File No. 763.72112/1802

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

No. 2300]

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith for the information of the Department a copy of a note under date of October 7, which has been addressed to the Embassy by the Foreign Office in reply to a communication made to the British Procurator General by the Consul General in London on September 27 in reference to the cargo of the S. S. Vitalia .1

I have [etc.]

Walter Hines Page

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Grey ) to the American Ambassador ( Page )

No. 139821/15]

Your Excellency: I have the honour to inform you that, in a letter dated the 27th ultimo and addressed to His Majesty’s Procurator General in regard to the items of the cargo of the S. S. Vitalia which have been placed in the prize court, the United States Consul General in London makes the following statement.

The great difficulty in this case is that under existing arrangements you are requiring goods to be forwarded by the Holland–America Line and have created a carrying monopoly.

I am not aware of any grounds upon which this statement can have been based; and I have the honour to request that your excellency will be so good as to explain to Mr. Skinner that His Majesty’s Government make no conditions as to the steamship lines by which goods exported from America to Holland shall be carried, and there is no provision of this nature in the existing arrangement between His Majesty’s Government and the Netherlands Oversea Trust.

If any conditions are made as to the carrying trade between America and Holland, I understand that they would be made by the Netherlands Oversea Trust with the principal Dutch shipping lines engaged in carrying goods, consignment of which has been accepted by the trust; and any such arrangements would be made without consultation with His Majesty’s Government.

I have [etc.]

[File copy not signed]
  1. See telegram from the Consul General at London, September 20, ante, p. 550.