File No. 195.1/292

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

[Telegram]

1501. Sir Edward Grey has given me a copy of his telegram of January 20 to Spring Rice about Dacia which is practically identical with my 1473, January 15.

But Grey informed me definitely that the Cabinet had not discussed, and therefore had reached no decision, regarding:

(1)
What action British Government might take if a purchased German ship under American flag should undertake trade between American and British ports.
(2)
What action British Government might take if a purchased German ship under American flag should be used in trade between North and South America.

He remarked: “We have not taken up those questions.”

Lord Haldane therefore, as locum tenens in the Foreign Office, went, in his conversation with me, further than he had warrant to go. Grey now nullifies the last two sentences in my 1473, January 15.

The whole matter stands thus, therefore: British Government will either buy the cotton on the Dacia, if she comes, at the price it would fetch in Germany, or they will unload it from the Dacia and forward it to Rotterdam on another ship, and they will put the Dacia herself in the prize court.

I shall hereafter be a little more wary of any locum tenens.

American Ambassador