File No. 763.72112/1003b

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


1222. Spring Rice is sending Grey arguments favorable to extending time application of decree of March 1 to cover contracts for cotton to Germany and Austria entered into before promulgation of decree and he asks that you present matter to British officials. In view of previous assurances of British Government that cotton would be free, cotton has been bought and assembled and charters made which would involve enormous loss on account of demurrage, interest and charter charges which are accumulating daily unless immediate exemption is granted for vessels and cargoes under charter contracted for previous to March 1. Banks are refusing to finance shipments unless shipper provides them with policy guaranteeing them against British capture and if policy contains this clause the prohibitive premium of 30 per cent is charged. Unless relief comes soon banks will call loans with very disastrous results.

You are instructed to make appropriate representations but without prejudice to right of this Government to question decree of March 1 and without acknowledging the right of the British Government to issue such decree.