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File No. 411.57N83/126

The Vice Chairman of the United States Shipping Board ( Brent ) to the Counselor for the Department of State ( Polk )

Dear Mr. Polk : Pursuant to conversation with members of the Shipping Board this afternoon, I enclose copy of a resolution just passed concerning merchant vessels now completed.

The vessels under this designation are vessels which will undoubtedly go to British or Norwegian registry. Therefore it is the urgent request of the Shipping Board that this resolution, which calls for twenty-four hours’ notice, be served this afternoon, if possible, [Page 605]upon the British and Norwegian Embassies [sic], as it is our desire to take title and possession to-morrow to several vessels which will go to these nationals, and we want to have the notice given so as to permit this action to be taken.

Please advise us the hour of delivery to the several Embassies so that we may comply thoroughly with the terms of our own resolution.1

Very truly yours,

Theodore Brent
[Enclosure]

Resolution of the United States Shipping Board of July 23, 1917

Be it resolved, That in this present emergency the Board proceed to requisition title to and possession of all launched merchant vessels where construction is completed and which construction was commenced in our yards under contracts which would lead to foreign documentation, other than those vessels which it is shown by competent evidence, have already been given by a foreign government either permanent or provisional registry by such government.

Provided, That no completed vessel shall be requisitioned without twenty-four hours’ previous notice to the embassy of the national owning the ship of our intention to requisition it.

  1. The resolution was communicated to the British Ambassador and the Norwegian Minister, July 24. (File Nos. 195/126a and 411.57N83/190.)