467.11 St 25/42: Telegram

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

104. American Consul Bagdad states that he requested permission E. S. Sheffield of Standard Oil investigate coal lands Mesopotamia [Page 650] same as Shell representative. Civil Commissioner informs Consul Shell representatives are employed by British Government and have been sent to Kurdis[tan] on behalf of civil administration. Consul’s opinion is that Shell will be able to obtain desired information regarding oil lands refused us. Department requests that you bring matter to attention British Government. American High Commission Constantinople wired January 7 that news had been received from Manchester, England, that two Lancashire cotton experts are prospecting in Mesopotamia raising growing cotton for England in that country. United States without agreeing to general principle embodied in British policy regarding activities relative to obtaining concessions in occupied territory, outlined in your 3236 October 14,60 desires assurances from British Government that it will take effective steps to prevent more favorable treatment directly or indirectly to British or other subjects pending settlement of general question. We feel employment of Shell representatives by civil administration constitutes discrimination in effect. Remind British Government of the general restrictive exclusive nature of its oil policy and growing adverse criticism of it in United States. Exclusion or discrimination in Palestine or Mesopotamia would probably cause criticism of British policy.