867.602 Ot 81/183

Rear Admiral C. M. Chester to the Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary: Understanding from the public press that you will soon take up again for consideration “the solution of the Anglo-American dispute over the Mesopotamia oil fields and other questions growing out of the world’s oil supply” I respectfully request to be accorded an interview with you, as the Attorney of the Ottoman-American Exploration company, that has a pending claim on petroleum deposits in the Middle Eastern States.

So much has occurred relating to this subject since I last had the honor to consult you which has a strong bearing on the case, that I think you should be informed concerning the action that has already been taken by the company.

To refer briefly to some major points I would mention the result of interviews held by Sir John Cadman, the British Royal Petroleum Expert and myself and capitalists who have invested in the claims. Also to an interview, held in Constantinople, between M. Franklin Boullion, the Representative of the French Government, who negotiated [Page 967] the Franco-Turkish Treaty, and Commander Arthur Chester, the Agent of the Ottoman-American Exploration Co. concerning cooperation between the French and American interests in Syria.

Commander Chester, who carried on the negotiations for the American company, in 1911, with the Ottoman Government for the construction of railroads and the exploitation of minerals in Turkey, is now here getting ready to return to Constantinople, where he has resided for the past two years, as Director of American Shipping36 in the Near East, to proceed with negotiations with the Angora Government, at its request, for the consummation of the Chester Project.

I request the privilege of presenting him to you as a witness for the American claimants.

Very respectfully yours

C. M. Chester
  1. Agent of the U. S. Shipping Board.