The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis)

No. 283

Sir: The receipt is acknowledged of your despatch No. 843 of June 5, 1919, in response to the Department’s instruction No. 120 of March 18, 1919, relative to the action of the British authorities in examining certain maps and papers of the Standard Oil Company in the custody of their representative at Jerusalem.

Due note has been taken of the explanation of the Foreign Office to the effect that these papers were examined only after proper application had been made to the Spanish Consul in charge of American interests, and that the information obtained has been treated as confidential.

You are requested to address a further note to the Foreign Office to inquire whether the Spanish Consul at Jerusalem assented to the examination by the British military authorities of documents belonging to an American company.

[Page 255]

In connection with the observation that the action was taken to ascertain, in view of the very numerous claims which were being put forward, what concessions had actually been granted by the Ottoman Government, you are further requested to inquire whether any counter claims covering the concessions granted by the Ottoman Government to the Standard Oil Company or assigned to it by other persons have been made. The Department also desires to know whether holders of any concessions granted by the Ottoman Government have been permitted by the British military authorities in Palestine to operate them since the occupation of that territory by British forces.

I am [etc.]

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Breckinridge Long