum to parties in the interest of Russian oil.

If such concession should be granted it would prove a disastrous blow to American petroleum in Egypt, and it is doubtless intended to have precisely that effect. It is very much desired that you may instruct our consular officers at Cairo and Alexandria to be especially vigilant in regard to this coup d’affaire prompted by the Russian Government, and it is also extremely desirable that the United States shall make a prompt and earnest protest against the granting by the Turkish Government of exclusive commercial privileges, to the detriment of these American interests. The exports of American refined oil to Egypt for ten months ending November 1, 1887, were 3,743,950 gallons. It is the manifest purpose of persons manipulating Russian petroleum to place every obstacle in the way of our maintaining these exports and to grab a franchise which will virtually exclude us from the Egyptian markets.

Respectfully, yours,

Jno. H. Flagg,
Attorney for Standard Oil Company,
American Petroleum Export Association, and other exporters.