894.6363/304: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

3. Embassy’s 268, December 24, 6 p.m.28

The Standard and Shell gasoline quotas for Korea for the first half of 1937 have been reduced by 37.7% from one half of the 1936 [Page 724] quotas and their quotas for other petroleum products have been reduced to a less degree. The foreign oil companies assume that this step has been taken to make room for the products of the newly established Chosen Oil Company although it is expected that some other reason will be advanced for this cut in their trade. No definite assurances have ever been given in regard to their trade in Korea but in this connection see item 2 of the 5 point memorandum of April, 193529 (Embassy’s despatch No. 1253, April 19, 1935).
The British Ambassador has telegraphed the above facts to his Foreign Office with the expectation that the Foreign Office will bring them to the attention of the Japanese Ambassador in London.
I shall send Dickover30 to the Chief of the Bureau of Commercial Affairs of the Foreign Office tomorrow, not to make formal representations but simply to refer orally and informally to our representations of December 24; to bring to his attention the facts of the Korean quota reduction; and to point out that such developments are extremely discouraging to the foreign oil companies. Sir George Sansom, the Commercial Counselor of the British Embassy, will take the same step on behalf of the British interests at approximately the same time.
  1. Ibid., p. 805.
  2. Memorandum of April 13, 1935, Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. iii, p. 896.
  3. Erie R. Dickover, First Secretary of Embassy in Japan.