File No. 763.72112/1191

The Counselor of the British Embassy ( Barclay ) to the Counselor for the Department of State

Dear Mr. Lansing : I beg to thank you for your personal letter of the 22d returning my personal note of the 19th and enclosing copy of a report prepared by Mr. Rose.

With regard to your suggestion that the recent announcement of the British Foreign Office implied that the conversations between Mr. Rose and members of the British Embassy here were of an official character I can only say that as far as I know there has never been any doubt about the matter and that if there had been any doubt it would have been dispelled by the exchange of notes between Mr. Rose and Sir Richard Crawford.

The British Government has however been informed that such doubts have arisen and to set them finally at rest has published a statement enclosed herewith which was communicated to you yesterday unofficially by the Ambassador.

Here I think the matter might be allowed to rest as it does not seem desirable to enter into any discussion of questions already settled.

You will doubtless have observed that the British note of March 15, paragraph 3,1 and the American reply of March 30,2 penultimate [Page 223] paragraph, have clearly laid down the points of view of the respective governments.

I am [etc.]

Colville Barblay
[Enclosure]

Public statement issued by the British Embassy

The arrangements with regard to the shipments of cotton and other articles of commerce were agreed upon between representatives of His Majesty’s Government and representatives of the American interests concerned.

The United States Government were in no sense a party to these agreements and took no part in the conferences.

His Majesty’s Government quite realise that these unofficial arrangements in no way involve the United States Government and that they do not and cannot commit either government to any departure from the views which they have already expressed in their official notes with regard to the declaration of March 1 and the blockade policy adopted to give effect to it.

  1. Ante, p. 143.
  2. Ante, p. 152.