File No. 862.85/199

The British Embassy to the Department of State 2


The British Embassy have received instructions from His Majesty’s Government to communicate to the State Department the following particulars as to negotiations which have been proceeding with the Government of Uruguay in connection with the proposed signature by France and Great Britain of the arbitration treaty proposed by the Uruguayan Government.

The British and French Governments have now decided in principle on the acceptance of the proposed treaty, a course which was recommended as desirable by the Department in their communication of October 5. As a return for their acceptance of these proposals they have placed before the Uruguayan Government the following suggestions for the disposal of the German ships in Uruguayan ports on their requisitioning by the Uruguayan Government.

One-third of the tonnage should be used in trade with the United States and two-thirds in trade with France and Great Britain.
As an alternative proposal half of the tonnage should be used in trade with Europe, one-quarter in direct trade with the United [Page 351] States, and one-quarter in trade between Uruguay and Europe, calling at United States ports on the outward journey, but returning direct from Europe to the Plate.

Before proceeding, however, to the signature of the treaties, the British and French Governments would be glad to learn the views of the United States Government on the subject. They feel that the United States Government will appreciate the steps taken, and that it will be borne in mind that the conciliatory attitude of the Allies in this question has resulted in furnishing new resources to fortify the Entente against the common enemy.

  1. A similar memorandum was received on the same date from the French Embassy (File No. 733.5112/3).