File No. No. 763.72112/3464

The Secretary of State to the Cummer Lumber Co., Jacksonville, Fla.

Gentlemen: The Department has received your letter of April 4, 1917,1 wherein you state that you have contracts for the delivery of phosphate rock with Messrs. H. J. Merck & Co., of Hamburg, Germany; that these contracts were all made prior to the beginning of the European war; that the delivery has been suspended from time to time under a war clause in the contract; that you have made no new contracts since March 3, 1914, except on February 13, 1916, when you agreed to an extension of 69,743 tons (which had been automatically canceled) until the end of the war; and that you would like to be advised as to what you should do with reference to these contracts.

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You doubtless appreciate that it would not be possible for you to carry on transactions of the character referred to in your letter during the existence of war between this country and Germany.

The matter of future commercial relations between your company and your German customers is one in regard to which the Department is not in a position to advise you.

As of possible interest to you, the Department may call your attention to the following cases: Montgomery v. The United States, 15 Wall. 395; Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 7 Pet. 586; Kershaw v. Kelsey, 100 Mass. 561.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Frank L. Polk

  1. Not printed.