Mr. Francis B. Loomis of the Standard Oil Company of California to the Secretary of State
Sir: I am in receipt of your letter of May 19th designated “EE”, concerning the desire of the Standard Oil Company of California to obtain permission from the Government of Japan to send a party of geologists to Northern, or Russian Sakhalin, this summer for the purpose of making a geological reconnaissance of certain areas in the Eastern part of the Islands believed to contain structure favorable to the production of petroleum. These areas are covered by patents lawfully obtained from and executed by the Government of the late Czar of Russia. I suggested in this connection that the Department give its support to our request to the extent of asking the American Embassy in Tokyo by cable to communicate our desire to the Japanese Government.
The Secretary of State stated in this interview that he did not think he could comply with my request on behalf of the Standard Oil Company of California, for the reason that he had felt obliged to deny a request for permission to send a geological party to Northern Sakhalin preferred by another American Company. This other American company, it appears, had made a contract and to that extent virtually entered into partnership with the Soviet Government of Russia, a government recognized neither by the Government of the United States nor by the Government of Japan. It seems to me that this refusal of the request of the Sinclair Company rests, in the main, on the fact of its relations with the Soviet Government of Russia. I assume that had the Sinclair Company’s application to the Department been free of any such entanglement that a different answer might have been made to its request. The application now under consideration, on the part of the Standard Oil Company of California, stands on an entirely different basis. We have no connection whatsoever with any government which has been denied recognition by the United States or by Japan. We come simply as an American Company in good standing, asking the support of the Government in our endeavor to secure permission to enter, for the purpose of examination, territory believed to be rich in petroleum deposits.
The areas which we wish to examine were obtained, as has been said, lawfully from a regularly organized government, long recognized by both the Government of the United States and that of Japan. Indeed, the Japanese Government itself is now engaged in putting down wells in Northern Sakhalin on claims or patents issued [Page 810] by the Government of the late Czar, which claims have just the same origin and validity as those which we seek permission to examine.
It does not seem to us that the door of opportunity in Northern Sakhalin should be closed to all American oil companies simply because one such company happened to have official relations with the Soviet Government of Russia; the fact being, of course, that without the support of the Government of the United States no American oil company is likely to obtain permission from the Japanese Government to send its geologists into Northern Sakhalin.
May I not ask, in view of the facts set forth above, that you will be good enough to give some further consideration to this matter.
I have [etc.]