File No. 763.72112/1627
Stanley Jordan and Company to the Secretary of State
Dear Sir: The enclosed clipping is from the New York Times of this morning, and purports to be a summary of a report by our Consul General in London.[Page 554]
We have suffered, as have all import and export merchants, through the burdens of restrictions of Great Britain on our trade with neutral countries. The foreign trade advisers have helped us as best they could, and we have, succeeded through their good offices in getting forward certain parcels of merchandise, of which the title was already vested in us, of German and Austrian origin stored in Rotterdam. We feel however, that the condition as given in Mr. Skinner’s report, is a very different one than that which would arise from a blockade, even if the latter were legally extended to prevent the export or import of merchandise from or to Germany and Austria through neutral ports. When it seems to be an absolute fact that British merchants are trading with neutral countries, and almost certainly indirectly with their enemies, it is an unmitigated outrage that American merchants should be interfered with in their proper and legitimate business dealings. We have sympathized with the difficulties before our State Department, and the diplomatic problems which have been met and solved have been so treated that the admiration of every thinking American must have been excited, and a proper pride taken in the fact that American diplomacy has taken such a high position in the world to-day. But it does really now seem as if our patience with British interference might give way to a more forceful and insistent attitude.
Our export business to the countries contiguous to Germany has been now reduced to a spasmodic trade, which is so surrounded by restrictions that we feel, in our legitimate efforts to obtain business, as if we were smugglers engaged in some illicit traffic.
In conclusion, may we remind you that through the foreign trade advisers we submitted documentary evidence which showed conclusively that a permit had been issued by the British Government to a firm in London for the import of certain goods which we were not permitted to ship at that time from Rotterdam, and that the goods in question were actually imported by the London firm in this market, with the words “American property” endorsed upon the face of the bill of lading and entered here under a consular invoice, which was distinctly not in accordance with the facts in the transaction. The facts in this matter were impressed rather forcibly upon us because the goods in question belonged to us, were imported under our original shipping marks and numbers, and the difference in value between the price at which we contracted to buy them and that of the market at time of arrival here, was about $12,000.
We hope to hear from you in regard to this matter of such vital importance to our entire export trade, and remain,
Very respectfully yours,