File No. 841.711/1911

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Sharp)

[Telegram]

2064. Your telegram 1894, February 28, 7 p.m., and despatch 5177, February 16.2

Inform Foreign Office that this Government is unable to give assurances that pouches marked “Shipping Documents” contain only bills of lading, consular invoices, etc. Post Office Department is guided by statements of senders that envelopes contain shipping documents when making up special pouches. British Government does not require guaranties. Arrangement solely to obviate disastrous delays in delivery of shipping documents to consignees, [Page 522]especially where perishable goods are concerned. Special pouches also used in forwarding shipping papers to United States from Europe.

Matter is of great importance to American importers and exporters. Department desires, therefore, that you express to Foreign Office hope of this Government that French postal authorities will adopt same arrangement as British Government. You should scrupulously avoid in your representations, however, committing this Government to present policy of Entente powers of examining or detaining mail to and from the United States.

Lansing
  1. Despatch not printed.