890b.6363 Gulf Oil Corporation/167

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

No. 558

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 483 of November 12, 1932, and subsequent correspondence, with regard to the matter of American interests seeking an oil concession in Koweit, and to state that on December 13 I called upon the Foreign Office and orally presented the considerations set forth in the enclosed memorandum of conversation, based on Sir Robert Vansittart’s note of November 11, which went forward to the Department with the despatch above referred to. Sir Robert expressed some surprise at this delay and promised to look into the matter and inform the Embassy as soon as he is able to get the data from the Colonial Office. I told Sir Robert that it was my intention to sail for America very shortly [Page 27] and asked him to communicate with Mr. Atherton in my absence, who would cable me the Foreign Office reply, since I desired to discuss the matter with the Department during my short visit to Washington.

On leaving, I reminded Sir Robert that if Mr. Atherton did not hear from him within the next week or so he would, under my instructions, again be reminding Sir Robert of my desire for an early reply to his promise to expedite the matter.

Respectfully yours,

(For the Ambassador)
Ray Atherton

Counselor of Embassy

Memorandum by the Embassy in Great Britain

On November 11 of this year Sir Robert Vansittart wrote the Ambassador that the comparative examination of the draft concessions for oil exploitation in Koweit submitted to the Sheikh by the Eastern and General Syndicate and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, respectively, had been completed and that the document embodying the result of this examination was already on its way to the British authority in the Persian Gulf. The Ambassador informed the American interests concerned of the receipt of this information from the British Government. However, he has been informed by the American interests concerned on December 10 that the British Political Resident in the Persian Gulf had stated that week that he had no knowledge of the receipt of this document, and that consequently it had not presumably been presented to the Sheikh.

In view of Sir Robert Vansittart’s note of November 11 and the fact that the November bi-weekly air mail only took some six days from London to the Persian Gulf, the Ambassador hesitated to regard this information as accurate, and would be grateful if Sir Robert would inform him as to whether in fact the document had been received by the British authority in the Persian Gulf and had been delivered to the Sheikh.