File No. 861.801/32

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Reading)


The Secretary of State has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum of his excellency, the Ambassador of Great Britain, dated July 31, 1918,2 relative to the steps considered necessary by the British Government to control traffic by sea to and from north Russian ports, especially the trade between these ports and Norway.

Due note has been taken of the intention of the British Government to notify the neutrals concerned that they still regard as prohibited area the Russian Arctic coast from the Norwegian frontier to Kara Straits, which area was closed by action of the Russian Government in April 1916; and that unless the authorities of the United States have any objections to the proposal, the British Government proposes to put in force the regulation that vessels may only proceed within this area if in possession of a permit to do so issued by the British Admiralty.

The information contained in the memorandum under acknowledgment has been communicated to the interested departments of this Government, which perceive no reason why, as far as practicable, adherence should not be continued to the decree of the Russian Government [Page 146]aforementioned which prescribes the conditions under which permits to shipping might be issued.

  1. Ante, p. 137.