File No. 763.72111/2777
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Spring Rice )
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: The Department is advised that the British steamship Waimana, 5,000 tons will shortly arrive at Newport News for 3,000 tons of coal for ship’s use only, and that the vessel has mounted aft one four and seven-tenths (4.7) inch gun for defensive purposes.
In this relation I desire to recall the cases of the Merion and Adriatic of last autumn in which, in order to avoid embarrassing issues, your Government had the guns on the former vessel landed at Philadelphia, and to state that since that time the Government is not advised of the arrival of any armed merchant vessels in American ports.1 In the critical circumstances of the present day, therefore, I hope you will again find it possible to instruct the captain to remove the gun of the Waimana before the departure of the vessel from the port of Norfolk.
I am [etc.]