The Secretary of State to the Minister in Persia (Hornibrook)

No. 20

Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your telegram No. 18 of May 23, 10 a.m., transmitting, at the request of the Persian [Page 892] Government, the text of a note relating to the Bahrein oil concession of the Standard Oil Company of California. In accordance with the further request of the Persian Government, a copy of this note has been forwarded to the Company in question.

Careful consideration has been given to the contents of the note under reference, wherein it is alleged that the Island of Bahrein is an inseparable part of Persia, that the concession is regarded by the Persian Government as having been obtained illegally, and that the Persian Government “reserves . . . all rights” to the profits of the concession and in respect to damages in connection therewith. As a result of the Department’s study of the conditions under which the concession was obtained and of the political status of the Shaikhdom of Bahrein, it has been decided to make no reply to the note of the Persian Government but to communicate the text thereof to the British Government for its information and such consideration as it may care to give to the matter.

On your part, you should refrain from discussing this subject with any Persian official and, in the event you are approached on the subject, you should state merely that you have forwarded the Persian Government’s communication to Washington and that you have received no instructions to make a reply.

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

For the confidential information of the Legation there is transmitted herewith a copy of a memorandum7 prepared in the Division of Near Eastern Affairs respecting the Persian claim to sovereignty over the Bahrein Islands. There is also enclosed a copy of a memorandum7 of a conversation had by a member of the Division with the Persian Minister prior to the receipt of your telegram of May 23.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore
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