890g.6363 Wemyss, Lord/62: Telegram

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

103. The Department is informed unofficially that the Iraq Government and the Iraq Petroleum Company have signed an agreement15 [Page 605] by which the Company obtains a petroleum concession of approximately 36,000 square miles to the east of the Tigris River. The Consul at Baghdad now reports that he has learned on good authority that the Iraq Government is to commence negotiations on May 1 with the British Oil Development Company which presumably will seek a concession for all or a part of the remaining oil bearing lands in Iraq.

Please inform the Foreign Office that in view of the provisions of article II of the tripartite convention of January 9, 1930,16 and the provisions of paragraph numbered 1 of the protocol signed on the same date,17 this Government is confident that the Iraq Government will not grant a concession covering any of the oil lands in question before affording individuals and corporations of American nationality an equal opportunity to bid thereon. You may add that in the event that the Iraq Government should attempt to grant a concession without affording American nationals an equal opportunity to bid, this Government would of course rely upon the British Government to intervene to protect American treaty rights.

The American Consul at Baghdad is being instructed to bring this Government’s viewpoint in the matter to the attention of the Iraq Government.

  1. Signed March 24, 1931; see ibid., p. 311, footnote 42.
  2. Ibid., p. 302.
  3. Ibid., p. 306.