File No. 763.72112/690a

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

[Telegram]

877. Following notice to exporters will be issued by Treasury Department to-morrow.

Bryan
[Notice]

The attention of exporters is respectfully called to the importance of having foreign shipping manifests complete and accurate, in order to avoid delay incident to search while in transit.

Cases have occurred where manifests have been incomplete or inaccurate, and where it is claimed efforts have been made to conceal the nature of the goods carried. Even a few cases of this kind may throw suspicion upon other American commerce, and, through delay, work injury to our foreign trade. While a shipowner who knowingly becomes a party to such a transaction may be liable to such of his patrons as may unjustly suffer thereby, still this is not a sufficient protection since it does not safeguard other shippers who suffer inconvenience because of occasional derelictions of those who inaccurately describe or conceal the character of their shipments.

The Government is making every practicable effort to secure the uninterrupted flow of American commerce and to reduce to a minimum such delays as may be unavoidable in time of war. It looks with confidence for cooperation from the American business public to prevent such action on the part of shippers as adds unnecessarily to the difficulties of business at this time.

Whenever shippers desire such aid in carrying on their foreign business, the Treasury Department will furnish, upon application to the customs collector at any port, an officer to supervise the loading of cargo and to certify to the completeness and accuracy of the manifest.

As a further precaution it is suggested that shippers accompany ship’s manifest with an affidavit stating that the articles shipped are correctly shown by the manifest, and that the packages contain nothing except that which is shown thereon.

Andrew J. Peters

Acting Secretary of the Treasury

Approved:

  • W. J. Bryan
    Secretary of State
  • William C. Redfield
    Secretary of Commerce