893.6363 Manchuria/121

Memorandum by the Consul General at Harbin (Adams) of a Conversation With the Soviet Acting Consul General at Harbin (Rayvid) on November 22, 193458

Mr. Rayvid asked whether Mr. Adams could confirm or refute a telegram from Paris which he had seen to the effect that the American and British oil interests had agreed to boycott Manchuria. Mr. Adams replied that he had not heard of any such agreement. Mr. Adams doubted the accuracy of the report for the reason that the American and British oil interests could not undertake a boycott of Manchuria with any reasonable chance of success without obtaining the cooperation of the Soviet and Dutch oil interests and perhaps others. Mr. Adams asked whether the Soviet oil interests had filed any protest against the proposed monopoly. Mr. Rayvid replied that the Soviet interests had not done so. He said that the Soviet government was in a much weaker position with respect to such a protest than were the other governments concerned because Soviet Russia was not a member of the Nine Power Treaty. He said he thought that in any event mere protests would accomplish nothing because he felt that the establishment of an oil sales monopoly was part of the fundamental policy of the Japanese military authorities. Mr. Rayvid thought it would take more than protests to cause them to change their plans.

Mr. Rayvid asked Mr. Adams what the annual loss to American business would be if the monopoly were instituted. Mr. Adams replied [Page 762] that the immediate loss in dollars and cents was trifling, in that this involved only profits on retail sales. American oil would continue to find a market in Manchuria. The United States would lose the refining of some of the American oil sold in Manchuria when the refinery at Dairen got into operation. Mr. Adams said that the slight immediate loss in the profits on the retail sale of oil was not the main concern of the American government. The main concern was the maintenance of the principle outlined in the Nine Power Treaty which Mr. Rayvid had mentioned.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Harbin in his despatch No. 54, November 24, 1934; received December 28.