The Qajar Gift

The Well House, 11/2020

The Qajar Gift

This was now on the plate of British Intelligence, who with another war with Germany looming in Europe had other things it considered more important.

To this end, the Prime Minister had delegated Intelligence to delegate it to someone else.

It was considered a fool’s errand in spy circles, and a plain pain and make work in police circles, and everyone had tried to dodge that bullet.

But someone had to take the hit.

“Someone” turned out to be Clive McCarthy and associates, domestic secret service.

His " associates" were the ever-present “watchers” his foot cops, silently moving around London, and spread through England.

Many were more used to rousting thieves and prossies, working the Thames waterfront wharves for smuggling, theft, and shakedowns.

They were familiar with the soft, seedy underbelly of London, and had a secret “list “on anybody who might be or become “somebody”.

Leverage.

Clive banked leverage like a greengrocer banked Stirling pounds.

Clive had no doubt that this was some old internal scheme to shake down the current British government at the time.

Since the British Empire had survived for the last thirty years without the knowledge one way or another, he couldn’t see how it could be so important now.

Well, the PM wanted a reconciliation, and that was it.

So, Clive had to find what may never have existed, except on a ledger somewhere.

He had to find it and punish who had it and return it to the British government.

He reflected this would not be happening to him if his last name was Sussex or Windsor.

If he had been baptized at Westminster.

They were now down to tracking the original shares of The First Exploitation Company, who, it stood to reason, would transfer their shares to the Anglo Persian Oil Company.

But that was ugly, very ugly.

Several investors had been brought in by the original Oil Concession owner, William Knox D’Arcy, over the course of seven years of luckless oil exploration all over Persia.

Those shares had been sold or traded as time went on, so there was no balancing those books, what there were.

The First Oil Exploitation Company shares had been virtually worthless until Well Number One came in on May 26, 1908.

Then there had been the possibility of value at a future date.

They could have been burned for winter fuel for all he knew.

D’Arcy had kept his shares of course, but they had been duly transferred into AOPC stock in 1909 and sold off, so D’Arcy could forget some of the worst seven years of his life and enjoy the profits of them.

Even after the oil started flowing it wasn’t a moneymaker, the Persian Crude was hard to refine and there was not a ready large market for it.

Then Churchill had stepped in. The place for all this oil was the British Navy.

It could replace coal engines and the storage and labor they required.

As Lord Admiral of the Navy then, it became a done deal.

In 1914 Britain and Burma Oil invested in improving the refinery and processing terminal.

They decided their additional investment brought their share total to 51%.

Now, they had to prove that they owned that much, and they needed Clive McCarthy to pull it off.