890b.6363 Gulf Oil Corporation/170

The Chargé in Great Britain (Atherton) to the Secretary of State

No. 582

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my telegram No. 345 of December 28, 12 noon,17 and to report that on December 22 I called by [Page 28] appointment on Sir Robert Vansittart and invited his attention to the fact that the Embassy had yet received no reply to the representations made by the Ambassador in the matter of the Koweit oil concession, reported in the Embassy’s despatch No. 558 of December 15, 1932. Sir Robert stated his regret at the delay and promised an immediate reply.

On the evening of December 23 I received a Foreign Office note signed by the Assistant Secretary of State, Sir Lancelot Oliphant. A copy of this is attached hereto. The contents of this note have been orally transmitted to the London representative of the American interests concerned.

Respectfully yours,

Ray Atherton

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

My Dear Atherton: We have made enquiries about the point which you mentioned to Vansittart yesterday morning in connexion with the question of the proposed Koweit Oil Concession.

As you know, it concerns a number of different Departments of His Majesty’s Government and at every stage complicated interdepartmental discussions have been necessary. As Vansittart told your Ambassador in his letter of the 11th November, the document embodying the result of the examination of the two draft Concessions submitted by the Eastern and General Syndicate and by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company respectively had, at that date, been already despatched to the British Authorities in the Persian Gulf. But I fear that the suggestion in Vansittart’s letter of the 11th November that this document would within a very short time of its receipt by them be communicated to the Sheikh for his consideration was somewhat over optimistic. Further inter-departmental discussions have had to take place in the interval, and have thus caused some further delay in the communication of the document to the Sheikh.

I have now done all I can to speed matters up, and the local British Authorities should now be in a position to proceed in the matter with the Sheikh in the very near future.

I am so sorry for this recent and quite unexpected additional delay which has arisen but which has now been terminated.

Yours sincerely,

Lancelot Oliphant
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