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File 3877/1912 Pt 2 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ [‎7r] (22/308)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (148 folios). It was created in 28 Aug 1913-31 Mar 1914. It was written in English. 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 Docament is the Property of His Britannic Majesty's Government.]
No. 1.
[March 18.]
Section 1.
Memorandum by Mr. Ashley.—(Received at Foreign Office, March 18.)
Mesopotamian Oil.
IN accordance with Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith’s instruction, I have this morning
had an interview with Dr. Bergmann, representing the Deutsche Bank. He was
accompanied by Herr von Kuhlmann.
Dr. Bergmann was acquainted with the outline of Sir Henry Babington-Smith’s
latest proposal. He said that, whilst the Deutsche Bank would naturally prefer a deal
with the British group, whereby each would have a 50 per cent, interest, they felt that
it w^ould be difficult for them to take such a course. In the first place, they are under
certain definite obligations in connection with the Turkish Petroleum Company, and
independent action by them might, and very probably would, give rise to litigation,
which they were anxious to avoid. In the second place, there are business relations
between the Deutsche Bank and the Anglo-Saxon Company in other fields, and the
Deutsche Bank for that reason desire that the settlement reached should be as amicable
as possible.
The Deutsche Bank therefore do not object to a settlement on the basis now
suggested by Sir Henry Babington-Smith, and Dr. Bergmann is of opinion that it offers
a solution which should be satisfactory to the d’Arcy group. I said that I was not in
a position to say what the decision of the d’Arcy group would be, but, speaking only
for myself, it seemed that there was a fair prospect of a settlement. It was suggested
that if the d’Arcy group were favourably inclined to Sir Henry Babington-Smith’s
proposal, a meeting of all the parties might be held, say, to-morrow, at which a record
of the arrangement could be drawn up and signed by the various parties. _ This
would give the British and German Governments an adequate basis for action at
Constantinople, and the formal details could be settled subsequently.
Herr Stauss, the oil company expert of the Deutsche Bank, would be available
early next week.
In view of the attitude of the Deutsche Bank and the apparently genuine nature
of the offer made by Sir Henry Babington-Smith, I venture to suggest that an effort
should be made to induce the d’Arcy group to accept the scheme. It appears to give
them all that they really want, or at least as much as they can reasonably expect—
50 per cent, of the control.
I suggest that, if they do acquiesce, a meeting of all the parties proposed above
should be held at the Board of Trade or at the Foreign Office, and that it should be
clearly understood that the purpose of the meeting would be to record a decision and
not to discuss any principles.
March 17, 1914.
[2067 5—1]

About this item


The volume is a chronological continuation of File 3877/1912 Pt 1 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ (IOR/L/PS/300), 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 papers largely deal with the British Government’s concern that APOC achieve a predominant position in any final concession, at the cost of ASOC and the National Bank of Turkey, the latter holding a stake in the Turkish Petroleum Company. The principal correspondents in the volume are: the president of the National Bank of Turkey (Sir Henry Babington Smith); the Managing Director of APOC (Charles Greenway); Foreign Office representatives (Alwyn Parker; Sir Eyre Alexander Barby Wichart Crowe); Deutsche Bank board member Emil Georg von Stauß.

The correspondence covers:

  • the withdrawal of the National Bank of Turkey from concessions negotiations;
  • negotiations between officials representing the British Government and Deutsche Bank over the form of any concession agreement;
  • arrangements for the division of Turkish petroleum concession interests between the British and German Governments, the Deutsche Bank, National Bank of Turkey, the ASOC and APOC.

The volume includes a divider which gives the subject (Turkey in Asia: oil concessions) and part number (2), the year the subject file was opened (1912), and a list of correspondence references contained in that part by year. This is placed at the back of the correspondence (f 1).

Extent and format
1 volume (148 folios)

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

The subject 3877 (Turkey in Asia: oil concessions) consists of 3 volumes, IOR/L/PS/10/300-302. The volumes are divided into 5 parts, with parts 1 and 2 comprising one volume each, and parts 3, 4 and 5 comprising a third volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: The foliation sequence commences at the first folio with 1 and terminates at the last with folio 148; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. The foliation sequence does not include the front and back covers, nor does it include the two leading and ending flyleaves.

Written in
English in Latin script
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File 3877/1912 Pt 2 ‘Turkey in Asia: oil concessions’ [‎7r] (22/308), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/10/301, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 November 2019]

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