890g.6363 T 84/229: Telegram

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


369. Our No. 357 of December 5 and your No. 377 of December 9.

Under date of December 8 the American Group has written the Department74 reviewing the present status of their negotiations with the Turkish Petroleum Company and asking whether the Department can do anything further through diplomatic channels regarding the Turkish Petroleum Company and asking whether the Department would object to direct negotiations by the American Group with Iraq or Turkey.
No written reply has yet been given to the above questions, but the Department could hardly answer in the negative should it [Page 244] be pressed for a reply to the second question. If the American Group should decide to enter into direct and independent negotiations with Iraq or Turkey it probably would mean that the cooperative effort developed so laboriously during the past three years is ended. Paragraph 2 of our telegram No. 357 of December 5 still accurately reflects attitude of the American Group.
It is really important that the door should be kept open for arranging a fair basis for American participation in developing the Mesopotamian oil field. I wish you, therefore, to take an early occasion to present the matter to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on the basis of the points set forth in Department’s telegram No. 331 of September 20, 192475 and No. 357 of December 5, 1925. You should say that the Department considers it contrary to the interests of both the American and British Governments that the effort to settle this problem on a basis of cooperation between the American and foreign interests concerned should stop, especially with agreement so nearly reached.
Report what action you take.