File No. 341.115 P51/37

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


1421. Department informed American steamer Joseph W. Fordney , which sailed from New York March 20, was seized four miles off Norwegian coast and in charge of prize crew brought into Kirkwall April 8. Ship’s manifest, copy of which has been furnished Department, shows cargo consists entirely of cattle fodder consigned to E. Klingener, Malmö, Sweden. It appears from other information presented to Department, affidavit regarding character and destination of cargo made by president of Atlantic Export Company of New York, shipper of entire cargo, was attached to bill of lading; that this affidavit contained certification of British Consul General and Swedish Consul and also a statement by latter to effect that exportation from Sweden of goods of which cargo consists is prohibited. It further appears vessel was loaded under supervision British consular officers, who sealed her hatches prior to sailing. Department from information in its possession is strongly inclined to believe that proper examination of the vessel has not disclosed evidence of any illegal shipment, and that seizure of the vessel is another illustration of the deplorable disregard of rights of American shippers by British naval authorities. If vessel is still held on receipt of this telegram, communicate with Foreign Office in sense of the foregoing and request immediate release of vessel if examination has not revealed evidence she carried contraband shipment.