File No. 841.711/2090

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

No. 6435

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 4916 of April 6, 1917, in regard to remittances from American citizens to persons in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and to neutral countries, which have not reached their destinations owing to their reported detention by British authorities, I have the honor to transmit herewith, for the information of the Department, a copy of a note, dated June 19, 1917, which I have received from the Foreign Office in reply to my representations in this connection.

I have [etc.]

Walter Hines Page

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Balfour ) to the American Ambassador ( Page )

No. 117596/X

Your Excellency: With reference to the note No. 3821 which your excellency was good enough to address to me on April 25 last, regarding remittances sent to persons in enemy countries and at present detained by His Majesty’s authorities, I have the honour to [Page 526] inform you that the meaning of the expression referred to in your excellency’s note was that His Majesty’s Government were entitled in the exercise of their belligerent rights to intercept documents of this nature destined for enemy countries and to place them in the prize court, where those which were of a contraband nature would be condemned and the remainder dealt with in accordance with the directions given by the court.

Although the number of documents, which have been intercepted, is so great that it has not yet been found possible in the majority of cases to bring the prize court proceedings to a conclusion, no claimant has yet availed himself of the right accorded by paragraph 5 of the order in council of 11th March 1915 to institute proceedings for the return of the remittances which he claims.

I propose, however, to communicate to your excellency in due course certain proposals which are at present being considered by His Majesty’s Government for the ultimate disposal of all such documents and papers as those in question.

I have [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Eyre A. Crowe