File No. 763.72112/605a
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Spring Rice )
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: I give you below copy of a telegram which Senator Smith has received from Savannah, Georgia, as follows:[Page 199]
We have booked considerable rosin for Genoa, Italy, and Göteborg, Sweden, prior to Allies placing rosin on contraband list and seems to us if goods are shipped to neutral consignees domiciled Italy and Sweden with accompanying certificate to effect Italian and Swedish consumption, belligerent nations would not have right to seize or seriously detain. Would appreciate your investigation and telegraphic reply at our expense earliest possible moment.
Strachan Shipping Company
I am forwarding it to our Ambassador at London but send it to you in the hope that you may be able to hasten a favorable action upon the part of your Government.
The war has thrown a heavy burden upon the South. A decline of one cent per pound in cotton amounts to a loss of eighty millions of dollars, and you know cotton has fallen several cents as a result of the war.
Next to cotton, naval stores are among the most important exports, and, as these naval stores were used as ballast in cotton ships, the action of His Majesty’s Government in declaring naval stores as contraband adds to the embarrassment of the situation and makes it all the more important that naval stores consigned to specified firms in neutral countries should not be delayed.
I hope that you can assist us in emphasizing the importance of insuring freedom of transit as to these shipments.
I have [etc.]