Advertisement

The Road to Achnacarry

  • Geoffrey Jones
Part of the Studies in Business History book series (STBH)

Abstract

The twenty years before the end of the First World War had witnessed a remarkable transformation in the position of the British oil industry. Although the War had demonstrated that the United Kingdom was still dependent for its oil on foreign countries, British enterprises were established on many of the oilfields of the world. Lord Cowdray controlled the largest share of Mexican oil production. Burmah Oil was entrenched in the Indian Empire. A.P.O.C. possessed vast oil reserves in Persia, and the company’s wartime expansion had set it on the path to full vertical integration. In 1919 A.P.O.C. acquired its first Continental distribution company, the Belgium firm L’Alliance. Moreover, the victory of the Allies seemed certain to place British oil companies in a favourable position in other regions. The end of the War left both Mesopotamia and the Baku oilfields occupied by the British Army, and for a time it looked as if British interests would also inherit the German stake in the Rumanian oil industry.

Keywords

British Control British Interest Shell Group Cabinet Committee British Enterprise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    M. Kent, Oil and Empire (London, 1976) pp. 178–82, provides a copy of the slightly amended agreement as it was signed on 6/7 March 1919. It was this agreement which was agreed by the Cabinet in May.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Pearton, Oil and the Romanian State (Oxford, 1971) p. 106.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    R. H. Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations 1917–1921, vol. II (Princeton, 1968 ) pp. 76–83.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    G. S. Gibb and E. H. Knowlton, The Resurgent Years. The History of the Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), 1911–1927 (New York, 1956) pp. 328–35.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    W. Rodney, Joe Boyle: King of the Klondike (Toronto, 1974) gives an account of Boyle’s career.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    C. Gerretson, Geschiedenis der Koninklijke, vol. IV (Baarn, 1973) p. 230. Note 220.Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    Ministre des Affairs Etrangers to Paul Cambon, Ambassador in Britain, 17 December 1918, Archives Economiques et Financières, Paris, F30 1402. For a full examination of French oil policy in the immediate postwar period, see A. Nouschi, ‘La Francia, il petrolio e il Vicino Oriente (1918–1919)’, Studi storici, 1 (1966). There is also much useful information in H. Bérenger, Le Pétrole et la France (Paris, 1920 ).Google Scholar
  8. 23.
    Mr Kidston to Sir George Clerk, 29 July 1919, E. L. Woodward and R. Butler, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939, First Series, vol. IV (London, 1952 ) pp. 244–7.Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    M. Kent, op. cit., p. 141; C. M. Andrew and A. S. Kanya-Forstner, ‘The French Colonial Party and French Colonial War Aims, 1914–1918’ Historical Journal, XVIII, 1 (1974) 104.Google Scholar
  10. 31.
    C. Davies, British Oil Policy in the Middle East 1919–32, (Edinburgh Ph.D., 1973) pp. 115–6, 126.Google Scholar
  11. 32.
    A. Sampson, The Seven Sisters (London, 1976) p. 76.Google Scholar
  12. 40.
    R. Henriques, Marcus Samuel (London, 1960) pp. 625–30.Google Scholar
  13. 45.
    G. D. Nash, United States Oil Policy 1890–1964 (Pittsburg, 1968 ) p. 46.Google Scholar
  14. 46.
    E. David Cronon, The Cabinet Diaries of Josephus Daniels 1913–1921 (Lincoln, 1963) p. 575, entry for 18 December 1920.Google Scholar
  15. 48.
    J. A. DeNovo, ‘The Movement for An Aggressive American Oil Policy Abroad 1918–1920’, American Historical Review (1956) 859–60.Google Scholar
  16. 51.
    R. Butler and J. P. T. Bury, (eds) Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919–1939, vol. XIII (London, 1963), Sir A. Geddes to Earl Curzon, 21 May 1920, p. 273.Google Scholar
  17. 53.
    For the importance of the ‘underdog advantage’ in the growth of Continental European multinational enterprise, see L. Franko, The European Multinationals (London, 1976) pp. 217–20.Google Scholar
  18. 61.
    R. J. Forbes and D. R. O’Beirne, The Technical Development of the Royal Dutch/Shell 1890–1940 (Leiden, 1957 ) p. 399.Google Scholar
  19. 67.
    R. W. Ferrier, ‘The Early Management Organisation of British Petroleum and Sir John Cadman’, in L. Hannah (ed.) Management Strategy and Business Development (London, 1976 ) pp. 138–9.Google Scholar
  20. 72.
    M. Wilkins, ‘Multinational Oil Companies in South America in the 1920s’, Business History Review (1974).Google Scholar
  21. 73.
    J. Marlowe, Late Victorian: The Life of Sir Arnold Talbot Wilson (London, 1967) p. 237.Google Scholar
  22. 75.
    L. Hannah, The Rise of the Corporate Economy (London, 1979) pp. 46–60.Google Scholar
  23. 86.
    E. P. Elwell-Smith, Persian Oil: A Study in Power Politics (London, 1955 ) p. 50.Google Scholar
  24. 87.
    P.H. Frankel, Essentials of Petroleum (London, 1969) p. 77.Google Scholar
  25. 88.
    M. A. Adelman, Natural Resources and International Development (Baltimore, 1964 ) p. 32.Google Scholar
  26. 89.
    K.Beaton, Enterprise in Oil (New York, 1957) pp. 230–2.Google Scholar
  27. 92.
    Sir H. Deterding, An International Oilman (London, 1934) pp. 72–6.Google Scholar
  28. 95.
    M. J. Hogan, ‘Informal Entente: Public Policy and Private Management in Anglo-American Petroleum Affairs, 1918–1924’, Business History. Review (1974) 193.Google Scholar
  29. 98.
    H. Heymann, ‘Oil in Soviet-Western Relations in the Inter War Years’, American Slavic and East European Review (1948); G. S. Gibb and E. H. Knowlton, op. cit., pp. 335–58.Google Scholar
  30. 112.
    C. Tugendhat, Oil: The Biggest Business (London, 1968) pp. 98–107.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoffrey Jones 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Jones

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations