International Oil Diplomacy and War

  • Uri Bialer
Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


The new plan for solving the deadlock originated at the Quai d’Orsay. The closure of the pipeline had deprived France of half a million tons of relatively cheap crude oil which she found difficult to obtain elsewhere at the same price, notwithstanding the continued flow of Iraqi oil to Tripoli.1 It is understandable, therefore, why — when it became evident that British efforts to persuade the Iraqis to resume the flow of oil to Haifa had failed — France proposed to Israel a scheme designed to smooth out the complexities involved. As formally presented on 22 August to the Israeli Ambassador in Paris it was based on the assumptions that the British wanted ‘both [the pipeline] flow and [the] refinery operating, while France and the USA [are] satisfied [with] crude oil [flow] only’.2 The French proposed that Israel undertake to allow all the crude oil to be shipped if Iraq resumed the flow. Faced with Franco-American accord, the British would consent and Israel’s requirements of refined fuel would be met by ‘beneficiaries’ oil provided from other sources. The fate of the refinery was to be decided at a later date.


Security Council Suez Canal Arab State Free Port Refined Fuel 
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  1. 5.
    The foUowing is based on IDFA 597/56/66; ISA 1664/3; IDFA 597/56/60; CZA S 40/85-1; FO 371/68610; ISA 2971/601/2/6; and U. Bialer, ‘Sterüng Balances and Claims Negotiations: Britain and Israel 1947–1952’, Middle Eastern Studies, 28, 1, 1992, pp. 157–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Uri Bialer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uri Bialer
    • 1
  1. 1.Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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