890F.6363/40: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Kirk)

990. The substance of Jidda’s 47, August 16, 4 p.m., your 1466, August 20, 9 p.m. and Jidda’s 51, August 22, noon,39 has been discussed with Lenahan, who has shown us a telegram dated August 17 from Lebkicher to his principals in San Francisco. It is stated in the message last-mentioned that both our Chargé and the British Minister agree that they do not wish to take up the question of Captain Bale’s entry with the Saudi Arabian Government, that London concurs, and that the British Minister has recommended to Cairo that Bale be returned to Basra without visiting Saudi Arabia.

As regards Jidda’s no. 47, Lenahan states that Casoc officials have no such instructions and that the company has made no request that the United States Government assume responsibility for damage or prejudice to concession rights resulting from military action.

He states further that the company has already carried out a denial program at Dhahran which cost it $200,000. However, the question of demolitions or final denial if such should be necessary has reached an impasse for the following reasons: (1) The United States Army still considers Saudi Arabia as an area of British military responsibility, consequently the War Department is making no plans either to assume responsibility for or resulting from demolitions or to carry them out; (2) The British could hardly carry out demolitions without in effect invading Saudi Arabia; (3) The Company could not demolish the wells and installations without jeopardizing the concession. In the circumstances, Lenahan does not expect further developments on the demolition question unless and until the matter becomes more urgent than it is at present.

The Department concurs in the Chargé’s opinion as expressed in his 30, July 15, 1 p.m. His despatch no. 29 of July 2140 has been received but the British denial plan enclosed therewith was inadvertently forwarded to Casoc head office without a copy having been made. Casoc has been asked to furnish a copy which will be [Page 584] brought to the attention of the War Department together with the numbered points in the preceding paragraph.

Repeat to Jidda as No. 35.

  1. Telegram No. 51 not printed.
  2. Not printed.