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

No. 724

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 661 of November 26, 6 p.m., concerning the desire of the Standard Oil Company of New York to make a geological examination of areas covered by the Company’s petroleum rights in Palestine, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a Note sent to the Foreign Office on this date.

I have [etc.]

For the Ambassador:
Post Wheeler

Counselor of Embassy

The American Ambassador ( Harvey ) to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Curzon )

No. 308

My Lord: In your note to me of October 26 (No. E 11576/264/88)48 replying to my request that representatives of the Standard Oil Company of New York be permitted to continue geological examinations [Page 103] of the areas covered by their rights or concessions in Palestine, which examinations were commenced by the Company prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, in stating the conditions under which such informal permission will be accorded, Your Lordship observes that no permission can be granted, for the exploitation of those areas until the Treaty of Peace with Turkey enters into force and until the terms of the Mandate for Palestine are finally settled.

It is the opinion of my Government that the question of the date when permission for development work can or will be granted does not seem at this time to require discussion. The requested examinations could, apparently, be made without prejudice to any such question.

In view of my note to Your Lordship of September 15, 1921, (No. 189),49 sent you pursuant to my Government’s instructions, and since the examinations are to be without prejudice to the question of the validity of the Company’s claims, my Government perceives no reason for the conditions which call for a report of the investigations to the Palestine Authorities and for compliance with any instructions which it is [may be?] given by such Authorities. My Government hopes that the accommodating spirit already shown by the British Government in this matter will lead without delay to such a specific interpretation of [or] modification of the conditions as to make them acceptable to the Company and free from controversial features.

I have [etc.]

George Harvey
  1. Ante, p. 99.
  2. Ante, p. 98.