File No. 195/166a

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Sharp)


3018. In view of the resolution of the recent inter-Allied conference in Paris whereby “interned tonnage obtained through any channels, and by whatever country, shall be used in such a way as to increase to an equal extent the tonnage in direct war service,”1 you are instructed to ascertain from the French Government what plans have been made for the allocation and use of the 30 steamers recently placed at the disposal of France by the Brazilian Government.2 Before approaching French Government on this matter, you should consult with the British Ambassador in Paris.

For your private information, French Ambassador here has requested Department for share of Austrian tonnage in Spanish and [Page 499] Uruguayan ports that may be acquired by this Government if pending negotiations for the acquisition of this tonnage are successfully terminated. While Department would look with favor on plan of equal division of tonnage for war needs between France, Great Britain and this country, at the same time Department expects reciprocal division of tonnage secured by France from Brazil. Report by cable.

  1. For complete text of the resolution, see Foreign Relations, 1917, Supplement 2, vol. I, pp. 420423.
  2. For documents relating to the disposition of enemy tonnage in Brazilian ports, see ibid., Supplement 1, pp. 293 et seq.