The Consul General at Berlin (Jenkins) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 4.]
Sir: I have the honor to report as being of possible interest to the Department that an agreement was signed in Berlin this morning concerning the oil concessions in Afghanistan for which negotiations, of which the Department is no doubt already aware, have been carried on during the past six months by the Inland Exploration Company of Delaware.
Final stages of the negotiations were conducted by His Excellency the Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is now temporarily in Berlin, and the two vice-presidents of the Inland Exploration Company, Mr. Frederick G. Clapp, geologist, and the Honorable Charles C. Hart, former American Minister at Teheran. The agreement was signed at the Afghan Legation in Berlin by the Afghan Minister for Foreign Affairs on behalf of Afghanistan and by Mr. Clapp and [Page 599] Mr. Hart on behalf of the Company, in the presence of one of the officers of the Consulate General who had been requested to execute certificates of acknowledgement for the American signers. It will become effective after formal ratification by the Government of Afghanistan and the Inland Exploration Company.
Under its terms surveys must be made in five, provinces and at least one well must be in operation within a year, according to Mr. Clapp. Pipe-line rights through the neighboring countries remain to be secured during the next six months but negotiations for them have already been initiated and only the amount of the royalties to be charged for them remains unsettled.
Mr. Clapp expects to call at the Department to inform it of details of the agreement when he returns to the United States. Meanwhile, although he does not regard the matter as one of absolute secrecy, at least as far as official quarters are concerned, he wishes to avoid having it become generally known and especially to prevent its appearance in the newspapers until ratification has been completed some time in January.
Very respectfully yours,