File No. 311.654At8/19
The Italian Ambassador ( Macchi di Cellere ) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 14.]
Mr. Secretary of State: With reference to the correspondence exchanged with your excellency in the case of the S. S. Attualità and with special reference to my note of November 20, 1916,1 I have the honor to confirm to your excellency that in the spirit of the law in force in the Kingdom the transfer of the flag of Italian steamers is prohibited. This prohibition was first established by a decree—law of April 1, 1915, and since confirmed by a decree of the Lieutenant of the Kingdom of April 2, 1916, which superseded the first.
As it appears from information received at the Embassy that Judge Waddill of Norfolk is about to decree the forced sale of the Attualità, I have the honor to beg your excellency kindly to apprize for all pertinent purposes, the above-named judge of the existence of the aforesaid prohibition. I enclose to that end a certified copy of the Lieutenant’s decree of April 2, 1916.1
In performing the duty of renewing in this instance the reserves previously made regarding the action taken by the Government of the United States and the courts of Norfolk and Richmond in the case of the S. S. Attualità which as a requisitioned vessel is not [Page 687] subject to foreign jurisdiction, I extend to your excellency, together with my thanks for the transmission hereby requested, the sentiment of my highest consideration.