File No. 763.72112/1354a
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Great Britain ( Page )
1860. Am informed by British Ambassador that he cabled yesterday to Sir Edward Grey urging the necessity for more considerate and liberal treatment of American trade, particularly cotton, oil, and meat products. It is exceedingly important that British Government should understand this necessity, and should realize that this Government considers the general policy of the British Government in seizing American shipments on mere presumption of enemy destination, and in restraining American trade with neutral countries, is unjustifiable in law. The course pursued by Great Britain has produced widespread irritation and dissatisfaction [Page 474] through this country, and unless some radical change is made, the situation will become so serious politically that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find a solution. In view of the increasing gravity of the question, which is reaching a crisis in this country, I would suggest that you communicate unofficially these views to Sir Edward and, if you can do so without offense, intimate to him that the matter be treated as a cabinet question, and not left to the decision of subordinates in the governmental departments.