File No. 311.654At8/16

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy ( Page)


682. Your 750, December 11, 3 p.m. In note dated October 26, 1916, Department communicated to Italian Ambassador reasons why [Page 686] it did not consider it was in position to take steps looking to release steamer Attualità. In note, December 8,1 Department informed Ambassador that for reasons set forth in previous note the Department must adhere to views therein contained to effect that action of court in taking jurisdiction in case this vessel was not at variance with international law or international custom and Department again pointed out, as was done in note October 26, that courts are open to owners of vessel to defend their rights and to endeavor to have set aside by court of last resort decision holding vessel for trial, and that inconvenience resulting from detention vessel could doubtless be avoided in case owners should enter bond as was done in case of an Italian steamer called the Luigi.

Baron Sonnino apparently is in error with respect to statements made regarding agreement with Department that no ships requisitioned by Italy would be subjected to seizure, Department having entered into no such agreement. You may communicate with Foreign Office in sense foregoing.

  1. Not printed.