786A.00/3–954: Telegram

No. 1547
The Ambassador in Saudi Arabia (Wadsworth) to the Department of State1

secret
priority

385. Reference: Embassy telegram 384, March 9, paragraph 4.2

1.
Following is text my letter to Ohliger:

“With reference to our conversation of this afternoon it occurs to me that you may wish in your meeting with Shaikh Yusuf tomorrow to say that I assured you that in my conversation with Shaikh Yusuf in Riyadh on February 19 I was quite clear in saying that in my government’s view the new British proposals for Buraimi arbitration seemed to go far towards meeting Saudi demands in the matter.

“At the same time the whole tenor of my discussion with Shaikh Yusuf should I feel sure have made it equally clear to him that we [Page 2583]did not support any British (IPC) pretension to an oil concession in the ‘disputed area’.

‘Our hope which I am sure you share is simply that these new proposals may be of real help in bringing the two parties to a mutually agreeable basis for arbitration.”

2.
Following is memorandum from Ohliger re Aramco position:

“As stated to the Saudi Arabian Government Friday, 5 March 1954 and as reported to you yesterday Aramco’s position with respect to performing exploratory work in the ‘disputed area’ is that if as a result of an agreement between the Saudi Arabian Government and the British Government the company is requested by the Saudi Arabian Government to resume such activity it would do so, but because of the advanced planning involved the company could not put a party in the area immediately.

“With respect to Aramco surrendering its concession rights in the disputed area, the company is definitely opposed to the suggestion and expects its position to be upheld by both the US Government and the Saudi Arabian Government.

“The company is especially interested in making known to the US Government its position with respect to surrendering its concession rights in this area because the Saudi Arabian Government has informed us that it interprets the British proposal to be contingent upon Saudi acceptance of the principle that in the event the territory in question should be awarded to the Saudi Arabian Government, the Saudi Arabian Government would grant concessions covering this specific territory to the British companies currently engaged in exploratory and drilling activity in the area.

“Our best information is that the Saudi authorities have understood from your support of the British proposals that the US Government supports this principle of granting concessions to these British companies over such areas.”

Wadsworth
  1. Repeated to Dhahran.
  2. Supra .