890g.6363/316

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

No. 2479

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 1011, November 27, 1931, regarding the question of oil concessions in Iraq, and to enclose a copy of a Foreign Office note, dated December 23, 1931, received in reply to an informal communication, a copy of which was transmitted to the Department with the Embassy’s despatch No. 2449, December 10, 1931.27

I should appreciate instructions as to whether any further action should be taken in this matter.28

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ray Atherton

Counselor of Embassy
[Enclosure]

The British Assistant Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Oliphant) to the American Counselor of Embassy (Atherton)

No. E 6320/5/93

My Dear Atherton: I duly received your letter of December 9th in which you were so good as to define further the attitude of the United States Government concerning the grant of concessions in Iraq.

After sympathetic examination of the points which you have raised, [Page 611]we remain of the opinion that the legal position was correctly set forth in my earlier letter of July 17th. I hope, however, that you will agree that further discussion of this point would be of academic rather than of practical importance. For, as I understand the position, the main contention of your Government is—details apart—that nationals of the United States should be given reasonable opportunities to compete for concessions in Iraq; and as was clearly shown in my letter of July 17th, such reasonable opportunities were, in fact, given to United States nationals in the particular case which has given rise to the present correspondence.

Yours very sincerely,

Lancelot Oliphant
  1. Neither printed.
  2. In its instruction No. 1051, January 21, 1932, the Department replied that “In view of the existing situation, the Department is of the opinion that no further action need be taken in the matter at this time,”