File No. 763.72112/699
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received 6.45 p. m.]
1607. The order prohibiting the publication of ship manifests till after thirty days continues to produce ill feeling and harsh criticism in shipping and commercial circles. This order was made without notice or chance for discussion and no reason for it has ever been made known here. The Commercial World assumes it was made to conceal contraband shipments. This order has perhaps more than any other single fact caused harsh criticism and ill feeling. To rescind it would be to go a long way toward restoring normal feeling. As long as it stands it will remain an active irritant. Would it not be possible to rescind it now since cargoes are certified? If this be utterly impossible, could some explanation of the reason for issuing it not be given? But no explanation will be satisfying. It is constantly said here, sometimes in print, that the Secretary of the Treasury is pro-German and is using his office to further German interests and I am told that this view is generally expressed and believed, also, in several European neutral countries. That such nonsense is taken seriously and is deeply resented shows the extent and the depth and the persistence of the bad effects caused by this order.