890g.6363 T 84/237

The Department of State to the French Embassy


In acknowledging the receipt of the Embassy’s memorandum of December 18, 1925 with respect to the negotiations of the so-called “American Group” of oil companies for participation in the Turkish Petroleum Company,11 the Secretary of State has the honor to refer to [Page 369] the statements which were made to M. Daeschner at the time of the presentation of this communication, to the effect that the Department did not feel that it could appropriately intervene in questions of a business character which might have arisen between the various groups. At the same time, it was pointed out that this Government is deeply interested in the question of the application to mandate territories of the principle of the Open Door and of equality of opportunity in the development of the economic resources of such territories. Furthermore, this Government, as a participant in the common victory over the Central Powers has consistently maintained that, in accordance with those principles, American nationals should be assured of a reasonable opportunity to participate in the development of such resources.

Without undertaking to pass upon the questions of a business character which appear to have arisen and which have—it is to be hoped only temporarily—prevented the consummation of the project for the participation on a fair basis of various national groups in the development of the oil resources of Mesopotamia, this Government feels that it is fully justified in supporting the efforts of the interested American companies to secure participation in this enterprise, and will continue to exert its good offices to this end. It does not feel, however, that it could appropriately urge the American Group to take part in an arbitration which apparently would have as its object the regulation of various questions particularly affecting the pre-war participants in the Turkish Petroleum Company and arising out of agreements to which American interests were not a party.