File No. 763.72112/3750
The Secretary of State to Mr. Ira Jewell Williams, Philadelphia
Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letters of May 28 and June 6, 1917,1 in which, on behalf of your clients, The Atlantic Refining Co., you seek advice as to whether they would be justified in shipping petroleum to certain firms in St. Vincent, Cape Verde.
In reply you are advised that this Department is in receipt of information to the effect that Joaquin de St. Maurice, of St. Vincent, Cape Verde, is, in consequence of his intercourse with Hamburg and his relations with the North German Lloyd, said to be under grave suspicion.
It has been made known to the Department that the firm, known as Antonio Miguel de Carvalho & Co., which, apparently, has recently taken over the business of Joaquin de St. Maurice, is under like suspicion, and that there is danger that the consignment of petroleum, to which you refer, if shipped to this company, would be used to the advantage of the enemy.
As bearing on the matter, the Department may call your attention to the rule enunciated by American courts to the effect that intercourse, either directly or indirectly, between residents of enemy countries is illegal; also to the fact that there is now pending before Congress, as you probably are aware, a bill (H. R. 4704) with regard to trade with the enemy. A copy of the bill is enclosed herewith.1
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