Editorial Note

The question of offshore oil in the Persian Gulf, discussed in the March 18 memorandum of conversation printed infra, received scant attention during the high-level “Pentagon Talks of 1947” between the United States and the United Kingdom on the Middle East. Denis Greenhill, who represented the British Foreign Office in the economic aspects of these talks, discussed the matter of “Persian Gulf and Boundary Questions” with officers of the Department on October 31, 1947. The memorandum of that conversation, prepared by David A. Robertson of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, notes that views were exchanged on the “continental shelf and territorial water principles”. The memorandum records that “none of the Persian Gulf countries have specifically declared their position as regards these principles, that claims and counterclaims once embarked on might lead to considerable confusion and that at some future appropriate date when other issues in the area, including the Palestine question, are less active, it might be advisable to suggest a general conference of the countries concerned and attempt to work out the various boundary questions.” (890.0145/10–347) For documentation on the “Pentagon Talks of 1947”, see Foreign Relations, 1947, volume V, pages 485 ff.