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

No. 1302]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 1677 of June 7, and your reply No. 2437 of July 10, in regard to certain porcelain guides of German origin now at Rotterdam which the Mitchell-Bissell Company of New York desire to obtain, there is enclosed for your information a copy of a letter dated July 21, 1915, from the Mitchell-Bissell Company, together with the enclosures thereto, in regard to their need of these porcelain guides.1

The Mitchell-Bissell Company. inform the Department that they are able to state from past experience that it is impossible to obtain porcelain guides of this character of the requisite workmanship that will meet their purposes either in the United States or Great Britain, or, in fact, anywhere outside of Germany, and though their manufacture might be perfected in this country or in Great Britain, it would require two or three years to accomplish this. The goods are of very fine workmanship and must be absolutely accurate in order to meet the needs of the company. Great hardship will be suffered by this company and a number of other companies in the United States if they are unable to obtain these porcelain guides from Germany. The value of the guides is relatively small but the injury that will be done if they are unable to obtain them will be very great.

These goods now at Rotterdam have all been paid for through a running account between the Mitchell-Bissell Company and the [Page 263] German manufacturers of the goods. Payments on this account are made from time to time by the Mitchell-Bissell Company, and they have entirely paid for the goods now at Rotterdam, although it is impossible for them to say that the goods were entirely paid for before March 1, 1915, though they were all contracted for prior to that date.

You are instructed informally and without recognizing the British order in council to again take up this matter with the proper British authorities in an endeavor to have an authorization issued so that these guides may proceed without interference from Rotterdam to the United States. Your are instructed to report by cable to this Department the reply of the British authorities to your informal representations.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed.↩