Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Raymond B. Stevens, Vice-Chairman, Shipping Board, and Representative, Allied Maritime Transport Council, to Edward N. Hurley, Chairman, Shipping Board, and George I. Gay, Commissioner, Planning Division, Shipping Board

Chronological Copy.                         File No. <42/2/4>

Cablegram Sent  March 29, 1918.   SFM1

To  Opnav Washington                        Serial No. 5759

Prep. by C-3                Greene2 D.R.

24 D          

5759. Shipmission 58 for Hurley and Gay your 20 the agreement creating the Petroleum Conference provided that its functions should be as follows Quote:

     A. To interchange information as to the requirements of petroleum products of the various allies and to considerar and advise as to the best methods of providing for such requirements.

     B. To provide for the interchange of views between the Allies as to the most economical use of tank tonnage having regard to the principle that each country should as far as possible be supplied from the nearest source.

     C. To consider and advise to what extent specifications of petroleum products required by the Allies can be unified.

     D. The Conference will in principle meet once a month and as far as possible alternately in London and in Paris.

     E. The Conference will have no executive power and will be ad-referendum of the participating Governments.

     F. Each nation will have its permanent bureau of information which will receive and exchange with the others all communications and statistical figures. The British Petroleum Executive shall be requested to co-ordinate the statistics and shall have attached to it a representative of each Government.3 Unquote.

     G. To some extent particularly in regard to paragraph B of above quotation the duties of the Petroleum Conference have been modified by the subsequent creation of the Allied Maritime Transport Council. It still has to perform the extremely important function of gathering information in regard to the requirements of the various associated Governments for petroleum products and probably in future should make reports to the Allied Maritime Pransport [i.e., Transport] Council.

     H. I consider it necessary to have United States represented on the Petroleum conference.

     I. My recommendation is that Thomas because of his familiarity with the situation and because of his knowledge of the oil business should be appointed as oneof the representatives of the United States. The second representative in my opinion should be if possible an expert on the technilogical problems of petroleum production. He should command the confidence of men in the oil business but should preferably not himself have been mainly active on the commercial side.4 Stevens. <10329>  5759.

Sims.         

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: The initials of the typist/encoder who has not been further identified.

Footnote 2: Ens. Norman J. Greene, R. F. Communcations Office, London.

Footnote 3: For a brief overview of the topics discussed at the subsequent meetings of the Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference, see, Martine Gibson, Britain’s Quest for Oil: The First World War and the Peace Conferences (West Midlands, England: Helion & Co., Ltd., 2017), 86-88.

Footnote 4: Hurley appointed Cmdr. Paul Foley as the second American representative to the Inter-Allied Petroleum Conference. Shipping Board Operations: Hearing before Select Committee on Shipping Board Operations, Part 12 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1921), 4856.

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