File No. 659a.119/24

The Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin) to the Secretary of State


10832. War Trade Board [from Sheldon]:

No. 871. Have had no reply to my telegram No. 729, Embassy 10580, June 12, 6 p.m.1 I understand that Reading has cabled the F[oreign] O[ffice] under date of June 21 that you have not yet received the text of Icelandic agreement which sent you under date of May 11 in Embassy pouch No. 20 on May 12. I understand further that Standard Oil Company is making proper representation that the agreement is unfavorable, in that it provides that the Icelandic Government should be the consignee of the oil and that the Government proposes to handle the distribution. The reason for this is that the Icelandic Government expects to make a profit on this oil, thereby recouping the loss that it expects to make on selling Icelandic produce to the Allies at a price below that at which it will have to commandeer such articles. I would point out that if this is their intention they could commandeer any oil that arrives in the country. It is, therefore, difficult to see justification of Standard’s complaint [Page 1374]if such is the case, particularly as their representative was consulted here in the early stages of the negotiations and they had every opportunity to acquaint us with their views.

As the whole object of the Icelandic agreement was to control supplies so that they might not be available either immediately or in the future to the enemy it is important that this matter should receive early attention. Please cable promptly.

  1. Not printed.