890g.6363, Wemyss, Lord/74

The Consul at Baghdad (Sloan) to the Secretary of State

No. 273

Sir: I have the honor to refer to despatch No. 260, dated May 13, 1931,18 concerning the desire of the Iraq Government to grant oil concessions to the British Oil Development Company and to make a further report on that subject.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

On Sunday, May 24th, I called upon Dr. Abdullah Damluji, Minister for Foreign Affairs, because I had heard that negotiations had been initiated a day or so before between representatives of the British Oil Development Company and representatives of the Government with regard to a concession for that company. Dr. Damluji informed me that his unofficial opinion was that the Iraq Government would [Page 606]within a few days make a public announcement of its adherence to the open door policy with regard to oil concessions in Iraq. It might be mentioned that Dr. Damluji has made the same statement on two or three occasions, and that on May 5th he promised to let me have a definite answer to the Department’s protest in “two or three days”.

I asked him whether negotiations were now going on between representatives of the Government and representatives of the British Oil Development Company, and was informed that he knew nothing officially about such negotiations but that he had heard unofficially of some conferences between the representatives of the company and the government.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As this despatch was being typed Mr. Kasperkhan, local representative of the George F. Getty Oil Company,19 brought to the Consulate a confidential note which he had just received from the Prime Minister to the effect that the Iraq Government was now prepared to consider any definite offer for oil concessions in Iraq.

Respectfully yours,

Alexander K. Sloan
  1. Not printed.
  2. An American firm.