811.7490F/7–744: Airgram

The Minister Resident in Saudi Arabia (Moose) to the Secretary of State

A–57. In continuation of the Legation’s airgram No. A–54, June 22, 4:45 p.m., 1944.91 A few days ago, Messrs. F. Ohliger and E. Lebkicher, representing the Arabian American Oil Company,92 met King Ibn Saud at Al-Kharj, and among other things, discussed the need for direct radio communications between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The King favors the establishment of such a service, and is ready to take the first steps in that direction, but he wishes to move cautiously and to cause no irritation to the Cable and Wireless, Ltd., holder of a monopoly concession on Saudi Arabia’s telegraphic communications with foreign countries.

The first measure contemplated by the King is to secure a modification in the present concession which will permit the Saudi Government to communicate by radio with countries not served by the Eastern Telegraph Company, Ltd., the company operating a cable service into Saudi Arabia. After establishment of this principle, negotiations would be opened through the oil company for the construction and operation of a radio station, either by the oil company or by some American radio system.

In the course of the conversation, it appeared that the present monopolistic concession in favor of the Eastern Telegraph Company, Ltd. (The Cable and Wireless, Ltd.), was granted by the King on the insistance [Page 761] of Mr. S. R. Jordan, then British Vice Consul in Jidda, and now British Minister here.

  1. Not printed.
  2. The Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), known until January 1944 as the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (Casoe), was owned entirely by two American corporations, the Standard Oil Company of California and the Texas Company. Floyd Ohliger was the general manager of the company in Saudi Arabia; Roy Lebkicher was a representative of the company who worked closely with the Saudi Arabian Government in matters of mutual interest.