467.11 St 25/50: Telegram

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

280. Your 3432 November 22, 3 p.m.61

Department has examined Standard Oil Company permits and concessions in Palestine and finds (1) that in respect of all its claims it has certain vested rights under the Turkish law; (2) that Great Britain in its temporary occupation of Palestine may legally enjoin the acquisition of further vested rights but must by virtue of its position as quasi trustee recognize and protect the vested rights of the Standard Oil Company already existing; and (3) Great Britain as trustee cannot legally allow discrimination in favor of her own or other nationals.

There is apparently no legal ground for renewing representations to obtain from British Government permission to explore during military occupation.

It is believed important, however, to maintain pressure so Foreign Office will realize vital concern of this Government and [Page 651]understand that during negotiation Turkish treaty the United States will look to the British Government to see that throughout such negotiations the vested rights of its nationals under the Turkish law are protected and guaranteed. Make representations to Foreign Office to this effect and further that the United States Government feels justified in requesting to be kept fully informed particularly regarding provisions of Turkish treaty bearing on exploitation of resources, and any other understanding that might affect future activities of American citizens in former Turkish territories. While naturally no suspicion can be expressed regarding good faith of British during military occupation, if feeling arose in United States that American interests had been discriminated against in Turkish treaty or in mandates, relations of two countries would be injured and American participation in maintenance of international settlement still further complicated. Give Thomas62 whatever information you deem advisable regarding your representations and British reply.

Polk
  1. ibid., p. 260.
  2. L. I. Thomas, representative of the Standard Oil Co.