871.6363/2–2345: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the American Representative in Rumania ( Berry )

143. Petroleum Administration for War says that great difficulties are being encountered in producing sufficient oil-field equipment to [Page 651] supply the requirements of production programs in the United States, South America and Middle East, and that it may be impossible to obtain here materials needed for Rumanian operations this year or to replace those removed from Rumania to the U.S.S.R. (reurtel 120 February 1770). PAW is being requested to supply considerable quantities of equipment direct to the U.S.S.R., and this is being accomplished only with difficulty because of shortages.

Ambassador Harriman has not yet received a reply to his last representation in Moscow on the subject of the removal of oil-field equipment from Rumania by the Soviet authorities, which was based on Department’s telegram of February 7 to Moscow repeated to you as 56.71 Meanwhile, although it is not likely that the Soviet Government will agree to return any of the removed equipment, American representatives in Rumania should take every appropriate opportunity to impress upon the Soviet authorities there (1) the need for the return to Rumania of such removed equipment as is essential for meeting the production schedules for 1945, (2) the difficulties involved in importing necessary equipment from the United States in view of war requirements, and (3) the desirability of close and continuous contact in Rumania between Soviet oil representatives and those of the United States and Great Britain. General Schuyler’s72 message number M-480 of February 2773 concerning the meeting on February 27 between Soviet and American oil representatives indicates that the exchange of views and information on the expert level has at least begun.

The Department of course does not desire American representatives in Rumania to take part in controversies between the Rumanian Government and the Soviet authorities. In any discussions concerning the oil production program in which American representatives may participate (your telegrams 120 February 17 and 133 February 2374), however, the Department hopes that the views of American experts may be brought clearly before the Russians whenever occasion arises. With particular reference to the reply of February 6 from the ACC75 to the Rumanian Commission for the Application of the Armistice, the text of which is enclosed with your despatch no. 128 [Page 652] of February 22,76 if it is the considered view of your mission and of that of General Schuyler that the arguments used in that reply were not justified by the facts, General Schuyler should inform the Soviet Vice-Chairman of the ACC accordingly and should state that his Government did not and cannot associate itself with the reply in question. At the same time Schuyler may state that the importance which all three Allies attach to the maintenance of a high level of production and the apparent divergence of views as to the facts of the situation emphasize the need for a tripartite commission of experts such as this Government has already proposed and that, pending the Soviet Government’s reply to our representations in Moscow on that subject, it would be desirable for petroleum experts representing the three Allied Governments to meet together informally at frequent intervals.

Sent to Bucharest, repeated to Moscow.77

  1. Not printed; it reported that the Allied Control Commission for Rumania had rejected a memorandum from the Rumanian Commission for the Application of the Armistice which had pointed out the difficult position of the Rumanian oil companies as a result of Soviet seizures of equipment (871.6363/2–1745)
  2. See footnote 64, p. 649.
  3. Brig. Gen. Cortland T. Van R. Schuyler, Chief of the United States Military Representation on the Allied Control Commission for Rumania.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Telegram 133, February 23, from Bucharest, summarized the efforts by American experts since their arrival on January 25 in gathering information on the status of the Rumanian oil industry (871.6363/2–2345).
  6. Allied Control Commission (for Rumania).
  7. Neither printed.
  8. Repeated to Moscow as telegram 632.