File No. 367.114M69/136.
The Secretary of State to Messrs. Griggs, Baldwin and Baldwin, attorneys for the Archipelago-American Steamship Company
Washington, June 4, 1912.
The American Ambassador at Constantinople advises Department that while leaving Saloniki on the 23d ultimo the steamship New York of the Archipelago-American Steamship Company, having been warned it was dangerous to proceed without pilot, dropped anchor in place forbidden, thus pulling up cable connecting mines controlled electrically from shore. Had they been contact mines, another catastrophe like Texas incident would almost certainly have occurred. Further reported that this is but one of many occasions when vessels of this line have violated well-known and specific regulations governing passage of mine fields at Smyrna and Saloniki bays.
This and many other complaints of a not dissimilar character convinces the Department that, as at present conducted, this line is not only not a credit to this nation, but is a source of such constant irritation and friction between this and the Ottoman Government as, if continued, might menace the friendliness of the two Governments, and the Department is therefore constrained to say that unless orders are immediately given to the captains of this company’s boats to obey the port regulations governing passage of mine fields established by the Ottoman Government, and unless those orders and regulations are immediately’ and properly observed, the Department will be compelled wholly to withdraw protection of this Government and so to inform the Ottoman Government and American diplomatic and consular officers.