File No. 195.1/265a

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


956. German steamship Dacia recently transferred to American register due to sail from Galveston with full cargo cotton Friday or soon thereafter as possible. Owners have contemplated voyage to Bremen. Upon Department’s suggestion owners of ship and cargo [Page 679] consent to send ship to Rotterdam direct with entire cargo of cotton which is sold for delivery in Germany by day certain. Shippers took space on Dacia after American registry in good faith, believing they could safely ship. Officers and crew entirely native American citizens. Vessel will go direct to Rotterdam, not touching at any enemy port, and return this country, agreeing to detention for examination of cargo. No other bottoms available for cotton and shippers threatened with disastrous loss if unable to use Dacia. Ship bought for half price due to natural causes from German ships lying idle. Please call on Grey at once and lay this situation before him in person and seek to have British Government consent not to raise question of transfer for this particular voyage on conditions above stated, neither Government waiving any principle involved and case not to serve as precedent hereafter. If arrangement consummated, Department will issue statement that arrangement is agreed to by Great Britain to facilitate this shipment of cotton and case not to serve as precedent and all prospective transferees of enemy vessels will be so advised. Freight rates on cotton are now practically prohibitive. Under recent restrictions of British Government, English ships practically denied transfer of register. Parties who purchased Dacia state they endeavored purchase British and French ships without success. Report earliest possible moment.