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

No. 8776

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that a Russian Embassy officer, who is an assiduous visitor to the Petroleum Division of the Ministry of Fomento, is reliably reported to harp during such visits on the theme that American oil operating techniques are years behind those employed in the Soviet Union.

This information came through the former Chief of the Division, who resigned earlier this year to accept an executive position with an American oil company. It was given directly to him by officials who, like himself, took oil courses at American universities and thereafter [Page 1343] became part of the Petroleum Division’s highly-esteemed team of “career men.”

This line of criticism is the same one with which the Standard Oil of New Jersey board chairman recently took issue, and no doubt follows Soviet instructions to discredit things American and pave the way to increased Russian influence. However, the division officials have not been taken in, but apparently recounted the Russian’s comments with amusement.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador,
Thomas J. Maleady

First Secretary