The Assistant Secretary of State (Dearing) to the Under Secretary of State (Fletcher)

Mr. Fletcher: The Secretary called me in this morning to say that he had just had a talk with the British Ambassador with regard to the Persian oil situation.2 The Ambassador had just received from Lord Curzon3 certain instructions in the matter. The Secretary informed him that he had not followed the matter closely but knew the general tenor of the case. Lord Curzon regards Persia as in a state of financial chaos and says that the country must have money. This being the situation, it is desirable that Persia should have good financial advice. Lord Curzon would have no objection whatever to an American as financial adviser to Persia and thinks that this would, indeed, probably be the best possible solution.

The Secretary thought that if we could lay our hands on a first-rate man it would be an excellent opportunity of which we ought to take advantage, and expressed his gratification at the turn events had taken. It seems to show that the British are sincerely cooperating. The Secretary understood from the Ambassador that Lord Curzon thought the negotiations between the oil companies were on the point of satisfactory completion and that a mutually satisfactory arrangement would be consummated.

I told the Secretary of the difficulty with regard to the possibility of the Standard Oil falling out and leaving the whole matter in the hands of the Anglo-Persian after one year but told him that it was our opinion that this point could probably be taken care of.

  1. For papers relating to this subject, see S. Doc. 97, 68th Cong., 1st sess.
  2. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.