File No. 763.72112/1109

The Consul General at London ( Skinner ) to the Secretary of State

No. 425]

Sir: Referring to the Department’s cabled instruction of April 16 in regard to the duties of the prize claims committee, and to my reply of April 171 stating, briefly, that the committee would deal with equity cases, I have the honor to report that the procurator general consulted with the Foreign Office, after receiving confirmation of my verbal inquiries, and the Foreign Office, in a note addressed to the Ambassador of April 24, confirms my cabled report in the following language:

I have accordingly the honour to state that the view expressed by Mr. Skinner in his letter is substantially correct. Order V, Rule 2, of the prize court rules refers to cases “where a ship has been captured as prize but has been subsequently released by the captors, or has by loss, destruction, or otherwise, ceased to be detained by them without proceedings for condemnation having been taken.” The prize claims committee on the other hand have been constituted to consider claims put forward in respect of vessels or cargoes which have been sentenced to condemnation or detention by the prize court. The former thus relates to claims arising out of delays caused to vessels in consequence of their detention by the British authorities—the latter to claims preferred by third parties against vessels condemned or detained (as the case may be) by the prize court.

I should be much obliged if your excellency would be good enough to inform Mr. Skinner of this communication.

I may add that, although the Fridland appears in the published list of ships with which the prize claims committee is dealing, I am now informed that this is the result of an error.

I have [etc.]

Robert P. Skinner
  1. Ante, pp. 370 and 371.