The Chief of the Petroleum Policy Staff in the Office of International Materials Policy (Eakens) to the Petroleum Attache in the United Kingdom (Moline)
Dear ED: I have your note of July 15 enclosing the clipping from the Financial Times1 on the Justice Department’s consideration of an anti-trust indictment against the American oil companies.
With the Justice Department’s entry into the problem and the publicity which has been given to Justice’s action, we felt there were new reasons why we should consider letting the British see a copy of the FTC Report and we proposed to Mr. Thorp that this be done. After talking with Mr. Thorp, Schaetzel2 held a meeting with Stan Metzger, Roger Dixon,3 Bill McMaster and me at which we discussed at length the possibility of making the report available [Page 1277] to the British for study. At the meeting, it was decided that before a copy could be made available to the British we would have to secure the approval of the FTC and the White House. It was also decided that in view of the back history of the problem, we were just not in a position to ask for this approval and that we would simply have to tell the British that the problem of making a copy available to them was so great that we were not able to do it. We decided to tell the British in addition that there still does not seem to be any likelihood that the report will be published, but if that a decision is made to publish it we will try to make a copy available to them a few days in advance, if this is possible.
I have informed Beckett4 of the foregoing and presume that he has passed it on to London. I let him know at the same time that our commitment to do our best to make the report available to them a few days in advance may or may not be worth very much since the report might be made available to the public by the FTC at the same time it is announced that the report is being published. In any case, we could let the British see your copy at the same time that the report is released here, which would give them a copy about twenty-four hours earlier than they would be able to get one from here.
Under the circumstances, it does not seem to me that we are in any position to allow them to see your copy at this time. If there is any change in this position, I will let you know.
With best regards.
- Neither Moline’s note of July 15 nor the newspaper clipping under reference here has been found in Department of State files.↩
- J. Robert Schaetzel, Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary Thorp.↩
- Roger C. Dixon, Chief of the Business Practices and Technology Staff.↩
- J. A. Beckett, Petroleum Attaché at the British Embassy.↩