Shearing the Wealth
British Hope To Retain 44% Share of Iranian Oil

The Mossadegh Project | September 11, 2019                                                          


This is an excerpt from a British Cabinet meeting pertaining to the Iran Oil Consortium (February 22, 1954).


(THIS DOCUMENT IS THE PROPERTY OF HER BRITTANIC MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT)
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Printed for the Cabinet.      February 1954


COPY NO. 47

SECRET
C.C. (54.)
10th Conclusions

CABINET

CONCLUSIONS of a Meeting of the Cabinet held in the Prime Minister’s Room, House of Commons, S.W. 1, on Monday, 22nd February, 1954, at 4 p.m.

[Note: Those present included Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden, Harold MacMillan, and many others.]


Persia (Previous Reference: C.C. (54) 4th Conclusions, Minute 4.)

      3. The Foreign Secretary [Anthony Eden] said that the United States State Department had suggested that the shares in the proposed consortium of the oil companies in Persia should be divided as follows: Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (A.I.O.C.) 35 per cent., United States Companies 35 per cent., Shell Company 30 per cent. This did not give the A.I.O.C. a sufficient share. He would have preferred that the oil companies themselves should decide their respective shares; but, if the Americans insisted that Governments should lay down the percentages, he would propose that the A.I.O.C. should receive 44 per cent., and that the other seven companies, including Shell, should receive 8 per cent. each. If this proved unacceptable, he would be prepared to go so far as to suggest that the A.I.O.C. should hold 40 per cent., Shell 20 per cent, and the other companies (including the French) 40 per cent.

           The Chancellor of the Exchequer endorsed this proposal. [Richard Austen Butler, aka Rab Butler] He would be unwilling to see the American share rise above 40 per cent., since any greater share would have a damaging effect upon our balance of payments.

           The Cabinet—

Approved the Foreign Secretary’s proposal and authorised him to arrange for the United States Government to be informed accordingly.


[Annotations by Arash Norouzi]




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Related links:

Anthony Eden Confirms Iran Oil Consortium Plans (January 4, 1954

Livingston T. Merchant to Sec. Dulles on Iran Oil Percentage Question (Feb. 16, 1954)

Basis for the Settlement with Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (March 12, 1954)



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