File No. 763.72111/2216

The Counsellor for the Department of State to the British Ambassador (Spring Rice)

My Dear Mr. Ambassador: The Department has just received a letter from the Treasury Department, a copy of which is enclosed,1 regarding the presence in the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, of the British steamship Asian, which appears to have on board four unmounted guns. In view of the correspondence which passed between the Embassy and the Department last fall on the Subject of armed merchant ships, to the effect, as I recall, that in the future British merchantmen would not carry arms mounted or unmounted, in order to avoid raising the question of their treatment in neutral ports, I desire to inquire whether it would be possible to have the steamship Asian remove her guns as was donee in the case of a British steamship at Philadelphia early in the war.2

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing