File No. 763.72112/1702
The Secretary of State to Messrs. Henry Veeder, Charles J. Faulkner, jr., and Luther M. Walter, counsel for American packers
Gentlemen: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letter of October 6 last, in which you comment on the decision of the High Court of Justice of Great Britain confiscating as prize certain shipments made by Armour and Company, Swift and Company, Morris and Company, and Sulzberger and Sons Company, composing part of the cargoes of the Kim, Alfred Nobel, Björnstjerne Björnson , and Fridland .1
Your letter has received the Department’s careful consideration.
As you are doubtless aware, the questions referred to in your communication are dealt with at some length in the instruction of October 21, 1915, transmitted by the Department to the American Ambassador at London directing him to address a communication to the British Government regarding the interference by the British authorities with American commerce.2
With reference to the views expressed in your communication to the effect that this Government should, without awaiting the [Page 622] result of appellate proceedings, protest against the recent decision of the British prize court confiscating certain goods shipped on the steamers Kim, Alfred Nobel, Björnstjerne Björnson , and Fridland , the Department deems it proper to call your attention to the principle of international law that a claimant against a foreign government must, as a general rule, prosecute his case to a final decision in a court of last resort before invoking diplomatic assistance on the ground that he has suffered a denial of justice in the tribunals of a foreign government, and presumes that your clients will attend to an appeal. The case will continue to receive the attention of the Department.
I am [etc.]