File No. 894.85/143
The Italian Ambassador ( Macchi di Cellere) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 13.]
My Dear Mr. Lansing: With reference to my letter of January 19,1 I wish to inform you that my Government instructed Italian owners to abstain from any negotiations with agents of private Japanese ship owners and ship builders, leaving the American Government to deal with Japanese firms for securing their tonnage.
Sometime ago I asked the War Trade Board to let me know which was the policy of the Federal authorities regarding the distribution between the Allies of such tonnage as my Government was anxious to secure some of the Japanese steamers for the transportation of its commodities into Italy.
The War Trade Board informed me on the 15th of June last that it was not in a position to give me a definite reply as some negotiations were pending with the U. S. Shipping Board.
I shall be most pleased to hear from you if such negotiations have been definitely concluded and what is the policy of the U. S. Shipping Board and the War Trade Board in reference to the question of Japanese tonnage.
Very sincerely yours,