File No. 763.72112/1026

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


1950. Referring to the Department’s 1422 of 15th and Consul General’s cable 15th [16th] proposing that certified copies of manifests and other pertinent information relating to outward-bound ships be forwarded to Consul General in order to have material facts promptly available, it is suggested further that our Government undertake if possible to guarantee that cargo in every case conform to manifest and that relevant facts relating to each outgoing ship be cabled and laid before British authorities in order to obtain decision from them prior to actual arrival of vessel concerned [Page 372] whether ship should be detained or allowed to proceed. In case British authorities insist upon detention after consideration of this evidence we should then have from ten days to two weeks to discuss question prior to actual arrival of vessel and could direct ship to a specified discharging port, thus avoiding long delays at Kirkwall and Stornoway.

At conference with Consul General it was also thought that it might be desirable, should it meet with Department’s approval, to address an informal memorandum to Sir Edward Grey and to state that while the Government of the United States did not alter for a moment its views or the position which it had clearly set forth in its previous formal notes to the British Government, nevertheless it would be glad to receive a proposal of practical measures which might be adopted by American shippers so that American ships and cargoes could proceed to their destination without interference or delay on the part of the British naval authorities.

American Ambassador