The Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 28—2:15 a.m.]
448. The following comment is submitted on the basis of available information in reply to Department’s 367, April 26, 5 p.m.
Referring to the first two numbered paragraphs in the telegram under reference, the British Minister feels that the resolutions48 do not go beyond the stipulations of Article 5 of the Petroleum Law and furthermore there are ample reserves availaible for all United Nations war purposes aside from the new concessions sought by Shell.
With regard to paragraph 3 the resolutions are undoubtedly contrary to our established principles in favor of the expansion of international trade and therefore representations might be limited to reasons expressed in that paragraph.
Proudfit, manager of Creole,49 feels that representation at this time might unfavorably affect his company’s bids for new concessions since the Government might think that representations had been sought by them while commercial negotiations were progressing to the apparent satisfaction of both parties. In this connection also the British Minister has informed me confidentially that Shell wants no representations made until recently submitted bids are acted upon fearing the same detrimental effect.
I have arranged for consultations with my British and Netherlands colleagues this afternoon and while awaiting further instructions from the Department I shall endeavor to persuade them of the possible imprudence of taking definite action prior to full consideration of the possible results. It is quite evident that of the American companies Creole at least desires that no representations be made at this time.