File No. 5727/74.

The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State.

No. 153.]

Sir: Referring to your letter of June 8 upon the subject of the agreement between your Government and that of Germany, proclaimed on June 1, and the recognition which your Government proposes to give to certificates of value issued by chambers of commerce, I am instructed by His Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs to inform you that in his opinion the United States Government need not hestitate to accept certificates of value issued by British chambers of commerce in the same way and to the same extent as those of German chambers. British chambers are already in most European countries recognized as competent bodies to issue certificates of British commercial travelers, in pursuance of recent treaties between the United Kingdom and several foreign states. They are also recognized in most European countries as competent to issue certificates of origin. The board of trade of the United Kingdom has recently instituted an advisory committee on commercial [Page 497] intelligence, and the members of this committee are mostly appointed on the nomination of British chambers. These chambers are, moreover, always consulted by the board of trade through the advisory committee upon questions relating to foreign tariffs. I may add that the board of trade, in order further to assure the United States Government on this subject, have now arranged that all applications from British chambers for privilege of granting certificates of value should be received and considered by the aforesaid advisory committee and that no chambers will be declared competent to issue such certificates except those which satisfy the committee respecting their arrangements. His Majesty’s Government will from time to time communicate the names of those chambers which are authorized to issue certificates of value. The following chambers have already been recognized as competent for this purpose; that is, those of London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bradford, Belfast, Glasgow, and Dundee.

I am further directed to express the hope of His Majesty’s Government that these assurances as to the authority extended to British chambers will be deemed satisfactory by the United States Government, inasmuch as they confer upon these chambers, although, like those of the United States, they have been in their inception unofficial bodies, an official recognition fully adequate for the present purpose, and as they make it certain that the certificates will be granted after due inquiry and with a clue sense of official responsibility.

His Majesty’s Government will be glad if you can favor me, as soon as possible, with a reply to this communication.

I have, etc.,

James Bryce.