The British Embassy to the Department of State
The landing ground used by American aircraft at Abadan is the private airfield of the Anglo Persian Oil Company. The greater part of it is situated on land already owned by the Company though landing strips have been extended beyond this area into an area which the Company now wish to acquire. The Company applied to the Persian Government last April under the procedure for the acquisition of land laid down in its concession. It is understood that their application has been held up as the result of intervention by the United States Embassy and United States Persian Gulf Command.
- The transfer of this land to the Anglo Persian Oil Company would not affect legal title to structures erected on it by the United [Page 492] States authorities. Separate ownership of land and of standing properties is recognised by Persian law. It is understood that the United States authorities are not seeking to acquire title to the land and it is hoped that the United States Government will not stand in the way of the Company doing so.
- [Here follows section relating to the status of the Dhahran airfield in Saudi Arabia; for correspondence, see pages 661 ff.]
- His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom have, of course, no intention of trying to prevent the United States Government from obtaining post-war air facilities in the Persian Gulf area in accordance with the provisions of whatever international convention is agreed upon. As regards the particular case of post-war use of the airfield at Abadan, it is understood to be probable that developments of the refining plant and housing area will make it necessary to build over the landing ground after the war. The area immediately adjoins the Company’s existing plant and there is no other direction in which they can expand since the plant on all other sides is bordered by branches of the refinery.