441.11 St 23/78

The Attorney of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Hayes) to the Secretary of State

Attention—Green H. Hackworth, Solicitor

Dear Mr. Hackworth: I have gone over with my clients the last note which you received from the British Foreign Office, copy of which you sent to me recently.

As it is seemingly impossible for us to produce any further evidence in contradiction of that which has now been set up by Great Britain, we have decided to take your suggestion and open up negotiations with Roumania for settlement.

It is my understanding that you would send a note to Great Britain answering certain portions of the British note, and at the same time stating in your answer that you had suggested to the claimant that it approach Roumania on the question of settlement. Further, that in your note you will include the reservation of any and all rights and claims which the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey might have against Great Britain by reason of destruction.

I take it that in view of our following out your suggestion to develop things with Roumania, you will now send forward the reply to the British note.

The contract that Roumania has made with the British and French oil companies states that the amounts of the several claims is based upon the capital figures established by the Thring–Wenger–Mrazak Commission. Our capital sum is fixed by this Commission at £1,516,522. We submitted no evidence to this Commission with respect to our damage. However, evidence was submitted to the Anglo-French [Page 981] Commission, which was headed by Colonel A. C. Hearn of Great Britain. The Anglo-French Commission fixed our capital sum at £2,099,900. The Thring–Wenger–Mrazak figures therefore are incorrect.

I have written to Mr. Harry G. Seidel our representative in Europe, fully about the matter, sending him copies of the note received and also copy of the contract entered into by the British and French companies with Roumania, and asking him to open up preliminary negotiations with Roumania, looking toward arriving at a possible settlement.

I also brought to his attention the discrepancy between the Thring–Wenger–Mrazak Commission figures and the Anglo-French Commission figures, and felt that as we had not submitted any evidence to the Thring–Wenger–Mrazak Commission, we should now be permitted to do so to establish our capital sum of £2,099,900.

The contract that has been entered into between the British and French oil companies and Roumania provides payment of capital sum plus interest over a period of forty years, one-half of the annuities being paid at the present time, owing to the fact that the House of Deputies of France has not as yet ratified the agreement that the French Government entered into with Roumania.

Spreading of any figure that we may agree upon over a period of forty years surely is not just compensation, and I feel that we should not be forced to accept such terms.

It is quite possible that the preliminary negotiations with Roumania will be either conducted officially by Mr. Seidel, or unofficially by a local Director of Romana-Americana in Roumania, namely Mr. Luca. We will appreciate very much if you would issue instructions to the American Minister at Bucharest to lend all possible aid and assistance to Mr. Seidel or Mr. Luca to the end that we may satisfactorily settle this controversy. I take it that you will not ask the Minister at Bucharest to do anything until he is approached by either Mr. Seidel or Mr. Luca.

Assuring you of our appreciation of the assistance that you have already given to us in connection with this matter, I am,

Respectfully yours,

James H. Hayes