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

No. 4445

Sir: In confirmation of my telegram No. 277 of to-day’s date,8 and with reference to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 176 of March 28, 6 p.m.,8 I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a report dated April 4, 1921, (Ref. No. 863 RPS.ML) from the [Page 650] Consul-General concerning the operations of the Anglo-American Oil Company in Abyssinia, received only just in time for to-day’s pouch, in which Mr. Skinner discusses at length the points raised in the Department’s aforementioned telegram.

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I have [etc.]

J. Butler Wright

The Consul General at London (Skinner) to the Chargé in Great Britain (Wright)

863. RPS.ML

Sir: I have the honor to refer to a cabled instruction (No. 176) of March 28th 1921 from the Department of State addressed to yourself,9 in regard to the activities of the Anglo-American Oil Company in Abyssinia, brought to my attention on Friday last by Mr. Rodgers.10 The instruction is to the effect that a statement has been made by the British Ambassador at Washington that a British subject in Abyssinia, acting on the part of the Anglo-American Oil Company, has asked for the support of the British Government, and suggests that this support would be forthcoming, should the American Government co-operate in a similar manner in relation to the British controlled concession in Costa Rica. I have now completed my enquiries relative to this matter, and am in a position to confirm the statement I made to Mr. Rodgers, that in all probability there was no foundation whatever for supposing that the Anglo-American Oil Company had sought the support of the British authorities either in Abyssinia or elsewhere; indeed, the very contrary is the case, the British authorities having thrown every possible difficulty in the way of the Anglo-American Oil Company. The implication that the effort of British agents in Abyssinia on behalf of American interests entitled British interests in Costa Rica to the same consideration from our American representatives is wrong, in view of the facts as I have learned them at first hands from members of the American exploring party, who have just returned from North East Africa, and who have been directed to acquaint me with the position by the Directors of the Anglo-American Oil Company.

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I am [etc.]

Robert P. Skinner
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. J. Donald C. Rodgers, Secretary of Embassy.