Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling)

Participants: Mr. Nevile Butler, Minister-Counselor of British Embassy.
Mr. Murray
Mr. Alling

Mr. Butler stated that about two weeks ago Mr. K. S. Twitchell had called on him and had outlined his plan, which he had presented to the Department, to send agricultural and reclamation advisers to King Ibn Saud. Mr. Butler said that he had sent an account of Mr. Twitchell’s conversation by telegraph to London and that he was now in receipt of a reply.

The Foreign Office stated in this reply that it had referred the matter to the British Minister at Jedda, who was distinctly in favor of [Page 654]the proposal. The British Government added that it also would welcome the sending of such a mission to King Ibn Saud and proposed that it be headed by Mr. Twitchell and that he be assisted by competent experts.

The instruction from London went on to say that although the British Government favored this agricultural mission, it was obvious that it would bring benefits to King Ibn Saud only over a long term. Meanwhile the King was in desperate need of financial assistance. The instruction added that the payment to Ibn Saud by the British Government had been increased recently, and it was expected that another substantial payment to him would be made in the near future. The British Government expressed the hope, however, that this Government would find it possible also to extend financial assistance to Ibn Saud and in that way to support his régime.40

It was indicated to Mr. Butler that word had come to us that some means was being sought to carry out the plan proposed by the California Arabian Standard Oil Company for the purchase of oil by the United States Government, the money used in payment to go to the King. It was indicated that this matter was now in the hands of Mr. Jesse Jones,41 who, it was understood, was trying to find some means of carrying it into effect. Mr. Butler indicated his appreciation of the efforts which were being made to find some solution for this problem.

  1. For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 624 ff.
  2. Federal Loan Administrator.