831.6363/1659: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Venezuela (Corrigan)

444. The Department has given careful consideration to the nature of a reply which the Embassy might best make to the Venezuelan memorandum regarding oil referred to in your 517, May 15, 7 p.m. In as much as the text of the Venezuelan memorandum has not thus far been received in the Department, it has been considered that any acknowledgment which you deem it advisable to make at this time should be entirely non-committal, merely mentioning that the memorandum has been referred to Washington.

Officers of the Department, after talking with Gainer yesterday, understand that the British plan is merely to acknowledge at this time the receipt of the Venezuelan communication. Gainer is seriously concerned, as is the Department, over the Venezuelan attitude toward the principles set forth in the British and American memoranda of May 2 and May 1, respectively, but informed us that his Legation was not pressing the matter further at present because of fear of jeopardizing the current negotiations of the oil companies with respect to new concessions.

If you have not already done so, please forward to Department at once by air mail the text of Venezuelan memorandum.