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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Germany,   pp. 319-405 PDF (32.6 MB)

Page 344

ities are ready to open it to other goods-at the present juncture, oil-
provided they receive assurance that the procedure contemplated would
meet with the approval of the competent American officials.
  The companies concerned in the project under reference are the
Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum Gesellschaft, the Deutsche Vacuum
01 A. G., and the Atlantic Refining Company of Germany, G. m. b. H.,
subsidiaries respectively of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey,
the Socony Oil Company of New York, and the Atlantic Refining
Company of Philadelphia, which are the principal American com-
panies now doing business in Germany. The actual conversations
with the German authorities have been carried on in the main by
Mr. Archdeacon, European representative of The Bankers Trust Com-
pany of New York, and by Mr. Rohdewald, a director of the Reichs-
kredit-Gesellschaft, of which banks the oil companies are clients.
  In broaching the question of extending the system of cotton barter
to oil, the companies appear to have been motivated by the liquidation
as of the end of this year of their Aski accounts over which they had
hitherto been importing oil. This has been possible since the contracts
had been concluded, it is understood, prior to July 11, 1936, the date
after which all Aski contracts and/or compensation business was
prohibited. Unless some other method were devised of transferring
their accounts receivable created by oil importation, the companies
were faced by the alternative, according to their own statements, of
withdrawing completely from Germany, thus sacrificing in large part
their considerable investments here and also relinquishing the market
to their English, Dutch, and other foreign competitors, who through
the clearing or payment agreements between Germany and their re-
spective governments are able to continue to obtain payment for oil
  The background and terms of the proposal advanced by the oil
companies as well as the conditions stipulated by the German authori-
ties upon which their acceptance is made contingent are set forth in
the four enclosures to this despatch.33 The first enclosure is an excerpt
from a letter written by Mr. Archdeacon to the Embassy, explaining
the interest of the oil companies in adopting an arrangement for oil
imports similar to that established for cotton. The second is a copy
of a memorandum, prepared by Mr. May, the Treasury Attache, for
his department and forwarded by the Embassy with his approval,
describing in concise language the essential practical nature of the
plan in contrast to that in effect for cotton. The third is a translation
(prepared by Mr. Archdeacon) of the formal written proposal sub-
mitted by The Bankers Trust Company and the Reichskredit-Gesell-
schaft to the appropriate officials of the Ministry of Economics for
  33 None printed.

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