File No. 841.731/303

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

No. 584]

Sir: With further reference to the matter of the censorship of cablegrams by the British authorities, your attention is directed to [Page 705] the enclosed copy of a letter,1 dated January 19, from the manager of the Washington, D. C., office of the Western Union Telegraph Company.

You will note the contention of the company that the British Government should rely upon the French censorship to stop objectionable messages passing through France via England en route to neutral countries and beyond, just as, under the present revised regulations, they are relying upon the French censors to stop code messages for France.

The Department concurs in the statement of the company that it seems “illogical and a serious detriment to American trade and business enterprise,” that cable messages sent to neutral countries, which must pass through French territory but which are sent via England, should be held up by the British censor, while other messages sent via France, and not by way of England, are permitted to pass by the French censors.

Please take up this matter with the Foreign Office and endeavor to bring about an arrangement whereby any cablegrams destined for points in Europe and which must pass through French territory, shall be censored by the French censors and shall not be interfered with by the British authorities.

This seems to the Department to be a most reasonable arrangement and it is earnestly hoped that your efforts in the premises may be successful.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Robert Lansing
  1. Not printed.