890g.6363 T 84/238: Telegram

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


15. Embassy’s telegram No. 5 dated January 8, and Department’s reply. … I am laying the following considerations before the Department:

Aside from any claim he may set up based upon his pre-war interests Gulbenkian as a shareholder in the Turkish Petroleum Company undoubtedly has a legal claim in the so-called outside areas.
Gulbenkian would settle on the American terms if some effective guarantee could be given whereby he would be assured that the sales of the areas to be sold under the stipulations of article 6 of the convention would be bona fide and not carried out by the company in favor of its two groups in such a manner that the 5 percent of the sale price offered him would represent a false value.
… Gulbenkian claims that the American terms are really Royal Dutch terms. He had knowledge of them several months before [Page 366] they were received in London. As proof of this feeling Gulbenkian, who represents the minority shareholders of the McGowan Oil Company, will soon publish a strong statement indicating that oil has been improperly sold to the Royal Dutch interests which own a majority of the shares of the McGowan Company.
It has been intimated to me that no arbitration would take place despite assurances given me by the Foreign Office, because arbitration is not desired by any of the parties and because of the impossibility of reaching a solution by that means owing to the fact that the territory is unexplored. …
One can almost infer from this that the American Group knowing that the others would not arbitrate is employing American Government influence with the British Foreign Office to force Gulbenkian to lower his terms.

Nothing further heard from Foreign Office since my telegram dated January 8, 4 p.m.