U.S. Urged to Act on British Stoppage of Oil Delivery to Israel

Rep. Emanuel Celler of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and its anti-monopoly subcommittee, today attacked the withdrawal of Royal Dutch Shell and the British Petroleum company from marketing operations in Israel as subservience to Arab pressure and “political blackmail.”

Rep. Celler said in a press statement that the situation points up “the urgent need for prompt and effective prosecution of the oil cartel” and “emphasizes the political dangers inherent in the lack of independent operators in international petroleum activity. It is significant that Arab pressure has succeeded in restricting supplies of crude oil to Israel by the large international petroleum operators which make up the oil cartel.” he stated.

“By dint of its perseverance, born out of the direst necessity, Israel has been able to procure stocks of crude oil to supplement supplies from the cartel. These supplementary sources were entirely separate from the cartel operations of the international petroleum companies,” Rep. Celler said. “Now marketing in Israel is being threatened. No member of the oil cartel is willing or able to act independently. This amounts to a virtual veto of American foreign policy. It delivers American business to Arab countries neither stable nor friendly.

“A cartel lives by the agreement of its members, and all its members must therefore work in concert without freedom of action which independents would assure,” Rep. Celler continued. “As the oil cartel submits as a body to political blackmail, so it becomes a major concern of the United States. It is time that the Congress of the United States took a long and hard look at our anti-trust enforcement in the international oil arena.”

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