The Politics of Oil 1914–18

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


The First World War saw closer contacts than ever before between the State and the oil companies. Oil policy became a concern of ever-higher levels of Government. Ministers and their civil servants were involved in matters of company structure, suggesting or prohibiting mergers between various oil companies, while the rival companies lobbied for the State’s favour.


Civil Servant British Petroleum Royal Dutch Shell Historical Journal British Control 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    There is a discussion of the role of oil in the First World War, and the supply crisis of 1917, in G. G. Jones, ‘The British Government and the Oil Companies 1912–1924; The Search for an Oil Policy’, 20, Historical Journal (1977).Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    R. W. Ferrier, ‘The Early Management Organisation of British Petroleum and Sir John Cadman’, p. 134, in L. Hannah (ed.) Management Strategy and Business Development (London, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  3. 31.
    There is a rather inadequate biography of Admiral Hall by Admiral Sir W. M. James. The Eyes of the Navy: A Biographical Study of Sir Reginald Hall (London, 1955 ).Google Scholar
  4. 36.
    C. Gerretson, Geschiedenis der ‘Koninklijke’ vol. IV (Baarn, 1973) p. 67. This, and the subsequent volume, is not available in English.Google Scholar
  5. 39.
    For details of the Rumanian oil situation, and Astra Romana’s position in that country, see M. Pearton, Oil and the Romanian State (Oxford, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  6. 41.
    H. F. Williamson, R. L. Andreano, et al., The American Petroleum Industry: The Age of Energy 1899–1959 (Evanston, 1963) ch. 8.Google Scholar
  7. 42.
    R. Henriques, Waley Cohen (London, 1966) pp. 201–7;Google Scholar
  8. R. Henriques, Marcus Samuel (London, 1960 ) pp. 597–605.Google Scholar
  9. 43.
    G. G. Jones, The Oil Companies (Cambridge Ph.D., 1977) ch. 6.Google Scholar
  10. 45.
    M. Pearton, op. cit., pp. 80–1. R. Henriques, Marcus Samuel (London, 1960 ) pp. 616–18.Google Scholar
  11. 59.
    Foreign Office to Admiralty, 2 March 1916, F.O. 371 no. 36846/36846. M. Kent, Oil and Empire (London, 1976) p. 131.Google Scholar
  12. For the merger schemes in the chemical industry, see W. J. Reader, Imperial Chemical Industries: A History, vol. I (Oxford, 1970 ) pp. 270–81.Google Scholar
  13. 60.
    J. Nevakivi, Britain, France and the Arab Middle East 1914–1920 (London, 1969 ) p. 40.Google Scholar
  14. 61.
    C. M. Andrew and A. S. Kanya-Forstner, ‘The French Colonial Party and French Colonial War Aims 1914–1918’, Historical Journal XVIII (1974) 81–6.Google Scholar
  15. 63.
    The text of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, as formalised by the Grey-Cambon exchange of letters, is in E. L. Woodward and R. Butler, Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919–1939 1st Series, vol. IV (London, 1952) pp. 244–7.Google Scholar
  16. 65.
    G. G. Jones, ‘The British Government and the Oil Companies’, Historical Journal, XX (1977) 663–5.Google Scholar
  17. 66.
    Charles Petrie, Walter Long and his Times (London, 1936) pp. 45, 235–6.Google Scholar
  18. 80.
    V. H. Rothwell, ‘Mesopotamia in British War Aims 1914–1918’, Historical Journal XIII (1970) 289–91. An alternative view is expressed by M. Kent, op. cit., p. 126.Google Scholar
  19. 90.
    D. C. Coleman, ‘War Demand and Industrial Supply: The“Dope Scandal” 1915–1919’, in J. M. Winter (ed.) War and Economic Development (Cambridge, 1975 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoffrey Jones 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Jones

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations