File No. 763.72112/1560a

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


1665. Foreign trade advisers acting unofficially and as representatives of shipping interests have been participating in informal arrangements with Sir Richard Crawford, commercial adviser, British Embassy, and submitting proofs of payments of American-owned goods in Germany and Austria before March 1 and facilitating shipments of such goods. Crawford notifies them that Foreign Office now insists that such goods must leave neutral ports prior to June 15, after which they can only come out under Article 4 of order in council. They have unofficially and informally requested Crawford to ask his Government to remove date of limitation for the reasons that:

It is physically impossible to get goods to neutral ports prior to June 15.
Transportation facilities Rotterdam or other neutral port inadequate to transport goods from that port by that date.
Practically impossible to bring out goods under Article 4 of order in council as no shipping lines will accept cargoes which will be subjected to detention.

Trade advisers further informally ask Crawford to request his Government to give special permits to goods contracted but not paid for before March 1 in cases where American shippers are legally bound by contract to pay for them.

See proper British officials and unofficially, informally, and discreetly ascertain whether in view of these facts the British Government will insist on date limitation and on actual payment of goods before March 1.