856d.6363/531: Telegram

The Minister in the Netherlands (Tobin) to the Secretary of State

20. My telegram number 19, April 20 [30], noon.12 Foreign Office informs me orally that Colonial Minister is prepared to sign bill provided assurances are given that the American Government regards the Shell Union Oil Corporation and the Bataafsche Petroleum Company, despite British interest in those concerns, as Dutch company within the meaning of the reciprocal provisions of the leasing act. The actual division of interests in these companies is as follows: Shell Union: American share 34 percent, Bataafsche Petroleum 66 percent; Bataafsche Petroleum: 40 percent British Shell and 60 percent Royal Dutch, thus giving the British approximately 24 percent interest in Shell Union. Assurances on this point are desired in order to preclude the possibility that a lease to public lands may be refused the Shell Union on the grounds Great Britain is a nonreciprocating country.

There are other reasons for delay of minor and not vital importance which I am reporting at length by mail.

  1. Not printed.