346B.115 Standard Oil Co./11: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Italy (Reed)

512. The Department has forwarded to you by air mail an instruction no. 662 of October 23, 1940,50 containing the text of a note which you have been requested to communicate to the Italian Foreign Office concerning an attack by Italian aircraft at Doro in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan on August 23, 1940, which resulted in the killing of two American missionaries and the wounding of two others.

[Page 725]

The Department desires that upon the delivery of the above-mentioned note you take occasion at the same time to protest orally the illegal and unwarranted action of the Italian military authorities in the bombing, in the night of October 18, 1940 by three Italian aircraft of the Pioggia type, of the property of the California-Arabian Standard Oil Company near Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia. You should add that the company is incorporated under the laws of Delaware and that its shares are owned equally by the Standard Oil Company of California and the Texas Corporation, both organized under the laws of Delaware. According to information received by the Department, which you may convey to the appropriate Italian authorities, damage was done to the water line and oil line of the American company near Al Khobar and some 28 craters were caused by the bombing.

The Italian Ambassador in Washington was, on October 23, acquainted with the text of the formal note which you are being instructed to present to the Italian Government concerning the Italian attack on American missionaries and a protest was made to him orally at the same time regarding the attack by Italian aircraft on the property of the California-Arabian Standard Oil Company in Saudi Arabia.

Please inform the Department by telegraph upon the delivery of the note and upon the making of your oral protest.

  1. Ante, p. 717.