890g.6363 T 84/69

The President of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (W. C. Teagle) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: Acknowledging the receipt of your favor of the 21st instant,71 I beg to further confirm for your records the [Page 350] text of a cablegram which my office sent over my signature to our London representative, Mr. Piesse, at 2:40 p.m. on December 15th, reading as follows:

“Referring to your telegram 12th this month and referring to your telegram 14th this month in conference today with Secretary of State, State Department reaffirms its position as being simply that of procuring Open Door for American enterprises, that is, an opportunity for Americans to deal with owners of rights whoever they may be on terms of equality with other nationals. Department will not intervene in manner or terms of dealing nor will it support any American Company or group of companies in preference to or in exclusion of any other American concerns. Before we discuss with American Group subject matters your telegrams above referred to and these views of State Department we suggest that you give above views of State Department to Anglo-Persian Oil Company Ltd. and advise me whether they are accepted as a modification of the terms stated in your telegram December 12th.”

On the 18th instant I received a reply from Mr. Piesse to the last-quoted telegram, as follows:

“Referring to your telegram 15th this month party here says attitude of State Department is a general one and not clearly understood by him can you elaborate it and state effects of specific case Turks (Turkish?) Petroleum Company. Does State Department fully accept open door formula as agreed with you in July as satisfying claims of all American nationals other than those included in your group. Telegraph fully your views in time meeting of interested parties arranged for Wednesday.”

On the 19th instant Mr. Wellman73 read Mr. Piesse’s telegram last quoted over the telephone to Mr. Dulles,74 and also the proposed reply, with the suggestion that we would appreciate having the Department’s criticism of our proposed reply before we should dispatch it. Later, on the afternoon of the 19th instant, Mr. Dulles called Mr. Wellman on the telephone and told him that he, Mr. Dulles, had conferred with you upon this reply and that in your opinion it fairly expressed the views of the Department. Thereupon the proposed reply was sent to Mr. Piesse in the same form in which it had been read to Mr. Dulles, which was as follows:

“Referring to your telegram 18th this month State Department’s views are that concessions for oil in Mesopotamia claimed by Turkish Petroleum Company are invalid. It is view of American Group that concessions so claimed must be confirmed by Iraq or other Government concerned before any attempt is made at their development. In case of conflict of interest between American Group through [Page 351] Turkish Petroleum Company possessing such confirmed titles and other American interests through so-called Chester or other claims State Department would remain neutral pending settlement of controversy by agreement or other procedure. If all Americans are united in a single claim which the State Department deems valid it would support such claim. Our American Group comprises all American oil companies now known to be potentially interested in Mesopotamia.”

Respectfully yours,

W. C. Teagle
  1. Not printed.
  2. Guy Wellman, associate general counsel of the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey.
  3. Allen W. Dulles, Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State.