File No. 763.72112/1003a

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


1219. Following telegram being sent by Spring Rice to Grey:1

Contracts for cotton made before issuance of declaration2 in good faith and in view of assurance that cotton would not be treated as contraband ask permission to fill existing contracts by delivery of cotton to German ports. If permission is not granted, information is asked for as to treatment of cotton already bought and freight paid for and to be loaded on board named ships which although chartered have not yet arrived at American ports owing to unforeseen delays.

Owners would be liable to incur heavy loss unless assurance is given at once as to rate of compensation for cargo consigned to Germany which will now under declaration be detained or diverted. Owners assume that compensation will amount to invoice price less cost of freight from Danish and Swedish ports to which freight has already been paid. Ships are Marie, Dicido, Swedish, and Livonia, Danish, from Galveston to Aalborg and Copenhagen.

  1. This telegram was sent in consequence of representations made personally to the British Ambassador by Robert F. Rose, Foreign Trade Adviser of the Department of State, accompanied by an exporter of cotton, in a conference at the Department on the same date. See Mr. Rose’s report dated May 21, post, p. 216.
  2. The declaration of March 1 prohibiting trade with Germany, ante, p. 127.