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File 3877/1912 Pt 3 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ [‎173r] (111/372)

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The record is made up of 1 part (184 folios). It was created in 16 Mar 1914-25 Nov 1915. It was written in English and French. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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[This Document is the Property of His Britannic
Majesty's Government.!
^ ■"? [July 29.j
r. i*- r
Section 2.
No. L
Foreigyt Office to Board of Trade.
Foreign Office, July 29, 1914.
1 AM directed by Secretary Sir E. Grey to state that Admiral Sir E. Slade called
at this Office on the 22nd instant to say that the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury had
finally decided that they could not improve the arrangement which had been provisionally
agreed upon with the various parties interested for guaranteeing the Burma Oil
Company against the risk of loss owing to their financing the D’Arcy Syndicate in
respect to the Mesopotamian oil concession. The matter having been further discussed
between the Treasury and the Admiralty, it had been agreed that a much better
and less complicated arrangement was to let the Anglo-Persian Company in the
ordinary course of business make a loan for general purposes to Mr. D’Arcy. Such
a transaction would not necessarily appear in any published document or statement,
but even if it became known, would be no more open to objection than the originally
proposed guarantee, from the point of view of an indirect connection between the
Turkish Petroleum Company and the Anglo-Persian Company. On the other hand
the former proposal for a guarantee was always thought to be faulty from the purely
business point of view, as it involved His Majesty’s Government in liabilities for losses
but gave no share in profits, and on this ground the Treasury had come to the conclusion
that it could not be defended before Parliament.
Admiral Slade explained that it was necessary to come to a decision at once, as
the position of the company was getting an impossible one so long as this point was
not settled. There was to be an early meeting, and the Admiralty wished to be in
a position to say that from the Foreign Office point of view the new proposal was
npt open to objection.
The matter was fully discussed with Admiral Slade who was informed that any
objection this Department might have to the new proposal was really applicable
equally to the old, which had been accepted by the Foreign Office, and therefore it did
not appear that objection could properly be urged against the arrangement now
I am, &c.
11 c:pi9U
[2217 ff-2]

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The volume is a chronological continuation of File 3877/1912 Pt 2 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ (IOR/L/PS/301), and comprises papers concerning ongoing negotiations over oil concessions for the Mesopotamian vilayets of Mosul and Baghdad, in which the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC), Deutsche Bank, the British-backed National Bank of Turkey, and the Anglo-Saxon Oil Company (ASOC, a division of Royal Dutch Shell) are the principal claimants. The principal correspondents include: the Director of APOC (Charles Greenway); Foreign Office officials (Sir Louis Du Pan Mallet; Sir Eyre Alexander Barby Wichart Crowe); the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Edward Grey); the Admiralty (William Graham Greene).

The papers cover:

  • correspondence dated 1914 regarding a claim made by Roland H Silley, represented in the correspondence by his solicitors Treherne, Higgins and Company, to concessionary rights in Mesopotamia;
  • proposals for APOC to represent the D’Arcy Group, the original British claimants to oil concession rights in Mesopotamia;
  • an agreement made between representatives of the British and German Governments, the National Bank of Turkey, ASOC, Deutsche Bank and the D’Arcy Group (APOC), dated 19 March 1914, for the ‘Fusion of Interests in Turkish Petroleum Concessions of the D’Arcy Group and of the Turkish Petroleum Company’ (f 271);
  • efforts, in late October and November 1914, to maintain the agreement of 19 March 1914, in spite of Britain now being at war with Turkey, including a letter from Greenway, dated 2 November 1914, stressing the importance of carrying through the concessions arrangements without delay (ff 156-161);
  • a minute, with no indication of author, dated January 1915 which offers a concise précis of the history of oil concessions in Mesopotamia, and the background to the agreement of 19 March 1914 (f 143);
  • in 1915, discussion amongst Foreign Office officials over the validity of the agreement signed on 19 March 1914, in response to events of the First World War.
Extent and format
1 part (184 folios)

The papers are arranged in approximate chronological order from the rear to the front.

Written in
English and French in Latin script
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File 3877/1912 Pt 3 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ [‎173r] (111/372), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/302/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 February 2020]

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