The Secretary of State to the General Agent of the Grand Trunk Railway System (O. S. Cockey)
Washington, November 16, 1914.
Sir: The Department has received your letter of the 13th instant, wherein you inquire whether the Grand Trunk Railway System would be permitted to handle contraband from the Dominion of Canada across United States territory into Canadian territory, and whether United States contraband goods can be moved into Canada, then through Canada, into the United States, and again into Canada for export via Canadian ports.
In reply you are advised that if the goods in question are transported in the ordinary course of trade and not under military or other Government escort, so that the train does not take on the character of a convoy indicated in Article 2 of the Hague convention No. 5, there would appear to be no objection to such shipments passing through United States territory. If, however, complaint is made to this Government that transportation of this sort is in [Page 577]violation of the neutrality of the United States, this Government will feel that it is necessary to examine into the facts of each case and render an independent decision in accordance therewith.
I am [etc.]