File No. 367.114M69/136.

The American Ambassador to the Secretary of State.


The steamship New York of the American Company while leaving Saloniki on the 23d instant, being warned that it was dangerous to proceed without a pilot boat, is reported to have dropped, anchor Avhen told not to stop there and in so doing to have pulled up cable connecting the mines electrically controlled from shore. Had they been contact mines, another catastrophe would have been almost inevitable. This is at least the tenth time that one or another of these vessels has required warning because of specific violation of well-known regulations governing passage of mine fields in Smyrna and Saloniki bays. The Sublime Porte points out the urgent necessity for putting an end to this inexplicable and inexcusable conduct of these captains and disclaims all responsibility for the results of their disobedience of established regulations.

I am warning the company of the tremendous risks it takes in permitting such irregularities on the part of its captains but I fear it will pay scant attention to my notice, as it has done in most previous cases. It is particularly regrettable that not one of the captains or chief engineers of the company is an American citizen or presumably qualified to secure American certificate for the position he holds.