173. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia1

121. Embtel 79, Deptels 82 and 87.2 Department has had consultations with Socony and Aramco officials re Saudi demand. Socony anticipates possible difficulties in withdrawal from Israel and has not yet made definite decision. If Socony resists ultimatum Aramco will be faced with decision regarding next step.

Companies have not as yet requested Departmental assistance and we do not wish take formal action prior to such request. Meantime however for your information Department much concerned over far-reaching implications SAG demand. If SAG can [Page 267] determine where Aramco members can do business, concession could be rendered inoperative. While present action is directed against Socony, next victim could be any present or future partners of Aramco and third country may not be Israel. Whole operation would rest on whim…

If appropriate occasion arises Department would be glad for you bring out these implications in discussions with Aramco and SAG officials.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 886A.2553/8–2655. Drafted and approved by Allen.
  2. Telegram 79 from Jidda, August 26, is not printed. In telegram 82, August 16, the Department instructed Wadsworth to consult with Aramco representatives in Jidda to determine whether action could be taken to prevent Saudi Arabia’s formal demand on Socony. (Department of State, Central Files, 886A.2553/8–1655) In telegram 87, August 19, Wadsworth was again instructed to discuss with Aramco Saudi Arabia’s demand that Socony choose between “‘cooperating with Israel and with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states.’” (Ibid., 886A.2553/8–1955)