File No. 763.72112/1467

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


2627. My August 13, 5 p. m.1 Official statement was issued to representatives of press late this afternoon by Lord Robert Cecil, Parliamentary Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs, in regard to cotton situation to the effect that the British Government as well as the Allied powers were giving the question most careful consideration from all sides, keeping in mind the fact that cotton received in Germany was being used for the manufacture of munitions of war and also the fact that the Southern States of the United States were dependent upon the sale of their cotton for their livelihood. Although cotton had not yet been placed upon the contraband list, it might be considered necessary to make it contraband as it was being demanded in the United Kingdom and in the Allied countries and the Government was studying the question of compensation in this eventuality for the purpose of taking care of all neutral interests involved.

It is understood by press and others that this statement is issued in order to prepare the public in Great Britain and in United States for the announcement that cotton has been declared contraband as there is no doubt but that a declaration to this effect will be made in near future.

American Ambassador
[Page 194]

[For the British proclamation placing “raw cotton, cotton linters, cotton waste, and cotton yarns” on the list of absolute contraband, see the telegram from the Ambassador in Great Britain, August 24, 1915, No. 2685, above, page 174.]

  1. Not printed.