File No. 124.0665/18

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State

No. 861]

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram, No. 620 of November 25 last,1 on the subject of the desired establishment of uniform regulations for the transmission of correspondence of diplomatic and consular officers in belligerent territory, I have the honor to transmit herewith enclosed a copy of a note I have just received from the Foreign Office in reply to the communication I hastened to make under your instructions.

I have [etc.]

Walter Hines Page

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Grey) to the American Ambassador (Page)

No. 11873/15]

Your Excellency: With reference to the note which you were good enough to address to me on the 26th of November last, I have the honour to inform your excellency that His Majesty’s Government are ready to accept the proposed regulations put forward by the United States Government for the exemption from censorship of the correspondence of the United States diplomatic and consular representatives in belligerent territory, subject to the following conditions which they feel bound to request the United States Government to accept:

That the United States Government should formally recognize that consular officers have no claim as such to the exemption in question and that the present concession is made purely as an act of friendship between the two countries.
That the extension of the privilege of exemption to consuls shall be strictly confined to consuls de carrière.
His Majesty’s Government are compelled by the necessities of the military situation to request the United States Government to be so good as to give a written guarantee that there shall be strict observance of the rule that no private correspondence of individuals or of firms shall be forwarded to or from diplomatic or consular officers under official cover or seal.

I have [etc.]

E. Grey