File No. 195.1/272a
The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Spring Rice )
Excellency: The steamship Dacia, recently transferred to the American register and flag, is due to sail from Galveston with full cargo of cotton Friday or as soon thereafter as possible. The owners of the cargo have conferred with Department in regard to the contemplated voyage to Bremen. Upon suggestion of the Department, the shipowner has consented to send the ship to Rotterdam direct with full cargo of cotton, which is sold for delivery by day certain. The shippers say they will suffer loss that means bankruptcy unless they are able to get the cotton to the other side on this ship, as no others are now available. Shipowner and shippers agree that ship may be detained for examination of cargo at British port and will not touch at any port of opposing belligerents. In view of your recent conversation with the Solicitor of the Department in respect of this matter, I now ask if it is not possible, in view of the particular circumstances of this case, for the British Government to consent not to raise the question of the transfer of the vessel for this particular voyage, it being understood that neither Government yields any principle involved and that such action is not to serve as a precedent hereafter. The Department is convinced that shipment of cotton in this case is in good faith and that shippers took space on the Dacia in the belief that the vessel having been transferred to the American flag, they could safely ship in the Dacia.
Awaiting as early a reply as your excellency may conveniently be able to make,
I have [etc.]