File No. 763.72112/1257½

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Grey) to the British Embassy in Washington


I cannot give a pledge that all ships now in prize court will be released on bail being offered because decision must rest with judge, but you may make it known that in order to relieve a shortage of tonnage H. M. G. are anxious to withdraw ships as little as possible from carrying trade and will therefore not oppose release on bail of ships now in prize court if bail is offered.

Only seven neutral vessels are at present in prize court and only five ships are detained here in addition at this moment for examination as to character and true destination of their cargo; one of these will probably be released almost immediately and no one of them is under American flag.

It would perhaps be well if this were publicly known and I am giving information to press here.

[File copy not signed]