File No. 763.72112/240

Senator Fletcher to the Secretary of State

Sir: Herewith is telegram just received from Mr. E. J. L’Engle of Jacksonville, Florida, who is speaking for the naval stores people.

[Page 298]

The term “naval stores,” as you know, means spirits of turpentine and rosin. Both are shipped in barrels. They would constitute necessary ballast for cotton cargoes. Two thirds of the market, or more, for naval stores is found in foreign countries, but particularly in Europe. This market having been cut off by the war leaves the industry in a very precarious condition. It would be a blessing to the naval stores people, which include all the states where the yellow pine grows, if these markets could be opened up, or if shipments could be safely made to them. I hope, therefore, you will make every possible effort to secure the allowance of naval stores along with cotton shipments. I would be obliged if you will advise what conclusion is reached after you have taken the matter up with the British Ambassador.

Very respectfully and sincerely,

Duncan U. Fletcher


Mr. J. L’Engle to Senator Fletcher

Newspapers report that British Government has announced intention permit cotton shipments direct to Germany; our people regard it very important to secure right guaranteed by similar declaration to ship naval stores to Germany as part of cotton cargoes. Naval stores shipments necessary ballast for cotton cargoes. I understand that neither cotton nor naval stores are contraband of war and we would be greatly obliged if you would ask State Department to secure declaration from British Ambassador to this effect in order facilitate joint shipments of naval stores and cotton from Atlantic and Gulf ports direct to Germany. If this assurance can be secured it will constitute important and far-reaching measure of relief to naval stores industry. Please answer.

E. J. L’Engle